Skip to Content

Reflecting on Working Hard to Save So That we Can Enjoy Life Next Time


The above statement is something that cross my mind recently.

We seem to be on a hedonistic treadmill to

  1. learn things in school, skill up
  2. work to fund things and goals our parents have been doing at our age
  3. work to fund the same retirement goal that our parents have been doing all this while
  4. reach retirement, enjoy retirement
  5. wait for medical concerns to set in, struggle and past away

My readers would rebel against this form of living, in their own little way.

They would probably build wealth better than their peers.

They would make better career decisions and purchase decisions than their peers.

However, I do wonder if they do ponder the same thing as I do: What awaits us at the end of the tunnel? Will we really like what awaits us at the end of the tunnel?

Building wealth for security and independence has its benefits, however, I realize that we may fall into the trap of chasing a goal too hard, that we missed out why we chase after something in the first place.

Wealth is a facilitator for something we want, and what is that we want?

Let us not fall into the trap of putting every ounce of our energy to building wealth, and lose focus about what the wealth is there for.

Here are some things to re-calibrate.

Live the Retirement Life without Being Retired

How do you envision retirement? Playing with the kids all day? Remember that by then your kids are adults, and they might not want to play with you all day (the grand children would I suppose)

There must be something that you look forward to do in retirement.

The healthy suggestion is: Can we do it today?

If we can fulfill our retirement goals today, then there is no need to save for retirement.

You save for retirement so that you do not need to go work. However, if most people are bored to tears at home being goalless, and went back to light work, your money isn’t going to run out soon.

It would be better to note down a list of what you will do in retirement that you cannot do now. You realize there might not be many things.

Work Less

If working so hard impedes our life to do the things we want, the logical solution is to work less.

If you work less, you have more time, and that time will enable you to do the things you want.

There is no free lunch here. You are likely to earn less, but if what you want is a simple life with less stress, then you can have it.

You just need to take care of some other things like:

  1. simplify a large part of your life that you are not concerned with
  2. not have too much negative risk areas – monetary debt, emotional debt, wellness debt
  3. ensure you can fund what you want

Many people I spoke to have ‘simple dreams’. If the dreams are simple, forcing yourself to brainstorm a scenario of working less might create possibilities that things will happen for you.

War Game your Future Goals

You only live one life. For some of you, once you deplete your vitality you cannot get it back.

For the ladies, you have only one window to produce a child.

To reduce the opportunity costs in life, it is better to simulate your future goals in a controlled manner.

I wrote about testing out 6 different life goals to see if they will work out.

Doing Deep Work

A term that I came across but I believe it applies to many of us. We gain satisfaction from doing something well and it becomes very fulfilling. That creates satisfaction and perhaps happiness.

Deep work is not doing things on a superficial level, but developing a deeper understanding on a particular subject, applying and executing the understanding and seeing the fruitful results.

Usually this relates to your job, but it could very well be taking your hobby or fitness to a higher level.

You are not keeping still in your life, and if you do something you excel in, it tends to give you greater interest and enjoyment.

You might not realize it, but you might be living for the moment, or doing something you want to do in retirement, but only doing it now.

Push for Financial Security but not Independence

If you understand the concept of financial security and independence, and how much you require to get there, and can build wealth machines to get there, then the question is do you need so much in the first place.

Stages of financial indepdence

The gap between financial security, and financial independence is large. You could offset your survival expense of your family with your wealth machine but to get to the stage of independence, it is somewhat closer to the amount you need for retirement.

Based on the points discussed, if you do not stop working, and are living your retirement goals right now, what you need is optionality, security from unforeseen events.

An emergency fund and a wealth machine that is about $200,000 that can provide a yield potential of 7%, could potentially provide you with $14,000/yr or $1166/mth to take care of your basic needs.

If you like materials such as these and would like to enhance your Wealth Management towards have a Wealth Machine that gives You Financial Security and Independence, Subscribe to my List Today Here >>

If you like this do check out the FREE Stock Portfolio Tracker and FREE Dividend Stock Tracker today
Want to read the best articles on Investment Moats? You can read them here >




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lazy Singaporean

Sunday 18th of September 2016

Hi Kyith,

I definitely agree with you. Many people forgo their life, to earn the money, to live the life that they can in fact live now.

