You might think that many Singaporeans will ponder over this question but the truth is there is hardly any conversion around this topic. Most have either not thought about their retirement plans or they are resigned to the fact that they will be working until they reach 60. Having stayed in Singapore for so long, I can safely say that you can retire early if you planned as young as you can. Financing planning is like a snowball. The longer the runway, the bigger the snowball is going to get.
Do Singaporeans complaint too much and do too little?
Before going into the numbers, I like to point out something I have observed. There are many Singaporeans who liked to complaint about the difficulties they are facing, be it high cost of living, poor income growth etc. Behind their complaint lies a belief that they are helpless to change the situation. Any improvements must be lead by the government.
I think such a perception or belief is self limiting. Maybe it has to do with the culture here but I never see Singaporeans as innovative. I have seen very few examples of people exploring other off road options to change whatever they are unhappy with in their lives
That is something that I hope my readers will not submit to. Your life is in your hands. You might complaint about the environment but it is not as bad as you think. The infrastructure in Singapore is good enough to support whatever ventures you want to try. The challenge is whether you have the belief to do it. Most never will. I hope you are not one of them.
Take charge now and plan for your early retirement
When you can retire depends on 1) how much passive income you can generate and ii) how much is your monthly spending.
Generating more passive income
It is much harder to generate passive income than reduced savings. Having said that, you MUST start to explore the options that the Internet is bringing you. Don’t sit back and let this wonderful opportunity passed you by! On the web, there are so many ways to earn extra income. From selling your service, to sell ad space, the only common denominator is whether you can generate the traffic to your website. Once the website is there, how you monetise it is the easy part.
I will talk about how to get traffic to your websites in future posts. For now, I like to encourage everyone who is reading this to really start reading other resources on how online traffic works. Understanding this will have a profound impact on the kind of value you can create in the future.
Reduce your monthly spending
I can’t remember when I read it from but being thrifty is like a muscle in your body. The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. For folks like me who is used to spending quite a bit, our thirfy muscle is not being exercised. This is why I am so laxed with my spending because my muscles are not working at all!
Fortuantely, I am about to change all that this year. I start by listing out all the expenditure items. You can look at this post on how much I need to save for retirement. I currently have an income deficit of SGD1,555. This is not good at all. For any early retirement plan to succeed, you need to have your monthly income covering your monthly expenditure so that the excess can be used to quickly pay off any outstanding debt including your mortgage. You can’t retire early if you can’t make ends meet!
So, I am beginning to train my thrifty muscles by cutting down my food and restaurant expenses first. The total expense is around SGD800. I am trying to cut to SGD300 in May. So far, it seems to be working. I will report back on the actual numbers by end of the month.
How long I have to work before I can retire in Singapore
Before answering this question, get your monthly income to exceed your monthly expenses first. Next, you need to keep on reducing your expense until you get to a point where your passive income can generate enough revenue to cover your expenses after you retire.That, in turn, will depend on how much savings you can quickly built to invest in these passive income generating assets such as dividend stocks, REITs, websites and even real estates.
In a future post, I will look at the different income generating assets and calculating how much I need to save to create enough income to retire early.