Financial Freedom: Am I Ready to Retire in 5 Years?

Questions to ask myself:

1. Do I have debts/loans?
Yes, I have things to pay for such as:
a. Avida Centerra condo unit – BIG money! Hoping to pay half of it by end of first year of my GCP assignment. I am targeting to work hard and save up so I can get this fully paid and convert it from liability to asset… Aja!
b. Insurance – Sunlife and Prulife UK

2. Do I have a passive income stream?
I am thinking of the condo as my future passive income stream. That is, if I don’t live in it and I could rent it out for a fair price.

I am also hoping that my stocks at ColFinancial would be earning much by then. Right now, these are the stocks in my portfolio:

COL Financial portfolio

COL Financial portfolio

3. Do I have a fallback in case I badly need to work again?
Right now, I am single and I don’t have anybody to worry about except for my ageing parents. My siblings can take care of themselves. That’s why I could easily say I could retire in 5 years. But if ever I do get to have a family – or a baby of my own, I may have to rethink this early retirement thing… and if ever, I think I can go back to my teaching or IT career. The experiences that I’ve gained over the years would help me land a decent job.

4. Do I have a retirement fund?
Yes, I have a retirement fund but it’s not yet fully paid. I still have to work my ass up to complete my payments. But at least I am working on it already.. :)

Conclusion: Getting there! But life is full of surprises… I am just glad to do this evaluation and realize that my finances look good and healthy so far. But it does take a lot of hard work, planning, and discipline. How about you, are you starting to think about your retirement?

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No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt

I’ve been having pre-birthday blues and work-related stress  a week ago. I felt like everything was just going downhill and I badly wanted to quit, go home and forget about my IT career.

But I realized that I was being too stubborn and childish. I needed to be mature and face my problems and trials. I had to find the root cause of my problems and try to find resolutions.

Work-related stress

I realized that I was putting too much pressure on myself and succumbed to the need to please others and prove my self-worth. I remembered the quote from  Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Also, I realized that I shouldn’t give in to competition. I always didn’t like to compete with anyone besides myself. So when I feel like other people, especially when they’re in my team, competes with me, I feel bad. But I realized too, that maybe there should be a healthy competition to push yourself to be better. And now I discovered a way to make other people cooperate and make it a team effort rather than a competition or a chance to prove that one is better than the other. I noticed that other people just want me to recognize their talents and capabilities, and give my respect to them. Once I did that, we worked better as a team and got the best out of everyone. :)

Pre-birthday blues

Photo credits:

Photo credits:

My birthday is in 10 days so I am having pre-birthday blues. I made a list of things that I wanted to have and accomplish this year. And at that time, I felt bad because there are a lot that I still haven’t achieved. But my goodness! Why be pessimistic??! I shouldn’t look at it as a glass half empty but a glass half full! I have soooo many things to be thankful for. So what if I still didn’t find that one elusive right guy? Hahaha.. So that’s the reason why I’m feeling blue? Hehe.. Not just that, really. I felt bad because I didn’t lose weight, didn’t exercise, didn’t eat healthy, didn’t see my loved ones more often. Stop. Okay, I just have to be thankful for what I have now. And right now, I feel good because I met new people, made new friends, but still kept good relationships with the old people in my life. On top of it all, I was given a chance to fulfill one of my biggest life dreams: to work abroad – and not just that, in United States of America! I was given this great opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Austin and work with the best people. Thank you Lord… I feel so blessed! :)

So I got over myself and found ways of keeping myself happy and filling up my love tank. Here are the little ways:
1. Watch my all-time favorite series of all time: In Need of Romance. Found it at Netflix!!!
2. Talked to and met new people. Learned to trust people again.
3. Gave my best at work. Aja!
4. Went home while the sun is still up – that’s around 7pm nowadays in Austin. ( :) I love Spring!!!) and take a short walk.
5. Skype with family and friends.
6. Last but not the least, I counted my blessings and felt very blessed and thankful! :D


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Where is home?

 Being away from home at the tender age of 13, I have felt a growing need to spend time with my family as much as I can. But after high school, I had to go to college, then after college, I have to work. I went farther and farther away from my family.

Sometimes I feel estranged. It’s like they really don’t know me anymore, and I them. For the past 16 years of my life, I lived in 4 different cities and I stayed in one city at at an average of 4 years. I moved around a lot. I lived with different people at a time. I treat people like family, became very close, and then I had to leave.

Sometimes when I envision or think about home, somehow I couldn’t figure out where it is. When I go home to be with my family in our little hometown, I feel like I don’t belong there anymore. I feel like a stranger. I feel like a visitor. When I visit my non biological families, also known as friends in some city I’ve stayed before, I feel happy to see them but I still could not imagine going back. It doesn’t feel right anymore.

