Nope, the secretary and the fruits seller are not going out with each other; they are two real life characters who have demonstrated to the rest of us that you need not be a highly educated white-collar executive in order to build up a comfortable retirement nest egg. Neither do you need to strike lottery (although that would help a lot) nor discover some profound financial secrets. All it takes is a hell lot of financial discipline and diligence.
The Secretary is an ex-colleague of Aunty Scroogey’s, she is in her mid-60′s this year. The Secretary has been working as ….well, a secretary in a financial institution throughout her career to date, and is by any accounts, not considered to be a high-paying salaried personnel. Here’s the scoop – The Secretary herself stays in a HDB flat (co-owned with another family member) but owns 2 condominium apartments which forms the basis of her retirement fund — bought without the help of any winning lottery tickets nor inheritance. She is collecting rent on the 2 properties now, but would be selling them some time in the near future. So how did she do it?
While she did not go into details right down to dollars and cents, The Secretary revealed that her financial journey was pretty much what Aunty Scroogey has been preaching all along – spend within your limits, cultivate a firm habit to set aside money for savings/investment every month, and learn more about managing your own investments. Since leaving school almost 50 years ago, The Secretary has diligently set aside a sum of money every month for rainy days. Bonus money was hardly used for anything more than a new rice cooker, or a new washing machine — no fancy handbags nor indulgent botox treatments. Approximately once in about 4-5 years, she would use a generous part of the bonus money for an overseas holiday but it’s not something that she would do every year. The moolah accumulated over the years and the rest is history.
The Fruits Seller is not an acquaintance of Aunty Scroogey’s but the same probably goes for him. He lives in the same neighbourhood as one of the Aunty’s friends (let’s call him Brian) and is rather pally pally with Brian’s grandma. The Fruits Seller is slightly older than The Secretary and owns the shop in which he is selling fruits AS WELL AS the 2 other units on the right. From eons ago until now, The Fruits Seller has been bringing his own lunch to work and doesn’t eat out much. His clothes are bought from the market where he sells fruits, they are not branded but are neat and clean.
Wealth takes time to grow. If you’re in your 20′s or early 30′s and still have not amassed a comfortable amount for your retirement nest egg yet, relax…. that is not quite something to freak at. But if you’re at that age, and still running into credit card debts, have a low savings to monthly salary ratio, have no idea how to start your financial journey, you know it’s high time you need to do something.