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Panzer's Guide to Financial Freedom: It's Your Money and It's Your Life

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Old 09-04-2009, 01:00 PM   #241
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Writing Your Life List

I was inspired by Chris Guillebeau’s post “How to write a life list” on his blog “The Art of Non-Conformity“. For those who have never heard of Chris, he describes his blog as:

The Art of Nonconformity (AONC) project chronicles my writing on how to change the world by achieving significant, personal goals while helping others at the same time. In the battle against conventional beliefs, I focus on three areas: Life, Work, and Travel.

Who is Chris Guillebeau?

He is someone who is living the unconventional life by most yardsticks, especially if benchmarked against the materialism of Singapore Inc. He has travelled to many countries as part of his plan to travel every country in the world (literally!)

As I’m writing my second eBook, “Panzer’s Road Map to Financial Freedom”, I find that the WHY is as important as the HOW. The reason why I’m pursuing financial freedom is because I want to live an unconventional life. The typical life in Singapore is to study up to University or Polytechnic, get a good job, work for next 30-40 years, pay off your home (asset rich) but retire on your CPF balances and CPF Life annuity. It is to forever work and work and not truly living the life that you want. It has been for too long about following the script of the “Singapore Dream” also know as “Get Rich or Die Trying Singapore Style”.

How has living unconventionally helped me

My unconventional thinking has resulted in my achieving the following:

* paid off my housing loan (in full) by age 35
* being able to work in a less stressed and more relaxed manner
* being able to focus on my health and family
* having time to think seriously on accelerating my efforts towards financial freedom
* understanding that financial freedom is about generating passive income or alternate sources of income to free up time

Developing my life list

I’ve decided to come up with my life list and to put on it the list of things I’ve always wanted to do. Now it doesn’t mean that I need to be financially free to achieve them but the process has freed up more of my financial resources to consider them as part of the realm of possibilities:

Here goes Panzer’s life list (in no particular order):

1. Travel business class on flight of at least 10 hours for business/pleasure
2. Eat black ink squid rice in Korea
3. Visit two of the places featured in Japan Hour
4. Work for a local non-profit organisation full-time for 1 year at minimal pay
5. Become the audit committee chairman of a listed company
6. Run the half-marathon successfully and recover from it without injury
7. See my daughter living an independent, healthy, happy and productive life
8. Obtain a class 2B licence
9. Complete a triathlon safely
10. Generate $50,000 passive income in 7 years’ time
11. Take a train ride from one end of Australia to another
12. Be a published author with sales of 20,000 copies of my personal finance book
13. Be the champion of table-topics contest for toastmasters at district level
14. Speak conversational Japanese
15. Improve my mandarin to be able to blog in Mandarin

I’ll be revisiting this list now and then to refresh and refine it and goals and targets are meant to be reviewed periodically to see if they are in line with our life’s mission and values.

Have you considered developing your own life list?

Be well and prosper.

==============
Panzer is a 30-something accountant who finally grasped the concept of financial freedom at the ripe old age of 32. Ever since, he has been travelling on his journey towards financial freedom and documenting his adventures through his blog Five Cents Ten Cents.

His first self-published book, “Panzer’s Guide to Financial Freedom: It’s Your Money and It’s Your Life“, was launched in November 2008 sharing his thoughts on his journey towards financial freedom. He is currently working on his second book, “Panzer’s Road Map to Financial Freedom” and is aiming to publish it in May 2009. Panzer is contactable online via twitter.
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Last edited by panzergrenadier; 09-04-2009 at 01:02 PM..
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:00 PM   #242
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Hi goodcareer

I'm not yet fully financially free i.e. where passive income >= living expenses. But I have paid off my home loan and am only servicing my car loan which will be paid off by early next year.

Thus, I'm continuing on my journey towards building up investible assets and to build up my CPF minimum sum from CPF contributions.

How about you? :-)

Be well and prosper.
I like you postings and these gives me alot of inspiration to work hard in my career and also towards financial freedom. Can you give me some advice to my situation now? Thanks alot

i don't own a car, so no car loan. i am still pay the remaining S$13000+ of HDB housing loan through CPF. I work as an engineer in wafer foundry (wafer fab) for 5 yrs and currently taking part time degree (my 2nd degree) in accounting and finance. Accounting career is my passion since young while engineering job is just a job since my result was not good enough to get into local uni accounting so ended up in NUS applied science degree. I decided to switch to accounting career by taking a accouting degree now at age 32yrs, is it too late? I wish to work as an auditor after graduate.

