Monday, June 22, 2015

My thoughts on Pre/Post Financial Independence schedule

I read B's post on pre and post financial independence (FI) schedule here. In it, he put in his planned timetable for pre and post FI. He also encouraged everyone to try it and have a little fun imagining what it'll be like upon reaching FI.

I thought about it. I'm not reaching FI anytime soon, though I'm sure I'll certainly reach it one day. I'm a full time private tutor. People thought that this means I'll have a lot of freedom in my time, plus the fact that I'll have a few months of holidays during June and Dec period when students are generally having their holidays. The truth cannot be further from this. Weekends are burnt and holidays are spent preparing students to handle one major exams after another. The whole mantra is that if you're free, I'm not going to be free. If you've just finished work and going to a nice restaurant to eat, I'm the server who takes your order and serves you your steak. In other words, I work when others are not and vice versa.

My timetable for work is easy. I work 7 days a week, with 5 days of weekday being lighter and weekends being much heavier. 4 to 6 hours of work during weekdays and 6 to 10 hours of work during weekends is very much the norm, if you want to push up your income. These days, I don't work a full Sunday too, preferring to spend my time having a proper rest before I tackle a new week refreshed again. This only happened on my 10th year for tuition work. Due to the fluctuations in my work schedule, I guess I will work about 35 to 45 hours per week on average, with 40% of my workload on weekends. That's my pre-FI schedule for work.

What will I do once I reached FI? I love my work, but I don't like the intensity of it. If I can have a full day off on a weekday, I'll be happy as a bird already. In this line, it's too much to ask for to have a break on a weekday, because there's where most students will come. You know, after earning a certain amount of dollars, the only purpose of taking in more students is not to earn that incrementally less significant amount of tuition fees, but for the purpose of helping students. It's like you're a doctor and you're just closing your clinic before a patient who is seriously ill comes in. Are you going to reject him and say that your family is waiting for you for dinner? Come again tomorrow? I know I have the ability to help them, and I'll feel bad that I didn't because of selfish reasons like wanting to enjoy my life a little more. And hence I help them.

You just can't say no, especially when you know you have the ability to change another person's life. Come back again? There might not be another 'again' for that person.

Actually I have a plan in place for slowly weaning off work. Once I've reached an investible cash/investment of about 240k, and assuming I have a yield of about 5% off it, I'll be able to get $1k per month. I will give myself a 'reward' of having a weekday off. I haven't though much beyond that, like what happens if I can get $2k per month from investment. But the idea is to have a staggered exit from working based on the ability to exchange active income from passive income. I guess once I can cover all my expenses, my workload should drop to 0, but I doubt that kind of life will suit me very well.

I will definitely work as a tutor for as long as I can help others. Perhaps I won't charge as much. Perhaps I'll give a tuition scholarship to deserving students. Perhaps I'll volunteer at different organisation in what I do best. There are so many ways to give back to society and at the same time, enrich my own life experience. I think this can only serve as an addition incentive to be financial free - the idea of not trying to escape work but to actually do those work that you couldn't afford to do when you're still eking out a living.

That idea appeals to me very much. I guesstimate I'm about 1 to 2 yrs away from reaching that milestone of a quarter million. Can't wait to see what I'll evolve to become when that happens. Maybe my life will take on a life of its own!


Kyith said...

your business is one of those that can be transitioned to FI easily.

cookie said...

Let me share mine. I work 3.5days a week. Make ard 0.75m pa. I am turning big 4 soon.
haha ..the catch maid...all DIY
Free time mop floor wash clothes cook meals.
But happier than when i was working 7 days a week 10 yrs ago.
depends on wat u want.
Money does not mean much beyond a certain fugure.
happiness does.

la papillion said...

Hi kyith,

Yes, I agree. The variability in income, which is mainly a disadvantage, turns out to be a good thing when you're approaching semi retirement and still wants a little bit of work and income haha

la papillion said...

Hi Paul,

Wah! 0.75m means 0.75 million per year? What did u do for a living? Don't tell me you're full time investor hor, like that not fair!

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


Pronounce "Low Paul" in Mandarin what do you get? (That's an advantage of reading cheena!)

Please don't say it out loud wait your wife clobber you I don't care!

I'll call this person "Dr Penguin" as I can't say "Low Paul" too. I'm single and flirty but even I cringed. LOL!

Go to Valuebuddies and you will find a thread dedicated to Paul Low's portfolio.

The most powderful statement is not how much "Dr Penguin" earns working on 3.5 days per week, its this:

"Due to positions in certain counters which can be derived from the AR, I decided not to place the %."


When was the last time we see our names in the annual reports of companies we've invested in?

One mountain higher than another ;)

cookie said...

Haha. Thats for that kind comment.
Indeed i work now mainly for some sense of usefulness n to have some weekday weekend orientation.
In secondary school
my friends call me balls high balls low
pardon me.

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

Dr Penguin,

I know what you mean.

After 1.5 years of walk here walk there, I've decided to work weekends so I can flirt with the female customers. Somehow flirting with mom is not the same :(

Ah! My kind of gal! Can talk england, can talk cheena, and can talk hokkien!

But then we are polar opposites - I am trader.

The conversation comes to a screeching halt...


la papillion said...


Ah.. Looks like another five zero high hand :) Very honoured to know all of them! If they can, I can too! :)

Rolf Suey said...

Hi LP,

Pre and Post FI same same but difference only intensity.

That is why you deserve my congratulations. No more Rolf Suey but you have found Yourself!

la papillion said...

Hi Rolf,

Yeah, it took me some time to drop all my backup plans and concentrate on this path alone. When I embarked on this, it was on a path full of doubts and trepidation and I had several backups that included going to the corporate world. Thankfully I persevered and made this the only way forward.

Never looked back since!

Anonymous said...

This demonstrate you have reached self actualisation, highest level of maslow hiarachy of needs. Though you are still working on others needs. Keep the spirit high.

la papillion said...

Hi Frugal daddy,

I hope so too!