Letter to my future self in 7years, 153 days & counting..
Please endure the pain of traineeship in the way you prevailed from the hardships of your soldiering days. In retrospect, even though it is brutal, never regret it because you are in the middle of something that is exciting and excruciating in equal measure.
The transformation to a second career of a different form and feel from civil service is never easy, but it is no different from the one that you had so single-mindedness passion as a military rookie.
“Leaders to be followers and followers to lead”
Neither do you wish you had switched career earlier because it had meaning to be leaders to be followers and followers to lead, but would have wished that everyone were taught at the onset that there is something called Peter’s principle; hierarchical structure tends to breed people to rise to their "maximum level of incompetence".
Nor do you precipitously think that transiting with no financial baggage and under free will is easy in your prime (well they say 50 is the new 30…). Indeed, it took 3 decades, parental deaths, and daughter’s graduation to make you confront something that is so apparent back when you were near 43yo.
Inflation compounded by longevity in affluent Singapore magnified the issues for everyone. Your predecessors and you were all wired to think that once work career ended, all should have made enough money or got restless and would stop working altogether. Some made it but most often it is still a rarity, and most would continue the endless rat race.
Your rehash of financial independence and reinvent work in retirement is a stroke of genius. When CPF LIFE was introduced in 2009, you knew that the annuity payouts drawn after 65yo even at ERS would probably not suffice beyond basic living needs.
Working now without the emotional and financial commitments since achieving financial independence makes your work sustainable, enjoyable and you look forward to everyday afresh even thou lethargic with learning new things and breaking new frontiers. Good Luck pal…
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