I am prepare to take a hugh pay cut and position downgraded from engineering to accounting career. However, am i still able to achieve financial freedom in my life before 40 or 45yrs?

by the way, have you married and with how many kids? I just want to know how do you manage to achieve financial freedom with a family. what kind of investment assets are you building up - unit trust/stocks, properties, business...?

thanks alot
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:46 AM   #243
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Writing Your Life List


My unconventional thinking has resulted in my achieving the following:

* paid off my housing loan (in full) by age 35
* being able to work in a less stressed and more relaxed manner
* being able to focus on my health and family
* having time to think seriously on accelerating my efforts towards financial freedom
* understanding that financial freedom is about generating passive income or alternate sources of income to free up time
It is a great joy if you can achieve what you describe.. Like you, I have paid off my flat and thanks god I was able to do it in 1 lump sum for a relatively cheap 5 rm HDB flat. But to live in a stress free life and focus on health , I seriously doubt you can achieve that in Spore unless you are using a lower yardstick. In Spore, most of my friends work really long hour..10 hours at work is considered short. Life in Spore is constantly under pressure because of Spore vulnerability to world economy and it seems to get worse every year.
Right now, I am living out of Spore. Job wise, it is pretty relaxing 9 to 5pm and you are judged not by how long you work in the office but by what you produced. I have penty of time to cook my meal, take a scroll after that or pluck fruits in the neighbourhood. I have alot of time to read and learn things that I could never imagine I have time if i were to be in Spore. The lower cost of living also enable me to achieve financial freedom much faster than I could do in Spore. I don't like to pinch every penny to achieve financial freedom. Seriously, to enjoy life to the fullest, you need to have freedom to do what you enjoy without thinking of the consequence!

Last edited by homer123; 10-04-2009 at 06:33 AM..
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:16 AM   #244
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It is a great joy if you can achieve what you describe.. Like you, I have paid off my flat and thanks god I was able to do it in 1 lump sum for a relatively cheap 5 rm HDB flat. But to live in a stress free life and focus on health , I seriously doubt you can achieve that in Spore unless you are using a lower yardstick. In Spore, most of my friends work really long hour..10 hours at work is considered short. Life in Spore is constantly under pressure because of Spore vulnerability to world economy and it seems to get worse every year.
Right now, I am living out of Spore. Job wise, it is pretty relaxing 9 to 5pm and you are judged not by how long you work in the office but by what you produced. I have penty of time to cook my meal, take a scroll after that or pluck fruits in the neighbourhood. I have alot of time to read and learn things that I could never imagine I have time if i were to be in Spore. The lower cost of living also enable me to achieve financial freedom much faster than I could do in Spore. I don't like to pinch every penny to achieve financial freedom. Seriously, to enjoy life to the fullest, you need to have freedom to do what you enjoy without thinking of the consequence!
where are you living now?
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:48 PM   #245
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Dear goodcareer

It's never too late to pursue what your dreams lead you to.

However, you should do your sums carefully to see how any potential pay cut from switching careers may impact your own financial situation.

I wouldn't be able to give you specific advice without knowing all your details e.g. income, expenses, net worth etc...

But you shoudl consider:

1) Computing your current net worth (total assets less liabilities)
2) Computing your cash inflows/outflows each month
3) You should revise item 2 above for the scenario that you are planning, i.e. reduction in income while still maintaining your living expenses
4) See if you can reach your targets for financial freedom, i.e. what is the amount of investible savings you need to generate sufficient passive income to cover living expenses.

For me, I am married with one 13 month old daughter. I stay in an executive condo and drive a 1.6litre japanese car. My spouse is working part-time since my daughter was born, hence my income goes to support most of the entire family's expenses :-)

Currently my investment assets are about 70% in equities and 30% in cash and cash equivalents. That excludes my CPF monies which is purely for retirement. I try to buy blue chip shares and hold for long term for dividends. But I occasionally make the mistake of speculating and get burnt now and then...hahaha....

It's great that you find my posts helpful! I wish for you the best in your career moves and you should analyse your own situation in more detail to know how your future actions would impact on your financial situation.

Be well and prosper.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:51 PM   #246
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Dear homer123

Congrats! I am also curious about where in the world you are located.

Not all jobs are 10-12 hour grinds.

My current job provides work-life balance but I also get things done i.e. outcome driven rather than focus on the hours I clock in office. I'm fortunate because I have a number of years in my industry and some seniority to be able to do so. But I don't make my staff work long hours unnecessarily as I find it not sustainable in the long-run.

But I too feel in Singapore, you need to build up your own financial security so that you won't be so beholden to your jobs and be a slave for life.

Be well and prosper.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:00 AM   #247
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Dear goodcareer

It's never too late to pursue what your dreams lead you to.

