Saturday 29 April 2023

Sunbird on my laundry?


Thanks to the eBird website that I stumbled onto while writing my Dawson birdwatching post, I am guessing this little bird that flew onto my laundry is an Olive-backed Sunbird?

It looks like a fledgling. So I can't be sure.

I was showering in the evening at around 7 pm when I heard a series of loud and sharp chirpings.

I thought there must be a bird on the ari-con ledge or something.

As I went to my laundry yard, this little Sunbird (can fit on your palm) was resting on my laundry along the horizontal laundry bars.

It looked sleepy and tired. I left it alone after taking the pictures with my mobile.

You know what?

It slept the whole night there.

Only flew away in the morning when I checked on it around 6.30 am while making coffee.

It brought a smile to my day,

Little pleasures of life!

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Retirement Income Model - End Game Walking Down The Mountain Strategy


In gacha gaming, there're early-game, mid-game, and late-game strategies.

Often, newbies to a gacha game get themselves all tangled up when they watch late-game players play and try to copy or replicate their play styles.

That's how some get burned-out or discouraged and left the game after a few months.

Similarly, when it comes to FIRE or retirement planning, there's walking up the mountain and walking down the mountain strats.

Before I begin, I would like to remind everyone words are very powerful as they do affect our thinking.

Be an open umbrella

Noticed I removed the Dividend from Dividend Income Model?

Dividends locked us parochially into equities only. 

As some may have already discovered, once we just use a broad and grey definition like Income, we have a lot more options as in interests from fixed deposits, bonds, CPF; etc.

Then there's also income from rentals. Don't just think and limit yourself to properties. Anything you owned that you can "rent" to others also can!  (Illegal money lending is a crime OK! So don't get carried away...)

How about private annuities to complement CPF Life for those who want to pump in more beyond the CPF Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) limits? 

We can also continue working beyond retirement (freelance, part-time, ad-hoc); that's Retirement Income too. No? 

Passive my foot!

Long time visitors to this watering hole know how I feel about passive.

Well, no one stopping you if you really believed no need do anything and money will drop from the sky to you.

Maybe you're best friend forever with your God/Gods? Or Luck is your superpower!?

Hence there will be no Passive in front of Retirement Income Model for me too.

Walking Up The Mountain

I noticed some youths have a goal to have $100K by age 30.

Let's use that as Index 100.

If you wish to FIRE at age 35 or 45, do you think an Investing/Retirement Income Strategy would help you get there? Or in gacha gaming, is that a meta strat?

OK, you enjoy your day job and not into early retirement and all that jazz; you just want financial independence when you retire.

If you just aiming for 1M65, that's probably doable. But if you want 4M65, would an Income Strategy help you now?

It won't take you long after doing the math that an Investment Income Strategy works better when you're doing splendidly in your day job; or you have your own business that's growing exponentially. 

That's where the major compounding comes from - it's the annual cash injections into your Investment Income Portfolio!!!

Walking Down The Mountain

Once we have got our hands on the whatever amount that's "enough" for you, it's a lot easier to switch to the Retirement Income Model.

You think why I wrote Look at Goldfish instead of Modelling them?

If you bother to look under the hoot and at actual Goldfishes, the Retirement Income Model is not how most walked up the mountain in the first place.

Most got there through properties.

How many suck at their day jobs? 

A well-paying job means more cash injections annually for the win! 

Save More can oredi!

How many can show 10 baggers like our fisherman CW? 

If day job sucks, must make up for it at investing/trading! 

Earn More. Period.

P.S.  After 10 years of journey, we are starting to see and read former youths starting to doubt their Investment/Retirement Income vehicles...

It's not surprising; it's science.

Same strategy, but it's different when you're walking up against gravity; versus when you're walking down with gravity now on your side. Wink.

Sunday 23 April 2023

How to ensure your money never runs out in retirement?


Die early.

FIRE at 35, go sell salted eggs before age 37.

Retire "early" at 55, bye bye after 58.

Forced to quit and rot at home after hitting 70, up lorry age 71.

Remember when our official retirement age was at 55?

That's because that time most retirees meet their makers in their late 60s or early 70s.

