Yeah, semi-retirement before 30 in Singapore is quite impossible for many, which unfortunately includes the both of us. Accumulating 250-300k isn’t enough by a long shot and we have sort of decided to settle for something a little lesser this year.
Which is Quarter-Retirement.
What’s Quarter Retirement?
Essentially, it’s about downshifting in terms of work. Instead of putting in more energy and time into climbing the corporate pyramid (yeah, it’s not a ladders since spaces are really limited at the top), you decide to get out of that soul sucking/stressful treadmill and become open to taking a pay cut to do something much more palatable or meaningful to you.
For me, that’s writing and giving home/small group tuition. As for the Mrs, it’s working slightly shorter hours at a boutique research firm.
If you think our decisions are more akin to a change in jobs, let me explain further.
Although it’s possible to squeeze in 3 lessons on a weekday, I have decided to just stick to 2. In the latter case, the scheduling would be less stressful and I will not be so tired between rushing for lessons. And more likely than not, the quality of the lessons would improve. Instead of 40 hours, I would probably be spending less than 30 hours on this work, giving me more time to do things I enjoy more. Like exercising, reading and of course, writing on this blog.
At the age when most of our peers are fighting hard for the next promotion or studying for a Masters that puts them in a better position to land that coveted banking/analyst job, we are glad that we (or we think) have the resources to allow us to wind down or pursue other non-traditional employment alternatives.
Why Quarter Retirement?
Basically, I am of the view that things aren’t really binary in terms of retirement/financial independence. You don’t really have to go from working 9 to 6 in a dead-end job on a Monday to tendering your resignation and moving onto retirement life the next day on Tuesday.
Honestly, we could confidently semi-retire in 3 or 4 years’ time if we had stayed on in our relatively high-paying jobs, assuming our lifestyles don’t inflate much over the same period. Actually, there’s a good likelihood that if we can curb lifestyle inflation, we could FIRE before 35.
However, we are not really into delaying gratification in terms of time and happiness. After all, we balloted for our BTO at age 23 and got married at age 26. Why wait when you have found the right one?
But, so what? If it takes another couple of years, so be it. As long as we are cool and happier along the way.