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I am in Ontario, Canada as stated in previous posts. I am 23 and have $20 000 in investments after working at my first job for 10 months. My job pays me $42 000/year before taxes ($33 000/year after taxes). Although my living expenses as low as possible ($9 000/year), I have some serious concerns about how realistic my estimates are. Simple math suggests I save $24 000/year, all after tax.

Let me be a little more clear, I am an interpreter by trade (for the Cantonese language). But, the people I serve are immigrants to the United States and Canada. Based on the severe population aging occuring in China, it is very likely that, in 20 years, the number of immigrants from China to these English-speaking countries will experience a steep decline simply due to the reduced number of working-age adults in China (22-60 years old). The old people (Baby Boomers) will mostly be dead by 2040 or so, which means demand for my services will plummet simply due to demographics.

If this is not bad enough, AI and other forms of automation will probably cause the supply of interpretation/translation services to surge. When demand for your field plummets while supply surges, then unless you can get to C-level, your job is probably gone for good. I definitely do not have what it takes to be the CEO or even a middle manager of any company.

All of this inevitably means I will be out of work by 40 or so. If I did the math correctly, assuming a 2% real rate of return after taxes per year, and wages are flat, by 40, my retirement portfolio will be worth $542 000 in 2018 dollars, which creates $10 840 of income per year assuming 2% return, with no tax implications (since it is low enough for taxes to not be payable).

Now, on its face, since $10 840 > $9 000 (my annual spending right now), my retirement is sound. But, since 50% of my expenses are housing costs while 25% is food, with the remaining 25% for everything else (cell phone bill, internet, durable consumer goods, and some limited entertainment), I am highly sensitive to inflation, stock market crash or medical conditions that force me to spend a lot more money than I normally would spend.

Due to being "severely disabled" (in quotes, because I appear to be much more disabled than I actually am so that most employers do not take me seriously), I really cannot get a traditional job. The only reason why I have a job is because the hiring process of my current employer does not involve a job interview and instead relies on a test, I got a job because I passed the test and the company was in a rush to hire at the time. I am guaranteed to flunk any and every interview. I work at home, and my employer does not even know what I look like.

I am open to working a part time job on the weekends, since my full time (40 hours/week) job is limited to Monday-Friday. If I can find another work-at-home job, and can convince the employer to let me work only weekends, I can probably work another 16-20 hours. But, I have been reading a lot of research stating how unhealthy it is to overwork, and if overwork leads to actual severe disability that causes me to lose income, and out-of-control medical expenses, then the additional $14 000/year after tax is definitely not worth it.

P.S. Do not tell me to cut spending, my transportation cost is $0, and housing costs are substantially lower due to living with multiple family members and a landlord willing to charge 20% below market for us being good tenants over the long term. I eat out once every other week, and when I do, it does not cost more than $16 (my after-tax hourly wage).

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    You seem very, very certain about a number of limiting factors that are not certain at all. "Plan for the worst, hope for the best" is fine, but you're taking it way too far! – Harper Nov 10 '18 at 20:41
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    I suggest you train for some other jobs. I've made several drastic career switches in my time, as few jobs are going to stay stable for a working lifetime. You also may be over-estimating the difficulty of getting hired when you appear to be disabled. In the US, that might even be a plus, as long as you're competent, since it looks good in diversity statistics. – jamesqf Nov 11 '18 at 2:27
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    I think you undersell yourself. You come across as very intelligent and you have excellent writing skills. There are many non-traditional job opportunities out there and you are only 23. I suspect you will do well despite your disability! – gaefan Nov 11 '18 at 13:37
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All of this inevitably means I will be out of work by 40 or so. If I did the math correctly, assuming a 2% real rate of return after taxes per year, and wages are flat, by 40, my retirement portfolio will be worth $542 000 in 2018 dollars, which creates $10 840 of income per year assuming 2% return, with no tax implications (since it is low enough for taxes to not be payable)

The Math is correct.

Now, on its face, since $10 840 > $9 000 (my annual spending right now), my retirement is sound. But, since 50% of my expenses are housing costs while 25% is food, with the remaining 25% for everything else (cell phone bill, internet, durable consumer goods, and some limited entertainment), I am highly sensitive to inflation, stock market crash or medical conditions that force me to spend a lot more money than I normally would spend.

Agreed. This is too close. Factoring Inflation after retirement plus some unplanned expenses; this is not very comfortable position.

I am highly sensitive to inflation, stock market crash or medical conditions that force me to spend a lot more money than I normally would spend.

Options:

Take Some Risks: Instead of conservative 2% increase on investments, explore if you can invest into Mutual Funds for next 10 years [Actually look at moving from Mutual Funds to Safe investments when your age is between 30 to 35, depending on Market situation]. So 8% of Mutual Funds for 10 years and then at 2%. The corpus will be around 664,000. Giving a return of 13,280 at 2%.

Re-Skill: As you are quite familiar with your situation, see in 5 to 7 years time, if you can acquire new skills that can provide you employment till your are say 45 years. This should take you investment corpus upto 800K.

Some could also be reuse of your existing skills. For example there could be quite a few Chinese books that need translation to English. See if you can work with some sponsors to get this to you; this need not be taxing on time. i.e. you can work on it for few months in free time and not to a immediate deadline / goal. Or other way round, translate English books/blogs/etc to Chinese.

Or you can work with a Tech startup in AI and act as SME; help them build the translator, technology can only solve something if the developers understand the nuisances of the subject.

Of Course you can do a mix of above. Plus monitor your finances on yearly basis; this should help you gauge things better. There is wage increment, offset by inflation. Generally the Medical Inflation is quite higher than normal inflation.

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    The core here is re skill. It is a boring life and not worth to jus retuire at 45 at all, and the plan assumes "I am of no use at all later". Just get another job - one that doesn ot have to pay well, just it provides also some work to do. – TomTom Nov 12 '18 at 10:07

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