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Average income workers have a choice to be rich!

Monday, January 9, 2017

I went out to lunch with my mom before sending her to the hospital. 

I went to a supermarket nearby to buy some chocolate which was on special offer before going to a bank to enjoy a cup of tea while waiting for her to call when she was done.

I like buying things at knocked down prices (i.e. the chocolate) and I like free (i.e. the tea). 

Anyway, there was a big screen TV right in front of me with ads flashing. 

One ad asked:

"When you have to stop working, can you afford to?"

It is a straight forward question that is also depressing because it suggests we don't have a choice as to when we stop working. 

We stop working when we have to. 

We stop working when we are told to. 

Wait a minute, that sounds like a prisoner in a labor camp serving time. Alamak!

Don't you hate the feeling of working because you don't have a choice? 

Yes, of course, you do. 

I would be surprised if you don't.

This is probably why you are reading my blog and others like it. 

You want to be financially free so that you do not have to exchange the most precious resource you have (i.e. time) for money anymore. 

You don't want to serve time. 

Time serves you.

So, instead, I would ask:

"If you want to stop working, can you afford to?"

I am going to be brutally honest. 

Not many people can. 

This is something only the rich can do. 

If you are not rich, continue to serve time. Ouch!

AK, you are terrible! 

Bad AK! Bad AK!

The truth hurts. 

So, what to do? 

Become rich lah!

I believe that even average income workers can become rich and I am not talking about "striking millions at TOTO" kind of rich. 

I am talking about "not having to exchange time for money anymore" kind of rich.

Why do many average income workers find this impossible? 

Do you believe me if I were to say it is not because they make an average income? 

The truth is many of them find this impossible because they can afford so many things in life and would get them in a heartbeat. 

This is why they cannot afford to stop working.

This is based on a true story:

Guy: "I think we should go to Europe on a vacation. The Euro is so cheap now."

Gal: "Wow! Good idea! I can buy all the branded goods there! So much cheaper than in Singapore!"

Guy: "I have $10,000 saved up this year. We can have a good time there."

Gal: "I am so happy! I think we deserve it."

Oh, they definitely deserve it! 

If this is the way they are going to live, year after year, they deserve to be destitute and get VIP (i.e. Very Impoverished Person) seats at Roy's next "RETURN OUR CPF" rally in Hong Lim Park.

This is based on a reality show I watched:

Guy: "I prefer Hawaii for our honeymoon. I don't want to go to Phuket."

Gal: "But we cannot afford it. We have a budget, remember?"

Guy: "I know we cannot afford it but I think we deserve it. We can take a loan."

OMG! That guy is an IDIOT

I probably exclaimed so loudly that my neighbors got a fright.

Hey, woman! Financial freedom gives us options but you don't need financial freedom to opt out of this relationship. 

I think you can afford to dump that fellow. 

Do it before your finances end up in the dumps and you cannot afford anything else!

Spend all the money we make, we will always be poor.

Borrow money to fund our lifestyle, we will be poorer than poor.

Don't let people ask you (and not at the bank):

"When you have to stop working, can you afford to?"

Ask instead:

"If you want to stop working, can you afford to?"

The difference between the two questions is one of choice. 

We have choices in life and if we want to continue having choices in life, choose carefully.

Yes, even average income workers have a choice to be rich!

Related posts:
1. Avoid financial ruin.


simplyme said...

Had a convo today with a fren;
Fren: what do u fancy for lunch?
Me: (since i was asked) anything healthy, soupy and cheap
Fren: how cheap?
Me: <$10 (which is already like double what I would normally spend for a meal)
Fren: *gasp* got food for <$10 meh?!
Me: -__-" coffeeshop? Hawker center?

Me having second thoughts lunching with fren....

AK71 said...

Hi simplyme,

You have a friend with atas taste. ;)

He would be shocked if he found out I used to pack lunch from home to work everyday.

Fren: "Still got people pack lunch to work these days?"


laurence said...

Your post above dealt with 2 themes : (1) the ability to retirement, (2) the unaffordable lavish spending.

Theme 1: Adverts, messages, speeches like the one you saw are simply hypnotic marketing and subliminal messages used by the powers that be to unceasingly drill into our minds that Singaporeans should work till the day we die.

Theme 2: Love (and I mean all kinds of love) blinds people to logic and rationalisation. We keep reading of couples who insisted on spending lavishly on fairytale weddings; blind to the fact that fairytales are nothing more than --- fairytale. And it doesn't bother them one bit that increasingly, more and more such fairytales cracked into smithereens just like the Evil Queen's Magic Mirror in the fairytale Snow White when their marriage ended just a few years later. And suddenly that wonderful $20k wedding gown, $10k lovey-dovey photo albums and other once treasured wedding mementoes and boasting rights all became worse than meaningless.

AK71 said...

Hi Laurence,

Often, family conflicts come about because of money problems.

Often, money problems can be avoided.

Sadly, not often enough are people financially prudent.

AK71 said...

See what an IFA dished out as advice?

"10 Tips on What to Prepare Financially for Your Upcoming Marriage"

I find it unbelievable.

AK71 said...

Lim Der Shing says...

More people need to take responsibility and use their capability to plan for own retirement! And ak shows a very possible path for majority of white collar!

What I hope to see next is ak going beyond just saving and investing and share his life journey and what is meaning and purpose for him. He has already enough cash flow and savings to last, so what next for someone so disciplined and thoughtful is very interesting to me!


AK says...

I am just enjoying life now and doing stuff that I didn't have enough time to do before.

I was disciplined and thoughtful so that I can be less disciplined and thoughtful as I enjoy an early retirement.

OK, I will admit that it is hard and I still feel guilty for spending a bit too much money on myself sometimes but I am learning to let my hair down.

AK71 said...


I am talking about "not having to exchange time for money anymore" kind of rich.

Why do many average income workers find this impossible?

Do you believe me if I were to say it is not because they make an average income?

AK71 said...

Jackson Yang says...

Last time i also dont believed that there is something out there could earn higher interest than FD.

But after read ur blog, i believed there are..

WTK said...

Hi AK,

Let me share one of the encounters in the workplace.

At one of the employers which I previously worked for, I had one colleague who spent $30 plus for breakfast, $50 plus for lunch and $100 for dinner. That's a wholesome almost $200 plus per day. When I asked him on the rationale of spending so much for meal in a day, he indicated that the standard of the food is superb with the price. He does not fancy himself eating at the hawker centre which is considered as a disgrace to him.

The above circumstance makes me think whether it is worthwhile to spend that much on a day. This colleague spent this amount every day. This will add up to almost $5,000 per month. This is not to include the car which he drove and the monthly instalment which he had to service. By the way, he is living in the condominium which is said to be $1.5 million. He also enrolled his four kids to the atas enrichment classes.

I guess it is up to different individual's preference.


AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

Mind boggling!

I hope his income is a lot higher than his expenses.

AK71 said...

Acting rich, using credit to fund our lifestyle will usually end badly.

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