Half Life

I turned 35 today. It didn't come as a shocker like 30. I have been expecting it for five years now. Anyway my perspective on many things in life has improved. I don't say changed because my values stay the same and I remain the same. But that said some of those beliefs have become stronger.

Seven stages of Life

I am older than 58% of the world's population and older than 65% of all people in India. You are loosing time faster than you think. The life expectancy of an average human being is around 70 years1. I believe 2 quality of human life falls by 50% for every half-life. Not just that the period is also reduced by 50%. It's just accelerated aging. On a positive side you get more time when your QoL3 is great.

Stages of Life
(Half Lives elapsed)
Quality of Life
(Also % Remaining Life)
My Age
0 100 0
1 50 35
2 25 52.5
3 12.5 61.25
4 6.25 65.625
5 3.125 67.8125
6 1.563 68.90625
7 0.781 69.453125
... ... ...
n 100/(2^n) 70-70/(2^n)

May be a graph makes it much more obvious.

QOL v/s Age

Good news is now I am in the best possible time ever in my life.

Will fix it

Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth. Mike Tyson Being a FOSS developer has helped me a lot in personal life. While you are solving a problem. You know the solution isn't perfect yet. You know that there will be glitches and sometimes even critical bugs. But that doesn't stop one from releasing it. Because if you face an issue, you can get into debug mode, get to the root and fix it. If there are no bugs, one will add those small features. It will be near perfect very soon. All one needs is to pay attention and spend time. Life in general has been like that for me.

Whats important?

There are days when I am faced with prioritizing things. I have a very clear order of priority. It helps me to navigate when I am stuck. The fact that the order is pre-decided makes the decision making process easy and less confusing.

  1. Values that I believe in
  2. A
  3. Core Family
  4. Work/Life
  5. Close Friends
  6. Health
  7. Wealth

Also just be there for those important moments and give your time and attention.

What and who are you surrounded by

I wanted to be surrounded by nice and honest people. There is nothing more important than that. This is specially true for work place where one spends a third of life. I also attach lot of value to being positive and being with positive people. That doesn't mean I don't value critique of me or my work. But I want every critique to come with what can be done to improve.


In my personal life there are hardly any boundaries between life and work. I am not worried or complaining about it. That's the way I want it. I don't do any work that's not part of my life. That said since I am married now, my life is not just my life. Its become much more beautiful. So what I consider as life my partner or core family might consider as work. So I am kind of separating some stuff. Anything that involves more than me is probably considered as work by family. For example coding is still part of my life but meetings are work.

Choices make you

Most often than not you don't make choices but choices make you. That is kind of scary but true. If I look back in my life. Every major turn is a choice I made. If it were different, I would have been a different person. It's just something to remember while making some choices.

Building memories


I have realized that everything I am doing right now is for memories. So when I retire, I will have a good time remembering things. It's also the reason I want to be surrounded by nice people. They help you build good memories.

Financial Planning

I am not great with financial planning to start with. When I started working in 2003 I went with the default plan PF, PPF and LIC. It was great and I had a bit of money left with me for travel. At 30, I seriously thought about retiring at 50. I mean retire from "working". I will still be working on interesting things. For me the difference between work/life is thin.

Anyway now I kind of follow modified "Dilbert’s One Page Personal Finance List"4. Below is mine. I should reach a stable state in couple of years. It's work in progress But I am happy about the progress.

  • Make a will.
  • Pay off your credit card balance.
  • Get term life insurance if you have a family to support.
  • Fund your company PF/VPF or personal PPF.
  • Fund your retirement plan. NPS Tier 1 is a good option.
  • Pay taxes. Don't save to save tax.
  • Buy a house if you want to live in a house and can afford it.
  • Put six months’ expenses in a fixed deposit.
  • Make sure you and your family is covered under health insurance.
  • Take whatever is left over and invest it. 70 percent in a stock and 30 percent in NPS Tier 2
  • If any of this confuses you, or you have something special going on (retirement, health, college planning, tax issue), hire a fee-based financial planner, not one who charges you a percentage of your portfolio.

This doesn't mean I am saving everything. I am actually spending up-to 30% of my earnings on travel and other hobbies. It used to be 50% and now that percentage has come down that is all. I think it's still quite a bit considering my earnings have increased.

Love you all. Take care.


  1. Check population.io
  2. Just my theory. It's not a scientific theory, Read more about half-life on Wikipedia.
  3. Quality of Life
  4. You can find the Scott Adam's list here

7 Responses

  1. Hari says:

    Great post.The sad part is many realize the values they need to respect only at 30’s and by the time, many things have gone past. I am glad you got that much ahead of others.

  2. Chaitanya says:

    Congratulations Thej!

    You have always been inspirational.

  3. iamairborne says:

    Congrats, Thej, on everything and more importantly the 35 round trips around our young star.

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