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Saturday, 7 July 2012

笑傲江湖之滄海一聲笑 - Fear of Retirement





 《滄海一聲笑》
作詞:黃霑 作曲:黃霑 

滄海一聲笑 滔滔兩岸潮
浮沉隨浪只記今朝
蒼天笑 紛紛世上潮
誰負誰勝出天知曉

江山笑 煙雨遙
濤浪濤盡紅塵俗事知多少
清風笑 竟惹寂寥
豪情還賸了一襟晚照

蒼生笑 不再寂寥
豪情仍在痴痴笑笑

~~


I remember when I first saw this scene and heard this song in the cinema, I was blown away.

The movie is the Mandarin version; but I prefer the original Cantonese version. Thank goodness for DVDs! 

It left a very strong imprint and I guess it has stuck with me till today. 

This song came to mind after bantering with two readers recently.

Six months into my sabbatical from work (退江湖), I have a new appreciation to what the genius song writer 黃霑 meant in his words. 

Life is good. I am happy. 

I don't like the word "retirement". It gives me the impression I would retire to bed and then drop off... 

I'll stick with "sabbatical from work" until I find a better phrase to replace it. 


Fear of retirement 

The superficial "fear" of retirement is perhaps more related to the worry of:  

Do I have enough to maintain my current lifestyle? 

Do I have enough to pay the medical bills? 

Do I have enough this and do I have enough that!


It's like the pugilist who constantly searches and upgrades his kung fu to the next higher level. Always fearing his ranking in the martial arts world will be usurped by another challenger. (Sounds familiar?)

But I suspect there's another deeper fear of retirement…

And it does not matter whether you retire at 35, 50, or 65.

It’s waking up the morning after and discovered you only know how to make money. 

There’s no music, no art, no literature in your heart.

No appreciation of the beauty in our world, no sense of wonder of Mother Nature.

No love for your fellow man, let alone animals! 

At least while we are working, we have the “excuse” we are too busy to consider such silly things.

Perhaps that’s why you don’t hear writers, artists, architects, gardeners, farmers, etc. talk much about retirement or being financially free...


35 comments:

  1. Hi SMOL,
    Most of us working class have to go through life this way financially:
    20+ to 40+ wealth accumulation phase;
    40+ to 60+ wealth accumulation + wealth consolidating phase.
    At 60+ suddenly you find you have no employment income and your wealth just out-flow so fast that whatever IGA's income you have, can not catch up. This is the so called "de-accumulation or distribution phase. This is really scary phase. We only know cash in-flow more than cash out-flow while working then suddenly only cash outflow more than inflow, not working anymore.
    i am still trying to get use to it. But i am also trying very hard (even in my distribution phase) to try to at least balance my cash out-flow with my IGA's cash inflow. If i succeed i will tell you.
    Of course the easiest way is to start living just above the "lowest class". Then why are you accumulating all your life until now, you may ask me? Ha! Ha!
    Here, my wife is smarter than me now. She said after accumulating wealth for a life time, if not now, then when?
    Can you help me to give her an answer?
    i am lost for an answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Temperament,

      Hold you wife's hand and give her a hug. She is indeed wise.

      << Philippians 4:19 >>

      "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."


      As an agnostic pagan, I see myself as part of Nature.

      If the birds, fishes, and animals can survive and fade away when it's their time, I shall do the same.

      Birth, aging, sickness, and death - they are part and parcel of living.

      I choose to focus on "living".

      My life is here and now. It is not a full dress rehearsal for what's next ;)

      Delete
    2. Ha! Ha!
      My friend, you read the bible too. Yes as Christians, we can often stray and forget we just do our part, God will do HIS.
      Actually i have been thinking of leaving at least a legacy behind for my only son if i can. My wife always says, " Our 2 houses are more than enough for him if we can leave behind. i know it's very true." So i relax a bit lol. Spend more than when we were working - Too much free time is the reason.

      Delete
    3. Temperament,

      Chill.

      Just as long we don't have a late-life crisis and fxxx up the end game, we will be fine.

      I know someone whose father in his 60s, flush with CPF money, started chasing mei-mei.

      Divorce wife and left the grown-up children.

      Money, boredom, no life, and too much free time can mess up a person's mind!

      Lucky I more into jie-jie!

      Delete
    4. One of those Ah Peks at Batam Centre?

