A Day in the Life of A FIRE Retiree

6 am: I typically wake up at this time. I go straight to my PC and see how the market did last night. This is also the only time when I’m alone, and its nice to have my own time. I’m the most productive during this period. Depending on what’s more urgent, I work on either school work or writing content for this site. If I can, I’ll sneak in a game of Starcraft 2. Sometimes I go down to the market, and enjoy breakfast and coffee.

8-9 am: My wife and kid wake up. I clean him up, make his breakfast, and get him ready for school. We spend a bit of time together, before I reluctantly send him off.

10am – 12pm: I do the household chores like laundry and cleaning. I might also exercise. I’ve found that it saves time by exercising around my block instead of travelling to the gym. There is less reason to go there because sometimes there is a queue, and the steam room and jacuzzi are closed.

12pm – 2pm: I would have lunch with my wife, who is working at home and quite likely to do that for quite a while. Sometimes we go to the nearby mall if we are tired of the food around our area. We have been talking and spending more time together, which beats the few hours we had in the evening when we were both working.

2pm – 5pm: I would do a mix of writing, resting, and recreation in the afternoon. I find that this is better for productivity, and I write about 1,000 words on average every day. That includes weekends. I find that I don’t mind “working” on the weekends, since I’m doing my own thing and it directly benefits me (instead of ungrateful bosses).

5pm – 7.30pm : Time to prepare dinner. I’m done by 5.30pm, and walk over to the childcare centre to pick up my kid. This is my favourite part of the day, and he is always happy to see me. If I’m tired, I’ll pick up dinner from one of the many eateries around. It doesn’t cost much more than cooking myself, and saves at least an hour in cooking and cleaning.

7.30pm – 9.30pm – 3 times a week, I have an online lecture in the evening. I multi-task here, trying to balance listening, talking to team-mates, and handling my son.

9.30 pm: This is when US markets open. I look at how the market is going, and get a warm feeling when my portfolio goes up. The vast majority of days I don’t do anything. I’ve learnt not to trade too actively. My main problem is getting too excited and jumping in at the high. But overall I think I’ve done alright.

I don’t spend much time staring at the screen, watching the charts go up or down. Usually, I just glance at my portfolio, and spend the rest of the time playing with my son or relaxing. Throughout the day, I do spend time reading and exploring investment ideas.

11pm: It’s time for us to sleep. I’ve tried to get my kid to sleep earlier than this, but he simply refuses. I’ve been sleeping better, which is a big deal for me. For a long time I relied on sleeping pills, and I’m glad I’m mostly off those.

Am I Retired?

I’m not sure if most people would view this is as a terribly boring day. Weekends are a bit more exciting as we take the kid out or just go to the mall like typical Singaporean families.

But I think its pretty active for a retiree, and its a fair question to ask if I’m really retired. My definition of retirement is simply not working for to draw an income, and I haven’t done that since late last year.

While I am busier than I predicted, this is what I think retirement should be like. It shouldn’t be a person shutting down and doing nothing. There should be purpose and meaning.

Without things that are worth doing, I would be rotting away and miserable. You are still you in retirement, and everyone needs some reason to get up in the morning. It doesn’t matter if you are 35 or 75.

I have found a lot of meaning in what I do. I’m there for my kid, I make money, and I write things which are unique and hopefully help make others make money. I’m healthier, feel better, and my relationships have improved.

I find myself appreciating the small things. The quiet moments in the morning. Watching my kid grow. Being able to draw money from the ATM whenever I wish. It’s a stark contrast to the mad rush of working in Singapore.

While I don’t have a lavish or sexy lifestyle, I have a meaningful one.

4 comments

  1. I have always been curious about how much it takes to retire in SG.
    This may be a bit private and I understand if you are unwilling to reveal.
    Curious about monthly expenditure, income, and savings that would allow you to decide to retire?

    1. Hi my passive income is about $6k a month. Fixed income portfolio throws off around 3k and the rest comes from insurance. It’s an underestimate as I don’t count stock returns. This is over my household expenses of about $4k. Theoretically I can do this forever. You can know the full story if you register.

  2. Hi curious about your living expenses, are you drawing, on monthly basis, from your portfolio to pay your bills?

    How do you ensure this doesn’t affect your portfolio performance and ensure that the pile of cash in your portfolio will last indefinitely?

    1. I haven’t needed to draw cash from my portfolio… I only touch income from my monthly insurance payout and from bond coupons.

      I think there is no full guarantee that these returns will always be like that. Guarantees only possible in fixed deposits, which has very low returns. But I give myself a margin of safety by spending much less than my income, as well as not counting stock returns. My stock portfolio is actually larger than my fixed income portfolio, but it’s more volatile. So I’m spending very much below my means, which I think is key for retirement.

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