However, you should do your sums carefully to see how any potential pay cut from switching careers may impact your own financial situation.

I wouldn't be able to give you specific advice without knowing all your details e.g. income, expenses, net worth etc...

But you shoudl consider:

1) Computing your current net worth (total assets less liabilities)
2) Computing your cash inflows/outflows each month
3) You should revise item 2 above for the scenario that you are planning, i.e. reduction in income while still maintaining your living expenses
4) See if you can reach your targets for financial freedom, i.e. what is the amount of investible savings you need to generate sufficient passive income to cover living expenses.

For me, I am married with one 13 month old daughter. I stay in an executive condo and drive a 1.6litre japanese car. My spouse is working part-time since my daughter was born, hence my income goes to support most of the entire family's expenses :-)

Currently my investment assets are about 70% in equities and 30% in cash and cash equivalents. That excludes my CPF monies which is purely for retirement. I try to buy blue chip shares and hold for long term for dividends. But I occasionally make the mistake of speculating and get burnt now and then...hahaha....

It's great that you find my posts helpful! I wish for you the best in your career moves and you should analyse your own situation in more detail to know how your future actions would impact on your financial situation.

Be well and prosper.
i have learnt cashflow statement from accounting degree for company but not quite sure of the items for personal cashflow. can you please list them out for assisting in my computation? is there any standard format for personal cashflow calculation?
thanks alot.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:30 AM   #248
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i have learnt cashflow statement from accounting degree for company but not quite sure of the items for personal cashflow. can you please list them out for assisting in my computation? is there any standard format for personal cashflow calculation?
thanks alot.
Hi goodcareer

Let's take this offline. You can email me at rod.loh at gmail.com

I'll share with you my personal net worth Excel template.

Be well and prosper.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:01 PM   #249
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Hi goodcareer

Let's take this offline. You can email me at rod.loh at gmail.com

I'll share with you my personal net worth Excel template.

Be well and prosper.
Thanks alot for your sharing. I have emailed you, please help on this.
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Old 13-04-2009, 12:13 PM   #250
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Know your credit history with credit bureau Singapore

Did you know that you can check your own credit history for S$5 using Credit Bureau Singapore?

What is a Credit Bureau

Some of you might be wondering what a credit bureau is. The Credit Bureau Singapore is where financial institutions upload and also check on your history with regards to obtaining credit i.e. mortgage loans, car loans, credit card and other unsecured credit applications.

CBS explains:

Every month, payment performance data on approximately 3.6 million accounts is uploaded by the Banking and Finance industry to Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS).

Data relating to your loan payment performance is collated on your credit file and may be used by Banks and Finance companies as part of the assessment process for any new loans you may apply for, or for a review of your existing loans.

Your Credit Bureau file is an indication of your financial health. This is very important to the lenders as they assess the risk involved in granting credit.

You should therefore know what’s on your credit file and periodically check to see what new data has been uploaded.

Thus, CBS acts as a clearing house for information related to your credit history. It tracks if you are prompt or late in making payments on loans, credit card and related transactions. If you’re persistently late in making payments to banks and finance companies, that information would be available to potential lenders of monies to you.

Potential lenders would use that information as part of their decision making on your credit worthiness and risk of granting you credit. They may loan you smaller amounts or decline if their assessment is that your credit risk is too high relative to their own risk tolerance.

What Does a Credit Report Look Like?

I was curious to my own credit history although from my own experience I think I should be all right as I’ve never been refused credit card applications and I’ve managed to clear off my bank loan in full. Thus, I logged in using my Singpass and paid the $5 using my credit card to see what exactly my credit history looks like.

This is what a typical credit report looks like and the CBS teaches you how to read your own credit file.

It’s useful to have a look at your credit history especially if you are about to take up a major loan for car or house. This will allow you see if you have a good or not-so-good credit history.

Have you ever checked your own credit report before?

Tell Panzer in the comments section.

Be well and prosper.

====
Panzer is a 30-something accountant who finally grasped the concept of financial freedom at the ripe old age of 32. Ever since, he has been travelling on his journey towards financial freedom and documenting his adventures through his blog Five Cents Ten Cents.

His first self-published book, “Panzer’s Guide to Financial Freedom: It’s Your Money and It’s Your Life“, was launched in November 2008 sharing his thoughts on his journey towards financial freedom. He is currently working on his second book, “Panzer’s Road Map to Financial Freedom” and is aiming to publish it in May 2009. Panzer is contactable online via twitter.
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Old 13-04-2009, 12:20 PM   #251
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Hi folks!