      Delete
    5. Batam, Hup Chai, Shenzhen - got money can travel!

      But when the money is gone...

      No money; no honey!

      Delete
    6. me, whats the term they use? meaning "free thinker", ya free.

      my girl some time ago told me she feels that working people are modern slaves (seen too much TV drama), man, she is only 19 yo and aiming to go U. ofcos i told her she should try experience working before saying that.

      but in my heart i really envy her, she seem to be one step ahead of me.

      temperament, since you and your wife had completed your working life, for the purpose of accumulating wealth and done it, its too late to turn back the clock, so your wife is correct, why wait, wait until when?

      if you can time your spending every cents up until your last day, you have fulfill your life completely cos it is what you have set out in the beginning.

      but don't go to batam ok haha, unless you are just there playing golf and back the same day.

      Delete
    7. here i recomend this place,

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ_WG3d3GL8

      Delete
    8. Coconut,

      The Gen Y is interesting hor?

      They already have quarter-life crisis at 30!?

      When I walk around Singapore, I see quite a few new concept stores introduced by these young people. Interesting.

      Although most will fail within the first 2 years (like in Trading), I would love to join them if I have a time machine!

      What's the worst that can happen?

      The most is to get back to working for others mah!

      Like you have said, those that have entrepreneurship in their blood will jump right back in once they have saved enough.

      Those that "waste their time" will be once bitten, forever shy...

      Delete
    9. and go there by

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8V1nFCP058

      and not by

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dndAXxqJbc0

      Delete
    10. ofcos you have to bring along your

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAWkntVyoDI

      Delete
    11. sorry i've listening to songs all night haha.

      Delete
    12. Coconut,

      One of my sibling is there now on holiday for 1 week! Lucky @#%##%&!

      What coincidence!!!

      My turn will come. And I will fly solo so I can taste the local food, wine, and ...

      Anyone with a song in his/her heart is cool with me :)

      Delete
    13. na, you can go this one

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c98qdFQF7sw

      don't forget to try

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvuO0BsEEss

      Delete
  2. retirement is a misnomer. i refer the term coined by Allan hull ~ lifestyle freedom

    >> I know someone whose father in his 60s, flush with CPF money,
    >> started chasing mei-mei. Divorce wife and left the grown-up
    >> children.
    that's sad :(
    but it an interesting case to study if you have the full story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. durio,

      I rather not go into details.

      Anyway, giving critique on others is easy; but if I were to meet a Lin Chi Ling look-alike, my "river-mountain" for her!

      I am more a cheerleader of following my heart. What if the right one comes along when I'm with someone else?

      I better focus on my restless heart ;)

      Delete
    2. hahahaha ... so do u mean if you are married with kids and a lin chi ling look-alike come along, you will drop everything and follow what your restless heart desires? ;P

      anyway, it's not about giving critique on others.
      i'll stop here as it's not relevant to the post :)

      Delete
    3. durio,

      Yes, we let sleeping dog lie ;)

      Once upon a time, I wished I had Jessie's girl... (it's a 80s song)

      Delete
    4. and that's when you still a "working class dog" right ;P

      Delete
  3. SMOL,
    i am sharing my new experience of what it is really "out of the rat race" - the so-called distribution phase of one's life. i have to take at least a few months to "accept" my new experience. Though i did not panic i just feel out of sync with financial matters. i just can't imagine to burden anyone financially down the road. i think i am naturally the 3Ks or $Ks type and fiercely independent. What about you? Are you in the distribution phase too? How you handle your new experience? Or are you still in the accumulation & consolidation phase? i suppose being single you don't have more "things" to think about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Temperament,

      I don't like to "lock" myself with labels. I rather be shades of grey :)

      There is a danger (I am always the problem) to say I am in the distribution phase and my mind suddenly zone out opportunities that pops-up!?

      I am doing all 3 phases simultaneous now.

      Accumulation - I am making new super cool cyber friends!

      Consolidation - I am focusing on activities that I love :)

      Distribution - Phasing out bad habits and some people out of my life ;)

      Delete
    2. SMOL,
      Free spirit? You want to create? i understand leow, you want to be everything and nothing at the same time. O. K.

      Delete
    3. my motor(don't know how many already), "do what i do best and let others do what they do best".

      meaning i will not waste my time doing things others do better or best, i'll let them make money on me (like losing money when trading, out of neccessity).

      my wife different, everything also want to try and end up master of no trade.

      smol, you have to think very carefully if you want to be in business, going in is easy, getting out is almost impossible unless you cleaned out.

