When I first started My Sweet Retirement, I wrote about The Path to Financial Freedom which is about the underlying hard work and dedication to achieve our own determined success.
All of us define our own success differently. Some people define success as climbing to the top of the corporate ladder. Entrepreneurs define success as being their own boss and not having to work for others. For a few financial bloggers I knew, they often define achieve FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) as our success.
The recent post “How Much Are You Paying For Financial Independence?” written by Brian has inspired me to reflect on the effort and hardship that I have put in towards my vision of a sweet retirement.
My past experience of being retrenched without any compensation has sparked me to scrimp, save and invest hard over the years. Prior to being retrenched, I have no concept of building an emergency funds for rainy days as I never expect retrenchment to fall onto me. During the period when I was jobless, I saw my savings falling as there are still expenses to pay such as utilities bills and living expenses.
During the days when I was jobless, I limited my spending on meals to S$2.50 per meal. After sending hundred of resumes, I found a job after three months. The job was not ideal and working hours was long, as much as 20 hours per day. Most of the time, I left office at 4 am in the morning. I quit after 6 months as my body could no longer sustain the long working hours.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reconfirmed that I have embarked on the right path to my sweet retirement. You may have read from the news that almost 800 and more businesses closed down during the COVID-19 period. Businesses could not operate because of “Circuit Breaker” measures and only essential services could operate. Companies had to lay off employees and they are unable to foresee when they are allowed to open again. I am ready this time as I have my emergency fund ready in Singapore Savings Bonds in the event I am retrenched.
You probably thought that I am working at home and my working hours are shorter than normal. The sad truth is that my company is in the business classified as essential service and I have to work longer hours during this period. I have to work 12 hours night shift on certain days. This is also probably why I dislike work because it takes away time from myself with my family. The tiredness build up from the long working hours made me reiterate to myself not to lose focus and continue my routine of saving, spending prudently and investing for more passive income.
During this difficult period, I continue to save part of my monthly salary. As the interest rates of Singapore Savings Bond has fallen drastically, there are alternative options such as Singlife Account and CIMB FastSaver which both offer higher interest rates.
There is a price to pay for a sweet retirement and I am paying for it now.
How are you working towards your sweet retirement?