Maybe I could figure this out and settle down when I meet my lifetime partner. Maybe he can help me decide where home is or will be.. ;)

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Practicing the Law of attraction

I’ve read about this a lot and I’m really amazed about how other people have made this work in their lives.

Law of attraction. It’s not just a theory that someone made up. It’s actually a law! Like the law of gravity? Lol. For me it’s also biblical. The Lord said, Ask and you shall receive. They say that when you pray, you have to believe in your heart that it has already been granted. That is what we call expectant faith. ;)

I was reminded of this law when I read The Secret. I’ve read numerous books and blogs that make a reference to this awesome book but it’s only now that I’ve read the actual book. And though I feel like I already know the things that it talks about, I’m still enlightened.

If you haven’t read it, l recommend that you do. It’ll help you shape up your days and even your life. From this day forward, I will be practicing the law of attraction! How?

1. Create my day in advance, practice the art of visualization. I will envision how great my day will be. From the moment I wake up, I will be thankful for the great things and great people that will fill my day.
“I am going to have an awesome day today! I will live my best life today! I will enjoy this day!”

2. Reprogram the events of my day that did not go well and replace it with visions of how it should go. According to The Secret, when you do this, you are cleaning up your frequency from the day and you are emitting a new signal and frequency for tomorrow. You have intentionally created new pictures for tomorrow.

3. Be grateful for the things I feel good about. Practice the attitude of gratitude
“Gratitude is the way to bring more into your life” – Marci Shimoff
“Whatever we think about and thank about, we bring about.” – Dr John Demartini

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International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day! :) (Late post. Wrote this last Friday night wasn’t able to publish it.)

We oughtta celebrate Women’s Day everyday but since they’ve chosen this special day as the International Women’s Day, then let’s celebrate!!!

Well, I’d like to celebrate by writing a post about how I have been able to work (successfully) in a man-dominated industry. The Information Technology (IT) industry usually has more men than women. I’m currently in a team with more than 15 men and I’m the only woman. One of my bosses asked me if I feel uncomfortable that I am the only woman in the team. I honestly don’t mind because I’m used to being the only woman or one of the few women in the team or even in the project.

Needless to say, there are pros and cons to being a woman in a man’s world. But I’d like to believe that there are  more pros than cons. And usually I can work out the cons.

These are some of the advantages that I could think of right now:

  • Men are more likely to help a woman out. (Basic man in shining armor kind of thing). I use this to my advantage most of the time. If I have code issues or tech problems, I could easily find someone in the team who is willing to help me out.
  • Men rarely engage in arguments with a woman or they avoid it as much as they can. Well, there are times when this could be a disadvantage. Like when the men would dismiss a woman’s idea prematurely – without hearing her out. But because I don’t like arguments, this is win-win for me. But when I really feel a need to prove my point, I wouldn’t hesitate to give a fair argument and fight to win my case.
  • Men can take care of you or make you feel safe. For example, when overtimes are inevitable, you feel safer if you have men to bring you home safe and sound.
  • (Decent)Men are less prone to gossip or spread nasty rumors around the office.

So far those are the things that I could think of right now. :)

I know that in some parts of the world, women still don’t enjoy being treated fairly. I just hope someday they will be given the same treatment, opportunities, and respect as the men in their society.

I end this post with a shoutout to the women who have greatly influenced my life: Mama, Nanay Inday, Mommy, Bianca and Sacha. :) Thank you very much for being awesome women!

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POFW diaries: February Highlights



Last weekend my GCPmates and I went to Houston to watch the movie Starting over again and decided to have a side trip to NASA and eat at Jollibee to complete the Houston (or to my mind, the OFW experience). I wanted to stay longer at NASA but our time was limited because we still had a movie to catch and a 3-hr drive back home. Good thing the movie turned out great.I actually wanted to write a separate post about it.

Anyway, this month turned out fine. And the “Adventure” theme of my dream book suited it well. Made a lot of good memories this month.

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Note: I initially wanted to keep this post private because I’m afraid people I know might read this and form their  judgments about me. But I realized that I just have to share this so that other people can learn from my experience.  Because after I wrote this post I really felt better and my day also went great… Especially at work. It seemed to turn 360 degrees just because I began my day with the right attitude and mindset. So hope this helps you too… :) 

Today I woke up worried that I might have not done my best in my job. I’m afraid that I am not giving enough for my job. I am doubting myself and I wish I can fight this feeling. I should just feel confident and slowly but surely be great at what I do. Contribute to the team. I should not let anybody down or put me down.

