This stay-at-home dad says raising his children is his best investment

This is an interesting article as it hits quite close to my heart. For readers who have been reading about my FIRE journey starting from this post, I decided to activate my FIRE in order to spend more time with the kids. However, I am open to whatever suitable career path that may open up that will allow me to continue to work and not travel so often. Being FIRE doesnt mean you stop working completely. You can pursue your passion. Or as what another reader put it, the RE can mean Recreational Employment. In the end, I turned to being a realtor, somewhat of an interest that I have always wanted to do but didnt have the guts to quit having a fixed income monthly. Well, here I am now. a fully qualified realtor. I am still shocked by the fact that I managed to pass both exams in 1 go with limited amount of study time. 

Generally I agreed with what Mr. Cliff Tam said in the article except for this part.  I dont know if this is added to give it a dramatic effect or what? But I completely disagree with it. LOL. There are so many times that I went out alone with my kids, and nobody ever stared at me? In fact, I actually got praises from a few aunties saying that it's amazing that guys nowadays can handle kids alone, because guys from the previous generation totally relinquished the parenting responsibility to the wife. So nope, not a zoo exhibit for sure. Perhaps Cliff had misunderstood those envious stares as judgmental stares. The females may actually be thinking, how i wish my husband can do the same. 

"“Singapore’s culture was a challenge. I told my wife that I sometimes felt like a zoo exhibit when I went out," Tam, a former pastor said. He added people stared at him "as if he was from Mars" with one daughter in a carrier and another in his arm, and on top of that he was carrying groceries."

Coincidentally he also mentioned about feeling lost after he stopped working because work is such a strong identity to him. Similar to 1 of the readers of my previous post. The one that had a little bit of discussion on Telegram. Again, nothing wrong with that mentality. Different people, different strokes. However, he kinda had an epiphany about it and realised he actually love being a SAHD.  Good on him. 

This is also an interesting comment from Cliff.

"The problem I have is when parents earn more than enough to take care of the home yet continue to work long hours at the expense of their kids’ development. How does this impact children? Every child is different but for many of these young adults I counselled, many of them struggle with mental illnesses contributed by absent parental figures in their early lives."

Similar to what I mentioned previously. How much money do you need to retire? To spend more time with the kids? If 1 million is not enough, how about 2 million? How about 3 million? We need to have some thoughts about it so that we will not be caught in the rat race forever. Of coz, if you are in a job that gives you sensible work life balance, then that's brilliant. Unfortunately not many people are so lucky. Most of the time it will be, more money = more time spent on work. 

What are your thoughts? How much is enough for you to finally say ok, that's it for me. Enough work!


  1. so how much money is enough? 1 million? 2 million or 3 million?

  2. Hi there, I have been following your blog. Thanks for sharing your journey. For myself, I am in the sandwiched generation with two young boys and full set of parents (and parents-in-law). Parents don't have insurance and are into their 70s.

    I do think of whether I can do like you often but there is a fear that money for medical will be needed in future. There is always this feeling of "maybe just keep grinding because more may be needed unexpectedly", be it kids' unforeseen needs, future university needs etc. I roughly gauge that I might be able to take a complete break from rat life if I can accumulate between 1.5 to 1.8 mil (not counting the HDB flat and FRS in CPF) and at about 50 years old. Hopefully, I can have 80% of these in 4-5% returns. Not sure if that can work. The amount I am targeting too is to provide a small sum of cash gifts to my sons in future (say out of the 1.5 mil, probably keep 500k to be divided by the two boys if needed for their needs).

    As for now, still have to keep grinding...

    1. HI there. In deed, if there are many dependents, it is sure going to be extremely stressful. If I am in your position, I will most likely not be doing what I am doing now. To say the truth, I already stopped thinking about what i can provide to my kids in terms of generational wealth. I know they are already at a much better position than what I had from my parents in terms of material stuff. I do not know your financial status, but sometimes, it's not all about the kids. We have to take care of ourselves first before we can take care of them.