Financial freedom is more than a state of finance, but rather a state of mind. It is also why I talk about the mindset in the first chapter of my book.

Lazy Singaporean


Sunday 18th of September 2016

yes that's right it is a state of mind more than just the money lazy singaporean


Sunday 18th of September 2016

"An emergency fund and a wealth machine that is about $200,000 that can provide a yield potential of 7%, could potentially provide you with $14,000/yr or $1166/mth to take care of your basic needs." Hi Kyith thanks for this interesting article. Do you really think the regular person can achieve a 7% yield without taking inordinate risks? I am looking at drip saving into a portfolio of blue chips/reits with an average dividend yield of about 4.5-5% (to be conservative) during market corrections to eventually have a wealth machine generating 4.5-5% cash flow a year. I am blessed to be in an industry where I can work as many (or as few hours as I want) and likely will never "retire" fully as long as my health permits


Sunday 18th of September 2016

hi doji, thanks for the question. i think if you look hard enough for a 7% yield on a stock that is not overly expensive you can do that. I seldom believe in the idea of dripping in individual stocks but more from the value perspective.

the idea is the $200,000 is to find the 'yield potential' by that i mean you don't have to deploy them in a 7% yielder but if you get desperate in bad times, and usually the market is in a corrective mood, you could find 5-10 stocks that give you an average of that to tide you through difficult times. this is somewhat of a security measure, you don't have to keep that deployed.

you need competency to do that well, which means you need to put in effort for it.

you work in an interesting industry but do take note our lives change. i used to think i could work in this company for a long time.


Sunday 18th of September 2016

Hi Kyith, Great post. I had those thoughts back in my early 40s and then came to the conclusion that it might not be too bad to 'borrow' a few years from my regular retirement after I have turned 65 and bring it forward to the mid of my life.

I played with the kids and did all the things we dream of doing in our retirement. After three years I missed social interactions a work-life brings with it (no, I was not bored to tears) and decided to work part time in some ventures that fit to my values and I love to do.

Of course all this does require prudent financial planning and following a few rules of thumb for wealth creation from the moment you start work in your 20s. Give the magic of compounding some time to create a peace of mind for you. Because without peace of mind in financial matters it is very difficult to 'enjoy' early retirement.


Sunday 18th of September 2016

hi Andreas, thanks for the sharing and I believe borrowing those times have given you a fresh perspective.I find that you are lucky that you also find some ventures that you can sink your energy into and that it provides fruitful developments.

May Ng

Sunday 18th of September 2016

Hi Kyith

Chanced upon your site and find your articles very interesting. Thanks for writing and sharing.

Based on the stages you indicated, I reckon I'm currently in Stage 5 (Financial Independence) and mortgage-free. Savings have all along been my key tool to help me reach up to Stage 4 (Financial Security). I am strong advocate of savings (though I know the interest rates are extremely low, not even beating inflation). Active trading is the tool I use to achieve my Stage 5 (Financial Independence).

I'm in my early 50's, semi-retired, working less than 8 hours a month (flexible working schedule, go in to office as and when I like). Now I'm in a position that I choose to work not because I have to or need to, but for social life, to "see people". I spend most of my time now doing what I want to, feel like to, and things that make me happy.

Do continue writing and keep up your good work. Cheers.


Sunday 18th of September 2016

hi May! Thanks for the sharing and congrats that you work hard and reach where you are. I think that this is the position that many people would want to be in eventually. However, are there other aspirations that you would like to focus on along the way? How do you determine that you reached financial independence versus that of security?


Sunday 18th of September 2016

The great difference in full retirement and work less/part-time is still about the amount of time under our own control and decide how we want to spend it as we like. My wife is working part-time (3 days per week) but she cannot suka suka take off as there is still some basic work rule and ethics to follow and still need boss's approval to take off.

Do you think self-employed like tutors or taxi drivers can suka suka take off as they like and disappear for weeks?


Sunday 18th of September 2016

hi uncle cw, good perspective there. I think its challenging to find a position where the one in power understands your performance and give you allowance. its a topic for another day when it comes to financial secure part time work

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.