The only way they can let me down is when I screw up on purpose. I didn’t get here without hard work. I am here because I deserved to be here. I am here because they saw something in me.

The root cause of all this is that I am afraid.  Afraid of losing what I have. Afraid of not being enough. Afraid of failure. I am operating from a wrong disposition.

It used to work out fine when I was new in the industry, because I wasn’t afraid. I had nothing to lose. I was eager to learn from everyone else around me. But now, I’m getting proud and afraid. Two very dangerous things.

So now, I stop being afraid. And just learn to trust myself. Learn. Keep in mind that I am here to learn and that I really don’t have anything to lose. I just need to get over myself, work well with other people, and give it my best shot. Instead of waking up and wondering “how have I messed up yesterday? Or  I should have done this or I shouldn’t have done that.”I should start everyday asking myself “how can I be greater than yesterday? Or what will life teach me today? Or how will I have fun and enjoy this day?”

Everyday is a new day. A chance to start anew. Smile. Be thankful. Expect great things. Attract good things.

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using speech to text in evernote

Note: You might not understand the post below. This is the result of my experiment in using speech to text engine of the app Ever note. I was trying to write a blog by just dictating my thoughts. Is it feasible? You be the judge. 😁

I am trying figure out how to increase my motivation at work . this is great baby 3 speak mind .
text to speech its amazing . how can I increase my productivity at work ? maybe there are numbers overly of weeks ways how to make myself productive . I’m making sense ? this is crazy . I am talking to myself .

I discovered that I can take notes using evernote by speaking to it . note taking has ever been so cool. although , sometimes evernote does not recognize the word words that I am saying so it keeps on typing the wrong words . instead the instead off me taking down know no no no no no. (I wanted to say notes here and ended up with a number of no’s… ) okay this is the part where I have cool 2 let’s do it again . I was trying to say that instead all off me taking down notes , I am getting conscious of what I am  saying . and if I am saying right . because my pronunciation might be causing evernote 2 capture the wrong words . I just don’t know if this is still making any sense . I could have just typed these words but I am enjoying this speech to text synthesis . I remember my thesis when I was grad school . it was all about using an existing engine for speech to text synthesis . that was just about 5 years ago . and now , it is already incorporated in apps. isn’t it amazing ?

if ever you are reading these and you don’t understand it , or if there are wrong words then pardon me because I am trying 2 make this work . now I will be talking a little faster . let’s see how good this program is . I am tempted not to make an added edit does it 2 this blog polls pole cool cool post (I’m getting desperate here. I just wanted to say post!!!). just to check is this is really awesome . no that is not what I say said . I am getting I love the longer time what ? what the hack hey heck are you typing question ? oh no . Period did not this it is not working out . reading it anybody ? I don’t think anybody and 1 anyone understanding will understand days this . if I either if either it is either I am saying the word words incorrectly or bozo they saying . okay , hi it is time to sleep.

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Thinking of how to be better at stock market investing

Uh oh. The Philippine stock market is gaining momentum again.
My portfolio is looking good. And now I start to regret again that I didn’t buy good stocks when they were still so cheap. Sigh. Now they are getting expensive again.

I’m still not very good at this but I really want to learn.

I’ve learned that some of Warren Buffet’s principles are the following:
1. Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful. Meaning when it is a bull market and the stocks are over priced, you should think twice … but if it is a bear market and prices of good companies are low, you should buy more because it won’t take long for the prices to go up again.
2. What you don’t know or understand, you don’t touch. He saved himself from losing millions of money by not investing in businesses that he himself don’t understand. For example, even if he’s really close to Bill Gates, he still doesn’t invest in tech companies like Microsoft. At least that is what I heard…
3. One way to earn in the stock market is not to lose money. Haha. Crazy, right? But it’s really all about proper timing. You have to know when you have to buy and when to sell. And keep in mind that fluctuations in the stock market is normal. But good stocks usually have an upward trend over time. They say that in the short term, stock prices are affected by news, media, even gossip and speculations. But in the long term stock prices are really dictated by the company’s profitability and growth. So you really have to keep an eye on the blue chips.

Oh, I still really have a lot to learn from the Truly Rich Club

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Enjoying Note Anytime on NEXUS 7


I received my order from Amazon today – my new spotted pink case that came with a free stylus. Yey! I love it! You know, I realized that I prefer buying front Amazon than from Best Buy. I just got a lot of choices from the former and it is so easy to compare prices, specs, and there are a lot of colors and designs to choose from. Plus I love it when I arrive home and there is a package waiting at the door. Hehe.

Tonight is supposed to be a reading night but I spent it in learning Note Anytime. It is my new app love. :) you might want to try it!

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