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Free ourselves from wage slavery now.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

I have blogged about how someone told me that I should be ashamed of myself.

I should be ashamed that I am unemployed although, more accurately, I am economically inactive.

AK should be ashamed!

I have also explained why I worked hard to achieve financial freedom and why I chose early retirement.

To put it quite bluntly, I didn't want to be a wage slave forever.

Why want an early retirement?

What is a wage slave?

If we are 100% dependent on our monthly wages to support our lifestyle, we are wage slaves.

What does this mean?

If we need $500 a month to live and if we make $500 a month, we are wage slaves.

If we need $10,000 a month to live and if we make $10,000 a month, we are wage slaves.

So, even if making $50,000 a month is considered very high income, if we need $50,000 a month to live, we are wage slaves.

Wage slaves are absolutely dependent on their monthly wages to survive.

Now, although I do not fancy being a wage slave, there are people who seem to be quite happy being wage slaves.

Ignorance is bliss, after all.

Ask those who lived next to a dormant volcano which decided to erupt one day.

Horribly blissful!

This video shows an example of what could happen to wage slaves:

To break the chains of wage slavery, I start by asking three questions.

1. How much money do we need in life?

Are the needs really needs?

Or are some wants disguised as needs?

We should keep our needs simple and our wants few.

After all, we only need so much money in life and the rest is for showing off.

2. How much money are we saving?

To save more money, we should increase income and reduce expenses.

It is quite simple.

Not easy, perhaps, but quite simple.

Find legitimate and ethical ways to increase income.

Reduce expenses where possible but remember to be reasonable.

3. How hard is our money working?

If we are leaving the bulk of our money in savings accounts with low interest rates, we are doing ourselves a disservice.

Make our money work harder.

Make sure to ask if the investment is legitimate.

Ask how is it generating income and how is it rewarding us?

If we do not find a way to make money in our sleep, we will have to work till the day we die.

One way to make money in our sleep is to make use of weaknesses in the stock market to accumulate some stocks that will generate income for us.

Dividends will start as a trickle but after some time, we will see dividends pouring in!

We should take a long term view and invest in companies which are here to stay.

Investing for income for the long term, market volatility is nothing to fear.

This video is pretty succinct as to what we should do:

If we want to be free from wage slavery, we have to free ourselves and we have to start now.

We should work because we want to and not because we have to.

Related post:
Happiness and slavery.


LadyYouCanBeFree said...

I love this statement "We should work because we want to and not because we have to."

AK71 said...

Hi Lady,

Some people like me don't want to work.

Working because we have to would be utter misery. :(

Bad AK! Bad AK! :p

Sillyinvestor said...


Dun Liddat lei, I still a wage slave.

laurence said...

I have blogged about how someone told me that I should be ashamed of myself.
I should be ashamed that I am unemployed although, more accurately, I am economically inactive.

AK should be ashamed of himself for being soooooooo riiiiiiccchhh. Lol.
Jack Ma must have read ASSI. And has just announced his retirement starting from Monday 10 Sept to concentrate all his energy, time and wealth on philantrophy & teaching/mentoring the young generation.
So inspirational, both Jack Ma and AK.

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

I know you do not depend solely on your monthly earned income to support your lifestyle.

Don't bluff me lah. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi Laurence,


Jack Ma is a truly rich man.

AK is what some people might call a peasant millionaire. -.-"

WTK said...


My take is that the way to FI is simple. I believe that it is due to the comparison mentality which makes a lot want to give up after embarking on the journey. There is no need to compare with others in terms of networth etc. The circumstances of each person is not the same. One just need to focus on achieving the realistic target he/she set for himself/herself at the beginning. Such target amount should be subject to change due to flexibility in accordance to the prevailing circumstance.

I quote myself as an example. In my journey to FI, I set the target of $1million as the FI amount, at the start of the journey (sometimes in 2000). As time passes along the way, I realise that I do not need $1 million to call it a day. This is because I realise that the yearly amount which I require, is less than $40,000 than expected. This is due to the elimination of unnecessary wants which I noted along the way.


AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

I agree that not everyone needs $1 million in order to retire comfortably. :)

Three point turn. "Every man is rich or poor according to the proportion between his desires and his enjoyments." (Samuel Johnson)

Henry said...


