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Why worried metrosexuals seek help from AK?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

There are two parts to this blog post. The first part was written a few weeks ago before I decided to take a break from blogging. The second part was written a few days ago.





---
FIRST PART
---

Readers who have written to AK to ask for a private meeting would know that they are likely to have a reply in the negative. This is mainly because AK is a very private person. Well, it also has to do with the fact that he is very lazy and finds it a bother to meet people.

Recently, I received an email from a couple who were introduced to my blog by a mutual friend. Yes, it was signed off by both of them, two names. Later, they told me it was to be doubly sincere. Does it work that way?

Anyway, they read a few of my blog posts which our mutual friend suggested and found them mind boggling! They found them so mind boggling, in fact, that they picked up the courage to write and requested for a private meeting with me, explaining to me their current situation and how they were worried about their financial future. As usual, I wrote them a short reply, politely declining the request.

The next day, I received a call from my friend. He was roped in to help persuade me. He said that the couple were very private people just like me and they did not trust advisers in the banks or even insurance agents. They would prefer to talk to someone who has no vested interest like me.

When I told my friend that they could wait for the next "Evening with AK and friends", he said they were genuinely worried about their ability to achieve financial freedom and did not want to wait. 

They had a whole gamut of questions and would prefer to have me to themselves for a few hours and were, in fact, willing to pay me for my time.




---
SECOND PART
---


I met up with the couple a few days ago in their flat. Yes, it was a home visit as the couple felt more comfortable meeting at home. Quieter and more private. As the meeting would probably last a few hours, I agreed that it made sense to be in a comfortable environment too.

Their home was definitely comfortable. It fact, it could be an understatement.

It was a HDB flat but it felt like the hotel suite I stayed in Hong Kong once upon a time (and I blogged about it in my travel blog before: here). It was really very nicely renovated. It was obvious that they spared no expense.

When I remarked at the relative opulence of the interior deco, they told me they loved travelling and always stayed at 5 star hotels. Coming back from their travels, they didn't want the feeling of luxury to go away.

I could not resist asking how much the renovation cost. The most expensive HDB 3 room flat renovation I knew up till then was $60,000. They wouldn't tell me how much their renovation cost exactly but they told me it was a 6 figure sum!


I felt like the church mouse there and then. Now, something like that was mind boggling to me.


When our mutual friend told me the couple were "metrosexuals", it probably didn't register but when I saw the couple, I understood.

I first came across that word when the newspapers used it to describe an MP of ours, Mr. Teo Ser Luck, years ago. It sounded posh and it sounded expensive.

"A metrosexual is especially meticulous about his grooming and appearance, typically spending a significant amount of time and money on shopping as part of this.

Source: Wikipedia.

They were both well groomed and well dressed. I was dressed in my Uniqlo best but I probably looked a bit shabby. Shabby chic, maybe?

I won't be sharing the details but, in the next few hours, I answered all their questions and made quite a few suggestions to help them achieve financial freedom. Big adjustments would have to be made.

As we chatted, to them, the topic wasn't mind boggling anymore, it was almost depressing.

They have probably enjoyed their lives to the fullest but now find it difficult to envision an enjoyable life in their golden years.

As they are in their 40s, I told them that they would have to work doubly hard now to achieve financial freedom not by 55 years of age (which is what they want) but possibly by age 65 (when CPF Life starts paying them a monthly income for life).

Obviously, they were not thrilled by the idea.


Realistically, however, without making any adjustments, they might never be able to retire (even with CPF Life's monthly payments) if they want to maintain their current lifestyles.

They still looked somewhat depressed when they shook my hand as I was leaving their home (and I am quite sure it wasn't because they had to give me a red packet as promised) but there was determination in their voices when they told me they would take all my suggestions to heart.

They said they wished they had done all that I did in the last 20 years. I could only smile and wish them the very best on their new metaphorical journey. All of us could do with a bit of luck, after all.

So, why did these metrosexuals seek help from AK? Definitely not because AK has good fashion sense.

Remember, we have choices in life. While we still have time on our side, choose wisely.

Related posts:
1. Work hard and plan early.

2. Too late to plan at age 57?
3. Retiring before 60 is possible.
4. Wife on retirement adequacy.
5. To be a happy peasant.

16 comments:

ScOpIoN said...

Shabby chic is the best. I thank Uniqlo for entering our local market scene as I personally feel they provide the best 'cloth for buck', comfortable and simple with repeated discounts on their apparels. My wife always says that I monitor their price like how I monitor the stock market. Perhaps internally I've been trained to wait for bargains and snap at the opportunity when it arrives. :D

sinkie over said...

I wear uniqlo from head to toe. The best brand ever. Affordable, good quality, stylish. I wear uniqlo socially and also for work. Their clothes fit me to a T.

