Goodness, the months just fly, although I am glad that September is soon to be over. It is now just three weeks away from the MJ tournament in China, and I can’t wait.
Things look pretty rosy on the financial front, thanks to the stock market rally. All in all, I managed to advance my net worth by about $7K (or 1.1 %) even after considering my big spend. I am almost back to the level before I blew $30K renovating, furnishing and renting the condo, which makes me no end of happy.
What makes me even happier is that I get to deduct the $30K spent on the condo in my taxes next year, in addition to mortgage interest deduction. And what makes me happiest is that I am sitting on a $150K valuation increase on the condo, which I have yet to factor into my net worth calculations as yet. If I include that, my net worth sits at around $772K, which makes my mercenary little heart sing.
All that said, I am still pretty much in limbo where my financial goals are concerned.
I am trying very hard to formulate my strategy for FI at 45, but I cannot see my way around the property issue yet. I would ideally like to own two properties free and clear by FI – one studio apartment for me, and another two-bedder for rental income. This would cost me at the very least $1.6 million in today’s prices. Even if I could continue putting away 80K a year (about 60% savings rate), it would take me 10 years to get that kind of money and I would have to liquidate everything in order to fully pay off the properties. Which I wouldn’t be allowed to legally, even if I really wanted to.
Or I could retire somewhere else other than Singapore. And believe me, I have thought about that in earnest. At the risk of sounding cliché, home is where the heart is, and the heart is too tightly bonded to Singapore. Besides, I wouldn’t be able to leave my parents, and I will not make them uproot and move to a strange country where they can hardly speak the language, at this stage of their lives. Especially since they already did it once.
I could also just give up the idea of FI through rental income. However, to be honest, I am not very good at other investments such as stocks, and rental income seems to be the easiest and most stable way for me to achieve FI.
Alternatively, I could enter into FI with some kind of mortgage on the rental property, as long as it is covered by the rental cost, and work a little on the side for my own living costs.
As long as there is just only myself to think about, I think that will work. But there are still the parents to consider. So, back to the drawing board. Thinking the entire process through is causing me no end of irritation, and the end is still not in sight. I afraid that the longer I take to come up with some kind of strategy, the more I will start to think that early FI is just not possible, and start blowing my money on stuff. Not that I regret what I have bought yet, but I don’t exactly want to go down that slope.
In the meantime, since my overall large goal doesn’t seem to want to be wrestled down into place, I find it meaningless to set any shorter term financial goals for myself if they are not going to contribute to the overall big picture. Savings-wise, that is not so much a problem; it is never a mistake to just save as much as I can. As for investments, I guess it will be stocks all the way until I make another property investment in two to three years.
And no more Prada.