Monday, 13 October 2014

My 10 Year Plan

I never expected myself to sit down one day and start thinking and setting expectations and goals for my 10 year plan.

I guess, it's the sort of thing that happens to a person just as he is about to complete another chapter in his life. I don't want to be caught unaware and suddenly find myself one day, asking "What's Next?"

No, I prefer to have a long-term plan, including realistic expectations and goals that I will set for myself. If nothing else, it'll serve as a motivation for me. You see, I dislike doing something without knowing why/what I am doing this for. There's no meaning in life in that sense.

Looking back on the last 10 years of my life, I have many things I regret doing. And even more so, things I did not doing. Am I thinking too far ahead? After all, nobody can predict the future. 10 years is a very long time. And my plan is bound to be modified and edited as I grow older and my mindset changes. Things change. People change. The world around me will definitely change.

This 10 year plan will therefore be based largely on assumption, because nobody can predict the future. And it'll be modified as I progress in this journey.

Therefore, I shall set my eventual goal in 10 years time to be happily married with a house of my own and a stable career with my investment returns providing for at least 30 - 40% of my expenses.

2015: Graduate from College with a Diploma.

2015: Enlist for National Service & serve my country for 2 years.

Here, I am assuming I would receive $480 as my monthly allowance. I will not know if I stay in 5 days a week or not. That depends entirely on my vocation + PES status.

Let's assume that I book out every weekend. With food & lodging paid for, I need only take into account transportation fee home. Therefore, I will take the current concession prices for NSFs at SGD$85.00 for hybrid pass and save + invest the rest.

That would mean I have $395/month.

$295 would go to savings + expenses.
$100 would be directed to my investment account.

Over the period of 24 months, (2 years) I would have approximately $7080 to save + spend, and $2400 extra added to my investments. The amount is subject to change depending on inflation + any changes in the allowance structure/transport costs.

During this period, if my vocation allows it, I will also study part-time for a degree.

2017: Further my education / look for a job?

This will definitely be subject to change. Will circumstances permit me to further my studies or will I have to enter the working world? Alternatively, studying + working together? Work in the day, study at night. Either way, this period is the time where I will save as much as possible.

2017 - 2022: (My 5 Year Plan)

During this 5 year period, I will be aggressively saving for my wedding / house / investments. Of course to do this, I have to find a decent job.
I aim to save at least $100K in pure savings during this period.
Is it a reasonable amount? Well, $100K over 5 years would mean $20K/year.
That means I have to save around $1,700/month. Is that possible? Well, it has to be made possible.

By 2022, I should have ($100,000) in my savings. But my journey to saving towards this amount doesn't begin in 2017. No, it starts now.

2022-2024: Time and Tide waits for no one. If it's meant to be, it will be.

Ideally, at this point in life, I should at least have a house + getting ready for my wedding. Again, this is subject to change pending circumstances and my financial situation then. I will not get married, unless I'm absolutely sure my partner and I can handle the financial aspects. If not, it would create many unhappy arguments and conflicts down the road. People get married too early and then they realize they can't cope with the increased expenses.

2025: Married + Stable Career + House
Ah yes, the end of my 10 year journey. Who knows how much the world would have changed by then? Will my plan have changed drastically? Or am I still on the path I chartered for myself 10 years ago? Only time will tell.

Doing a 10 Year Plan for yourself? Most importantly, be honest with yourself. Having a plan in life doesn't mean not being able to have fun and cut loose. To be completely honest, my journey is probably going to differ a lot from the plan above. But that's okay. As long as I don't lose track of where it is that I'm heading for.

I have simple wants in life. It might be cliche. But I want to settle down, and not having to worry day in day out about my finances. I'm sure many out there feel the same way. Not everyone feels the same way however, some people want to be rich and powerful. They want to be affluent and looked up to. And why not? If they're capable, why shouldn't they deserve what they are able to achieve?

Just remember, your plan is all about yourself.

Signing off,
Teenage Investor


  1. Hi TI,

    Your plan sounds very feasible. Good luck! Remember to set milestones and celebrate once you hit them, to keep the motivating going :)

    1. Hi LP!
      I'm glad you find it so! I do believe there'll be many tweaks along the way but I'll be that much happier when i hit a few important milestones along the way :)

  2. Hi TI,

    Good that you have a plan in mind at such a young age.

    However, things change and be prepared for it. Things does not always happen according to plan.

    NS + part time studies is quite tiring based on my own experience. Mine was just for fun and to keep my mind active before going to university. If you intend to do your part-time degree, it might not do justice for yourself.

    All the best!