I am with you about FI. It's a fallback plan in the midst of a super competitive environment flooded with FT. Govt can raise the retirement age to whatever they want but how many companies are willing to offer those above 50 YO decent paying jobs, except fastfood outlets and a few others. Speaking from experience on this. Once retrenched, even in the 40s, it is hard to get back the job. I took a 50% pay cut for a 1 yer contract job and then became unemployed again. Every year that passed, market value is dropping. I will go to Mac Donalds to be a cleaner soon. I also know of a 30 YO friend who stuided finance in NXX, was retrenced from finance industry after working for 5 years. After 1 year, he gave up and resort to join WSG program to find a job at $2K+ and restart his life all over again. My engineering cohort, 30% are unemployed not by choice. With so many G assisted programs on WSG website, can know how good the situation is. So no surprise that many young people are talking about FIRE these days. Its a by-product of the situation and fear I think. I also started reading your blog when I became unemployed 4 years ago.

AK71 said...

Hi Henry,

Thank you for sharing your story.

We can buy insurance for many things in life but the only insurance against unemployment in Singapore is having sufficient passive income. :)

ron said...

Tittles are very important for many.
Being given a job tittle such as:

"vice president"
"Senior officer"
"Area supervisor"
"operations agent"

These tittles are worth more than the salary.
It appears in name cards, in office directories, and
being introduced.

There is more to "wage slave" than meets the eye!
Yes, tittles are extremely important to more people than you think.

Henry said...

You are welcome AK.Your blog is very educational and I had started income investing to slow down the erosion of savings. Else you will see me in Mac Donald sooner than later.

WTK said...


This is the type of circumstance one will face in Singapore. I believe that the best approach is to rely on ownself for survival.


AK71 said...

Hi veronika,

I remember a show on food served in the Qing Imperial Palace.

Empress Cixi chopped off the head of a cook because he made a tofu with bean sprouts dish for her and called it "tofu with bean sprouts".

However, when another cook presented her with the same dish and called it "heavenly jade and silver shoots" (or something similar), he was rewarded.

It is all about packaging. ;)

AK71 said...

Hi Henry,

I have crafted a blog based on your story.

I hope more will invest for income and be better prepared for possible job loss.

AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

Best insurance is self insurance. ;)

WTK said...

Hi Veronika,

Frankly speaking, the title is just only a namesake. I quote myself as an example. When I started my fledging career about 18 years ago, I was awed with the title of my immediate manager and manager's manager etc. Some of the title is like Assistant Director, Vice-President etc. As of now, such titles are superficial as per my perspective.


Henry said...

Hi Ben. Things were good when i first started working, with an O level. Then Poly and worked. Then NXX then work my way up to a regional head. However, the situation has deteriorated over the years from good to average to bad.

WTK said...

Hi Henry,

I can sense your circumstance. I am currently in the similar situation and reached 40 this year. The circumstance in the work is considered as the circle of concern and unlikely to be in one's control. I believe that it is the matter of making hay while it still shines. The learnt lesson is not to upgrade the lifestyle while the pay is increasing. I still started off with the Diploma and followed up with the private degree (obtained by part-time) while holding the full-time job. When one reaches the higher position, it is not guaranteened that one will stay at the position for long time. Circumstance might change and it is better to maintain a simple lifestyle while continuing the investment for the passive income. Aim for increasing the passive income to cover the monthly expense on a yearly basis.

I adopt such approach for the last 18 years. I focus on reducing my monthly expense by identifying the wants and eliminate from the expenses. One example is the cable tv which I cancelled years ago. While I reduce the expenses, I increase my earned income by working hard and changing jobs on several occasions. To me, job is a vehicle for me to generate income which is channelled into investments which will generate dividend on a regular basis. The generated dividend will eventually replace the monthly expense. I will eventually quit the full-time employment when I want to do so. The option of having the liberty to end my full-time employment is priceless. One will not be held ransom by the employer at will.

I had seen numerous occasions in which the employer threatened the employees with the retrenchment if they do not put in more effort to generate the KPI. The employees do not have the choice but to grit their teeth and press on working at the expense of their health for the sake of raising their family. Such circumstance is unbearable to witness.


Henry said...

I have a friend who had been retrenched 4 times in the last 10 years. Longest period of unemployment was 4
5 years. He finally found a j9b last year but got retrenched again this year, to amke in 4 in 10 years.

WTK said...

Hi Henry,

I feel for your friend. I guess that the only way is to keep on trying and I believe that the rewards will come for one who never gives up trying.


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