Sunday, 21 June 2015

Post Financial Independence, What to Do? – Real Life Examples!

Within the financial blogosphere, most of us are striving to achieve Financial Independence (FI). For those who have not reach FI and are still slogging as employees now (me included), I will like to share in my following article, few real life examples of post FI people.

In my working life, I am fortunate and thankful that I have the opportunity of working in 3 companies directly working under 6 Bosses who attained FI after earning enough money. Below I describes their journeys. 

Maybe it can provide some guidance of what to do for your very own post FI! 



Do note that the ages depicted below, is the age where they attained their FI.

Owners of Company X:

-        Mr. P (Mid 40s, Aussie SPR, Single)
-        Mr. S (Late 40s, S’porean Aust PR, family with kids)

Company was founded for ~15 years before Mr. P sold his entire stake to Mr. S. The company is a small set up with just a few-man-show Consultancy business focusing in marine, construction and semi-conductor industry. While the company is not generating ten of millions, it is extremely professional, well run and most importantly, very profitable that can withstand the shocks of crisis in 1997, 2003 and 2008.

Post FI - Mr. P
Upon completing building his own designed boat, Mr. P moved to Bali or Thailand. Mr. P is enjoying his time now, living in his boat and by the sea, while still providing marine consultancy to his few major clients. Life couldn’t be better for him.

Passion in Boat, Sun, Sand & Sea!

Post FI - Mr. S
Few years after acquiring Mr. P’s stake, Mr. S migrated to Australia with his family. The relocation was mainly because of Mr. S children’s education. He does not want his children to put up with SG’s demanding and stressful education curriculum, although his children were top students here. Today, Mr. S still managed the SG business with support of one long time ex-colleague. Mr. S will spend 2 weeks each in SG and Aust monthly. Coming back to SG is full time work plus some catching up with parents and friends. The other half of the time in Aust is quality time with family and work online if necessary.

Devotion to Quality Family Time and Kid’s Education!

Owners of Company Y:

-        Mr. Y (Mid 50s, SG citizen, family with kids)
-        Mr. C (Early 50s, SPR, family with kids)

Mr. Y founded the Offshore and Marine Company more than 30 yrs. Revenue was tens of millions but cyclical and not so profitable until the Oil and Gas heydays in the mid 2000s.  During the same period, Mr. C with a great foresight invested and become a partner to Mr. Y as a smaller shareholder. Before that, Mr. C was working as a full time corporate MD and part time investor for more than 20 yrs. Later Mr. C orchestrated a sale to a MNC, which led to both owners pocketed in excess of S$100 millions combined.

Post FI – Mr. Y
Mr. Y is filthy rich now. Nowadays, he devotes his time to “God” whom he felt he owed his success to. His entire focus is church and missionary work, not limited to SG but around the world. Mr. Y also participates in part-time investing with major shareholdings in companies he found interesting.

Devotion to Religion!

Post FI - Mr. C
Mr. C is the clever one. He invested into Mr. Y company, and within a short space of few years, reaped more than 10 times his investments. Even after being extremely rich, he does not really have anything he can devote all his work time to. Henceforth, Mr. C is still working as full time employee in the MNC he sold the shares to. I was by him that he needed something to do, and do not want to be detached from the industry. Beside from full time job, he had multiple investments in properties and other companies as major shareholder.

Still Working as an Employee!

Owners of Company Z:

-        Mr. R (Mid 40s, European, family with kids)
-        Mr. K (Early 50s, European, married with no kid)

Both Mr. R and K are not the founders of Company Z. They were employees for this hundred-year-old company with a reputable brand. They became owners of Company when they performed a management buyout with support of private equity and some bank loans. Slightly more than 10 yrs later, they sold their entire stake and pocketed tens of millions euros each.

Post FI - Mr. R
Mr. R sits on the board of various companies. In the main, he started an investment company that focused in helping young entrepreneurs for their startup. He was already very active in schools and universities educating students about entrepreneurism before the sale of his company. Mr. R also travels around the world with his family, enjoying good food (his hobby).

Devotion to Helping Young Entrepreneurs!

Post FI - Mr. K
After pocketed the same amount as Mr. R in the sale of the company, Mr. K continues to work in the company today, albeit seen with less zest and motivation. Mr. K is a simple guy and does not have big ambition outside work. In fact, he was not very supportive in the entire sale of the company, which was more actively led by his partner Mr. R. In his leisure, Mr. K spends time with his wife holidaying and playing golf.

Still Working as an Employee!

