Author: Retire by 50

Simple tips for investors in bear markets

According to experts, the bull run is almost over. While there are mixed reviews on whether we are heading into bear market territory, what we know for sure is that the markets are very volatile right now. For most investors, their portfolio is most likely in the red. My investment portfolio with Autowealth is down by close to 4%. It’s not as bad as the rest of many investors because my portfolio consists of a diversified portfolio of ETFs and I continue to average down every month. I’m no investment expert so I’m not going to tell you what...

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Looking back at 2018 and my plans for 2019

2018 has been a good year for me, both financially and career-wise. On the career front, the new company I joined in late 2017 treats me well and the team is pretty awesome. The work I do there have been meaningful and fulfilling. The monthly income derived from this work is more than sufficient for my monthly expenses and save a decent amount of money for retirement. On the personal finance side of things, being a disciplined saver paid off for the year. After completing the purchase of my overseas property in Cambodia, I channeled the same amount that...

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Even Jack Ma, the richest man in China has a retirement plan

Yesterday (10th September), the richest man in China, Jack Ma has announced that he is retiring. The Chinese billionaire would step down exactly a year from now, with CEO Daniel Zhang succeeding him. Why would the richest man with the most valuable company in Asia want to retire? With that much power in the most valuable company in Asia (not to mention all that money), why would Ma want to give it all up and retire? The fact is that with great power comes great responsibility (thanks Spiderman!). Even after retiring as chief executive officer of Alibaba to become...

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Optimise your CPF retirement with this CPF Tracker spreadsheet tool

How many years do I need to work to accumulate enough money in my CPF for retirement? Should I transfer money from my Ordinary Account to my Special Account? Can I work lesser years and have sufficient money to retire if I top up my Special Account with cash? 4 years ago, these were the questions I wanted to find answers for. At that time, there weren’t any financial bloggers who had an answer for this so I decided to design my own spreadsheet. For the lack of creative cells in my head, I called it the CPF Tracker...

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Why I might choose to let my 99-year-leasehold HDB flat expire

I’m 35 years old this year and I own a 3-room HDB flat in Toa Payoh built in 1970. It’s not very common for people my age to own a 48-year-old HDB flat in a matured estate but due to my family circumstances, life decided to toss me this lemon. I knew I was going to outlive my HDB flat’s 99-year lease and when my MP, Dr Ng Eng Hen decided to do a house visit at my block a few years ago, I asked him what were the government’s plans for old HDB flats like mine. It was as...

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50/30/20 rule: why experts got it wrong

US Senator Elizabeth Warren popularized the 50/20/30 budget rule in her book “All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan.” The basic rule is to divide after-tax income, spending 50% on needs and 30% on wants while allocating 20% to savings. Thereafter, experts have been recommending consumers to save 10-20% of their income. Even in Singapore. But I have a different opinion on this and won’t recommend people of all ages to only save 10-20% of their income. Here’s my view. The 50/30/20 rules works when you’re starting your first job For someone who is starting their first job,...

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Getting rental income from my rental property in Cambodia

For new readers, I bought a SOHO property at The Bridge, Cambodiaand I saved diligently each month in order to pay for the purchase. After making my final payment for my SOHO apartment, I signed the tenancy lease agreement to officially allow the property developer manage the leasing of my apartment for the next 3 years. In the clause, included a free 3-month rental period for the property developer to renovate and secure a tenant for my apartment. Last week, I finally received my first quarterly rental payment from the property developer. Woohoo! Here’s the breakdown of the charges involved...

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Understanding insurance: It’s all about risk management

Do you really understand why you need insurance? I don’t want to say that all insurance agents are unscrupulous and money-minded, because I have a few friends who work as insurance agents and are really good at their job. The sad reality is that insurers are dishing out very attractive commissions for insurance products that are designed to make you part with more money than what you have to. They make their products more complicated by integrating elements of investment to charge a higher premium and grow their corporate revenue. For a insurance agent who’s basically an insurer’s sales person,...

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My beginner’s guide to personal finance 101

In online forums and Facebook groups that I’m a part of, it’s heartening to see that many young adults are asking questions about managing their personal finances. How much emergency funds should I have? What type of insurance should I buy? How much insurance coverage is considered enough? Where should I invest my money in? The list goes on and on… In my efforts to help the community, I decided to publish my beginner’s guide to personal finance 101. This is meant for young adults who just started working and want to improve their personal finances. The reason why...

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Explain the power of compounding to your kid using magic

Explaining personal finance to kids can be very challenging, especially when it comes to the logic around compounding. Here’s a simple way to explain the power of compounding with your kids. Here’s how the conversation would be like between me and my imaginary son, Tom. Mickey: Tom, what would you rather have, $100,000 or a 10 cent coin that magically doubles its value every day for 30 days? Tom: $100,000, of course! Let the magic begin Now let’s show Tom the difference between the 2 choices. Here’s how the first 10 days would look like: Day 1: $0.10 Day 2:...

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3 things I’ve learnt about myself from Seedly’s recent event

Seedly is probably the only company that is able to organize a finance event in Singapore that managed to get people in their 20-30s to show up for a 6-hour long event, and make them pay $30 to attend. On a lovely Saturday morning, I joined the bunch of lovely folks from Seedly at their exclusive meetup, Coffee Meets Investing. It’s a one-day meetup that discusses about a variety of topics around personal finance and investments. Decide how much insurance coverage is sufficient for you The recommendations made by Kenneth from Seedly on insurance planning was very similar to my low-cost...

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Build a budget with this simple salary allocation budgeting template

We’ve crossed the middle of the year again and if you’re as lucky as I am, you should have been informed of your salary increment for 2018. This year, I got a small increment of $195 in my monthly payroll so that’s an additional 195 one-dollar soldiers awaiting for deployment every month! I checked my salary allocation budget that I update every year and it looks like there’s no additional expenses incurred so far. That’s good news to me because all the 195 one-dollar soldiers will be deployed to investment wealth accumulation. What’s a salary allocation budget? A salary...

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Would you retire in Cambodia?

In my last post, I wrote about how my first property investment has finally completed and with that, my 3 years of scrimping and saving to pay for the purchase has also ended. Hooray! Recently, I saw a photo of the actual building in a property investment website so I thought I share it with you. I find that it looks quite similar to the artist’s impression in the brochure. What do you think? I’ve signed the lease agreement with Oxley to allow them to manage and rent the property on my behalf since I’m not retiring that soon. It does feel...

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I’m going to play the 30-day Minimalism Game

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus from The Minimalists created this game called the 30-Day Minimalism Game that helped thousands of people worldwide declutter their homes. How to play the 30-Day Minimalism Game The game is a way of getting rid of the excess, the stuff that no longer adds value to one’s life. Here’s how it works. On the first day of the month, you get rid of 1 thing. On the second day of the month, you get rid of 2 things. You get the picture. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, etc. By the end of the month,...

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