One of the things that makes me skeptical when reading someone who writes about early retirement themes like this is because I see myself as far from enough like following comments :
- How to talk about early retirement, if it’s hard just to meet daily needs
- How to talk about early retirement, if I’m not even working yet
- How to talk about stock investments, there are many stories about people committing suicide because they lost money in stocks
- In my opinion, the above is only good for talking to medicine sellers or people prospecting for MLM, because the reality is not like that
So the tendency is to reject, without trying to understand and delve into the meaning and purpose.
If I refer to my personal experience, it is undoubtedly challenging to talk about broader aspects when people are still concerning basic needs. They could not think for the future because their focus is elementary requirements. But here is the difference. The difference is even though we are still trying to meet basic needs, there is no prohibition in thinking about future dreams. Don’t stop thinking and spend time complaining about our shortcomings and fate.
When my salary was spent entirely to meet my family’s needs, I still used my thoughts to escape that situation. I still read a lot of books to broaden my horizons. I read books at the library because I couldn’t afford to buy new books. I chose second-hand books in front of Ramayana Bekasi. I read articles on the internet. The accumulated insights can give me many alternatives to get out of difficulty.
I am trying to develop my capabilities. I read literature and strengthened my skills and education. This opens the opportunity to earn additional income from teaching training or providing computer-related services. I allocate part of the income to increase the budget for household needs. The rest of my income is re-invested in the form of knowledge and productive assets. The increasing income gives me space to breathe more easily and think more calmly.
I take courses to have better skills and understanding. I buy a more robust computer to make it easier to teach. I started buying new books and ebooks to keep up with technological developments.
I replicate this mechanism until I can increase the allocation of money for the education of Zeze Vavai and Vivian and my family’s future without taking the budget from my salary.
I read many books, articles, and writings on finance. I read about mutual funds. About stock investments. About peer-to-peer lending. About the pros and cons of each mechanism. About its basic legal framework in Islam. I learn all aspects in detail and not only follow what others say without knowing the ins and outs.
Gradually, I could set aside some financial allocation for investment purposes. I start with a small amount of cash as a learning phase for investments that I still need to learn. I add random income as an investment, such as Google Adsense, ads on the blog, and from my published books. Even if I lose, at least my mind can say, “Yaaaah, easy come, easy go…”. It’s not showy because the mentality is formed based on the thought that the money is not from the primary income and any losses that may occur are learning costs.
After overcoming the basic need, the following process is gradually choosing productive assets and calculating the time it will take to reach the FIRE asset level.