Planning for an early retirement.

One of the things I am currently obsessed with is planning an early retirement. I want to retire by the age of 50. I don’t want to wait until I turn 65 before I stop working to enjoy the fruits of my years of toil. The idea of retiring early came to me when the pandemic hit. I know it’s cliché but life is truly short. You never know when you would stop breathing so I figured that I will live, love, and laugh.

I have my vision board at my home office to motivate me to work harder and smarter these days. Debt-free. Insured, invested, and with a fat savings account. On vacation perpetually. Happy and contented.


Let me tell you the three things that I have began doing since the pandemic hit and this idea of an early retirement came to me.

Slowly changing my lifestyle. I am eliminating things in my life that is taking a toll on my health and overall well-being because what is the point of planning an early retirement if I will not be able to enjoy it being sick. Right? I am eating healthy by saying no to junk food. Yes, I still eat processed food from time to time but these days I am really working on being friends with greens and whole grain food.

I am trying to stay in shape by walking for, at least, an hour a day. I make sure to absorb as much sun as possible before nine in the morning. I am not a fan of working out religiously but walking and just basically moving around so my whole body is getting an exercise of sorts is totally find with me.

Organizing my finances. I currently three bank accounts: expenses (bills, etc.), savings, and retirement fund, I have set up a retirement fund separate from my savings account. I have a goal to save for that fund as per the retirement calculator from In the past, before this pandemic, I haven’t really thought about setting up a retirement fund, even when I was reminded by a good friend of mine to do so. She told me that I would need it if I want to really enjoy my retirement and not to think about a life without cash flowing in as much as it used to. She’s right, and now I have one.

I have said goodbye to a few credit cards that I had for quite some time. I have chosen one that gives me cash back for every purchase and another one that I can use when I travel abroad. I seldom use my cards nowadays, though. I made a promise to myself that if I don’t have extra cash with me, then I won’t buy anything that is really not a necessity.

Working smarter not harder. And by that I mean working for the hours I am being paid to. In the past, I used to work beyond eight hours. I would spend the time in the office to work a little, socialize, do stuff that was not part of my job but favors asked of me. Then, I would go home and work my ass off at night. These days, I work the eight hours in the office. When I go home, I do side hustles that give me a bit more earnings that I can save up.

I have a couple more years to do these things but I am happy that I am slowly building the life I want to live by the time I turn 50.

Continue Reading

Income from creating content.

Image Credit

Content creator. Have you heard of it? These are individuals who think and formulate ways to come up with something they can share online. They help spread awareness of causes. They also make sure brands become household names and go-to choices of everyone in their target market. Creating content has become a career nowadays. A lot of the popular ones even resigned from their nine to fives just so they can concentrate on creating content for their videos and podcasts. Nothing wrong with being a vlogger or podcaster, or whatever else you call those other content creators out there. If being one can create a positive impact on society especially on the youth, then go ahead and create more of whatever content you have!

A former sous chef in a five-star hotel lost his job when the pandemic hit the world. With no job and no clear prospects at the moment, he decided to just chill at home, repair and maintain the house, here and there. He was researching about ceiling smoothing one day when he chanced upon a cooking video. The guy on the video was boring, according to him. While watching the video, his mom called him and since he didn’t want to be disturbed, a funny argument ensued. That was the time the idea of creating content came to him.

I’ve been following the ex-sous chef’s Youtube cooking videos for some time now. It is funny and informational and the dishes are simple and easy to follow. The last time I checked, he now has hundred thousands of followers and has been getting endorsement offers from different brands. What used to be just a way to pass time has now become his bread and butter. His mom is even in most of his videos, providing comic relief to his cooking.

There is income in creating vlogs. I’ve been reading and hearing how big one can get from it especially with thousands and millions of subscribers in streaming platforms online. My sister told me last night that a girl who has been in the news lately for being cheated on by her partner is earning close to a hundred grand in US dollars every month. Yes, every month! My friends and I have been joking that we should start creating content as well if it will bring us that much money. But we don’t really have a knack for being in front of the camera so we’ll see.

What do you think of content creators and influencers? Would you like to be one, too?

Continue Reading

Passion for the profession.