We do make choices indeed in our lives. I live so simply, choosing to save and invest as much as I can. I have no debt, no car, no children, no pet. Looking forward to FI in my early 40s. However, I will still continue to work in some capacity at some point then. But it will be my choice to work. Not because I have to.

overseassinkie

sinkie over said...

I wear uniqlo from head to toe. The best brand ever. Affordable, good quality, stylish. I wear uniqlo socially and also for work. Their clothes fit me to a T.

We do make choices indeed in our lives. I live so simply, choosing to save and invest as much as I can. I have no debt, no car, no children, no pet. Looking forward to FI in my early 40s. However, I will still continue to work in some capacity at some point then. But it will be my choice to work. Not because I have to.

overseassinkie

Kevin said...

Hi AK,

Is the attached photo in your posting the actual photo of the worried metrosexuals' home?

It seems to me like they are probably in debt or finances are greatly challenged till the point that they requested for a urgent private meeting. A 6 figure sum is huge money for renovating a HDB 3 room flat. That's even higher than the price of a COE!

Btw, I am a Uniqlo fan too, even my undies are from there. :P

AK71 said...

Hi Kevin,

Nope. They probably wouldn't be happy if I posted a photo of their home in my blog. But I think the photo doesn't do their living room justice. ;)

I don't think they are in financial distress or anything but I do think that they need a serious rethink about what they should be doing now in relation to what kind of a retirement they are going to be happy with.

I don't think I am really a fan. I just like cheap and good stuff. Giordano works for me too. Oh, I have some boxers from Uniqlo. Very comfy. ;p

Jon T said...

Nonsense,whats with over dramatization.its not hard to make a million dollars nowadays.a million isn't what it used to be 50 years ago.back in the 60s if u were a millionaire u were somebody,a towkay or Italian mob boss,the coffeeshop owner will call u boss or big bro,now if u have a million u are just a garden variety rich man Lamborghini driver nouveau riche or chao ah tiong(smelly PRC).

From the sound of it,their lifestyles and everything,if they are willing to live a frugal lifestyle like urs for a couple of years,spend $300 a month and live on pure willpower,have a properly diversified portfolio generating 8% a year.t hey should be able to accumulate 1m in 8 years or at least 500k which will go a long way in their retirement.

apex property investment said...

AK, I beg to differ.. they "retired" years ago, spending money they don't have and enjoying their lives to the max... 6 figure renovation? Enjoy 5 star hotel. Someone's going to pay for Opulence. Metrosexuals or otherwise...

Now its time to work... (: evil laughter.

singaporean learning to retire well said...

Hey AK,
I wish to say that what you did was right, giving them a dose of realism before it hits them really hard. can you imagine them at their retirement age cursing and swearing that this AK didn't come over their house to visit 20 yrs ago? At least for now, they have 20 years to make preparations in saving up and investing well, and to adjust their lifestyle to something more affordable! sounds like you did a good deed!

sinkie over said...

Yes, I love uniqlo boxers. I only wear briefs from Giordano. Been wearing it for many years. No Calvin Klein or Armani for me lol. Having said that, Giordano briefs are getting expensive these days. 6 for $30!! used to be 6 for $20. inflation. And the briefs don't last very long either :(

overseassinkie

AK71 said...

Hi Jon,

A million dollars is, like you say, no big deal today but why do so many middle income workers feel that it is hard to accumulate a million dollars?

Like you said, it depends on what we are willing to sacrifice and what we are willing to live with. ;)

High flyers could enjoy the high life but they should not think that they are invincible although they might feel that way.

AK71 said...

Hi Apex,

That is an interesting way of looking at it.

Someone told me that they could die now with no regrets and that should be a consolation. I said maybe so but since they are not going to die now, they could be regretting.

AK71 said...

Hi SLTRW,

Well, honestly, it wasn't altruistic. I was persuaded by a friend to do this for his friends. The financial compensation although nice to have was insufficient to persuade me. If it was a bigger amount, then, maybe. Haha... ;p

Everyone's life could be and should be better. :)

AK71 said...

Hi OS,

I have not tried their briefs but I did buy socks from them. Good quality.

Now that I spend most of my time at home, I won't be spending a lot of money on clothes. Well, maybe, just boxers. ;)

Koh Boon Bing said...

Hi AK,

I enjoy your blog as it speaks sense or 'cents'.
My ah ma used to bring me to temple and she will normally seek advise from the "tiao dang" and it seems to me you might consider going into this direction too !
Anyway take care and try to post regularly for us readers to enjoy !

Koh Boon Bing said...

Hi AK,

I enjoy your blog as it speaks sense or 'cents'.
My ah ma used to bring me to temple and she will normally seek advise from the "tiao dang" and it seems to me you might consider going into this direction too !
Anyway take care and try to post regularly for us readers to enjoy !

AK71 said...

Hi KBB,

Tiao dang? That sounds spooky!

Anyway, I like to say that every cent counts! Save enough and the cents will become dollars. ;)

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