Steak and Life

I had dinner with a colleague.

It has been a very long while since my last dinner outside.

This is partly because of Covid.

But mostly, I am somewhat an introvert, usually not keen in meeting people and would love to save the money.

But the dinner was good.

The steak was very nice!

The chat was very nice!

The walk afterwards was particularly nice.

We chatted for a long time, from work to life to investing to future plans.

My colleague was very talkative and he was a very confident man.

So when the topic came to retirement and financial wellbeing, he confidently elaborated his status.

He was in a very good position financially and he saw himself being able to retire with enough money before his planned retirement age.

  • He had a million dollar plus apartment, fully paid
  • He had stock investment with good performance, for which all he needed to do was not touch it until retirement, meaning he would not need to put in more money to it and it would be enough for his retirement.
  • He of course had cash
  • He also would have pension from his government after retirement, which would be enough to cover basic needs

So he was very confident and relaxed.

He would not be looking to make more money. Life style is more important to him. I think he would not be able to understand if I had told him that I was working the job and some extra commitment at the same time, pushing my average daily working hours to 14 hours.

He had some quite expensive toys.

He rented a 5k+ per month apartment here in Singapore.

He paid for the dinner also.

I believe I won’t be worse off when I am his age.

Actually, by rough calculation, even if I just stay put, I believe I will be there.

However, I am not as nearly confident.

I would be seeking to trade my time and lifestyle to an extent for money.

And I can see I would be much more frugal than him in the many years to come.

For what?

I am not entirely sure.

I know we wont starve in Singapore and would have enough to raise the kids and for retirement. Worst case, we can still rely on the government.

And all those frugal lifestyle only saved small money.

One opportunity missed or grasped would just render all that completely pointless.

And maybe that did contribute somehow to the opportunity being missed or grasped.

What is life about after all?

With all these thoughts, reflections and knowledge, I still do not see myself change much in this aspect…

Knowing and doing is oceans apart. I am a living example of that.

Another observation I got was that he was generous.

One of the common colleagues of ours were out of the country and needed his apartment checked.

So he went. Apparently, the key had been passed to him.

I needed to shake all the steak anyway. So I went with him.

We walked and talked along the way.

When we reached the apartment, we were greeted by a lock out of battery.

We could not open the door.

We called the guy overseas, explained the situation and he promised to come back with the battery.

Would I have done it for the guy overseas?

Probably not and probably the guy would not trust me with the keys either.

They knew each other for much longer for sure and they almost always stood together against a common boss.

But that trust and commitment does not come easy.

I also think the culture plays a big part.

None of the local colleagues has relationship of that level with them. And I can imagine I could feel more comfortable doing that for a Chinese guy also.

But I do get a sense of sincerity and content out of it.

  • I am happy with my life
  • I have the spare emotional and physical capacity to help you
  • And I want to help you.

None of this would feel the same way if one is not happy with his life.

And people can feel that.



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Top-tier consultants seeking life purpose and self-realization