“Financial independence is subjective” – that’s what John KS Lim told me when I interviewed him. Who is John Lim? Unlike previous interviews where I connect with CEOs, authors or founders of companies, this time I did something different. John Lim is one of my good reader, aged 56, whom I met a few weeks ago in KL. Hailing from Penang, the ex-banker and IT consultant is a common man on the street you and I could relate to. At age 56, he is financially free in his own terms – and that he can choose whether to get involved in any income generating work or just sit back & relax. I want to share with you what he did right and wrong throughout his journey of getting to where he is today.
John started to plan for his retirement and finances seriously after 40, where he was forced out of his comfort zone from being an employee to a freelance consultant. With his static EPF fund, he didn’t think it would suffice for his retirement years. “If you keep enjoying yourself like there’s no tomorrow, there will be nothing left at the end after retirement”. With this awareness in mind, he is determined to take things into his own hands to create his second retirement fund. With proper guidance being far and between in the 90’s, John went through his share of trials and errors. Listen to his story while he explains.
You would have thought an ex-banker have his finances in order. But it also surprised me when he said a banker aim is “not to make money for ourselves – but to help customer make money. Often, we do not practice what we preach”
Being 40 is still not too late to get everything in order. But like what John said, when you are short of time, instinct kicks in – “I want to grow my money fast!”
When someone still has the luxury of time (early 30’s or so), make good use of it so you don’t feel so pressured compared to when you are in your forties.
It is a very hard to accept the concept of using time as your ally when it comes to growing his money. The more desperate he wanted to grow your money fast, he realized it will only make you poorer.
Another problem most people faced is – they are being pushed investment products without understanding their financial objectives, risk profile, time horizon, etc. Can you relate? He felt the same then, and this still prevails today.
To wrap it up, I asked John these:
- What if you feel everything got risk (kiasi), so end up putting all money in Fixed Deposit?
- What if you are lazy/not disciplined to do homework in growing your money yet desire to grow your money?
John has been through the same thing, and in this interview, he answered these no-holds barred.