Friday, January 03, 2014

Some thoughts on my last day at work.

Today is my last day of work.

Officially, at age 39, I am retired. But in practice, I expect take a good rest and then I will decide what I will do for the rest of my life. At the moment, my quarterly dividends will pay my bills and mortgages, something which my investment income has been doing for sometime.

At this stage in my life, it's probably not wise to stop working. Even if the bills are being paid, work is a great way to meet people and interact with friends. Work also keeps my mind sharp. What I am currently quite sure about is that I will not be pursuing jobs that I've been doing for the past 15 years. My jobs tends to be very procedural or bureaucratic in nature with very little technical expertise required to perform them. Two more years and I would have lost all my industrial know-how. The 90 minute commute in each direction is also quite draining.

In the short term, my priorities are follows :

a) Keep healthy and improve my diet.

As much as I hate to, not having to rush to work means that I can take my own sweet time to finish my bowl of oatmeal. I also have a Fitbit to track my activity to ensure that I am at least twice as active as before. And retirees also have that rare luxury of 8 hours of sleep everyday. (My Fitbit tells me that for my recent working years, I've been clocking only 6 hours of sleep a day. )

b) Develop myself as a person.

Being an IT engineer who has to track market movements everyday takes a toll on your humanity. Retiring gives me a rare privilege of really examining my life. One of my personal disappointments in life was missing out on Cornell University scholarship during my A level days due to my poor ECA and CL2 results. This is a great time to get acquainted with the liberal arts again. I'm starting with the personal study of Rhetoric. These days are plenty of web resources and library books which I can use to improve myself even though being self -taught is hardly equivalent to being taught in an Ivy League University.

c) Update my tech skills.

As an investor, I need to keep up with my technical skills. Analytical tools like the R statistical language are exoskeletons of the mind. I'm going to spend my evenings attending a MOOC to pick up enough R to crunch financial data-sets. Right now, I compute my financial ratios by hand and key them into a spreadsheet. Perhaps proficiency in a statistical programming language can help me with better investment decisions. I would also be trolling Bloomberg for free classes on their platform. There are also plenty of things about the tech world which I'm curious about, like Hadoop and DevOps.

Long term, I have not decided what I want to do. One possibility is to return to school, another is to start a business and a third option is to seek part-time work as a lecturer. I will do some travel and engage in my hobbies before I make a decision.

In the meantime, you can expect some interesting articles to be put up on this blog.


  1. Hi Chris,

    Congratulations on your retirement! You have finally made it and say goodbye to your IT job.

    Retirement from your full-time job is not the end. In fact, it is a start of better things to come in life. You can still meet friends from formal or informal events like investment groups, AGMs etc. I must say that the important part is to plan what to do everyday so that you have something to look forward to each day. There will definitely be something to do everyday and you won't get bored.

    All the best to your retirement years.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. The smart money is betting that I'll go insane within 2 months.

    Hope that I would'nt be trying to retract it anytime soon.