I managed to get a seat at the back of a group of college students at a wake my sister and I went to more than a week ago. It was a serious group composed of three girls and one boy, the latter being in the center of the group. I did not mean to eavesdrop but they were discussing their courses. I kept hearing Fluorescence Microscope from the company Microscope International and how the boy was so fascinated with it. And so many other terms like Fluorescence Meiji MT6200CL Binocular Epi-Fluorescence Microscope and Euromex bScope Epi-Fluorescence Microscope. I guessed they are taking Science courses and they were discussing their laboratory subjects.

Image Credit

What fascinated me about their discussion was the passion that I could hear in their voices. It came across as a deep love for what they are currently studying and translated as future scientists who would be truly passionate about their work.

Pre-college, I really wanted to become a journalist. I loved researches, writing humanitarian stories, and just being in the thick of things. But I was not meant to be one. My Mom was really bent on making me an accountant. She wanted to be one but she got pregnant with me so it was set aside. She took up Economics and proceeded to become a housewife. In short, she didn’t get to see her dream fulfilled so she wanted me to fulfill it for her. I resented it in the beginning because I may be good with numbers but it was not my passion. Unfortunately for me and my dream, I am an obedient daughter. My Mom’s happiness was my happiness so I took Accountancy, became a certified public accountant, and went into accounting and audit.

I learned to love my profession after a couple of years of practicing it. When realizations came in that because I have a good-paying job, I managed to help my parents send my siblings to school. If not for my profession, I would have been one of the many workers displaced during this pandemic. Realizations keep coming and I am now very grateful for my profession.

I hope those kids will become passionate scientists in the future. And will be grateful for the profession they will choose.

Continue Reading

In between jobs.

Many individuals right now are in between jobs. It’s a fact. A friend of mine who used to work for an events company is now working part-time for an insurance provider. A cousin’s wife had to resign from her job at a car dealership company because she had fewer and fewer sales deals closed. She is now working part-time for an insurance provider as well.

It’s not easy finding yourself in between jobs. You find yourself worrying nonstop about tomorrow, your dwindling finances, your family or someone relying on you for financial support. Your confidence level goes from ten to below five, especially when you find yourself not getting calls from human resources of companies you are applying at. I should know because I’ve been in the same situation twice or thrice in the past.

Can I suggest three things you can focus on while in between jobs?

Image Credit

Tinker around the house. Check all your appliances. There might be one or two you need to bring to an expert who knows how to fix home appliances in Brampton. Make sure everything is working fine and in good condition. Repair, maintain.

While you are at it, check all electrical outlets around your house. Make sure nothing’s out of place. And cables, ties, and everything that needs checking from time to time, do it now while you don’t have anything else to occupy your time. My suggestion: do it from nine to five, just like when you are in the office. It will make you feel productive and will leave you with a good sense of accomplishment.

Find a new avenue of income. There are a number of individuals who discovered their passion when the pandemic began, fueled by their need to earn while stuck at home, unsure of the future.

Baking, crafting, online selling of goods, and so much more. I’ve seen it from relatives and friends who discovered they have knack for business just a year ago. A friend discovered she is really good at baking gooey oh-chocolate-y cookies. Another friend discovered that she can do so many things with her cricut machine. She’s now selling seasonal crafts. A relative learned how to do eyebrow shaping, threading, and microblading. She just opened an eyebrow clinic with an older relative of hers. Can you imagine the possibilities? You are stuck at home doing nothing much and then suddenly you discovered just how good you are at something.

Improve your craft. And by that, I mean improve your knowledge of your profession. Attend free webinars. Take advantage of the free time and enroll in a short course. Learn a certain gray area of your profession you’ve always wanted to know more about. Improve the mastery of your skills!

There are so many things you can do with your spare time so as not to dwell on any negative thoughts and emotions. Divert your attention. Focus on something you can use for the future. In between jobs doesn’t mean you will wallow in self-pity and blame everyone for your predicament. Look at it as a blessing in disguise. You never know what’s in store for you in these crazy times.

Continue Reading

A new avenue of work.

The virus that hit the world brought so much sadness and misfortune to a majority of the people affected by it. But there are those who found their calling and hit the jackpot in this pandemic we are all in. One of those people is studioa friend of mine. She lost her job middle of last year. She was devastated when the company she was working for the past couple of years closed shop. Bankruptcy. She immediately looked for a new job but since a lot of people lost their jobs, too, competition was really stiff. After a month of job hunting, she was forced to accept the fact that a new source of income was needed.

