Investing our nest egg

I give up!!!

I just lost the comments I made for this post… really silly and

I wanted to look for a recent comment on a past investment-related post…
and I just couldn’t find it despite trolling through pages of comments and
months of post topics.

This lady wanted to know if it is a good time to buy bank stocks now; I guess
she means Singapore bank stocks. I think she deserves a response but I cannot
give more than a basic answer:

I think you can buy Singapore bank stocks but use only up to 5 percent of
your investment capital. Can Singapore banks fail? If they do, you’d only have
lost only 5 percent of your investment total.

I want to urge other SHC members who are more savvy about the market and
investing to give their comments and suggestions. The present economic and world
situation is getting very critical: EU and US financial systems are breaking
down, Mid-east tensions with Iran, world economic slowdown or even depression,
rising inflation and costs: How should we view these and what should we do?

Can we have some views from our SHC gurus?

Travelling on the cheap! Feb 3 – 5, 2012

Hi guys!

It’s time to look at travelling for next year: And this post is inspired by the new site in today’s newspaper. Yes, there are dozens of offers to all destinations with Air Asia… including my favourite: Thailand!

Please log in to the site within the next five days (till 9th October) and get special packages with hotel and flight.

I’m looking at going to Chiang Mai in February 2012 for the Flower Festival (Feb 3 – 5) which will feature dazzling flower displays, parades and beauty contests: a great photo/video opportunity! Besides, there’s all the food, craft shopping, sightseeing, etc, etc.

On checking the website, the offers for a five night stay (Feb 3 – 8) can be as low as S$280 per person twin-sharing. This includes flight, hotel and breakfast at a good tourist-class hotel.

So, if any of you are keen please register your interest and I’ll come back with details and recommendations. This is not a guided tour package and I will only help co-ordinate the trip if there are enough SHC members wanting to go.

SilverHairsClub 16 May gathering – Retirement issues

Thanks to Terence for his arrangements and also for his views on retirement. I trust that most attendees had a great time of fellowship and apologise for any shortcomings.  Thanks also to all the speakers for their views. Please refer to the relevant forum posts for the Blue Helmet, now SOHO scheme and acupressure session. Also thanks to Oi Cheng who did the registration and sorted out the voucher payments. Let’s look forward to the next meeting.

The monthly gathering is confirmed for Wednesday May 16 evening. 

  • Venue:  Pret A Manger, 35 Robinson Road, The Ogilvy Centre #01-02/06, Singapore 068 876.  Besides Lau Pa Sat market, between Raffles and Tanjong Pagar MRT.
  • Date/Time:  Wed 16 May, 1800 – 2030 hrs.  You may come at 5pm, for early birds.
  • Entrance:  Free.  This is a coffee/sandwich cafe.  From savings at the D&D, we have monies left.  A voucher of $3.90 will be given on this date, to registered participants list below.
  • Housekeeping – When you arrive, please see Oi Cheng.  Write your name on a label sticker, and place it on your blouse/shirt.  If you have the SHC name tag, do bring it along.
  • Toilets – Not in the cafe, but at Lau Pa Sat.

This event is our monthly gathering.  Feel free to get to know one another.  Except for club taboos, go ahead and discuss whatever you love.  We shall also have one-hour discussion topics on retirement issues.  SilverHairs will be given the opportunity to speak on any of the topics below.  Let us know if you like to speak – 5 minutes.  These topics include:

  • Where do I plan to retire?
  • How much is it going to cost me per month to retire?
  • What am I going to do when I retire?


  1. Steven Chan
  2. Terence Seah – What do I plan to do when I retire?  My dream idea.
  3. Kenneth Tan – Event Organiser and moderator for evening.
  4. Lesley Ho
  5. Lilian Chan
  6. Edwin
  7. Melissa Khng
  8. Tim Liu
  9. Caroline Gee
  10. Maria Tan
  11. Rosalind Tan
  12. Shirley Wong
  13. Henry Lim
  14. Ho SC
  15. KC Lau
  16. Ronald Lee
  17. Chow Weng
  18. Ronald Wi – doing a 5 min presentation.
  19. Ann Lim
  20. Molly Chua
  21. Suzhang
  22. Jeffrey Wong – Sharing thoughts on retirement.
  23. Linda Chang
  24. Peggy Ho
  25. ST Tan
  26. Lisa Ong
  27. Ronald Lai
  28. Alice Tan
  29. James Chan
  30. Marie Lim
  31. Lynn Chua
  32. L H Jie
  33. Eileen Lee
  34. Christina Chan
  35. Bee Gek Hwa
  36. Pheng Sok
  37. Benson Koh
  38. Lily Yen
  39. Lynn Chua
  40. Oi Cheng – Registration
  41. Annie Loh
  42. Clara Chay
  43. Ann To
  44. Norlina
  45. Lee Ah Nee
  46. Rene Leong
  47. Robert Quek
  48. Kristy Quek
  49. Dave Tan
  50. Zahriah
  51. Joseph Tan
  52. Pam Ong
  53. CJ Ang
  54. Andrew Yeung
  55. Philip Ong
  56. Patrick Yeo
  57. Teresa Hwang
  58. SB Khoo
  59. Mary Tan
  60. Alice Teo
  61. Clarice Ng
  62. Eleanor Chan – Planned retirement in Canada
  63. Dee Ang
  64. Dan Huang
  65. Thomas Kuan
  66. Ella
  67. Richard Lee – Retirement idea
  68. We will stop at 60 pax. Closing date: 5 May. This cafe has a seating capacity of 80.

