Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Four Months after Early Retirement

Today to be marked as full four months after my early retirement. I just completed my financial review recently and glad to see that my income is higher than while my expenses is lower than my plan. This means I am in a better position even without active income.

As a matter of fact, when I did my plan, I purposely lowered down my income with relatively lower rate of return on investment while I assume I spend everything I plan. Since I have been following my plan thoroughly with frugal lifestyle, I am not surprised with better financial performance against my plan.

Now, there are two external factors that I have totally no control them. First, Malaysian stock market is not performing well. 
  1. FBMKLCI ended with 1691 points in 2018
  2. It reached a high of 1655 points on Feb 21, 2019 and 
  3. It trended downwards to 1598 points on May 24, 2019 
  4. It ended at 1651 points on May 31, 2019
  5. It is now standing at 1655 points as of June 10, 2019
What can we see here? Generally speaking, it has dropped 40 points in the first 5 months of 2019 or 2.4%. It had a roller coaster ride with a general downtrend. To me, it is not a good time to invest. Therefore, I stay at the sideline to observe invest opportunities. As for my current holding, as they are all at zero investment now (high yield has effectively offset my investment cost years ago) and continue generate impressive dividend income for me, I have no intention to clear my position as well.

The second external factor that has changed was risk free interest income has become lower since the announcement of reduction of Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 25 basis point by Central Bank of Malaysia on May 7, 2019. To retirees, this has been translated into lower saving deposit return. So far, this does not affect me as I have considered relative lower rate of return during my plan while current bank rate for fixed deposit is still higher than my plan. I need to continue to search for higher possible rate from time to time. Should the rate of return to be lower than my plan, I still have sufficient buffer to offset this impact, according to my plan.

In short, I have considered sufficient cushion of offset any potential uncontrollable risks before I decide for go for early retirement. Risk consideration is a must when doing a plan. Too optimistic might make you have no room to move. 

OK, now we move on to something with more fun. For the past four months, I have been filling up my time with:
  1. Reading - This has occupied most of my time. I have been rereading some of my previous collections, mostly novels. During the rereading, I see something I omitted previously. May be because I am not in a rush to finish them. Meanwhile, I don't read financial books anymore but to observe financial update from the newspaper. While reading, I also plan to resell some of my financial books collection with discount.
  2. Watch dramas & movies - I might spend about 2 hours a day the most for this when I want to. Sometime I break my watching into a few session when I feel tire. It is totally up to me while I totally had no time for this when I was an employee.
  3. Take care of plants and have time to learn how to make them looks better. I am yet to see a good result but still working on it.
  4. Play guitar and ukulele. I play and sing along when I want to. I spend about 15 to 30 minutes a day for this.
  5. Sing - I get a membership at a karaoke so that I could sing along with my family when I want to with discount.
  6. Traveling - I drove to Kuala Lumpur in March. In May, I just completed my more than 1,400km drive to visit Teluk Intan, Sitiawan, Ipoh, Gopeng, Kampar and Klang. 

There are more activities to come. Life is short, I want to play hard.


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