That meant their retirement nest eggs just have to last them for 15 years? 20 years tops!

Now what's the actuarial age given by big daddy on when they "expect" us to live to? 

Around 85 right?

Some have probably figured out why big daddy switched to CPF Life at this point. Wink.

The old Retirement Sum Scheme (RSS) is like planning our retirements using the Withdrawal Rate model - or what I prefer to call killing our Golden Goose slowly though a thousand cuts.

Can you spot the biggest fly in the ointment for this solution?

So when you gonna die?

Die early no problem; live long long like Dr Mahatir could be problem!!!

Big daddy's solution is to "socialise" retirement - take the bricks from East wall to patch the holes at the West wall.

You can do that too!

If you're a couple on the 1M65 path, the minimum PC requirement sums may not last the both of you till your 90s...

But if one of you goes in your late 60s or early 70s...

What? Don't look at me! 

You should pay more attention to your partner if he/she looks at you funny...


The alternatives?

Work beyond your 70s and never retire. I don't see anything wrong or sad with it if you're doing what you love.

Or just see the 1M65 for what it is - a bait and switch routine. 

Nobody makes money off 1M65, but if its 4M65... kaching!

Better you pivot and capitulate on your own to chase the recommended PC requirement sums in your youth than to do so in your 60s!

Or maybe we don't exercise; don't eat healthy; do our best to wear and tear our bodies through wine, women, and song?

Yup, don't have to worry money not enough during retirement if we sayonara in our 60s!!!

Grasshoppers and crickets unite!

Sarcasm aside, if you can spot bad advice masquerading as "in your best interest advice", you'll be OK.

You're not bei kambing anymore. Wink.

Thursday 20 April 2023

Look at Goldfish instead of Modelling them?

I often shared this Goldfish story about this Professor who asked his students how they would go about learning more about Goldfishes?

If you never heard this story before, try it yourself. (Don't peek below)


The Professor's students all gave various "standard" answers like go library and research published articles or books on Goldfishes.

Or watch YouTube videos and documentaries on Goldfishes.

Then the Professor reached down and lifted up a bowl of gold fishes and plonked it on top of the podium.

"How many of you bothered to look at the actual Goldfishes?" the Professor asked.


This is not new for those familiar with our 5,000 years of Chinese wisdom.

Remember the story of the man who don't trust his own feet when buying shoes? 

He already at the shoe shop, but realised he left the measurements of his feet back at his home. 

He hurried back to retrieve them.... Huh???


I see lots of examples in our community.

Do you?

Talk like maciam got dragons and phoenixes about Goldfishes, but have they actually looked at a live Goldfish before?

Let's take this topic on how to be financially secure during retirement?

Have you interviewed and listened to actual retirees? 

Ideally not freshly retired for 1-2 years, but those who have been retired for more than 10 years and above. The longer the better!

No need to look far. Have you talked to your grandparents or grand uncles/aunties how they survived their retirements?

Senior citizen neighbours?

Retired elders in your church, temple, mosque?

There's this Buddhist story about a distraught mother who lost her young child and was so angry and upset that she confronted her Abbot.

Instead of "wah kali gong" or giving sermons, the Abbot asked the mother to knock on 100 households to find how many families have never lost a family member.

After knocking at tens of households, the distraught mother soon discovered the "truth" on her own. 

Ownself cured her ownself.


Just saying.

Monday 17 April 2023

Ah! Its Grey-rumped TreeSwift Fledgling at Skyville@Dawson


Birders flock to Margaret Drive car park to photograph cute Grey-rumped treeswift fledgling.

No wonder I can't spot anything the last time.

Mentally, I was trying to locate a traditionally bowl-shaped bird nest made of twigs or straws...


Now I know why I've missed quite a few opportunities in my life! 

I had pre-conceived notions of what I expect or assumed opportunities "should" look like....

And opportunities were right in front of me all along!!!

I just didn't have an open mind to recognise them... (Please don't let it be cryptos!)

I didn't know treeswifts let their young ones live their lives so on a knife's edge???


What nest???

Not afraid a gust of wind or a thunderstorm will just knock the fledgling from its perch?