Terence Seah, Kenneth Tan, Oi Cheng

The Number

Nowadays I have little time to read fiction, so no more the 396 pages of Forsythe or King and no more the lost sleep from trying to get to the end of the book. Yes, is it because that I feel there’s little time for vicarious pleasures in reading novels? Instead, I gravitate towards non-fiction works; no, not really, just books that tell you, teach you rather: like "How to Live Life like a Millionaire with Whatever You’ve Got in What Time You’ve Left, But Were Afraid To Ask".

Anyway, I’ve just read The Number by Lee Eisenberg (Clara, you can get it at the library) and it’s a book about The Number. So what’s that?

It takes some ploughing into the book, but The Number is just the "amount" of money that you feel you’d need to live the rest of your years after retiring. Reading it you’d come to the conclusion that Americans are very secretive about revealing the amount that they really want and Lee spends quite a bit of verbiage to explain this phenomenon. I cannot explain this except that Americans just want to be one-up on their neighbours. So if Jacko next door is seemingly richer, then Richie has to up his ante even on the retirement sum he thinks he’ll need in 30 year’s time!

I don’t have that problem: I need $20 million when I retire. However, I’ll settle for $2 million! See, the Chinese don’t have that hang-up.

So I doggedly plod on through the book… until page 228 when the whole message is summed up in the questions posed by George Kinder who is a so-called Life Planning Coach. These new-fangled descriptions of financial planners or insurance agents…

Kinder asks 3 questions to his clients and advisors, telling them to write their responses.

Question 1: If you had all the money you need, what would you do? How’d you live, etc.

After a time, he’d get to the next question.

Question 2: You have all the money you need, but your doctor tells you that you have a rare disease which would result in your sudden demise in 5 to 10 years, but otherwise you’ll feel fine, what would you do, etc?

Again he waits for the quick written responses.

Question 3: You feel fine, but you only have 24 hours to live. What did you miss? What did you get not to be? What did you not get to do?

So, the first two questions dealt with material wants but the third question is qualitative. And it is this third question that should determine what The Number should be. At least that’s how I see it.

Beyond this, Lee presents his views rather irreverently, slightly humourously. He delves into selecting the financial advisor, broker, fund, blah and finally gives a worksheet to work out your sums for retirement.

It’s just another thought for all of us to think about our retirement years.

Twenty Good Summers

Hi all SHC members

Yes, I’ve been reading Twenty Good Summers by Martin Hawes and it’s basically a book about financial planning and retirement (lifestyle change). But it’s also a book that addresses the needs and concerns of those reaching their 50s. We often come to realise that we need to radically make a change in our lives when we come to the milestone ages of 40, 50 or 60. For me, it’s coming to 60, the BIG SIX ZERO! So, technically, I only have ten good summers left… a sobering and humbling thought. But take heart, there is more to it then just sitting and moping and doing nothing. One way to make a difference in our lives is through our SHC participation and sharing. I thank our founder and members for their unstinting support and friendship.

Let me just share the final paragraphs of Martin’s book:

"There is still time to do all the things you have always wanted ‘if you act firmly and decisively. There is not time for wishing, waiting and hoping though. You have to cut to the chase and start living the life you have always wanted.

If you are not going to have some good summers now, when are you going to have them? This is a serious question – you are never going to be fitter or more capable than you are now; you are never going to be in a better position to enjoy your life than you are now; you will never enjoy your time as much as you will now. If your life is not what you want it to be, change it. This may mean doing something quite radical, something that may raise the eyebrows of oyour family and friends. But it is your life – the only one you are likely to have in this world at least – so get on with doing what you want. If there was ever a time to do the things you have always wanted to do, this is it. It’s time to make every summer count."