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F.I.R.E. children, my mom and CNY secret.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

I don't know if this qualifies as a Chinese New Year tradition. 

The elders in the extended family would almost always ask the younger ones who are still single when are they getting married?

Those who are married would be smiling smugly until the elders look at them and ask when are they having children? 

Or if they have children, when are they having another one?

It seems that the elders are always stuck in a time warp when getting married means becoming a grown up and having children is a form of filial piety.

Well, specifically, having sons is a form of filial piety.

AK had to suffer such a "tradition" too for many years but not so much in recent years.

How come like that?

Why like that?

I also don't know why or I didn't know why until this year.

For many years now, I have been very thankful that I could peacefully enjoy the yummy pineapple tarts baked by my sister.

Very harmonious which meant eating even more.


Always eat too many pineapple tarts and almond cookies during Chinese New Year.

Anyway, I digress.

So, how did this harmonious situation come about?

What is the secret?

AK found out in this year's Chinese New Year chatter.

Must take care of our health lah. Old already.

Ya lah. Cannot suka suka eat this, eat that.

Later stay hospital long long like second uncle a few years ago. Did you visit?

I visited and you know he asked me if my ah boy was married? When I told him my ah boy wants to stay single, he told me I very good life. Got many stories like that.

Aiyoh. Then, the stories I heard must be true lah. When I saw him, he told me he gained a daughter in law but lost a son. Worth or not? Not worth lah.

This means you also very good life!

The chat was in Mandarin and, somehow, translated into English, it isn't as punchy but you get the idea.

My dad who was sitting next to me on the sofa, like me, heard everything, and when I looked at him meaningfully, he nodded his head emphatically.

I got to blow my own trumpet then.

That was the best thing this Chinese New Year.

Correction, that was the next best thing. 

The best thing was the tub of pineapple tarts my sister made!

I have many blogs on the topics of financial freedom and passive income. 

I also have quite a number of blogs on children and how we should not think of them as assets.

Assets should generate wealth for us or at least they should have some value (preferably growing) which could be unlocked at a later date.

I don't think children should even be treated as depreciating assets like cars.

Why am I saying this?

Well, there is no guarantee that children will become assets but they are guaranteed to be wealth destructive at least for the first twenty to twenty five years of their lives.

At least this is usually the case in more modern parts of the world which are highly civilized like Singapore.

So, I have suggested before to think of having children as having a hobby.

A hobby brings us joy but does not generate wealth, in theory anyway.

For those who really must think of their children as investments, the best thing to do is probably to think of children as a speculative component of our investment portfolio.

As with all speculative components in investments, we should make sure they are relatively small in size.

So, if children grew up to become passive income generators, it is a bonus.

If they did not, then, it is a component we can afford to write off as we would have sized our speculative positions appropriately.

Our investment portfolio should be robust without having to rely on the speculative components within.

We should not include our children as possible future passive income generators in our plan for F.I.R.E.

As usual, AK is just talking to himself.

If you were eavesdropping, I hope it was good entertainment.

Huat ah!

1. Have children and a comfortable retirement.
2. Children and 


Unknown said...

Hi Ak,
Am talking to my own self now… being married….
Was blessed to be a parent ….seeing them grown up is an immense joy …intangible experiences
Can be a financial burden or not.., it is depend on own financial knowledge and discipline….
Now treating them more as a friend or another human being…than a parent…
Listen more and be there for them…always got up and down just as life…
Need to enjoy the up , at the same time aware, accept of the downs…that is the life journey…cannot avoid…
That is my humble view…
Gong Xi Fai Cai….
Great health and happiness to all

AK71 said...

Hi Vincent,

Always good to hear from fellow "talking to myself" people.

Makes me feel like I am not alone. ;p

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Gong Xi Fa Cai! :D

mysecretinvestment said...

Hi AK71,

I really love reading your blog posts and was always entertained by you talking to yourself. Your blog and that of the American blogger, Mr FIRE Station, are my two favourite bedtime blogs that I would read before I sleep. Reading them gives me a feel good factor. 😝

I sometimes even sent the link to your blogs to friends when I feel that the topics would resonate with them.

But I am really disappointed at how you see children purely from a financial viewpoint. This is not the first time you talked to yourself on this topic in this way and the last time you did was many years back. I still remember when I read that particular blog, I recoiled in digust and all the respect I had for you went out the window and I stopped reading your blog for a while.

For us, children are blessings from God for us to cherish, love, protect, guide and bring up. Children transcends beyond assets or liability.

And only with marriage and children can one can experience the whole range of human emotions that we are capable of feeling. To put it bluntly, one should never look at God's blessing like a financial transaction / undertaking.

I hope I didnt spoil your CNY, but I just have to bring this off my chest and put a loving parent's perspective to having children in our lives. There are many things money cannot buy. The joy of being blessed with children of your own is one.

AK71 said...


Oh, no worries about spoiling my CNY.

As long as we are able to have a civil exchange of opinions, I am pretty ZEN about things.

What I cannot stand are rude comments and those with ulterior motives, primary or secondary.

Your comment is thoughtful and polite.

We are all wired differently and having different perspectives on certain things is to be expected.

Having said this, I will say that you might have misunderstood this blog.

I am definitely not saying that everyone should view children as assets or liabilities.

(It might surprise you but many parents do tell their children to support them financially when they are grown up.)

In this blog, I am suggesting that those parents who wish to view their children as investments to think along those lines.

Don't read the blog again to verify this as I don't want you to feel upset again. ;p

I must admit that I am not a religious person like you are and my thoughts are not guided by religion.

So, although I am aware of the fact that many people do find children a joy to have, I think of them more like a hobby as I have hobbies which bring me joy.

For sure, there are many things money cannot buy.

