My 10 Year Plan in Life

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

8 comments:

  1. you have goals, that is good. But you also do not have a life. The calculations u made above do not allow you to have moderate and simple hobbies like decent sports and some leeway for you to go dating and all that. How do you want to get married without dating? Dating costs money, and is not a one shot one kill thing.

    You have good dreams and have broken it down with mathematics. but life is not a mathematical equation. There are certain experiences that make you a better, happier person rather than saving and investing the money.

    The surest way to succeed at wealth accumulation is to make it sustainable. sustainable means having balance. Your calculations of saving 1700 plus is far fetched based on today's salary for fresh graduates. This is because you have only factored in your own daily expenses. But in reality, things happen in life and money leaks out to presents, weddings, funerals, birthdays and the occasional short holiday somewhere near etc.

    You might think now that life would be much better if you had 100k. But i assure you that when you reach 100k, you will feel the same, maybe even worse. But if you reach 100k a few years later, but along the way you have had a more rounded life, you will find meaning in this 100k.

    You need to do the things people your age do once in a while. Go out, have a nice meal with friends, watch a movie etc. Life is about living, not lavishly, but moderately and with meaning. Unless you are extremely poor now, I do not see the need for you to squeeze and save "as much as u can" because at the end of your 5 year goal, so what if you have 20k more? it will be merely a digit in your account. Besides, you have a whole life time to accumulate wealth, so as long as you spend within your means and keep healthy, it will work out for you.

    Regards,
    Someone who was like you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi anon! I'm very thankful for such a input! I really agree that life is not just about saving money. I'm just giving myself a goal in mind. Maybe it'll be more, maybe it'll be less. 100k is not a eventual goal, more of a goal for my future wedding expenses etc.

      You mentioned you were like me, how did you fare? And what did you do to change that mindset?

      I agree that life shouldn't be all about the math, far from it in fact.

      Delete
  2. Hi teenage Investor,

    Very pleasantly surprised to find another like minded peer like you! I'm just a year older than you and am in army right now.

    I love your focus and determination to learn about financial matters and it inspires me as well to carry on my own journey.

    It's good that you have goals. But what I've learned from my own journey (2years Already!) is that life is really unpredictable no matter how much you plan. So make space for the uncertain, unknown and try to have fun.

    Hope to connect with u irl soon. Take care.

    Ho Khinwai

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Khinwai!

      It's always a joy to find like-minded people who are on the same path. I realise the impact of uncertainty in life, but time goes on, people change, plans will indefinitely have to be altered. And they will be altered as I go along! Take care too :)

      Delete
  3. I am 46 years old senior manager in IT industry in India. I am also avid investor and saver through out my life. Good to see you have goals. I am an example of what you can achieve with well articulated SMART goals early in life. I reached financial freedom before I turned 45 by dint of sheer hard work, excessive learning and discipline. While doing this I did not ignore my other passions like Marathon running, reading and travels and my family. But one thing I have learnt is to get to the top in any domain be it career or investing you got to focus heavily...almost obsessed by one single thing no matter who says what. It is very competitive out there and the success is not reserved for impassioned or lazy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon! Congratulations on achieving financial freedom by 45 without sacrificing family time and personal time.

      Delete
  4. The best plans are flexible plans.

    The good thing about money is that it is liquid, and so fluid and flexible.

    The danger about making plans like "get married by 2025" is that by 2024, you may not have found the right person, but there is a good enough person, and you get married in part because you think it is time. Good decision? Bad decision? Forced decision based on your timeline?

    Not saying that you will be so foolish... but it has happened.

    Plans changed.

    In 2012, I "abandoned" my previous retirement plan, and bought a condo which has just been launched (TOP in Dec 2015).

    In 2013, I finally found someone to settle down with and got married.

    In 2014, my daughter was born. And the condo was also completed.

    At the time I bought the condo (in 2012), my plans for the condo were fluid. I could stay there and let my mom stay in my HDB flat. Or vice versa. I could stay in my HDB and rent out the condo. Or vice versa.

    But the rental market sort of weakened in 2014. And now, with a baby, my wife needed a place for confinement, for my M-I-L to help out with the baby, and the condo was halfway between my HDB and my m-i-l's flat.

    Convenient.

    So now I'm at the condo and I can take the opportunity to renovate the HDB flat to accommodate my family.

    Flexible plans.

    In my 30s I thought to find a wife. But it was taking too long, so I found a flat instead. I figured, if I do get married, I would need a place to stay. If I don't get married, I would also like to have a place of my own and not depend on/live with my parents. So I got a flat.

    Flexible plans.

    Later, when I did get married, I had a flat already. Then I had a condo.

    The point is, life is not always linear.

