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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bob the retired IFS

We bumped into each other recently at Ikea. I was there trying to buying some furniture for my flat and there was this old fellow waving at me from a distance. I couldn't recognised him at first as he has aged a lot. Yes, he was Bob the retired inflight supervisor.
All those years in SIA we did not interact much with each other. I supposed we were busy attending to our work and families to really socialised with one another. But now after a decade into our retirement, some of us are lonely with nothing much to do. Well, not all retirees are lonely as some are still struggling to make a living outside of SIA (including myself). Some are driving taxis while others are driving for Uber and MBS. Quite a few are working as security guards and security supervisors (fortunately I don't have to drive or be security personnel).

As for Bob he is financially sound. He drives around in his new Honda Accord and lives in a condo with his wife when most rely on public transport and live in government subsidised flats.
Bob and I decided to have a coffee and a chat at the 4th Ikea restaurant. I offered to pay for the coffee but Bob was quick to present his Ikea membership card to the cashier for the free coffee.
We chatted for almost 2 hours over 3 cups of free coffee each.

The conversation was more of a one-way street with Bob confiding in me how he is retiring comfortably when many of his colleagues are not.
He confided that he has almost $2 million of cash in the banks. He also invested his money in stock and shares. Bob began the "lecture" by stating that he bought about 100,000 SIA shares at $1 a piece offered by SIA (staff option scheme) in the 1970s. A few years after  SIA floated the shares, Bob liquidated all his SIA shares at the average price of $10. With the proceeds from the sale of his shares, he went on to buy his house. Just before the housing market crashed 2 years ago, Bob sold his house for $3.5 million. Last year, he bought a condo for $1.5 million.
As far as I know, Bob is a frugal man. He also confided that he has saved $1 million from his and his wife's salaries.

According to Bob there are 4 types of retirees:

  • The ones who inherit wealth from their parents 
  • The ones,like himself who had SIA shares and saved a big portion of his salary
  • Then there are others who weren't prudent and did not save much for their retirement
  • Worse of all are those who are penniless, deep in debt and bankrupts
Although Bob is comfortable in his retirement, I can sense that he is very much a lonely man. He asked me for my phone number and told me he would like to invite me over to his place for dinner.

Note: For our younger colleagues who are still working you may want to take note of what Bob has told us. You will have to retire one of these days and hopefully if you are not in the first category then be in the second one.


Anonymous said...

In the story of life & living, there are the haves & the have-nots.
Its not a straight forward 50% either way.

The fact is that only less than 1% can retire with more than a million in cash.
Lets not include properties, cars, jewelry or even shares.
Most people cannot delay gratification and will spend immediately on what they want.
Not what they need.

Cabin crew, tech crew start work young. Youth knows little about value but they know lots about what they want. A new bag, shoes, wallet, drinking places, gambling places. All are cost centres. What little that they save will dissipate quickly on the next adventure.

Anonymous said...

1st Anonymous, very true what've said. I retired with almost zero. All my life as a crew I've been spending and squandering. Fortunately, I am a late bloomer and given all the talent that I've and through sheer hard work (no time to spend my $$ nowadays) I do not have to do those menial jobs like my former co-workers. I've not completely retired, only semi retired. Young crew should pay attention to Bob's advice.

Anonymous said...

There was a crew who was very, very frugal.
He did not join anyone for meals.
He would not have any 'cargo' bags so as to avoid contributing to tips.
He would bring his trusty sanyo cooker.
No, not instant noodles but healthy foods.
He would buy broccoli, potatoes, fresh prepared fish.
Cooked them in a little water like steaming.
He ran 10K almost every night stop as exercise
By the time he was an LS he had bought a townhouse in a very ulu place.
He paid the bank slowly and the townhouse area soon became a very popular place
to live.
He bought it at below $100,000 and after 15 years sold it for close to $850,000
He is still flying as an IFS now.
He has more rental properties ( all fully paid ) than SC NG and Dennis.

No rolex
No car
No maid
No smoking
No alcohol
No women
No Prada
No dogs

He blends into the crowds very easily.
Do you know who he is?

Anonymous said...


William Tan said...

IFS Stanley S

Anonymous said...

Stanley S carries branded stuff