Iíve just written my first book, ďPanzerís Guide to Financial Freedom: Itís Your Money and Itís Your LifeĒ and will be offering it free for distribution. I will not charge for personal consumption but please contact me if you wish to use it for commercial purposes.

Just drop me an email at rod.loh [at] gmail.com and I will email you the book in PDF version.

Download pdf reader here if you do not have one.

You can read excerpts from the book here.

Be well and prosper!
hi. mind if i have a copy of it?
jumpmanz@gmail.com
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Old 16-04-2009, 04:46 PM   #252
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Financial freedom: enjoy the journey while travelling towards your destination

This week saw the surprising news about the sudden death of DBS Group CEO Mr. Richard Stanley. He succumbed to an infection even after what appeared to be successful courses of chemotherapy with DBS Chairman announcing just a few days before that Mr. Stanley was on track to return to work after responding positively to treatment.

Death can strike anytime, anywhere to anyone as evidenced from the obituaries page. Young and old alike can be called to heaven depending on the circumstances. Sometimes when death strikes someone who is a top CEO of the largest bank in Singapore is such a dramatic fashion, it makes us think about our own mortality.

Enjoy your journey

The closer I get to my destination, the more I realise I should start to enjoy the journey more. Give myself more mini-breaks and time-outs and spend a little bit on the occasional small luxury to give myself a taste of something out of the ordinary. One of the reasons that I am making progress towards financial freedom is that I generally scrimp and save. I hardly buy new clothes or accessories and really make every cent count most times.

There’s nothing wrong with frugal habits. Frugality in times like this recession helps to make each dollar stretch further. However, I should also give myself permission to spend a little. My own rule of thumb has been to spend 10% of gains such as bonuses, dividends or capital gain from sale of equities. The more I approach my 40s, the more I realise it’s time to live a little.

I think I’ll revise my rule of thumb upwards to give myself permission to spend 20-30% of bonuses, dividends or capital gains. I don’t want to push so hard on my journey towards financial freedom to forget to appreciate what life has to offer today.

Smell the roses

Life does offer many roses for us to smell along the way. It doesn’t take much but a few additional dollars here and there can buy a little bit of paradise for a short while. I recall going to Sentosa with my spouse prior to my daughter being born and we enjoyed our two-day stay at Rasa Sentosa. It was slightly pricey but the hotel stay was enjoyable and a good break before we become full-time parents! I remember the thrill of taking my very first luge ride and it was really fun.

It’s the small pleasures and memories like this that stay with me. They don’t cost the earth but was well worth it for the quality time it allowed my spouse and I to share prior to taking care of my daughter from 0 mth to 13 mths old.

Living within your means (meaningfully)


If you have managed to live within your means, consider how you can afford to ease off a little in your own quest for financial freedom to give yourself more small rewards now and then. The road is long and the journey is far, it’s all right to give yourself permission for a few rest breaks now and then as long as overall you are still living within your means.

Be well and prosper.

=============
Panzer is a 30-something accountant who finally grasped the concept of financial freedom at the ripe old age of 32. Ever since, he has been travelling on his journey towards financial freedom and documenting his adventures through his blog Five Cents Ten Cents.

His first self-published book, “Panzer’s Guide to Financial Freedom: It’s Your Money and It’s Your Life“, was launched in November 2008 sharing his thoughts on his journey towards financial freedom. He is currently working on his second book, “Panzer’s Road Map to Financial Freedom” and is aiming to publish it in May 2009. Panzer is contactable online via twitter.
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Last edited by panzergrenadier; 16-04-2009 at 04:49 PM..
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Old 17-04-2009, 12:02 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by panzergrenadier
Hi folks!

Iíve just written my first book, ďPanzerís Guide to Financial Freedom: Itís Your Money and Itís Your LifeĒ and will be offering it free for distribution. I will not charge for personal consumption but please contact me if you wish to use it for commercial purposes.

Just drop me an email at rod.loh [at] gmail.com and I will email you the book in PDF version.

Download pdf reader here if you do not have one.

You can read excerpts from the book here.

Be well and prosper!


can you please send me a copy of the ebook t my email at lithokhan@yahoo.com ?

thanks.
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Old 18-04-2009, 04:15 PM   #254
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Hi goodcareer

My book on Panzer's Guide can be found here:

Be well and prosper.

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Old 18-04-2009, 11:51 PM   #255
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Hi goodcareer

Let's take this offline. You can email me at rod.loh at gmail.com

I'll share with you my personal net worth Excel template.

Be well and prosper.

Hi Panzer. mind sharing the personal net worth Excel template? you can contact me at andrethongyongjie@gmail.com
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