What To Do With A Million Dollar Networth?

It is the end of the month again, and Networth Tallying time. Net worth is hovering in the low 600K, but there are still a number of ins and outs to be accounted for due to the condo renovation and rental, so I won’t go into details.

While in the process of updating numbers and making projections, I suddenly realised that if I managed to keep up the same networth increase of around 50-60K that I have been averaging in the last couple years (not difficult as long as my company continues to prosper), I will reach million dollar status in about 5 years time. Just in time for my 40th birthday.

There is no euphoric rush at the realisation and I wonder why. Perhaps because my goals are still up in the air, so reaching a million dollar networth doesn’t feel particularly relevant to anything.

I realise that I have never talked about my financial goals on this blog, and there is only one reason for that. I have trouble pinning them down. Oh, the big picture is easy – I want Financial Independence as early as possible. What constitutes FI for me? How to achieve? These are the stuff that I am still pondering over. Knowing me, I will probably have 2 million in the bank before I can even answer one of the questions partially.

The problem is not so much that I don’t know what I want, but how I should craft my FI around my parents. Their financial situation is kind of a mystery to me; I know they are far from destitute, but how much they have, how much can be relied on for their retirement is still unknown. We also have not discussed about what kind of lifestyle they want post-retirement and what that would take financially, and who would be responsible for what costs. There is also the shadow of future medical costs – My father alone spends about $400 per month on medications currently. How will this change as both parents age further? How much should I allow for catastrophic illnesses for them, and then for me? And more…..and more…..

I do know that I should start the information exchange on these issues soon if I want to get anywhere, and honestly, I want to. Being in limbo makes me feel insecure. But I don’t want them to feel that

1)      I have designs on their money, and

2)      they are a burden to me financially,

so I have tread really carefully. So far I have been inserting “innocent” questions about their circumstances whenever they happen to bring up any relevant topics during our conversation, but man, it is slow going.

The other issue, is that my ideal FI scenario involves me either downshifting to a lower paying job (maybe social work, maybe retail services etc – something more to pass the time, than make money), and I don’t know how my parents will see that. Actually, I do. They belong to the old school mentality and will probably see early retirement as laziness.

I could and probably will end up ignoring them on this front if they really cannot see the light by the time I reach FI, but in the meantime, I really want to try to seek their understanding and acceptance of this goal of mine. I know my life is mine to live and pursue, but I also know that I

1)      respect my parents and want their respect in turn, so their approval means a lot

2)      have to live with my parents until they pass on, so I rather not face disapproval of my “laziness” day in, day out.

So in the meantime, I continue to hoard money, and do whatever investments that look sound, but really still have no clue what to do with the money and when to stop accumulating. Isn’t this the kind of problem most people would love to have, having a million dollars and no idea what to do with it?


2 comments on “What To Do With A Million Dollar Networth?

  1. Revanche says:

    When did your parents retire?

    I see other people working themselves to the bone (somewhat unnecessarily I believe but I can’t know since I don’t know their whole financial picture), and a lot of the time, I hear things like “well my dad is 80 or 90 and isn’t retired yet so how can *I* retire? What would he think of ME?”

    And I feel like that, even for us with our fairly traditional families, maybe especially for us in our weird positions straddling generations and cultures, that’s got to start changing when you reach a point in making life decisions based on what someone else is going to think. And hopefully, what they will think when you make different decisions won’t actually be nearly as bad as they learn to adjust to some of the other compromise-type decisions you’d been making along the way.

  2. Miss JJ says:

    My parents have not yet retired, but I think it really should come by end of this year or the next. My mum is raring to enjoy her retirement, but my Dad is a different story. Actually, I should say he is typical of Asian men when it comes to their careers. He feels useless without one.

    Any way, my Dad tells my Mum that he doesn’t want to burden us, but he doesn’t understand that isn’t a burden at all, not financially at least. My sister and I make close to 200K combined annually, and we are both single and living at home; many others, yourself included supports a family on much less, how can it be a financial burden for us. But he refuses to talk to us honestly, so we are left in limbo about decisions to make. I am also quite sure that his argument for not wanting to burden us is more of a front for his not wanting to retire than an actual cause of concern.

    And yes, what will they think of ME for wanting to retire early. I still have ways to go to convince them, but my mum seems to have come around. It may have something to do with the fact that I had a close brush with cancer a couple years back, and my Mum does see that me being alive, happy and unstressed beats me stressing myself to terminal illnesses anytime.

    Anyway, thanks for your comments. I definitely would be commenting on your blog more often, but I am a slow thinker, so I may often come late to the comment party!

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