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Sell property worth $3.5 million and retire from work?

Monday, May 9, 2022

A couple both age 38 with 2 young children (ages 4 and 6) are thinking whether to sell their fully paid up investment property valued at $3.5m?

If they were to sell the said property, the wife could become a stay at home mom. 

The other option is to keep the property and continue to have dual income.

A part of the comment:

I am publishing my reply to this comment as a blog to see what others have to say since I don't have all the answers.

What do I think?

This is my reply:

"Congratulations to this couple because what they have is a first world "problem." 

"I cannot provide an answer as to which option is better because it all boils down to what is more important to the couple at this point.

"The choice is not between two evils and to determine which is the lesser evil here.

"The choice is between two outcomes which are good in their own ways. 

"Is time spent with the children in their formative years more important or is greater certainty in money making more important?

"What I do know is that kids grow up very fast.

"Growing up, I didn't get to spend much time with my parents as both of them had to work long hours.

"If our family had been financially better off, then, things might have been different.

"Taking the feelings of children into consideration in financial matters is a luxury for most families but for this family, it could be a luxury which is affordable.

"We have to ask how much is enough and I can only speak for myself." 

Recently published:
Avoid this when interest rates rise.


1. When can I quit my full time job? 

2. My family almost went bankrupt.

3. Financial freedom and not enough time.


laurence said...

With the huge amount of total annual income, I don't see why the wife needs to work at all.
Especially when their total monthly expenditure is a measely $6k which is less than what a swinging working single spends monthly!!
And with the huge amount of CPF Savings at their age, there is no reason to even worry about retirement needs down th road!!

AK71 said...

Hi Laurence,

They are definitely very prudent financially.

I believe they are financially very secure and becoming a single income family shouldn't be problematic.

It is good to be cautious but don't be overly cautious that we miss out on the more important things in life. :)

Daniel Yip said...

Is that a real case?

Just asking...

Rellangis said...

How I wish I have the millions and I would most likely be spending time doing the things I enjoy and not having to worry about meeting ends meet.

AK71 said...

Hi Daniel,

I was just replying to a reader's comment. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Rellangis,

Yes, freedom to do what we enjoy is why we pursue financial freedom. :)

Unknown said...

Wow. I wish i was the one who ask this question. I think my chance is one out of 10 million. kana toto also cannot beat this question?

AK71 said...

Hi Unknown,

I think the household is safely in the top 5% in Singapore.

They are in a very good place financially.

A combination of high income, being financially prudent and putting money to work is very potent.

Unlikely it happened overnight.

Patience. :)

ADX said...

actually.. The wife seems to be the higher earner and maybe can find another job paying similarly in the range of $20k.

Then why not the husband become house-husband and let the wife continue working? Just thinking from another angle. haha.

AK71 said...


Ooh, as a guy, I like that!

Staying at home is pretty appealing to me. ;p

Raymond wee said...

With a high net worth of $7.8m at this young age, it not easy,
Already FI , I can see this family was thrifty and managed to clear $3.5m of mortgage,
How they do that ? Perhaps they can share their success story…

AK71 said...

Hi Raymond,

I suspect the reader is very private as he has already deleted his comment from my blog.

The only way he could reach me was through the comments section of my blog because I no longer use Facebook nor do I have a public email address.

For sure, he is one of the many millionaires next door in Singapore. :)

Related post:
Millionaire next door.

Staerfeldt said...

Hi AK,

Putting ourselves in the couple’s shoes, we likely will keep working for another 8-10 years to build the retirement nest further.

If the wife can easily earn 20k per month now (possibly in finance or niche tech), very likely her experience / value can fetch 30-50k per month in not too distant future. Imagine how fast 500-800k per annum combined income can snowball and double/triple current assets in matter of 5-10 years.

some other considerations:
- The 350k dividend income is not guaranteed and once we start eating into that, the re-investable portion will be lesser and lower the snowball effect.
- Education expenses will likely inflate over the next 12 - 15 years. Imagine the need to send oversea to equip children with a baseline cert or if studying medicine :)
- If property is freehold, we likely keep for the time being - condo facilities are more often used by kids than adults. Once u have enough base to roll, the rental income (tho lower yield and assuming asset appreciation holds over 10-15 years timeframe) be a form of risk diversification. If property is 99 year lease hold, then diff story…

However, these may sacrifice the qualitative aspects with family, guess it is all about balance & each family situation is different.