    1. Hi Naro, I'm prepared that things will change, indefinitely. Many things will happen differently from the plan i have made now. But it's flexible for me, allowing me to tweak as I go.

      I agree that NS + studies may be very tiring for me. Maybe nearing the end of my 2 years would be a better time!

  3. Hi TI,

    I compliment you on such a detailed plan. The only concern I have is your $1,700 per month saving goal. You may want to check out the current starting salary for a diploma graduate.

    Surprises will prop up along the way to distract/deviate you from your goal. Hope you will have the fortitude to overcome them.

    Good luck!

    1. Hi SRSI!
      Thank you for the compliments! I am also aware that $1700/month may not be realistic I may either have to tweak the plan according to my salary, or find alternative sources of income!

  4. Hi, there's no need for a so called plan for it , since most of the Singaporeans are following this safe path. It's very typical, no need for special formula, plan or desire. Just be normal and eventually you will get there. Even if you refuse , the materialism facades of our society will still force you to reach here eventually. So why not just enjoy your youth as much as you can instead of falling into this vicious circle like most of us.
    good luck

    1. Hi Eyes White Shut!
      I do agree that many Singaporeans are following this path. But I feel that generally, my plan is very flexible. I will tweak it here and there as my life progresses. I wouldn't call it a formula, more of a long term goal in mind that I can aim towards to. What happens between now and my eventual goal is anybody's guess! Certain circumstances in my life have forced me to think ahead and I do not have the luxury of youth anymore. I hope you can get out of this vicious circle! Singapore isn't an easy place to survive

  5. Setting NS allowance to just $480 is a good move. I did that too when I was doing my planning. Anyway, I believe it would definitely increase once you are posted out to a specific vocation and advance to another rank other than being a recruit.

    Btw, I understand that you do have a girlfriend at the moment. But why am I not seeing any expenses during the weekends? Are you not planning to go out on dates or just hang out with some friends? Those will incur some costs.. But as a whole, you got a plan that is definitely similar to mine. Just that I try to be a little prudent with the figures and take into account basic expenses.

    Anyway, I'm sure you can do it! Besides, you do have a plan. After all, failing to plan is planning to fail, right?

    1. Hi Mat! Good to see you! Expenses during the weekends are not included under expenditures + savings. I also believe I'll be too tired to think of plans, and she understands that.

      All the best to you too Mat!

  6. Hey TI,

    Thanks for this post, it got me thinking about how important planning can be, even if plans are still subject to change. I hope you manage to achieve your goals and are happy about it too!

    1. Hi MH! You're too kind, thank you! Plans are definitely subject to change, my long term eventual goal is set.
      Thank you again!

  7. when i do reservist, i often see young soldiers calling for mac donalds and booking out for dinners. while you might not want to spend the money, sometimes, it might get hard to say no.

    1. Hi Paul! I do confess that Macdonald is a deadly sin of mine, fats growing all over the place haha! Expenditures are unavoidable, especially when it comes to socialising with my fellow mates. I'll take it as I go, taking into account that life goes on and I have to adapt to changes in life.

  8. Oops! My bad! Saw the savings + expense... Must have missed that out. My applogies!

  9. Hmm if u only book out on weekends u don't even need the hybrid pass :)

    1. Hi Pipping Cafe!
      Oh yes, that didn't occur to me haha! Thank you!!

  10. Truth be told, I saved $350 during my NS with a $580 allowance. I manage to save 10k by the time I completed NS. That was with my previous savings before Ns also. Of course mine was stay in so I saved on transport and food cost. I'm saving $1700 per month now but its only after 4 years of working with a salary of close to $3000. Its already quite hard to save $1700 with my current situation and I'm quite frugal already. Haha

    I can't imagine how you can save that much with a girlfriend? Your gf must be a frugal girl too.

    1. Hi SGYI!
      I do acknowledge the main difficulty in $1.7k as savings/month. Especially more so knowing that a senior investor like yourself have done so only through years of hard work. I may have to tweak my plans as I go. Hopefully everything turns out fine.

    2. I agree with LP. Once you plan your savings goal, find ways to achieve it. For example I want to save $2000+ per month after age 28 and I know I can't save that much now so I work towards increasing my income by age 28. You can get a degree to earn more, start a par time business, invest for passive income etc. There are endless ways to make more money. Its up to us whether we want or not.

  11. Don't change your savings goals! Only two ways to increase Savings, either u cut expenses or earn more. Should do both. But if u earn less than 3k, it's hard to save much. You should thus expend more effort in thinking how to earn more instead. There's only so much cost to cut!

    1. Hi, LP! I'll do my utmost best! I have to do my best to earn a higher salary since it's difficult to cut back expenses. Agree there's only a limit that can be cut