Rolf’s Summary

So there you have it. 3 companies I worked for before and 6 bosses attaining FI, but two (Mr. C and K) are still working as employee. Both of them are filthy rich employees in their late 50s and early 60s of age today. They definitely could just stop working and enjoy life each day!

Why aren’t they doing that?

I am still in touch with both of them and they still behave like professional employees and will still succumb to the nonsense from Corporate Executives (poorer than them). No insubordination, just professionalism and busy adhering to deadlines submitting reports!

Frankly, while I respect Mr. C or Mr. K working attitude after FI, I do not want to be like them!

This is why it is so important to:

-        Know Your True Self (before FI)
-        Find Your True Love (before FI)
-        Devote To Your True Love (after FI)

And True Love must be a BALANCE between WORK and LIFE AMBITION.

So far, I have not come across successful people in their post FI days that devoted more time to leisure than work for a sustained period of time!


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11 comments:

  1. Rolf,

    We like to look at far away places and use hypothetical examples when all we have to do is look around us ;)

    I still remember the scintillating talks with founders of companies during my supplier visits:

    1) Why some of them are still doing what they do in their 70s... Their children have taken over the reins but they are like lao lee, still entertaining business visitors and asking lots of questions on world trends ;)

    2) Why some of them have sold the business they've built up to listed entities while they remain as management. Makes me think twice about buy and hold... Interesting hor?


    I guess we were the lucky ones.

    Not everyone have direct access to top shepherds and land owners. Or have the gumption to ask them out to dinners ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi SMOL,

      You are right! Easier relating to real life examples near me. These examples are so vivid than those from books!

      Like what you mentioned about oldies still at the helm of it, I also know many of these veterans who sold their business for big fortunes! 1-2 years later, "backsides" start to feel itchy and began another business again in the same industry! Yes many of them re-started after 70 years of age!

      To be fair, I concur that we were the lucky ones to be exposed to top shepherds and land owners and have the exposures!

      Nonetheless, the biggest problem is not lacking exposures/experiences of this world. I felt that by reading widely, be open and think profusely profound, you can still receive good exposures and experiences! Equally powerful!!!

      The biggest problem in my opinion is the lack of exposures/experiences, yet refusal to accept, and then start building enclosures to encapsulate their our own thinking!




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  2. One word after FI: Option.

    Before FI, we work for a living.

    That why we need to reach FI asap to exercise this option. No?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi CW,

      I totally agree!

      Accelerating earnings to exercise this option ASAP is very important! Or even to hang the option by bedside makes us feels good!

      But depends on age and the nature of work (must not be stagnant or repetitive), sometimes work do provides exposures and experiences for us to have more wisdom in exercising the option when time is riped!

      For a 35 year old average employee with average exposures in life, I think they might not be all ready to exercise this option!

      Also it is better to know early what "lies beneath this option" correctly before FI, than to know it when you are reaching there!

      Agree?

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  3. Good sharing!

    It's interesting to see pple like that, and it's something that my job will not allow me to see :) But I do have a few friends who had reached FI around 40-50s. All of them are doing volunteer work and some are tutors. Those who are tutors teach very few students per week (something like 2-3) and leave the rest of the time to travel and volunteer. I think my life post retirement will be something like that, though I'm quite sure I'll take in more students haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi LP,

      I do not mind having a post retirement life as a part time tutor, travel and volunteer. That is pretty ideal for me as well, since I love all 3 activities.


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  4. Hi Rolf

    The much needed call option after FI ;)

    Like your summary:

    - Know Your True Self (before FI)
    - Find Your True Love (before FI)
    - Devote To Your True Love (after FI)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi B,

      Thanks for the compliments.

      Looking at your blog and analysing skills, it keeps me wonder that you somehow already know your true love and what you want to do. Isn't it pretty obvious!

      Perhaps somehow your recent post FI time-table is not really a true reflection of your true post FI schedules later in your life!



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  5. I firmly believe it's easier for people to obtain FI if they're able to generate money with things they like to do.
    Once your hobby turns into work it's less difficult to see opportunities and make a living out of it.

    That's why allot of people who already obtained FI still keep on working and doing the things they like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jesse,

      Your comments is absolutely true. I totally agree. But sometimes it's an irony, if it is so simple why are majority of the population not adhering to this simple principle. Why are most people in this world not use their hobby to earn a living?

      Maybe it's not so easy to find a hobby that generates income! Or maybe it is not so easy to find even a hobby that you can continue like for many years. Maybe it's even not so easy to know yourself to know what exactly you like.

      :-)

      Delete
    2. I can't catch enough fish to eat. How to make a living from fishing? Like trading for a living. No easy. :-(

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