Saturday, July 13, 2013

When Financial Freedom? What will you be doing at 35?

There was some chatter in the financial blogosphere over an article about saving $100,000 by 30. I think if I try to count the money stuck between my sofa and my now abandoned pokemon collection, I should just have about that amount in cash and stock (personal and company). Even my girlfriend who is not yet 30 has that amount - mostly cash, stole a glance at the ATM - but I dare not accuse her of not paying for her food.

The $100,000 threshold by 30 was one week ago. This week,  although it was very busy for me, rushing through reports, I was visited by an old fear that I had when I was 25. That old fear was that at 35, burdened with a young family and big mortgage,  I would be not competitive enough in the labour market and consequently get replaced by someone younger and cheaper (though not necessarily foreign). 

This fear was triggered by a conversation overheard in the office, of which I understood the context. My company had acquired another company from lower cost base, and this I think made the two (highly paid) colleagues opposite me uneasy, as there was replication of work and revenue. The two have very good education credentials but the same can be said of the colleagues from the acquired company, albeit at a lower cost. I am not sure what the future is for them but I understand that as a "knowledge-based worker", the threat of redundancy can happen to me and anyone with the friction-less sharing of informationI joked uneasily with my other colleague that I should perhaps pursue a career as a taxi driver or recruiter. 

What is there to be done at 35? Perhaps the same ST writer can give us an indication. One suggestion is to increase the streams of passive income and monetise (*coughs*) your habits and talents. After all, is not the objective of most investors, from the blogs I see, to increase the dividends coming in from their portfolio? And then there are others like Wealth Buch who have been hard at work maximising every bit of their free time, turning their passion into wealth. 

For me, I would still like to see more dividend income to my portfolio. But from now till I am 35, I do hope to sharpen the saw, by learning more new languages and improving on existing ones; improve my use of Excel; getting to a weight that reflects a healthy BMI; as well as meet more new people to increase my chances. In between there is the issue of marriage and kids, although I think some of the targets are achievable before I start a family. With the aforementioned in place, I would still be employable, within the private and public sector.

I know I do not sound very entrepreneurial, but I have heard that what you do best will show by the time you are 35. I will not be financially free by then but I should be making advances in ensuring that I will not be financially destabilised. I hope.

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