Monday, March 18, 2019

Mini-Retirement [Series 2]: How My Friends / Colleagues / Families React To My Decision To Take A Break

Apologies for some of the late replies for those who messaged me last week as I just got back from our family holiday trip at Hoi An late hours last night and I am still recovering today from the late night flight.

After my decision to take a temporary break away from a corporate work rat race which includes my submission for a resignation last week, I received mixed overwhelming responses from friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

Most of the responses were congratulatory messages, which resembles how rewarding this journey has turned into and a good respiratory break is well deserved after a long decade of hard slogging and saving. I think the general consensus would agree that life isn't just about getting on top one after another without having a pause about where the direction of life is going to move towards to.

As one of the quotes in the Sun Tzu Art of War advocates, the strategy may be to retreat a few steps back in order to move bigger steps ahead. That way, it gives a clearer picture onto how we want to steer our life's direction and I think it was necessary.

There were also some people who were envious of the situation.

My first immediate thought was that I hope it gives them a good motivation for them to continue carrying out and executing their plans because if they do it is a matter of time before they get to their own stages of financial independence. They should never take this as the wrong smell of envy because that's not the whole intention and neither would it benefit them in any way if they choose to think it that way.

There were also some friends who've started messaging me to discuss on a potential business collaboration in the future.

I'm humbled by the approach because like I said the whole intention of this break is to explore so I'll try to keep my mindset open to any potential good working collaboration.

For my family members, apart from my wife who knows about this, we have not really told anybody about this including our parents as we wanted to keep this a low profile information and we wanted for them to learn about this as naturally as they can.

There are two reasons for this.

First, our parents still exhibit the traditional mindset where for one to be productive, a person needs to be physically going to office in the morning and coming back home in the evening. I think this is normal because a fixed stable income is most important to the family.

Being a digital nomad typing in the computer all day without any instructions, deadlines or bosses just won't work and convince them yet.

Second, they are probably unaware of our financial situation as well as we are and we also don't want to get into the details exactly with them because we wanted to maintain a certain level of privacy.

Hence, the key here is to let time shows that we can survive these 6 months period and still doing on just fine.

So thank you once again for all the blessings that we've received from friends and colleagues and we hope to put this to a good use and update our progress further as we go and experience what's out there in the real world.

Thanks for reading.

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  1. Wow, congrats! I am also working towards this, hopefully i get there in 10 years time :D

    1. Hi Sennett

      I'm sure you can do this. 10 years is a relatively short time in our overall lifetime, so I think it works in your favor :)

  2. Hi Brian, to me you are one of the most credible financial bloggers that I follow. I've learnt a lot from you and always looking forward to reading your monthly update. I'm a few years older than you are but you have done so much better than me in many aspects of life. I wish you well in this future endeavor and hope that it can be an inspiration to people like us so am looking forward to your journey!

    1. Hi Anonymous

      Thank you very much for your generous comment.

      I'm really appreciative of it and am continuously learning to be better at all shapes of life (not just financials) so we can make ours and our children a better life to live :). I'm sure you can and will do it too with your positive attitude.

  3. Hi Brian, My heartiest congratulations! you are an inspiration for the rest of us on FIRE and building towards the important things in life. Though I write less on my blog now, I am grateful for the correspondence. Cheers and all the best!

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  5. Dear B
    Taking into account your plan to enter into a stage of early FIRE, possibly with the option of not going back to full-time work, what is the level of emergency funds or free cash (not invested into any instruments) that you have secured for your situation, without going into numbers if you are not comfortable?
    This because I have accumulated a sizeable portfolio of properties (six, of which four are currently tenanted out) and stock (in the multi-millions), with passive income from rental and dividends exceeding expenses by about probably 30%, but not sure what is the amount of cash buffer that should be sufficient. I have stored away an amount equivalent to about 10 months expenses, in liquid cash. Looking forward to a meaningful and well-funded early FIRE (am about 50 currently, with one kid and wife part-time worker.) Thank you for the advice.
    Anon Andy

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  7. >First, our parents still exhibit the traditional mindset where for one to be >productive, a person needs to be physically going to office in the morning and >coming back home in the evening.

    Actually, a lot of bosses also have the same type of mindset for employees. Even if one produces results, being late or not present at desk could put the person out of the promotion ladder. Appraisals these days still has punctuality as one of the key performance indicators. What does punctuality has to do how well one's output is? It's like we're still stuck in the industrial age. I simply cannot understand why such a KPI is even considered.

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