About

Background

I’m 33, 34,  35, years old, healthcare professional. This blog documents my journey of becoming financial independence by 35 years old. I had a passion to heal people from a very young age. However, healthcare is just like anything else, it’s a business. In business, there’s also bureaucracy, so after nine years into the profession, I’m ready for a change. I’d like to work part time. I don’t think I can stand the fluctuating hours, and overnight shift as a full-timer. I still have a mortgage and about $55k $50k left from $100k of student loan, in order to sustain the same lifestyle (I live minimally since graduation, saving Warren Buffet, use leverage wisely to build that first million dollars net worth ). I must make up the income from multiple sources to replace my current income. At that point, I will declare independence! Reaching financial independence (FI) allows me to do things beyond medical, more creative work, research, writing, painting, learn new language, travel, and etc. 🙂 The options are unlimited.

Update: April 6th, 2017. I’ve created  The NTH Memorial Scholarship in honor of my Mum and to help students from my high school achieving their dream.

There is a Buddhist story that resonates to me the most about being frugal and financial independence.

“The Monk and The Minister”

Two close boyhood friends grow up and go their separate ways.  One becomes a humble monk, the other a rich and powerful minister to the king.

Years later they meet.  As they catch up, the minister (in his fine clothes) takes pity on the thin, shabby monk.  Seeking to help, he says:

– You know, if you could learn to cater to the king you wouldn’t have to live on rice and beans.

To which the monk replies:

– If you could learn to live on rice and beans you wouldn’t have to cater to the king.

Most all of us fall somewhere between the two.  As for me, it is better to be closer to the monk.

What did I do to get there:

I worked multiple jobs before – paid or non-paid. All of the jobs helped me grow. It also helped me become a better public person.

Paid jobs:

  • I worked at a plantation – my dad gave me 2 coffee trees. I picked the 2 best ones in the field. Took care of them. I was earning about ~ $25.  Which I later used it to buy a bicycle to ride to school. It was the best feeling ever – owning my own vehicle. 🙂
  • I worked as a salesman – sold food at farmer market, I owned my own catering company.
  • I served food at a food court at a college – for 2 summers I was sent to a college for an upward bound program. They paid minimum wage but I saved up $1500 from the job.
  • I worked a cashier at a gift shop – the summer before college, my friend introduced me to the shop owner as she was leaving for a higher paying cashier job.
  • I went an work for grocery store and a couple of hospitals.
  • I taught at a college.
  • I worked as a researcher
  • I owned a couple of companies

Volunteer jobs:

  • Delivered mails, postcard, flowers and water to patients at a local hospital.
  • Fed the homeless and clean up houses with Habitat of Humanity Organization.
  • Worked as stand-up comedian at a nursing home.
  • Taught the Big Brother and Big Sister Club (Kids need to learn to be big brother and big sister when their mom is pregnant with a little one)
  • Did health screening at State Fair and other events.
  • Gave tours and guidance to new college student
  • Tutored math from HS to college
  • Recently, I’ve signed up to coach U10 soccer, but they assigned U12, I took the coaching job anyway. It’s been a load of fun for me.

Goal
I want to diversify my investment as much as possible so I can ride out of inflation, deflation, depression, etc. Dividend stocks, income property, cd, bonds, land, p2p lending, etc. I’ll try to expand my horizon. I also want to invest in my health, my spiritual and family 😛 If you reach financial freedom and no one to share it with is pointless.

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(I’ve reach FI in August 2015 as my passive and semi-passive income has exceeded my work income and some).

30 Comments

  1. You are well on your way to financial freedom Vivianne!

    I have no doubt you will reach your goal in 2 years. I’ll be following your progress on here. : )

  2. Hey Vivianne,

    I love the concept you’ve got going here with the well rounded investor, especially with the relationships / health / mind / spirit balance. I try to take a very similar perspective when it comes to life and investing. Amazing that you are looking at becoming financially independent in only 2 more years! Look forward to seeing you achieve this!

    Cheers,

    Jason

    • Thank you for your encouragement. If money is all that one has, one is very poor and lost. I try not to trade my health for money, then have to use money to pay for healthcare.

      Giving is a part of life – whether it is to support family or stranger, I try to either giving in the form of money and time.

      Family support is important. Studies found, people with active social life lives longer.

      Mind, body, and spirit – whether one is with an organized religion or not, it really important that they have a spiritual leader for guidance. So, one can be steer away from greeds, and lusts. As for me, when I am lucky that my parents provided me with a strong faith, so when I was down and suffering, I have a religion to take refuge. Come back to myself, get a clear direction on who I want to be and how I life my life.

    • Thank you for commenting. I didn’t start off to retire early or even have any inkling about it. In fact I didn’t even know the early retirement movement even existed until last year. I’m still consolidating to gear it up to early retirement.

