Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Real Incentive Behind Achieving Financial Independence

I've written two themes about financial independence this year and they are both about passive income. You can refer to the link here and here.

The allure of being able to have no worries about money is the main attraction of financial independence and you can quickly see so many people taking advantage of this when they tried to sell courses or investment opportunities like unit trust and other investment units.

When I get invited to speak at InvestFair this year, they are still related to money. I don't see Love and Children Fair inviting me to speak about how financial independence can relate to that.

Don't get me wrong. 

I am not saying that passive income is a factor that isn't true. 

In fact, when I started my investment journey when I was still single and carefree, passive income is the only thing that attracted me because of the huge allure of money concept that is working hard for you. I can tell you it has benefited me in a lot of ways, both financially and mentally in many other spectrum of life.

We are the new rebels and bandits of the new generation.

We are the new batch of generation who probably doesn't owe much to our jobs than our grandfather generation. While some of us do struggle individually in getting a good paying dream job, or some to settle down, we do not appreciate it hard enough.

As I move up the ladder in my stages of life, I had experienced different flows and benefits of the real incentive behind the aspect of financial independence, especially after I become a father.

I think a lot of people have talked about this concept Ikigai in detail.

I am not going through the concept in detail but rather literate them with my own experience.

Since I became a father of two children, I had always prioritized family on top of anything else. This is not a default by choice but something which I put on top of my priority list in front of the other things I love.

I like to play around with my two children, mess around with them, bring knowledge to them, travel around, messing around again, spending more time with them and then messing around with them again.

You can't translate this feeling into someone who has not had a children yet. You just have to experience that to understand.

Growing my passive income has become part of that bigger plan because it can help me in many ways that would allow me to achieve that.

To illustrate the case for example, I love to read financial statement and analyze a company prospect when I am investing but they are fun when they are vocational and are under no pressure. Let's assume one day I am recruited by a company to perform the same task with deadlines and KPIs, I might like it a lot more less. In essence, it feels different once you have an obligation to perform in exchange for a return.

The same goes with the profession.

I think there are many people who goes to work, and stayed for the same company for 10 or 20 years and then get comfortable with it. I've heard of many cases where you get so comfortable with your 9 to 6 jobs over the years that you don't know what else to do once you freed up your time. If you fall under that category, I think there's an emptiness or void that you have not managed to find. Find that and you'd feel a lot differently.

Ultimately, everything revolves around the bigger part of the goal.

The best part of it is it doesn't have to be family that is part of your mission. You just need to search what you are living for in this world and find your own unique ikigai.

There would be a time when my kids would eventually grow up and be spending lesser time with us. That would be a day when we would find another mission in life to cover the void in our ikigai.

But for now, financial independence means a lot to us and that means a lot more than just the allure of money itself.

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  1. Many folks of your generation doesn't have to worry about sharing or easing your parents financial burden to support the family so your generation may dream on something bigger other than survival. Seeking financial independence is the pathway to something bigger in life other than survival or trying to make ends meet.

    1. Thats just too easy to say. You cannot take that many folks of Gen Y or Millenials who dont need to worry about sharing or easing our parents' financial burden. This comment is totally ridiculous

    2. Hi Uncle CW

      I guess we are all unique individual with different circumstances. Some of us are in a lucky situation we can pursuit something beyond basic necessities in life while others may not be so lucky. We play a crucial role though in deciding our next generation.

  2. Hi B,
    Again , great post ,,, the key is as what you said " find your own unique " ikigai" ,,,life after achieving financial independent mean different thing for different people,,, some may want to work even after achieving FiRE ,,,as those have kids may live in different way as compare to those still single,,,
    For me,,, I am really happy after leaving the corporate world for more than 3 years,,, as you mentioned ,, no KPI ,,, no deadline,,,no office politics ,,,no personal conflict ,,, no need to handle crazy boss,,, etc,,
    Spending more time with family,,,doing things you like,,,more exercise ,,blog as you like,,, catching up with poke friends,,,gym fighting,,,staycation ,,,and of course receiving dividends every quarter. :-)
    Your ikigai might be different,,,,
    Cheers !! :-)

    1. Hi STE

      Glad that you are liking your retirement without much regret and full of ikigai and hope. I think you retire at a great age where your kids are still young and you'd be able to spend quality time with them.

  3. Hello B,

    I like to analyze companies too, but I agree with your point that if I have to do this for a living, I might not enjoy it as much, since there is pressure from higher up to deliver results.

    I have also discovered that my goal for achieving financial independence had shifted over the years. When I was younger, it was about retiring early and enjoying life. Now with a family, I think of it as being able to take life down a notch (i.e. semi-retire) and spend more time with my wife and two kids.

    1. Hi TEO

      I think our circumstances are pretty similar and even more so in thoughts. Glad we can connect our minds together :)

  4. B,

    I am guessing you have "plucked" that "ikigai" model from the internet...

    "Ang moh" likes to present "grey and fuzzy" Oriental philisophies into clear-cut cookie-cutter like the model above, when it ain't so...

    Ikigia is like what you have describe:

    "You can't translate this feeling into someone who has not had a children yet. You just have to experience that to understand."

    I've shared ikigai is the reason why I get up in the morning. Leaving plenty of space for others to explore themselves without being "boxed" in like the Western "modelling" of ikigai above.

    I have a naughty thought.

    If more of us talk about ikigai, want to bet some smart snake-oils will jump on the bandwagon and offer workshops and seminars to achieve one's ikigai?

    Just like how "financial freedom" has replaced "I want to be a millionaire" of the past ;)


    1. Hi SMOL

      Yea you are right, I suspect we may see some snake sellers using ikigai concept pretty soon to attract customers.

      You are right, everyone ikigai is different and each has more emphasis on one over the other. Its really good to have a forward looking feeling and seeing the sun rises in the morning for a brand new day :)

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