Its been slightly more than 2.5 years since I stopped full time work. Last update was done 1 year into retirement. Many people assume retirement when young is all fun and games but actually having no structure in life and no over riding purpose can be difficult. I can be both busy and restless, bored at same time.
Quick summary of what happened since official no work status to give context since June 2014 :
1) Mum passed away in oct 2014 after a brief but painful 4 mth battle with lung cancer.
2) Baby #4 came along in June 2014 and he is so precious and cute.
3) 2 older kids entered teenagehood and secondary school. 3rd one entered primary.
4) Started a business Doctor Wealth using chairman model which failed due to mgmt issues and had to be given a new lease of life via some corporate development work.
5) Between Ning and me, we invested in 8 more private startups (iMoney, metro residences, Worq, aldoktor are public knowledge) and 5 VC in the region.
6) Volunteered for the Committee of the Future Economy, ACE and 2 other govt boards. Started ACE peer sharing groups for startup founders which has helped over 35 startups.
7) Launched a crowdfunding platform for Swcdc. Mixed success in terms of scaling up but still running. So far projects have raised some 40-50k in total.
8) Got healthy. 6 day a week Yoga, weights and jogging routine. Traveled a fair bit but no where near what I would like to or to the places I want to. About 60-70days a year.
9) Built an entire balanced type portfolio over the years and implemented decision making, tracking and benchmarking processes. Met target of beating private bank discretionary portfolios and index benchmark.
10) Created and trained singapores first angel Investing workshop in 2016. So far only 25 pax trained but will do more next year.
Eg. Portfolio is to return min 5% annualized with fund mgmt standard vol and sharpe ratios. Angel and volunteer is to impact fellow entrepreneurs and build a culture of entrepreneurship in sg in my own small way.
3) Being present and aware of life as it happens is very fulfilling. In business, we are always projecting into the future. Now I try to focus on the present. Really listen and look at what is before me. A side effect is that I notice more about people and I hope in time to be the sort of person people like having around. Not to get their approval but because life is more fun when others are comfortable around you and share their stories! Being aware also means we become more understanding of others and that most people are just trying. So patience gets developed a bit more.
4) Learning still matters perhaps more so than ever. Since learning new stuff is the reward once payment is taken out of the equation. The other driver is being useful which I cover below. Big stuff I learned about include portfolio thinking, board roles, angel investing and about myself and people in general.
5) Undergone some major personality and health change. Both are connected. I am far less competitive though I can still be triggered to the old mode if I suddenly meet a whole bunch of alpha super successful males. How I overcome this is to remind myself that in the end it's all the same. See learning (1). So if I am lucky enough to get out of the competition while relatively young, why continue? For recognition? For the net worth scoreline? To buy more stuff? This diminished desire to win others coupled with a lot of exercise and nutritious food has resulted in a healthier me. Sleep much better and smile more and feel more at peace.
4) Startup investing via angel and Vc investing is quite fun. I learned a lot in terms of how to assess, how to handle post investment and am now waiting to see if all the effort will pay off. Unlike stocks and bonds, this activity is more long term. But I am optimistic it will do the best. This activity is most fun as I also contribute a little in helping the startup in terms of mentality and strategy. The best sort of work is one where you put in time and money and it all works out! I think this is a must do for most entrepreners who have made enough money.
Next year, my goal is to continue what I now do and be open to what life will bring. It may mean full time work in the form of starting a new business, it may not. But I want to make sure I continue adding value to people and organizations around me and also be present for all my loved ones!