Also, for sure, there are many things that can go wrong in life and these include children despite our best efforts.

This blog, like all my other blogs, is about being pragmatic and not being overly optimistic nor pessimistic.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment which has led me to think that I might have to choose my words more carefully in future but ultimately conclude that I am being consistent. :)

Happy CNY! :D

HappiSnoey said...

Hi Ak, a recent conversation during CNY with a close relative was pretty shocking to me... Her hub in late 60s and retired. She is still working in her early 60s. Their son (28 years old) came home one day and asked them to put the down payment for a condo, which he had shortlisted. The son overheard our conversation and defended himself, saying that they are going to will it to him anyway, so why not give it to him now to invest (or speculate i dunno know). So where does it end? Clearly not in this case when the kids are in their 20-25. I sincerely hope that my relative has enough for their own retirement. Also the son will take care of them when the need arises. 家家有本难念的经。儿孙自然有儿孙福。
祝 Ak and Friends, 事事顺心, 阖家安康!

Unknown said...

Hi Ak,
Taking to my self again hahaha…u have a zen mind….in a way at peace with urself
That is a great achievement…everyone has their own path…important is to respect and kind to one another if can…
As long as human is around on this planet earth, this is pretty impossible …being pragmatic…
At times, if can take good care of ourself , it is already a great achievement ….

AK71 said...

Hi HappiSnoey,

Thank you for sharing the story.

Very chilling. :(

I hope your relatives do not end up like Uncle R:
Retiree regrets selling his flat to help son buy condo.

Some children have a very warped sense of entitlement and some are downright terrible:
"My parents are my ATM."

I like to think that there are more good outcomes than there are bad outcomes in life in all things.

However, I have been disappointed many times before in many things.

My experience in life has shaped my attitude and that is to be pragmatic in all things.

Don't be too optimistic about anything.

Of course, don't be an eternal pessimist either or else life is not worth living.

I also say.
儿孙自有儿孙福, 莫为儿孙作马牛.
Have children and a comfortable retirement.

Wishing you abundant wealth and good health! :D

AK71 said...

Hi Vincent,

Oh, yes, life is a constant struggle, big or small.

In recent days, I have been struggling with whether to eat another pineapple tart or not? ;p

So, it isn't easy being ZEN all the time.

If I can be ZEN about the less important things in life, it is already an achievement. ;p

In things that matter, it is much harder to be ZEN. -.-"

We should take good care of ourselves and I am still learning how to do better.

Trying for that great achievement you mentioned.

Thank you for the encouragement. :D

A simple concept to better mental health.

Betta man said...

Hi AK,

choosing your words too carefully might not convey what you think. This is your blog and I support you wholeheartedly to be true to yourself. This is not a religious blog.

Unknown said...

Hi Ak,
This time am not talking to oneself…
Am now communicate with u…hahaha
My investing journey is pretty similar to u… investing for cash flow…plus being a tuition teacher during my younger times…to raise funds for investing… think u understand what this means…very siong ….plus full time job….
Reading your blog also encourage me…

Happy Rabbit year to u and your loved ones

AK71 said...

Hi Betta man,

For sure, my blog is very secular and not religious at all unless people think I am very religious when it comes to the subject of financial freedom. ;p

We are all wired differently and as long as we can all agree to disagree while staying civil, all is well. :)

Your support is very much appreciated. :D

Hmm... I get a feeling that the pineapple tarts are looking to me for support now.

How like that? -.-"

AK71 said...

Hi Vincent,

I am glad talking to myself is encouraging you on your journey towards financial freedom. :D

If you have attained financial freedom already, the aim is now to remain financially free. :)

I know what you mean by "very siong."

At one time, I was holding 3 jobs and working 7 days a week.

I also had stints as a private tutor.

Taught in the evenings in schools before too.

This reminds me of a blog:
Did I work too hard in my younger days?

Memories. :)

Hoppy rabbit year full of energy to you and your family. :D

Unknown said...

Hi Ak,
U can sense what stage I am in….
Impressed. now is to remain FF…. Strengthen our cash printing ATM machine via wise investing ..
Pretty sure u understand what I mean…personal ATM cash machine that what I like to call it…..^^
It was a up and down journey….sin Dolor no hay…Spanish check it out the meaning….


AK71 said...

Hi Vincent,

Yes, money doesn't grow on trees.

No pain, no gain.

Whether we Spanish, English or Singlish, it is the same. LOL. ;p

I don't know many seniors who are savvy with money like you are.

My own parents certainly aren't.

Hats off to you. :D

OK, I am assuming you are a senior from the way you speak.

Hope my sixth sense is right again. LOL. ;)

Unknown said...

Hi Ak,
Me 53…year dog….
Appreciate your reply to my email


AK71 said...

I am now reminded of a blog:
Retirement drawdown strategy? Passive income and CPF?

"In my retirement, I do not want to worry about outliving my savings.

"My focus is on passive income generation so that I would not have to draw down from savings.

"... I might even be able to grow my savings in my retirement."

AK71 said...

Hi Vincent,

Ah, one year older than me.

How am I going to save face now? ;p

You senior, I senior.

My parents are super seniors. LOL.

Appreciate all your comments. :)

Unknown said...

Both of us , we are young at heart…
In term of age, still okay….

AK71 said...

Hi Vincent,

I like to think so too.

LOL. ;p

mysecretinvestment said...

Hi AK,

Thanks for your reply and understanding.

Am glad you are not offended by my views. I have no intention of offending you nor anybody.

Always looking forward to you talking to yourself.

Have a Great CNY ! Take Care!

AK71 said...


Hey, no worries.

You probably took quite a bit of time to write that comment and I appreciate it. :)

I look forward to more interesting chats with you in future. :D

Happy CNY to one and all! :D

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