Thursday, March 06, 2014

Thoughts on my retiree lifestyle after two months.


Just to tide over the time, here are some random thoughts on my retiree lifestyle before I write something more substantial this week. I've been out of the work-force for two months and living the life that resembles a cross between a fund manager and a hobo. After picking up a distinction grade in a Data Science module from Coursera, I was spending time at the Central library to test out investment models at the central library.

a) Finances are holding up.

With the fresh flow of dividends cash rolling in end-February, I find that my net worth is actually higher than my last day at work not counting home equity ( otherwise it's even higher ). I'm not sure if this momentum can be maintained as a large portion of my stocks are invested in counters which would not do too well when interest rates go up.

I'm crossing my fingers that I will be able to successfully back-test a non-dividends portfolio to make this blog more interesting. Expect 1% from my portfolio to be placed in it for everyone's amusement. Hope that I can get this going sometime mid-April. ( Hint for the investment experts : Graham and Ken Fisher are right about Singapore stocks )

b) For some strange reason your consumption needs get reduced.

Maybe it's the lack of suffering in the workplace from having someone to report to, my willpower is much stronger when I am not working in an office. I no longer obsess about branded stationary (Moleskine blows a big hole in your wallet) and have held out against buying a Gundam Model kit for two months already ( It's a FA-78 Thunderbolt if you are wondering what's caught my fancy ). However, I still can't resist a good read and still paying a lot of money on books, having just completed Kevin Roose's Young Money and going to start on Ben Horowitz's The Hard Thing about Hard Things soon.

c) The 8-hour sleep part is the best.

I'm still not a good sleeper but now I have the luxury of ensuring that I get 8 hours of sleep a day. I bet most Singaporeans don't get to enjoy this very often. If you don't pick anything out from this article, you really need to try this.

d) Premium for intelligent conversation goes up a lot.

Fighting against boredom is something I struggle with everyday. Fortunately, I exercise more everyday and will begin meditation this week. What I need more of is intelligent conversation and there is'nt a lot of retirees who can engage with that once you are out of the workforce. Working folks worry about condominium payments and the financially independent may not even care about current affairs. Finding smart, intelligent people to have a chat with is plain hard if you consider that now my weekends are dedicated to family time and people are not free when I am free. ( Hint for the flaming extroverts : don't do what I do, ease into a part-time arrangement before quitting your job. You'll miss the bitching at work. )

Another words, keeping busy is a struggle but you need to build a structure around your life when no one is there to do it for you.

Right now I'm still pretty satisfied with my current arrangement, it's still not sustainable mentally because that's a part of mind that keeps telling me that I can do better if I contribute more directly to the economy and there's some residual fear of missing out.

Let's see if March will work out.














5 comments:

Stoical Keynes said...

Hi Christopher,

Have been following your thoughts on retirement with interest.

I am aiming to reach this phase before 35 and it's heartening to hear that you are enjoying the freedom of not having to report to anyone for the day. That's likely to be the main perk for me too.

Seems the upsides outweigh the downsides for you too. Just curious , is your wife and kid taking in your retirement well too?

Christopher Ng Wai Chung said...

My wife is still not used to this.

While I continue to give her money from my dividends as before, I advised her to keep going as she gives money to her family and I don't want to interfere with that.

In the future I may reach some kind of equilibrium involving either part-time or contract work. Maybe then I can afford to replace her income completely.

mybuxtoearner said...

I think we should meet up soon. Not sure if you remember me but we worked on an army project when we were in soce(if my memory does not fail me). I am quite free during weekdays but sadly I can't really say that I am fully retired yet. :)

Wai Tuck said...

Sorry looks like my profile is still not working as expected...

Christopher Ng Wai Chung said...

mybuxtoearner,

Are you Yong E-Wai ?

( Hey mail me at waichung.ng@gmail.com )