      The most important thing is the kids have to grow up healthy and happy!

  3. I hope 500k is enough for FI number... At the same time, I am glad that the current correction/crash/bear/recession, whatever it is called, is happening now... So that when recovery comes, my portfolio will be in a better position and hopefully by then, I can BFIRE. But I must say, u have been doing great 👍!

    1. You are already there now isnt it? 500k! I am actually quite envious with your malaysia retirement plan.

  4. I think this episode is great.
    Give it a listen. Let me know your thoughts.

    1. Hi there! I actually saw your post with your name, not sure why u removed it and leave the anonymous one instead. I finished the podcast. My first time listening to podcast actually. Anyway, this is the first time I actually go read about what is quiet quitting. I always thought quiet quitting = chao keng in our local context. Turns out, the definition is "Quiet quitting is an application of work-to-rule, in which employees work within defined work hours and engage solely in activities within those hours. Despite the name, the philosophy of quiet quitting is not necessarily connected to quitting a job outright, but rather doing precisely what the job requires."

      If the definition is correct, then I dont really agree with the podcast, but it's fine because everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. I feel that the podcaster seems to be talking through the lens of an employer and not as an employee in general. If you know what I mean. As an employer, of coz you strive to maximise your revenue, which is what podcaster mentioned as well.

      These are my thoughts.

      1. I am against people who chao keng but i find that there is nothing wrong to quiet quit base on the definition. Which means, people are still doing their job. Where I came from, problems come when people dont do their job. If everyone is working based on their JD, nobody will need to work 110%. Anyway, that's my experience. We need to understand that everyone is different. People have other commitment outside of work. Work to live, live to work. Up to everyone to choose. Employees are paid for their 8 hrs of work. They are not obliged to do more if they have done their job. Most of the time, what happens is, the efficient worker finished his/her task , but end up having to take up additional work because of someone who is chaokeng/not competent. Then why dont the boss sack the dead weight and pass the money to the efficient worker? Ok, that's being a little extreme, but hope you know what im trying to say.

      2. I do agree with the podcaster that people's belief tends to change when something change in their life.

      3. I also find it difficult to agree with podcaster's definition of work life balance. He seems to have tie it with what can the company provide to make the office very cool, like sleeping pod, or a free restaruant and etc. These are benefits. It's not work life balance. And the thing about not requiring employer to teach him how to live his life. I seriously dont think work life balance is about that. It's about having time to do your own things outside of work. For example, a boss who calls you at 8pm, 10pm every other night, including weekends and tell u about some urgent job that requires to be completed. If it's the nature of the job, then nothing wrong with it since u go into the job eyes open, but if it's because of the boss, then something is very wrong. Nature of the job like for example having to cover different time zones. Being at +8hrs sucks because you end up having to accomodate to Europe or America. Instead of working 8hrs, u end up working 12 hrs because you have a conf call at 10pm at night. However, people tend to bring work life balance up in a wrong way. Alot seem to think that having a little bit of stress at work is killing their work life balance. In this aspect, it is not healthy. Employers pay you money to work, if it's so easily done, then pay you for what? I think my previous job has alot of work life balance. However, the nature of the job requires me to fly often. In the end I quit. It's my own issue that i have to quit. Not the boss/company/colleagues.

    2. Actually I wanted to delete the query under Anonymous. Forgot to key in my user name apenquotes then.

      Agree with most of your points.
      There is this point in the podcast he mentioned about the boss (esp in finance or tech) knowing that the employees past certain age will hit million dollar net worth... in a bid to retain workers created the notion of work life balance. Ppl priorities changed...
      We have the examples of ex bankers becoming Hawker, entrepreneurs etc.
      Kind of remind me of u hahaha..

    3. haha, i did think of myself as well! Haha but i wouldnt put myself in the same league as those high flyers.

  5. Ill have a listen! Thanks! Will let u know when I am done.


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