Inspiration in the least likely of places. I was just chilling at home watching Netflix (that’s my idea of relaxation :P) and I chanced upon a movie titled “The Gambler”. The film featured Mark Wahlberg and Brie Larson (upcoming Captain Marvel!) but the real star of the show was John Goodman for me.

As a loanshark, he had this to say to Wahlberg in one scene – which is pretty sound advice, considering his .. erm, occupation.

Gambler (G) : I’ve been up two and a half million dollars.

Loanshark (L) : What do you got on you?

G : Nothing.

L : What did you put away?

G : Nothing.

L : You get up two and a half million dollars, any asshole in the world knows what to do. You get a house with a 25-year roof, an indestructible Jap economy shitbox, you put the rest into a system at 3%-to-5% to pay your taxes, and that’s your base, get me? That’s your Fortress of Fucking Solitude. That puts you for the rest of your life at a level of “fuck you”. Somebody wants you to do something? “Fuck you”. Boss pisses you off? “Fuck you!”. Own your house, have a couple of bucks in the bank, don’t drink. That’s all I have to say to anybody at an social level.

Oh yeah, I want my base. It really isn’t that different from what I have been saying (although it didn’t mention medical insurance, too out of place if it did) that we need these below to retire, or even semi-retire in order to choose any kind of work we wish to do.

  1. You must have a fully paid house.
  2. You must have a good medical expense insurance.
  3. You must have a lifelong stream of income.

Fortress of Solitude

We may have different ways of describing the ideal state we imagine ourselves to be in one day. A more crude term many use is F-You Money. The other day, I learnt a new term called Financial Peace which basically implies valuing safety over risk seeking. The article by Kyith at Investment Moats definitely pinged me in all the right places – stability and security is the number one thing I’m after. This is my Fortress of Solitude that I’m building for my wife and I.

To clarify, my previous post wasn’t implying that a 35-year-old should have what I mentioned. It is simply referring to what I have achieved. Oh yes, it is oddly satisfying when CPF-MA is full and CPF-MA contributions start flowing into CPF-SA instead .. all without a single cent of top-up.

Keep building. It’ll be worth it.