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My Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) journey begun in around 2014 when I learned about Mr Money Mustache and how he managed to retire in his 30s by living a frugal life. His story resonated with me because I was somewhat frugal as well and I didn't like the idea of working for the rest of my life.
When I started tracking my net worth in 2015, I was in the red with -$109,258 due to my mortgage debt. Today, I've managed to turn that around with a decent 6-figure positive net worth.
On top of that, I'm on track to hit a few FIRE milestones:
All this, while continuing to invest and ride through the volatility of the stock market by investing mostly in diversified ETFs.
I started this blog in late 2016 with the goal of document my FIRE journey. I was 33 at that time. The original purpose of this blog was to act as an accountability partner for my path to FIRE, but it eventually morphed into a platform to share my ideas and opinions about personal finance, investments, work, business, and other passions of mine.
I grew up in a middle income family and while I had the privilege of having a proper home and education, things weren't always smooth sailing. My dad's business didn't do very well and money was tight when I was in tertiary education. I started working to earn my own pocket money instead of asking the family for allowances. I've done all kinds of jobs, from putting on a mascot suit to entertain kids at parties to being a disc jockey at prom parties. Eventually we even had to sell our home and move in with our relatives when my dad's business and investments went south.
After my dad passed away, we took what was left of his CPF account and used it to make a downpayment for a 3-room HDB flat with my name on the mortgage papers.
With the mortgage debt weighing on me at an early age and only a diploma education, I had to work hard to save up enough money to take up a part-time degree course in a local campus of an Australian university. Juggling between work in the day and studies in the evening while living a frugal life to pay the course fees, I managed to graduate without any education debt.
Fast forward to today, I'm grateful to have spent more than a decade working in the digital marketing industry and the connections that I've made over the years.
Over the years, I've been constantly refining my financial planning philosophy as I grow older and have a clear vision of the future that I want to create for myself.
Simplify the complexities of financial planning by breaking them into manageable chunks and focus on the gaps. I choose to separate insurance from investment so that I can optimise my insurance expenses for protection based on my needs while maximising my investment budget for a diversified investment portfolio.
I created my financial plan with the possibility of living to the age of 100 in mind, with milestones that I want to achieve along the way. A review on my financial plan at the end of each year to assess my performances. I keep my financial plan robust and fluid to pivot with my circumstances, government policy changes, and investment opportunities.
Staying consistent on a planned 'Buy Term and Invest the Rest' financial journey over many years is very difficult with the challenges that life throws at us. That's why I created a systematic process that automates most of my saving and investment processes. That takes most of the manual tasks out of my hands so that I can focus on enjoying the present, with my future all taken care of.
Retireby50.me is a finance blog that features a normal white collar worker who focuses on all-round personal finance attributes and the importance of all-round asset allocation with global exposure in Equities, Bonds, CPF, SRS and Property. It's a great blog for any readers who are looking for a start to invest and expand his or her portfolio in Singapore and beyond.
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