Then again, if the fledgling survives to adulthood, it would be better prepared compared to those other fledglings that have been pampered or coddled all their lives... 

Snowflakes and strawberries anyone?

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Aren't You Glad You No Longer In School Today?


Remember streaming?

Now no streaming.

Full subject-based banding anyone?

From "precision" in PSLE school results to reducing fine differentiation in students' examination results at a young age.

From credentials and paper qualifications to skills and competencies?

Have you noticed it's moving in the direction of grey?

The muddier the better?

Look, big daddy is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) employer of their own "creations".

It got a front row seat in receiving immediate crash got sound feedback whether we Singaporean employees can make it or can't make it...

Mind you, our Singapore education system is highly respected worldwide. Our students often come out on top globally in Math and Science.

Hence this post is not a knock on big daddy; in fact its complimentary. Wink.

If you are tertiary educated in your 40s or 50s, and feeling very stressed with the constant changes and competition globally (using FIRE to escape), you may want to take the time to understand why big daddy spending some much time and resources making all these education reforms over the years?

Why the emphasis by big daddy today is not the first 15 years of our youths' formal educational years, but the last 50 years of their working lives? (Hint to youths - retirement age 70 is coming for you)

Perhaps it's to prepare our children so they don't become like us?

Very easy to tell whether our youths of tomorrow will become better prepared than us old fogeys.

I'll be very surprised if this FIRE thingy will be still a thing 10-20 years later.

Who will pay up to be told how to trade/invest when youths of tomorrow can think for themselves and get themselves educated on their own? 

Isn't that having the joy of learning and continuous education all about?

And why FIRE when we are happy doing the things we love?

Financial snake oils, you are on borrowed time. 

But no worries, you just have to relocate to countries where the people there are mostly bei kambings that love to be told what to do. 

Why I say this post is complimentary to big daddy?

Can you imagine how hard and difficult it would be to govern and rule over cats of the future???

But the good thing is that when citizens can think for themselves, we would more likely have the common sense to be like the Swiss who voted against Unconditional Basic Income in June 2016.

Can you trust the majority of Singaporeans saying no to "free" money today? 

Some would probably declare they have reached LEAN FIRE if the Universal Basic Income is similar to CPF Life as in $1,000 plus per month?

Take the money and "retire" to Bali or Phuket on the cheap?


Sunday 9 April 2023

Fare Thee Well, Old Friend


One of the two little dots in the Tao symbol has move on...

For years, we have been poking and bantering with each other. 

All in good fun as it didn't take long for the two of us to figure out we are actually two opposing sides of the same coin!

In our community - where most "yalor, yalor" out of politeness, or to insulate themselves in the echo chamber of reinforcing beliefs - you are the rare voice of rebuttals!

I thank you for your sense of humour, and tolerance to suffer the slings and arrows of my "no big, no small" pokes.

Blogging would not be the same without you...

See you in the stars! CW the fisherman!

And unspoken things.

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Skyville@Dawson Bird Watching


This morning, while walking back after buying breakfat at Magaret Drive Hawker Centre, I spotted a group of photographers around Skyville@Dawson.

Talk about "powderful" lenses... Some are humongous! So big! 

I can empathise with the man in front in the grey shirt, "Shit! My one smaller than others..."

Star gazers? 

No. It's broad day light. What are they looking at???

I walked in closer with my Xiaomi mobile to have a better look.

Nope. Couldn't see a thing. I must be blind. Then again, there's only so much we can do with a mobile digital zoom...

Then I realised they may think I'm trolling them with my mobile, worn-out T-shirt, slippers, and most damning of all, my "dabao" breakfast for mom in the other hand...

So I nonchalantly backed-off into the back pretending nothing happening. No eye contact, no eye contact.

After going home, I goggled and found this website eBird where I found Skyville and Alexandra Park Connector are known sites for bird spotting in Singapore.

I not into bird watching, but I'm into people watching. Wink.

P.S.   Me with my mobile is a bit like when we were bei kambings starting out in trading/investing, isn't it?

Ah! Those were innocent days indeed!

That's until we discovered we were competing with other craftsmen with their monster lenses!!!


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