I was surprisingly shocked when I read the article from South China Morning Post, whose data was provided by the online property portal Juwai IQI. Based on Juwai’s estimates, the threshold for achieving financial freedom in each major city are ranked as below:

I believe that their main key consideration is price of property. It is quite sad, though not surprising, that those born after 1990s who are starting the age of buying their first property may need such amount of money. We have to read this statistic data with a pinch of salt. That said, this also supports or enforce my earlier post that for Singaporeans who wish to have a much lower retirement costs, would consider retiring in other countries like Malaysia, Thailand, etc. Similarly, based on the data, Londoners and Hong Kongers may consider Vancouver and Singapore as a slightly cheaper metropolitan city to retire.

Ultimately, freedom means you are in control of your finances and your life choices. It may not be necessary to obtain the most expensive properties and/or cars to achieve such freedom. Such financial burdens mean getting trapped in golden cages. You will be imprisoned by lifestyles that you cannot afford, and investments designed to erode your wealth as well as your happiness.

Nonetheless, how does one eventually achieve financial freedom?

  1. Set your obtainable retirement goals – what do you need to retire? How much net assets you need to achieve your goal? How much time you need to achieve it?
  2. Set monthly budgets – Live within your means, Save as much as you can, and with excess funds, Invest. Do not rush to make big and expensive decisions like property and cars.
  3. Take care of your health
  4. Do not neglect your family to rush to achieve your life goals.

What actually comes after financial freedom, especially for those who have achieved early in life? Personally, it means you can have the ability to do something you want to do in life (knock of the list in your bucket), i.e traveling around the whole, start your own little business, etc. As life expectancy has increased over the years, for example, the life expectancy for Singapore male is around 81 years old and Singapore female is around 84 years old. As such, those who retire early (say in their 40s), there is about another 40 years more to go. What do we do then?

One option is to have a mid-career change. Once you are financially stable, you can consider careers that are socially fulfilling or impactful to the society. Ms Sharon Tang is one good example, she made use of the Singapore Government’s programs to do so. After 17 years in banking and finance, Ms Sharon Tang switched to the healthcare industry. However, it wasn’t a leap of faith for Sharon — for her, it was a long-term plan. She planned her career transition two years beforehand.

Second option is to start a little business based on your interest. Similarly, the Singapore Government has provided good programs like Skills Future for a change of career training.

Other options include online affiliate programs and content creators. These days, I’m researching on the easiness or difficulties on earning passive income from online affiliate programs, please click on my affiliate page and support me in my research. Thank you.

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