Badminton coach hopes to retire by age 45

Badminton coach hopes to retire by age 45

SINGAPORE - Being a badminton coach is not a "real job", Mr Richmond Hor has been told many a time.

"It is a freelance job, so there are times when you have to look for new work when a school stops employing you as its coach," said the 32-year-old.

Mr Hor has a diploma in mechanical engineering, and worked as a video operator at ESPN Star Sports, where he would dub commercials and repair playlists.

But he worked the graveyard shift, which took a toll on him.

The badminton enthusiast, who has been playing the sport since he was an eight-year-old at Monfort Junior School, decided to focus on his passion and coach full-time instead.

He gave up his ESPN job which paid about $3,000 a month, and now coaches at about eight schools, including Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary), Xinmin Secondary and Singapore Chinese Girls' School.

The flexible job schedule also allows Mr Hor, a divorcee, to spend more time with his six-year-old son, Roni.

"Usually I get my breaks when the kids have their exams. I get about two months off a year," he said.

He also runs a side business, HCH Sports and Trading, importing and exporting sports equipment.

Q: Are you a spender or saver?

I am a saver. About 50 per cent of my monthly income is saved, and the rest goes towards servicing my car loan, my household utility bills and my investments.

Q: How much do you charge to your credit card every month?

I have 10 credit cards so that I can enjoy the various promotions.

I pay off my bills every month, and I charge about $1,000 a month, mainly dining and entertainment expenses.

Each time I go to the ATM, I withdraw about $200.

Q: What financial planning have you done?

I have paid about $12,000 in insurance premiums.

I have three policies and am covered for $400,000.

For my son, I have set aside some money in a fixed deposit account. Right now, it has about $20,000.

My portfolio also has about $40,000 in a unit trust and $10,000 in shares.

Q: Moneywise, what were your growing-up years like?

I have two brothers and three sisters.

My parents ran their own business, so while we had a relatively comfortable childhood, my parents were very careful with their money.

As a result, I am also careful with my money.

Q: How did you get interested in investing?

Some of my close friends, who are also badminton coaches, were making money on the side through their investments.

The interest rates in the banks are so low now, so any investment is better.

My first investment was a unit trust. I put in more than $30,000. I went to a bank and asked the bank officer for some tips and this was the recommendation.

As they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

But I am also not much of a risk taker, so at least with the unit trust, I won't lose too much, even though I don't earn as much also.

Q: What property do you own?

I bought a four-room Housing Board flat in Sengkang in March 2007. It is about 1,000 sq ft.

It cost me about $232,000 and I just finished paying for it. The flat is worth $450,000 now.

I rent two rooms out to earn some passive income.

I am saving up to buy a condominium unit in the River Valley area.

But I don't think I will sell my flat as there is some sentimental value; after all, it was my first asset.

So no matter how tough times are, I plan to keep it.

Q: What's the most extravagant thing you have bought?

I guess it would have to be my car, a second-hand Lexus 250, which I bought for $97,000 last month.

I'm not too sure why I bought it, maybe it is because many of my friends changed their cars so I decided to change mine too.

But so far, no regrets.

I also have three Rolex watches, which I bought when I was 21, 28 and 30 years old.

The first watch was a Rolex Boy that cost about $7,000. I also have a Rolex Oyster and a Daytona which cost $11,000 and $16,000 respectively.

These watches mark the years of my personal growth and also in my career. I hope to be able to buy a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, which will be about $36,000, next year.

Someone once told me that it is better to buy Rolex watches, because you can pawn them when you run out of money.

Q: What's your retirement plan?

I hope to be retired by 45, which means that I will be able to live comfortably without working. That would require probably about $4,000 a month.

The plan is to give my flat to my son, so he can rent it out.

Q: I drive...

A black Lexus 250.

Q: Home is...

My flat in Sengkang.


 

Background story

Worst and Best Bets

Q: What has been your worst investment to date?

I put about $100,000 into a restaurant business selling Chinese fusion food about a year ago.

It is a joint venture with my sister and a friend, and I have the smallest share.

Up till now we have yet to break even, and I am planning to sell my share back to the partnership soon.

Q: And your best?

It would be setting up my own business.

I put $30,000 into the business - and my time of course - but now, it is worth about twice what I put in.

There is also my HDB flat, my first asset, which has almost doubled in value as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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