She started baking cakes for birthdays. Cupcakes and pastries, too. She, also, started an arts and crafts studio, heated floors for winter, where she wraps gifts beautifully for others. It was the start of her online shop which now includes seasonal decors as well as distressed tables and chairs. She recently joined Etsy where she sells majority of her products and services. Income is not as steady as when she has a nine to five job but it’s more than enough to cover her bills and then some.

More than a decade ago, I found myself in a dilemma. I wanted to concentrate on my online work but I was afraid of letting go of my job. I was earning so much online but I think being an employee, earning every 15th and end of the month, is easier than to risk it and focus on going freelance. It took me a year before I finally decided to go freelance and concentrate on online work. It was scary in the beginning but when income started pouring in steadily, I gained confidence in my decision. I stayed freelance for about a decade before I decided to go back to the corporate world.

I think that each of us has this survival instinct embedded in our psyche. When we are thrust into a difficult situation our instincts will naturally kick in. We find ways in order to survive just like what happened to my friend. Especially if there are love ones who rely on us, we’d be quicker to find a new avenue of work in order to replace the one that we lost.

In my case, when I felt that online work was not giving me the same amount of income as when I started, I slowly disengaged from it. I picked up where I left off in my corporate life and, luckily for me, it was not as hard as I thought it would be.

Continue Reading

An ace up the sleeve.

ace-IT What do we do if we know that competition is stiff? We reveal an ace up our sleeves! To be able to do that, you need to actually have an ace up your sleeve, and by an ace I mean something that will make you outshine your competition.

This is exactly why IT people should learn more about isaca spoto. SPOTO, which stands for Service, Professional, Outstanding, Teamwork and Obtain, is focused on IT certifications like CISCO examinations. You know you are partnering with professionals who are very much adept and knowledgeable in cutting-edge technology and who can help you with those IT certifications you need in your portfolio.

Most people would try to make it on their own. They would review for their isaca cism exam and think that they would make it without the help of professionals. A small push from people who know can give you a much-needed drive and motivation to do much better than you can imagine. You can pass the exams in your first try simply because you have the best help you can get. With SPOTO, you can practice with 100% real exam practice tests in a 100% real exam environment. A 100% passing guarantee is what you get with teams of professional tutors helping you review.

So, when you think of getting a guide to the isaca cism certification, go to SPOTO. Join and get certified in no time! You know that an IT certification will surely give you the edge you need to win over your competition. And an IT certification can be your negotiating tool in getting an increase in your compensation and benefits package in the company you are working for.

These days, if you want to become a better worker, someone valuable to the company you are working for, you need to improve yourself. You need to have a portfolio of your achievements and certifications.

Continue Reading

Graveyard Shift

It has been a few weeks of searching online for the best custom drapery for my sister’s room. It has been a work from home set-up for her since March of last year. In the beginning, it was not a problem for her to be in the graveyard shift. Her work begins at eight in the evening up to five the next morning. Sometimes, it goes beyond five and I would wake up with her still working at past seven in the morning.

Exhausted from her graveyard shift, she would demand all lights turned off and no noise near her room.

Image Credit

So, my idea is to find the best blackout curtains for her. 100% of light coming into the room will be blocked by it but I want curtains that will fit her personality and be elegant as well. My sister is the serious kind but when she is in the mood, can crack up everyone around her. I want that to reflect in the draperies I will find for her room.

What is the difference between blackout curtains and room darkening ones, you would ask. Blackout curtains totally shields the room from 100% of light coming in, while room darkening rooms can still let some light, 1% of it, come in. I am totally fine with room darkening curtains because I am not much into dark rooms. At night, yes, but in the morning, I love some sunlight coming in through the windows.

I know there are some people out there who are not into curtains. I remember visiting a friend’s newly renovated condominium unit. I was surprised that her windows looked bare. I asked if she planned to get curtains or blinds for it but she said that she was leaving it like that, bare with the light coming in 100% of the time. I was there in the afternoon and my eyes hurt the whole time we were catching up in her living room.

Drapery is a must in our home. I may like dim rooms but I also like light coming in the house in the morning. Drapery is also for privacy. Our home is a three-storey house and we are located in an area with mix residential-commercial establishments. The structure in front of our home is a car accessories shop so from time to time there are men who would look up at our house. For privacy, we would block out the light and the lingering eyes of strangers. So, you can say that curtains are also a layer of security for our home.

We will be doing another round of general cleaning soon. We will re-arrange stuff inside my sister’s room and we will have the draperies installed. It will be peaceful and quiet mornings for my sister after her graveyard shift five times a week.

Continue Reading