      Delete
    4. Coconut,

      Temperament can read between, over, under, before, and after the lines.

      You can't read :)

      But I like you just the same.

      Come, I put a flower in your hair. We listen to song.

      Delete
    5. SMOL,
      You know Coconut is right in a way. We have somehow "achieved" what we set out to do in the first place. Now why still worry about it. He is not only "funny at times", he very down to earth. He is smart in his own way. It's time for us to not to think too far. For our time is very limited already. Enjoy. Free your spirits.

      Delete
    6. ya this one to end our day

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXu3_jK4QEM

      Delete
    7. just finish talking to my british friend traders, Mes.

      after 3 years of trading, he still seems to have problems trading but mainly due to his market opinion, have difficulty in turning his position.

      i told him to forget about every other thing, risk management, money management, market direction, everything damn thing except turning his position, be flexible.

      forcusing just on that, without able to turn your position when market call for, there is little or no chance that he will be able to make it as a trader even he got every other thing right.

      2 hours just on that!

      Delete
    8. Coconut,

      I am very impressed with your "turning".

      Last Friday you closed your longs and went net short.

      Perhaps its my 6-18 months time frame... Or perhaps its my trending or momentum mindset...

      I can't switch from bear to bull within a week. And I bet you can do it intra day too!

      Don't worry. I won't blindly copy you. I can't even if I try :)

      Delete
  4. Hi Jared! Your post made me change the title of your blogroll in my list of links to "Life in Sabbatical" from "Life in Early Retirement" LOL!!!

    Perhaps at some point you might do like what I did - come out of the sabbatical and start working again, or you could even be some consultant. Or, since you've developed some good amount of interested readers, perhaps you should earn more passive income by writing a book about your story? Now that you're on sabbatical, you've got time to do that :-)

    You don't sound like a conventional Singaporean - I like! Heheheh! Definition of conventional Singaporean: Work work work work work work...retire...then nothing to do. No man, don't go that route. We're not born into this world to be 100% passive consumers. We gotta create stuff. We gotta do great sh*t. Then and only then do we feel fulfilled.

    You go man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ronian,

      I'm with you :)

      The conventional concept of full-time/part-time, work/retire may not apply to us.

      Imagine if you now doing cartooning full-time. Is that work or sabbatical? Or goofing off to those who don't get? LOL!

      We both are doing what we like. And we should be so lucky!

      OK, back to read my comics to sustain my intellectual nourishment!

      Delete
  5. SMOL

    Sabbatical from work sound great. Sabbatical can be one year, two years or even forever. Maybe I will tell that to anyone who ask me what's my job.

    Life in sabbatical is indeed the best phase of my adult life. I begin to see life in different perspectives and enjoy all the simple things in life. I even took up photography early this year and has been shooting people, buildings and even bugs. I can spend hours alone in the deserted natural parks looking for tiny bugs and time fly past very fast. I find peacefulness in the nature and I really enjoy it.

    We should learn to cherish the present and not worry too much about the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YJ72,

      I believe in the power of words :)

      Sabbatical from work indeed is indeed fluid and flexible.

      We are neither completely out-of-work, nor are we watching paint dry... LOL!

      We may take pictures for amusement today; tomorrow someone may pay us to do it.

      Same activity - but different "labelling". Nothing has changed :)

      Raising my cup to you - yum seng!

      Delete
    2. Smol,
      Exactly like what i think. You are now everything and nothing. You are now anything that is possible. As free as the eagle soar in the sky. As free as the water flowing into the ocean. As free as anything as you can think of. Actually i should be in this state also as i have managed to pull myself out of the real "rat race". i will try my best. Actually i like to do something for the orphanage if i can, because not until the age of 40 than i have a son. i hope i really can do something before i am senile or dementia or maybe penniless. Amen.

      Delete
    3. Temperament,

      I think you will be super happy and super busy once your son gets married and have grandchildren :)

      Enjoy your "freedom" now. Once the little bundles of blessings come, you'll have no time to surf the net and play the market ;)

      Gan Bei!

      Delete
    4. FYI,
      My son still have one more year to finished his study - hopefully than he can be "independent". Then maybe i am "really" free then.
      Cheers!

      Delete

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