      I hope you are also well on your way, too.
      Cheers!

  3. Hey there,

    Keep up the god work for the next 2 years. I hope you make it.

    Nice way to visualize diversification. I also like the idea… don’t pick one income source, pick many!

    AMber Tree

    • Yes, absolutely, diversify is key. I’d like to be a bit busy in retirement :). Some people strickly want income efrom stock. But it. Takes $1million I’m stock to get $40k per year. I achieve it now with much less.

  4. Wow you seem very busy, spending your free time thru volunteering, must be a satisfying feeling. We volunteer during Thanksgiving delivering dinners to the elderly, also at my child’s school.

    Congratulations on achieving financial independence, you are almost there, all those hard work are paying off. I will be tagging along your journey.

    Take care!

    • Thanks for commenting! Happy people are giving people. I have a colleague at work, she’s so giving, super generous with her smiles. From day one, she showed me around, saying hi, super friendly. When I’m sick and alone in this town, she’d call me. We’ve become best friend. Only people that are feeling they are “wealthy” enough, those are the ones that would give.

      I wasn’t very happy for awhile, so for a longtime, other than doing my duty. I give very “little”. Now, everything slowly come into places, I like my job a bit more, I run a great rental business, I have more friends, I traveled more to poorer countries, and come back more appreciative. I realize I’m pretty “wealthy”, then I start giving. Either my time or my money, I’d give more each year.

      I’m happy with my coaching job. I yell and scream all the time, but the kids love me. They asked for longer than 1 hour of practice?! I made one little guy co-captain (he was suspended at school), now he knows he’s a leader. He has to be a role model. So, he has to listen to my instruction so he can relay it to his team. He’s trying to make A’s at school so his mom would bring him back this fall.

      Anyhow, I’m enjoy running around, free exercise. I won’t turn down free. I prefer this over going to a gym get on a bike that go nowhere, or a be a rodent on a treadmill, or lift weight that burn my calories for no reason or purpose.

  5. Good luck on your journey. I like that you point out how important it is to have someone to enjoy financial independence with and having good health. I agree and my wife and I are on the same page when it comes to these key points in our lives.

    • Thank you for stopping by. I am grateful for my family. Just the recent trip home, I gained like 3.5 pounds. They haven’t seen me so they feed and feed me. Of course home-made food is awesome. It isn’t just the food, anything I need they’d provide. I was the baby in the family, my job was to study hard. But my sister had to quit school at some point to support my family including me and I’m forever being greatful to her. That was why part of my colorado trip with her, I picked up the tap for most of the excursions and eateries. I always think back to the days where she’d walk in the cold, and her first paycheck was to use the money to buy me an electronic dictionary. It was like $150, a BIG fortune back then, imagine a 19 years old kid who make minimum wage, and all she could think to do was to create the optimum learning opportunity possible. I am more than happy to take her children out to golf, swim, play tennis, teach them different things.

      The person who is rich but doesn’t have or doesn’t know to to share the wealth is the saddest person. I don’t want to be that person. It might look like I’m penny pinching, like when my oldest sister asked me to buy her eyeglasses, I searched and found a 25% coupon, but I found another coupon for 30%, so I got out and do the whole process all over again! some people might get frustrated by it, but hey, if the glasses cost $160, the additional 5% is almost $8. I could use that $8 for something else, stretching my dollars to help other sibling, showing my generosity yet frugal. 🙂

      • That is a great way to pay it forward. You have the right mindset. It’s a great feeling to be able to look back and help those that you helped you along the journey.

    • Thanks. I read the article last night and I thought, “wow, she’s so beautiful and smart! I wish I could be more like her.” I thought about it a little more and I don’t wish to own 30 properties, haha. 🙂

      After running 7 units trying to get them all rented, running around like a lunatic when something is broken down with my 2 other “jobs” (counting coaching soccer), I know getting more properties and making more money will not make me any happier than I am now. I took 5 trips this summer, if I have 30 properties, I’d be multimillionaire that have no life, that would be the opposite of early retirement. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. 🙂

  6. Hey Vivianne, I really enjoyed reading about you, and I love the analogy. I suppose it’s something akin to ‘live to work or work to live?’. I’m really impressed with your giving nature too, with all the volunteering you do.

    Good luck with your goals and congratulations on financial independence 🙂

    Tristan

  7. Thank you for stopping by my site Vivianne. I have similar mindset with you regarding the attitude of having enough, slow down and smell the roses. Recenlty I read a meditation exercise where it state ‘Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship’. Sound like you are set on early retirement, I am still working my way there.

    • Hi, thanks for stopping by, we were planning the wedding and still in our honeymoon to most of the states in the northeast. It’s been amazing. Will post update as soon as we get back. 🙂

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