After looking back at my life on turning 30, this post will be about my hopes and plans after turning 30. This is the start of my next decade and 10 years is a good time frame to set long-term goals and come up with ways to achieve them.
I used to do mostly tax compliance work when I was at accounting firms in Melbourne and Sydney. Now in Singapore, I’m doing mostly tax advisory work and much less tax compliance work. My wife has navigated herself to a projects role within the bank that utilises more of her strengths and allows her to have greater engagement with other teams.
Although our current jobs are more interesting, we have become more vulnerable to job cuts due to the nature of these roles. In a recession, there is less of a need for tax advice by firms and banks are more likely to reduce budgets for projects. Our higher job satisfaction has come at a cost of increased retrenchment risk.
We do think about how our careers would develop over the next several years and what we would like to work in. If I continue to stay in the tax field, I might consider moving in-house and work in the financial industry or another industry that interests me. My wife would most likely stay in the banking industry but move to other projects or technical roles.
We are starting to get asked by our families and relatives when we are planning to have children. This question is inevitable given the number of years we have been together. It could be because my wife and I have gotten used to living by ourselves over the years but we don’t see the rush to have children.
It’s a big life decision and the timing of it will have a significant impact on every aspect of our life. Financially, we would have to budget for the high costs of having and raising children. Socially, we would no longer have the flexibility to go for gatherings and holidays on a whim. Professionally, we would have a greater need for work-life balance in our jobs.
It would not just be the both of us anymore and I must admit that this scares us. Given how a big part of our relationship was built on us moving cities and travelling around the world to look for new experiences, you can see how the impact of having children worries us.
Although we know that having children in itself will be one of the most amazing experience we will have and these may seem like trivial considerations in comparison, we will never know what it will be like until we take that step.
Our ETF, Share and Other Portfolios have been growing at a decent pace but we should be looking to accelerate the growth of the ETF Portfolio. ETFs are really starting to become our preferred choice of equity investment the more volatile the markets get and the shorter the industry lifecyles become.
Interest and dividend income have been increasing with each year but I reckon we are holding too much cash in our asset portfolio for interest income to be greater than dividend income. This might not be a bad thing in view of recent events but definitely not a good thing in the long run. We are looking to utilise more of our cash for equity investments and expect a higher proportion of dividend income going forward.
We still think it’s important to have exposure to USD, GBP and EUR in our ETF Portfolio again in view of recent events and will continue to invest in the ETFs listed on the London Stock Exchange. This might change if even more significant events occur down the road but we shall have to wait and see.
At this stage, our goal is to grow our investments to a point where the monthly passive income equals or exceeds the monthly expenses. This allows us to achieve financial independence and we aim to do this by the end of the next decade. As such, retirement funding is not as high a priority for the next 10 years.
Granted, financial independence does translate to a form of early retirement but as I have mentioned in previous posts, we tend to view our retirement funds separately. We try to ensure that our CPF account balances grow consistently with each month from employer and our contributions despite using our CPF-OA for housing expenses and CPF-MA for medical expenses at times. Other than that, we don’t intend to invest our CPF monies or do much else in this space.