$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: "Semi-Retirement" For CZM

Saturday, July 13, 2019

"Semi-Retirement" For CZM

Nope, we did not strike ToTo (I wish!) but we will be doing something most would not be doing. We dropped a teaser in our previous StashAway - May 2019 post stating that we will stop contributing to CZM's SRS account. Did you manage to guess it correctly?

CZM has resigned from her current job to take a "short" break after working for > 6 years, leading a semi-retired life. Yes, quitting without another job with the plan to travel! People leave a company for many reasons, usually a combination of both push (ridiculous hours, bad culture, etc.) and pull factors (higher pay, more interesting roles, etc.). For CZM, the push factors were definitely huge and it certainly accelerated our RTW plan or caused us to make such a decision.

After accumulating sufficient miles, I blogged about our next goal - Star Alliance Round the World (RTW) in Business Class! The main issue with such an ambitious plan is not the number of miles required or the money it costs (not really true, it was definitely a concern) but the TIME and ENERGY. Most people will have about 14-2x days of annual leaves and taking them consecutively will only mean 2-4 weeks of travelling time which is simply too short. Assuming if we were to spend about 1-1.5 week in each country/stopover, it would take us at least 2-3 months. We played around with a few ideas such as taking sabbatical leave but not all company has such policy especially in Singapore...

As we grow older, our body/health will naturally deteriorate. Looking at our parents now (40/50+), they no longer enjoy travelling as much because it is extremely tiring and their body will start aching. In addition, once you have kids, the cost of travelling will increase while the pace will decrease significantly. It is also impossible to travel with a piece of mind without them. With all these in mind, our decision was to whack and travel first before settling down to have kids. The next step was to evaluate if we will have any issue financially.

We did some cashflow exercise and concluded that we can manage even without her job. This can be done by doing the following:
1. List down all your income sources (salary, dividends, rental, etc.)
2. List down your fixed expenses (insurance premium, taxes, etc.)
3. List down/estimate your variable expenses (food, transport, etc.)
4. List down/estimate upcoming major expenses (vacation, renovation, etc.)
5. Build a table of income and expenses group by Month
6. Pivot the table to get an overview of your cashflow (ideally, income > expenses)

You can find a template of the cashflow exercise here.

We did not list down mortgage/housing loan because that will be deducted from our CPF OA which will not affect our cashflow. Our decision to keep $20k and not let HDB wipe all our OA during key collection has proved to be an excellent and prudent move.

Interestingly, news travels fast and she was introduced to a job where she gets to work with a previous manager whom she enjoys working with. Since there is no harm trying, we both agreed that she should give it a shot and asked for a huge increment. lol.

CZM managed to get into the final round of interview and is currently torn between taking a break from work, doing the once in a lifetime RTW travel or going back to work... My opinion is if the compensation isn't sufficient/ideal, it will be an easy decision. Otherwise, we can always postpone the RTW and do it a few years down the road with/without kids. CZM just can't help worrying...

What do you all think? Were you once in a similar situation, made a decision which you regretted? Is it really impossible to travel once you have kids? Appreciate if you can take some time off to leave your comments for CZM!

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  1. Few reasons why it’s hard (almost impossible) to travel with kids. Sanitation - how clean is it for kid? You don’t want them to fall sick. Food - for kids less than 1-2 years, they are usually on a more bland diet. No salt, sugar etc. That is hard. Activities - you can’t do a lot of things with kids. Climb mountains? Hiking? Naps - kids do need their naps. Sure some are flexible enough but most kids need their regular naps until 5 years old. Motion sickness - some kids don’t take to flying car rides train rides too well. Beware puking babies. boredom - what adults likes are a far cry from what children like.

    So... my personal opinion is. Nope, not travelling with kids.

    1. Hi gagmewithaspoon,

      I know right! Let's see how it goes, if there is no offer then our decision will be easy :)

  2. Its not impossible to travel with kids, I have 4 kids. But the travel expenses can get really high, plus when you have kids, you probably enroll them into different activities. They usually don't stop during the June / December holidays. Better to have more fun first.

    1. Hi XE,

      I see. That's very true. We are not planning to have that many kids, hopefully it will be more manageable if we choose to travel with kids. Haha.

  3. I love to travel with my kid. We start traveling together since she turned one year old. We mostly travel to kids friendly countries like Australia, Taiwan....We do our homework to ensure she is properly entertained, have sufficient naps and sleeps, balanced diet with not too salty food. A lot of people thinks that travel with kids is waste of money as the kids don't remember much about the trip and parents are exhausted from taking care of the kids during the trip. But for us these are invaluable memories that we watch how our kid grows during the trips. By the way, my girl is not an easy baby. She throw tantrum during the flight and refuse to eat. We have many issues with her during the trips as well. As parents, we learn together with her.

    1. Hi June,

      Yeah. I told CZM about this and I think travelling with kids can be a totally different kind of experience/fun too but of course there is what gagmewithaspoon pointed out - Sanitation and kid falling sick...

      I am glad that to hear from someone that has done it and is enjoying it :)

  4. It will be great to take a break and use the time to travel! Either way, hope it works out well in the end :)

    Would like to ask if it is possible to share a template of how you did the cash flow exercise? No worries if you can't!

    1. Hi Markesavan,

      I spent about 5-10 minutes to make this template - http://bit.ly/CashflowExercise

      Hope you find it useful :)