    I did not set out to own a second property. I just wanted a large enough sum to retire comfortably. At some point after I bought my flat, I was thinking that I would never get married, never be a father, and so I just wanted to be self-supporting in my old age.

    But my plans have changed.

    And now instead of just doing my retirement planning, I have to plan for my wife's retirement (she is actually quite well prepared), and my child's education and future (there goes my retirement).

    Things change. Plans change. Life is like the first 5 minutes of "Up" (that animated movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOmZ66lIzJA).

    I dunno what is your investment plan or target. You said that you are a passive investor, and that you are investing to save for your retirement. If you are starting young (age 20?) you are well placed to be prepared for your retirement. And any retirement plans should include CPF Life
    http://singapore2b.blogspot.sg/2015/02/whos-afraid-of-minimum-sum.html

    As for investing, I have dip my toes in the investment pool and decided I didn't like it. People who tell you (at age 55) that it is never to late to start investing or start planning your retirement are probably trying to finance their retirement plans: http://singapore2b.blogspot.sg/2015/01/thoughts-on-investment-on-friday.html

    I have been lucky and that is the third thing I want to say.

    There is an element of luck in all our endeavours. Fortune favours the prepared. The best we can do is to prepare - not just prepare our resources, but also prepare to recognise opportunities, and to prepare to seize opportunities when they present themselves. What Anon (16 Oct 2014) was indirectly saying (I think) is focus is good, but don't be blinded by focusing too intently and miss opportunities.

    So to summarise: Plan flexibly, Respond to changes that life throws at you. And fortune favours the prepared - those prepared for opportunities, prepared to see opportunities, and prepared to seize opportunities.


    ReplyDelete
  5. The best plans are flexible plans.

    The good thing about money is that it is liquid, and so fluid and flexible.

    The danger about making plans like "get married by 2025" is that by 2024, you may not have found the right person, but there is a good enough person, and you get married in part because you think it is time. Good decision? Bad decision? Forced decision based on your timeline?

    Not saying that you will be so foolish... but it has happened.

    Plans changed.

    In 2012, I "abandoned" my previous retirement plan, and bought a condo which has just been launched (TOP in Dec 2015).

    In 2013, I finally found someone to settle down with and got married.

    In 2014, my daughter was born. And the condo was also completed.

    At the time I bought the condo (in 2012), my plans for the condo were fluid. I could stay there and let my mom stay in my HDB flat. Or vice versa. I could stay in my HDB and rent out the condo. Or vice versa.

    But the rental market sort of weakened in 2014. And now, with a baby, my wife needed a place for confinement, for my M-I-L to help out with the baby, and the condo was halfway between my HDB and my m-i-l's flat.

    Convenient.

    So now I'm at the condo and I can take the opportunity to renovate the HDB flat to accommodate my family.

    Flexible plans.

    In my 30s I thought to find a wife. But it was taking too long, so I found a flat instead. I figured, if I do get married, I would need a place to stay. If I don't get married, I would also like to have a place of my own and not depend on/live with my parents. So I got a flat.

    Flexible plans.

    Later, when I did get married, I had a flat already. Then I had a condo.

    The point is, life is not always linear.

    I did not set out to own a second property. I just wanted a large enough sum to retire comfortably. At some point after I bought my flat, I was thinking that I would never get married, never be a father, and so I just wanted to be self-supporting in my old age.

    But my plans have changed.

    And now instead of just doing my retirement planning, I have to plan for my wife's retirement (she is actually quite well prepared), and my child's education and future (there goes my retirement).

    Things change. Plans change. Life is like the first 5 minutes of "Up" (that animated movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOmZ66lIzJA).

    I dunno what is your investment plan or target. You said that you are a passive investor, and that you are investing to save for your retirement. If you are starting young (age 20?) you are well placed to be prepared for your retirement. And any retirement plans should include CPF Life
    http://singapore2b.blogspot.sg/2015/02/whos-afraid-of-minimum-sum.html

    As for investing, I have dip my toes in the investment pool and decided I didn't like it. People who tell you (at age 55) that it is never to late to start investing or start planning your retirement are probably trying to finance their retirement plans: http://singapore2b.blogspot.sg/2015/01/thoughts-on-investment-on-friday.html

    I have been lucky and that is the third thing I want to say.

    There is an element of luck in all our endeavours. Fortune favours the prepared. The best we can do is to prepare - not just prepare our resources, but also prepare to recognise opportunities, and to prepare to seize opportunities when they present themselves. What Anon (16 Oct 2014) was indirectly saying (I think) is focus is good, but don't be blinded by focusing too intently and miss opportunities.

    So to summarise: Plan flexibly, Respond to changes that life throws at you. And fortune favours the prepared - those prepared for opportunities, prepared to see opportunities, and prepared to seize opportunities.


    ReplyDelete