Our Grand Plan!

Our Grand Plan!

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* Massive edit, turns out the idea took form in 2015 and not 2014! Mr.C corrected me on the plans and our spreadsheets correspond, whoops!

We do have a grand plan, still rather fluid but largely as laid out below. Infants to the journey of FIRE, since the idea took form in 2015, we had a wishlist of an ideal life:

  • We want better working hours, if we had to work at all.
    • We know we are not keen on working 50 – 70 hour weeks. Even the minimum 40 hours seems much!
  • We want to take longer vacations and slow travel for months
    • We know between 16-24 days of vacation days a year is not going to cut it.
  • We want to spend more time with our children and each other
    • We know that only seeing our children on weekends and a 2-3 hours on some weekdays (a painful reality for many parents) is not acceptable for us.

FIRE to us is gaining something absolutely priceless – the freedom to choose. The freedom to do whatever we want without being bound to decisions driven by financial constraints.

In order to live our life with purpose and passion, we charted out what is most important to us. A visual representation of that looks like this:

Sipping Coconut’s Life Goals!

Yes we can do this now even as we work, when we have some free time, but we want to do this the majority of our time. Therein lies the dilemma. So we need to get to FIRE asap.

What does Living Our Life with Purpose & Passion look like in more details? Stay tuned!

What’s our FIRE Plan?

Largely our FIRE Plan is broken down into 2 phases:

  1. Mr.C makes the money grow
  2. Mr.C & Ms.K with the juniors in tow live off it.

Am kidding!! That is not the plan, not entirely at least 😀

Phase 1: Accumulation Phase

When we started out Mr.C gave a timeline of 5 years to be safe. I instinctively said – 2 years. It’s all about having stretch goals 😀 Let’s just say I was overly ambitious!

Eventually we are planning the accumulation phase flexibly as there has been periods I have not worked while taking care of CocoJr #1 and we intend to have me quit next year to care for CocoJr #2. So flexibility is key to our plan, despite wanting to reach Phase 2 yesterday!

As it stands we’re looking at 5 years of accumulation all in all which would end in 2019, we should have a comfortable 4% withdrawal to live more than adequately in Asia and afford us temporary respites in more expensive countries.

We likely have to make a call on what we are doing with our property in Singapore at that point, sell or rent? We likely would have only 1 property under mortgage in Malaysia, which is the family home for Mr.C’s parents. More thoughts on that as we go along!

What does Phase 1 look like in more details? Stay tuned!

Phase 2: Financially Independent, Retire Early (FIRE) Phase

This is where it gets fun. We will be living off our 4% and any entrepreneurial cash in-flows we have. Our biggest expenses would be:

  1. Healthcare – We intend to retain our private insurances for the entire family which covers personal accidents, hospitalisation and major illnesses. In Asia, medical bills for the run of the mill visits to the doctors isn’t very much. I reckon if we travel to more expensive countries for extended periods, we will consider additional insurance.
  2. Housing – We do intend to rent as we move around. Long term rentals can work out to our benefit and this will be more so in Asia. I pointed out to Mr.C when we were planning for our Siem Reap trip that the 5 star hotel cost on a monthly basis was still cheaper than what we pay in Singapore for rent in a month.
  3. Education – This is somewhat unexplored on our end. We have the option of homeschooling or the traditional schooling. Mr.C is leaning towards returning to Singapore in time for the children’s education. To that extent, we are being flexible as well. Should we retire early and travel now, then when the children are in school we can resume the accumulation phase. Will we get a job after a period of absence. A can of worms here but our safety net is that schooling is actually very affordable in Singapore, and we’ll have it built into the 4% withdrawal amount. It’s the extra-curricular classes etc that adds up, however that is optional. We’re relatively intelligent parents, we can invest in educating the kids ourselves after school hours.  

As we go along this path, traditional retirement benefits will kick in when we hit 55. We have some moolah stashed in the government required pension fund in Malaysia (EPF) as well from our few years of working there. What we have in Singapore (CPF) won’t be too significant we didn’t work all too long here and the mortgage payments for our condo here is coming out of CPF. Every little bit counts anyway! We have not included that as part of our spend in FIRE, we like these little bonuses that pop up here and there.

What does Phase 2 look like in more details? Stay tuned!

The only ticker in our timeline that puts us on edge is that we want to travel with our family and possibly be back in Singapore when it’s time to enroll the kids in school – that’s age 7 which is why as we stand today, we scaled the plan forward by a year to give both of us more time with the kids before schooling starts. On today’s plans and estimates, we get 1 year of solid travel before returning to Singapore. Well plans can change and there’s always the option of home-schooling for the first few years. Lots to still figure out, clearly!

Exciting times ahead, we hope to share more as we gain more clarity and go through this journey. We hope you stay with us through it!

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