Posted on 18 Sep 2020
Background info: I come from an upper middle class family where my parents can afford to retire comfortably and we have no debt. They are financially literate and took on good investment plans when I was still a child. I was brought up to understand the value of money so luxury goods isn't something I desire and spend a lot on. Is it an issue if I remain this unambitious? If I can get by living a relatively comfortable life, should I be working harder in the event something bad happens?
Hi anon! :) I come from a lower middle class family where my parents' retirement plans are their children (is this an Asian thing? Haha) and they have no investments at all. In fact, they recently terminated their health insurance plans and I am struggling trying to convince them to reinstate their plans so I am not as lucky as you. My $550 Braun buffel handbag which I bought 3 years ago was my promotion present to myself and that's my only luxury good. But once a year I'll clear all my leave to go on one big holiday, while spending within my means! :)
Anyway, I started off thinking I would be okay with having a mid 2-3k income (similar thought process as you).
However as I grew older, family expands, expenses inevitably increase as well. My family also leads a modest lifestyle, sharing food and only eating out on birthdays (not even new year or national day we would eat out!)
I don't live paycheck to paycheck but since my promotion, I had more excess money and this gives me flexibility of choice and how I want to better support my big family, without compromising on my future family planning.
My opinion is, if you can afford it, work hard while you still have the time and energy to do so but once you feel you really just want to enjoy life, you can always "downgrade" to do so. And this is really thinking far off into the future how your decision might affect it.
All the best to you!
I think one thing that you have to realise that in the modern reality, work-life balance (especially for those who earn 2-3k) is a privilege.
In your case, coming from an upper middle class family gives you that privilege to pursue worklife balance. Your family’s wealth allows you to de-prioritise financial success.
Even if $2k to 3k isn’t enough for you in the future, you can still rely on your parents to look after themselves, and perhaps even receive abit of inheritance. There are already resources for you to deplete.
Now, if you hail from a working class background, the reality is very different. I’ve worked those $2-3k jobs. In my experience, the hours are long and you have to compete with extremely hungry people (including foreigners). You are also low on the food chain and don’t have much bargaining power.
In addition, you’ll need to think about providing your parents healthcare costs, kids, getting a partner, etc. Without existing family resources to deplete, you’re in for an immensely tough life once you factor in inflation and rising standards of living.
Once that happens, work life balance will only be a dream!
Now, back to your situation. If you intend to rely on your family’s wealth in the future, then there’s really nothing wrong with being unambitious. No one has a right to tell you whether or not being ambitious is right or wrong.
Just know that once that wealth is depleted, you will need to accept that you now lead a lifestyle of someone who earns $2,000 - $3,000 a month, not an upper middle class background!
That can be challenging.
Hi Anon! For context, I was once in your shoes. I was satisfied with just a 2-3k paying job. As some...
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