Painless Upgrade

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The market for second hand goods is gaining pace and automobiles are not far behind. An endeavor that once would have meant many weekends spent in finding second hand car dealers and then checking their inventory is now transformed to an online marketplace where you have the choice available at the click of a button. It is also to be noted that a dealer acts like an exchange and makes commission from both the sides, so there is inherent friction built into the deal that is eating away hard earned money from the both the buyer and seller and making the middle man richer.

My first second (!) hand car buying experience was spread over many weekends of searching the showrooms, keeping track of the models they had and multiple visits to them before I could finalize something. I am pretty sure, I ended up paying a little extra due to the commission made by the dealer, and this is beyond what he claimed he made on the deal. With online places like quikr next, now a large part of the research can be done at the comfort of your home and you can talk to the seller directly.

As I had mentioned in past, there was a tendency in our previous generation to attach a lot of emotional significance to their purchases, things like my first car, my first something else. And in most cases those first remained their last ones too, because they were reluctant to sell those off or possibly they were never able to because they never go the right price for it. Considering the limited second hand market, they would never find the price satisfying for their vehicle and then will choose to stick with it rather than sell it a price that they find insulting for their prized possession. So, there they were stuck with their old goods forever and cherishing their emotions around it. Not the case anymore, current generations don’t think much of replacing “people” in their lives, much less thought would be spared for things. And no one is looking forward to a life where they develop an emotional bond with their car and never feel like selling it off. With the options available in the market, it is far more tempting now to sell your current car at a good price and get a better one at a reasonable price, a gradual painless process of upgrade!

And with options like quikr next which is a chat based system, you get a lot of benefits like privacy, ability to keep track of the discussions and no endlessly interrupting calls. Most of the offices are now following an open theme for seating (which I find absolutely useless for any creative pursuit because of the all the built in interruptions, but I digress, topic for another day), it is very hard to hold a conversation without annoying the hell out of your co-workers, in such cases, an asynchronous chat based system comes as a blessing!

As I have said many times before, the world has never been better for people looking to get things purely for their use without investing the savings of their lifetime and without sacrificing countless weekends in the search of a deal.

The Retirement Myth

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It is interesting that the bane of our successful working class isn't laziness, on the contrary it may be too much work

Many folks including myself would speak of their early retirements at the start of their careers. All blue eyed, hopeful, optimistic and full of energy, it all seems like a steep rise to top in the next 10 years or so, giving you enough money and constant income to have you retire in peace. Few people got it right and I only read it few years back and it all makes so much sense. Tim Ferris got it right in his 4 hour workweek and the Peter Cohan inthis article

We are not looking for a life of zero work, I don’t think most of us will survive that kind of life, more so after a life where you could make enough money in ten years to last your life time. Unless you are truly lucky to win a lottery, any such achievement would come after many 100+ hour weeks and you would be incapable of dealing with the emptiness of no work. So, essentially, what we look for isn’t really zero work, but freedom from constraints, a control over your life, your time.

If you could spend your days the way you want without having to worry about putting food on table or saving up for your kids’ college, marriage and what not, you would have the life you want. This all makes a lot of sense, and begs the question - is it really worth waiting 20 or 30 years and have a retired life where you are not worried about all the things mentioned above. Would you even have the energy to do what you want with your free time then?
Instead of planning for a deferred retired, peaceful life, figure out what you would like to do. You may come to realize that all that you are looking for doesn’t need you to retire fully, all it might need for all you know is a little bit extra time in your life and may be slightly better financial planning? Like the ad below from IDBI federal Life Insurance trying to free you up from worrying about some part of your financial needs.





Anyway, this may be true for some, not for others, but what makes sense for everyone would be to have a list of things they would like to do if they could get a chance to live worry-free. Here is mine

Read

I have been too fond of reading all my life. I spent first 18 years of my life without reading any English novel, but devouring every piece of reading material I could get my hands on at my home. We never had a reading culture at home (more so English) and I never realized how much I loved it. Come college, I see a Hostel library and I got hooked. I read more than 55 books that year ( I was keeping count), of course, the grades nosedived, but that’s how I started and my constant regret is, so many books, not enough time!

Play/Exercise
Again something I did as much as I could, but wasn’t into it formally ever. But started playing table tennis a little more seriously in college, and then later on got into running, yoga, gym-ming, swimming. I may not look super-athletic, but I enjoy it !

Movies/Music
With web 2.0, there is only more to do here and I would like to lap it up all

Write
Writing for fun, un-constrained, un-supervised

Learn
Something, anything

Make Money/Grow an enterprise/Solve Problems:
This is the bit where I would like to fit my job or is a proxy for a job. However, a job that lets me enjoy the other things without putting pressure to choose from them, or ignore them. Of course, there are rarely those jobs, and even if there are, there will be peer pressure, a constant sense of competition with your immediate peers forcing you to push just a bit harder. This is a bane for all of us, in big scheme of things, all of us have lost the race in one way or the other if we really think we are in a race, but we always change our scope to make it interesting/horrible for us. And we stick to our own treadmills forever.

Write your own list, figure out what it is really, and make a move!