Sunday, January 10, 2021

For older folks "New Year, Old Me" is good enough

Apparently the mantra in January every year has always been "New Year, New Me".

It's logical because when resolutions are made, for a majority of people, they hope to achieve some kind of break-through that makes them a better person by year-end.

Increasingly, I think the new year resolution for folks after their 40s should instead be "New Year, Old Me". 

As we get old, the struggle is not achieving new things. The struggle is maintaining the engine at a tip-top shape. Status quo can be a great reason for celebration.

  • If you can hold onto your old job, it's a blessing. 
  • If you can still do some simple coding and decipher a bash script, good for you.
  • If you can still run 3km, celebrate it. (It's a big deal for me.)  
  • If your paycheck was the same as 2019, hallelujah!

There are of course some things that tend to get better with age - Compound interest is one example of how older folks can get more control over their financial lives and avoid ageism. I was tallying my dividend payouts for the last 6 months for my next preview and I'm clocking more than the Singapore median household income these days in a pandemic year which is not too shabby given that my family does not live beyond the means of a heart-lander household. So without a single bet on Tesla or shitcoins, I had an excellent 2020. 

I would caution the folks consuming the myriad of "dividend blogs" to be careful though. There comes a time in your life more cash-flow only brings a psychological feeling of security and nothing else.

  • My house is big enough for my family.
  • I don't have folks to impress if I get a car. If I get a Ferrari, I'm pretty sure folks will ogle at the Ferrari instead of me.
  • My kids are still too young to be driven through the tuition assembly line.
  • The weather already gives me the feeling of travelling to another country.
  • Can't even buy a console as my personal projects are way more interesting than Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
  • Freaking Millenials and Gen Z drink expensive coffee that is sour! So I prefer to stick to my $1 version. 
I'm thinking to myself what can I do with my life in 10 years if I ever quit teaching investing. The nostalgic part of me wants to open a comic/game shop along Bukit Timah road. Might provide employment for my kids if they fail the academic grind in Singapore. Problem is that I can't convince myself that it would make me happy to do that for the rest of my life and may even turn me into a hater of otaku culture if I have to deal with shoplifters or shit reviews on social media.

One thing I really need to do is to hang out with younger people because they have a lot more optimism about their lives and don't exude the cynicism of folks my age. For that I am lucky - two RI Sec 4 students are seeking an attachment with me in the middle part of the year and I am happy to line up some interesting work for them so they can pick up some investment skills. 

I used to cry myself to sleep when my PSLE score could not get me into RI. Now RI boys think they can learn useful stuff from me. 

That's a pretty fine development.




  1. In my mid 40s now, no more bash scripts liao, now is ansible yaml. But yeah, still have my job so i am blessed.

    1. Thank you, I feel more obsolete than ever.

  2. just curious, what's your MBTI type?

    1. I was ESTJ in my engineering years but recently I've tested ENTJ a lot more often.

  3. I wouldn't mind another 2020. Excellent investment gains similar to 1999, 2003, 2006/07, 2017 et al.

    I also wouldn't mind another 2-3 month total lockdown again. Peaceful.

    Ok so 2 million had to die & 100 million unemployed. Too bad.

    1. I would not want a lockdown but I have about 20+ miniatures on standby if this really happens.

      Don't count another Phase 1 out !

  4. Hi all,

    All the mentioned things are all simple figure. Lead a simple life with enough to last for the rest of the lifetime.

    The rest are secondary.