Just me talking to AK who likes talking to himself :)


AK71 said...

Hi Staerfeldt,

Thanks for the thoughtful comment. :)

Sometimes, I wonder if I should go back to work too but during those times, I would remind myself that there is more to life than working for money. ;p

I don't want to be in a situation where I have too much money and too little time.

Of course, I understand that we are all wired differently and have different circumstances. :)

Why did AK want an early retirement?

Unknown said...

Not true we will be bore if not working.Life is short and time is swift. I do one hour meditation in the morning and before u know after workout at the gym and a swim the sun is gg down again. Then one more hour of meditation in the evening and it is game over for the day.

One life time is some 78 yrs on this planet for male Singaporean.What about those unfortunate one who dont live that long. Do not always assume we live to 90. Death is certain, life is uncertain so say the Lord Buddha.

Spend whatever time we have on meaningful thing in this short life, or at least go do something u enjoy like travelling or exercise or spiritual pursue if u retire or if u really can do so without working,

Of course if u feel like working so be it, your choice but why enrich someone youyr boss instead of your own life. Go cycling, meditation and etc more profitable. Money is never enough and greed have no limit.

AK is right to choose early retirement, I believe he well spend his time on many meaningful thing in his life.

God bless u all.


AK71 said...

Hi Cheong Wee,

It is so important not to be married to our jobs, I feel. :)

Preparing for early retirement.

Hello said...

Hello AK,

Managed to find out how to change the nickname

Some update on the situation above.

Discussed with wife and we both agree with you that we are very fortunate and blessed to be in the situation to be able to afford spending more time with our kids.

Wife managed to find a less stressful job with lower pay and more flexibility so I guess we created an option 3. In any case if it doesn’t work out she has the option to quit as well.

So in a sense, no compromise on our time with the kids I hope.

I think everyone's situation is different however the same principles that AK has mentioned many times can apply. There are no get rich quick schemes.

Need constant and deliberate actions that will generate returns over the long run.

Some points to share

1) Find a partner with similar financial values (frugality, delayed gratification etc...)

Very difficult to grow the pot when other partner is spendthrift. Imagine trying to bail out water from a leaking boat.

2) Save and invest

Both needs to work in tandem.

Need at least one partner to be interested in investment so that the money saved can be used to create passive income.

And focus on your core competencies. There will always be opportunities to make money, however if you do not understand the fundamentals of those opportunities, do not be greedy and jump in because often you will lose your money.

Very important to understand what you are investing in. Never invest based on free advice, always do your own analysis and assessment that way even if you lose money you can learn why you lost money and improve in the next opportunity.

I totally suck at trading/timing the market. My personal investment style is leaning more towards the AK/Buffet style focused on companies with good operating track record + dividends + growth potential. Buy and hold strategy for the long term (hopefully forever).

Over time your margin of safety grows and cushions you from market volatility.

3) Slow and steady is the way to go

At the start of our career it would be difficult to see significant results because starting pay is low.

Run your finances like you are running a company. Focus on maximising revenues and minimising cost.

Develop a habit of tracking your spending. This is very important.

A good way to keep costs low is to have the mentality that money in the pocket is more important than keeping up with society's idea of being "successful" because very often people spend money to show off to others.

4) Penny & Pound Wise

At the start, it is key to control these Penny costs until you are able to reach a certain level of financial stability and you can probably relax on this a bit and enjoy a little

Pound refers to big ticket spending such as property and vehicle purchase. Never max out your “affordability” on these items as these items can make or break your financial journey. Aim to pay off the property mortgage within 5 to 10 yrs of purchase, so HDB is your best bet.

People often talk about positive carry using low mortgage rate to finance higher return investments. This works only when market conditions are optimal. However market conditions are never optimal 100% of the time. So apply the positive carry strategy with caution.

5) Time is your most valuable resource

Start early to learn how to invest as the journey is not a straight line. Over time hopefully you can develop the ability to analyse and spot opportunities as they present themselves and avoid pitfalls. Only invest what you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest.

I think that’s all I can think off now.

Always be kind to others and generous with the less fortunate :)

AK71 said...

Hello Hello,

Now, that reminded me of the British comedy 'Allo 'Allo. ;p

Thank you so much for the very valuable sharing and I am sure many readers feel the same way I do. :D

1. Financial freedom is a family affair.
2. Your children will become what you are.
3. Power to become financially stronger.

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