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“I Hope To Retire by Age 40” – Planner Bee Chats With Finance Blogger Sethisfy

 

In the interview, he details what plans he has, and the thinking behind his insurance policy spread.

Financial blogger and Youtuber

Having had his start in the financial industry in 2009, Seth Wee of Sethisfy.com went from being an insurance agent to now managing a personal finance blog and YouTube channel. He is well-loved by many for his candid opinions about the industry, and relatable advice and tips and tricks on personal finance.

Once an insurance agent, never again

When he was just 21, Seth originally joined an insurance agency as a telemarketer to gain some working experience. Just three days into the job he was persuaded to start selling insurance policies as an agent.

Initially, he found it difficult to just sell products limited to a single insurer, so he left to join an Independent Financial Advisory (IFA), which allowed him a selection of products across insurance companies.

Seth is a vocal supporter of term insurance policies, and said he prefers to recommend these because the premiums for term plans tend to be lower and more affordable. Ironically, the lower commissions from term-life plans resulted in him only earning about S$1,000 a month for the three years he was an agent.

Unable to sustain his lifestyle on this salary, he eventually left the company to become a tutor.

How Seth plans his insurance coverage

Seth prioritised sorting out his insurance first before investing excess funds. He said unforeseen illnesses or accident-related costs can derail you from your wealth accumulation goals when you need to suddenly liquidate your investments prematurely to pay those bills.

With insurance coverage as a foundation together with an adequate emergency fund,  you will be able to invest without the worry of needing those invested funds earlier than planned.

“You really need to get your defences in order before you start to invest. It’s like filling up a bucket full of holes; If there’s a lot of holes there, no matter how much water you put in, the holes will eventually drain out all of your water. So plug the holes first, with insurance, and then fill up your bucket with water”. he said.

Paying for insurance with credit cards

In his blog, he also pays a lot of attention to credit cards. Holding over 30 credit cards, he shares about the perks each card has and how he uses them most effectively.

For example, he uses the UOB EVOL for his everyday expenses because of the generous 6.77% cashback rate and a Citi SMRT specifically for big purchases as it can handle a $12k annual spending limit.

As many credit cards exclude insurance premiums, Seth compiles a list of cards that accept these premiums to gain more rewards.

Career paths

Our careers may change over time and Seth has demonstrated to us how we should be adaptable to what life throws at us.

Although he started in the financial industry, Seth has since pivoted to tutoring. It all started when his friend referred him to some students while he was not earning much working in an IFA, which ignited his passion in teaching.

Even if some of us are prepared to work in the same job till retirement, life can take a different path. New advances in technologies over time will force jobs to be displaced and created, and demand for changing skill sets evolve over time.

Career shifts may occur as early as our 30s and we should be prepared to improve, reskill and pivot. It’s important to recognise your transferable skills and see how you can adapt them to different industries.

Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE)

As a conservative investor, Seth is a believer in index investing, as it provides more diversification. He found his chance when he put his idle savings in S&P 500 during the March 2020 crash. Since then, it’s grown a massive 50% already.

Currently 34 years old, Seth is looking to be financially free in 6 to 11 years. While he enjoys his career, he hopes to enjoy life more where work is not treated as a chore and try part-time jobs he’s always been curious about, such as being an Apple Genius.

His FIRE mindset has guided him to take the necessary steps from saving aggressively to investing consistently from a young age.

If you want to know more about his tips and receive savings deals, you can subscribe to his Telegram channel here.

Like our SgFinancePros series? Check out the other videos you missed on our Youtube channel. You’ll probably like our Money Journals too, where everyday Singaporeans and Malaysians give us a glimpse into their inner financial lives – how much they’re making, spending, saving, and investing.

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