I live with my wife who is also retired and a daughter who has started work. On retirement, we have times on our hands. How is it like?
First, we do not have regular incomes in the form of monthly pay cheques. Therefore, we cannot spend freely. We watch the budget and reduce expenditure in every way possible.
- I drive less. We take buses/MRTs to places to reduce transport costs. We avoid taxis.
- We find cheaper food (and good ones) at hawker centres, HDB coffee shops, and food courts. But we treat ourselves when occasions call for.
- I do not go shopping often or even window shopping. I will buy things only when I need them.
- We look out for bargains such as NTUC Fairprice advertisement every Thursday. Why pay more when items may be offered at a discount?
- We borrow books and movie titles from public libraries.
- In the past, I would see my GP quite often since medical was covered by the company. It is less often now and if it is a minor sickness such as cold and flu, we rest and rely on natural healing. We go to pharmacies/medical halls for off-the-shelf remedies.
- My personal grooming is just a simple $13 haircut about once a month. No stylist required.
- I do not drink or smoke and furthermore they are not healthy.
- I do not tailor my pants and shirts. I pick up daily wear from bargains and only when there is a need to replace a well-worn one. Now I understand why my older brothers wore their office wears all these years. They did not throw them away after retirement.
- My “gym” is just an outdoor place where I do Taiji.
Second, we find meaningful activities to keep ourselves occupied.
- We become volunteers at VWO and at Bright Vision Hospital.
- We spend more time in religious activities.
- I read a lot, from fictions to serious stuffs. I write my blog.
- I research on investment products such as stocks and shares. I invest our money and manage the family finances.
- We assist our daughter in her start-up business (a daughter and mom business). I was her accountant.
Lastly, wealth is not just money, though important. Happiness and staying healthy physically and mentally is. If one has the wealth and is not happy, what is the point? We do things that can keep us happy.