Sam Goh, also know as Ah Huat or the laughter yoga teacher, joined SHC in Jan 2006. Well known as our contact guy in JB, Sam just crossed 60, and has always been involved in recycling and charity activities in JB. In the club, Sam had participated in different roles, one as a bouncer in SHC Dinner & Dance “One night in Taipei” and as a young school boy in SHC Prom night.
Sam is street smart. He speaks Bahasa Malay and Mandarin fluently. Having lived in JB for more than 20 years, he knows many nooks and corners, including good food, karaoke and special buys. He also knows many naughty places.
We have invited Sam Goh to give a talk on “Living in JB during retirement”. He is ideally suited to offer his views and recommendations on JB.
The talk will be presented over SHC Zoom. Date and time not fixed yet. This will last about 30 mins, followed by Q&A and discussion. You are welcome to participate.
We will have more SHC Zoom talks and discussions. To prepare your self, please click to join in at the designated time. No password required.
Earlier groups on “Ageing together in JB” discussed the topic last 3 mths. Most of the discussions centered around where to stay, costs, knowing more about JB, convenience, interesting areas, moving around, transportion and risks staying in JB. Most participants are healthy, vibrant, hot, shoppers, looking fot best buys, eager to enjoy life, and always looking for company to go JB. I see many are in stages 1 and 2 of the ageing process, meaning got money, still working, healthy, can walk, very busy, full of vibrance and essentially mobile and not bed ridden. This brings us to the next discussion. Stage 3 and 4.
What do we do when we reach Stages 3 and 4? We cannot walk and maybe bedridden. And we cannot bathe ourselves, cannot eat our meals and medicine.
At stages 3 and 4, we may have to decide having a maid or move to a nursing home. Maybe someone will decide for us, where we stay. Which nursing home to go to?
Worse still, when there is insufficient medisave and savings run low. If we have filial children or family, they may only see us once a week.
How to afford the next medical appointment and medicine? Where to get a wheelchair? Where to get assistance?
When we decide to stay at home, and no one around, what to do? Youtube movies, maybe. And wait until the daughter-in-law or son comes home with some food.
Getting a maid is an idea, but what does it cost to have a maid at home? Or should we be moved to a nursing home? How affordable is this? In Singapore, JB or Batam?
Many of us dont think of stages 3 and 4. Wait until then, the situation will take care of itself. Maybe, we just gong suddenly and go to heaven.
We shall dedicate the next 3 mths on this topic. For those who are in Stages 3 or 4, not mobile and bedridden, come share with us your experience. It will be truly valuable.
Nothing shy and nothing to show off. Our time will come.
Khao Yai, known globally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is about 2 hours north east of Bangkok.
I am organising a trip to Khao Yai in July 2019. For this trip, I have asked Bernard, a Singaporean, who has retired and settled down in the Khao Yai area with his Thai wife Nicky. The couple owns a fresh corn-on-the-cob business. They enjoy farming, tissue culture and agriculture related activities. Bernard enjoys his retirement at Khao Yai. This is an opportunity to hear from a fellow Singaporean.
Khao Yai is known for it’s greenery, fruits, grapes, wineries, mountains, fresh air, open space, cows, hiking tracks, relaxing country side environment and resorts.
The trip will start from Donmuang or Suvarnabhumi airports and will depart to Khao Yai, approx 2 hours in 9 seater vans. The return leg will be to the same airport. Note: this is raining season and a good time to enjoy being wet.
The trip objective is to evaluate Khao Yai on short term retirement, while for others, a few days of fresh air and friendly company. Both Bernard and Nicky will share with us what life is like at Khao Yai, what it costs to stay here and what activities we can pick up in the part of Thailand.
If you are looking at stay up to 1 year in Thailand, come join the trip.
Interested, please sign your name here. You may withdraw if the final dates are not suitable. Group limited to 30 pax.
1. Date: IN Thur 18 Jul 2019 and OUT SUN 21 Jul 2019.
2. Place of stay: Pakchong area 3* nice hotel.
3. Pickup and return airport: Donmuang or Suvarnabhumi airport.
4. Transport: 7 per van, total cost to be shared by 1-7 pax.
5. Place of stay: at Pakchong and arranged by Barnard, as a group.
6. All participants buy their own airtickets.
1. Terence Seah EO
Trip limited l to 4 vans or 28 pax. Members may withdraw before the hotel is booked.
1) Dolly Lim
2) Lina Ng
3) HC Lee
4) Susan Chang
5) Rene Leong
6) Lee Ah Nee
7) Cindy Wee
1 more seat left
Van 3 ..
2)Yap Siew King
3)Ong Chee Teck
5)Howard self booking
3) Pauline Khoo
5 )Cheng WK
About 80% of Singaporeans live in HDB flats on 99 year lease. Many of us fall within this category, and we can read in the media that many Singaporeans and PRs are concerned about the remaining lease years.
Concerns include passing over to the next generation, ability to buy a used HDB flat when the balance lease is 40 – 60 years. Understanding the HDB flat is an asset and what 99 years lease means to retirees downsizing.
Let’s say our HDB flat has 40 years left, what can we do with these 40 years?
Let’s discuss, so that most of us can have a better understanding of this topic and it’s implication.
The 3rd evaluation trip will be based in Chiangmai city. This trip will focus on moving around CM city, plus an overnight trip to a town, 1 hr from the city.
This trip caters to city dwellers, as is preferred by Singaporeans. CM city has almost all the facilities and entertainmentof a modern city. Participants get to experience local thai transport. For those adverturous, you can team up in groups of 4 to rent a car to drive around, or a scooter in groups of two to venture into the old city.
For common areas where we go togather, we will use public transport. Basically the Song Thaew which is a pick-up with two rows facing one another. Each ride costing 15-20 baht within the city.
Participants will get to book and stay in a hotel. You can choose your own hotel. Ideally in groups of two or four. Participants will have to book their own airtickets.
The first group to form will get to choose the dates, about 7 nights. Scoot and Silkair flies to CM regularly. Plse check for special promotions.
Those who are interested to join this trip, plse whatsapp +65 9489 4360 to join the group discussion.
Perth is 5 flying hours from Singapore. Time wise, we are in the same time zone, +8 hrs GMT. And One SGD is about one AUD.
Scoot, SIA, Jetstar and Quantas fly regularly to Perth. Perth city is small in size, compared to Singapore.
Like most tourists, Singaporeans can get a 1 year tourist visa, multiple entry and 3-mths at one stay. I hear that we can even get a 3 or 6 year extended visa. Got to check.
Many Singaporeans settle down in Perth, not necessary in the city but in many suburbs south of Perth. Connected by fast timely trains and highways, one gets to travel into the city within 30 mins. Unlikely muti storey shopping centres, Aussie malls are generally ground or low level. Due to space availability, car parks are huge, and very often, one gets to park for free. How much do we have to pay for a car? SGD 4000 for a 2nd hand car or SGD 99,000 for a new car.
How are living prices in Perth? What’s it like to live in a house? Or should one settle for an apartment instead, just like many of us are used to? How much does it cost to buy a house or an apartment? SGD 450K or SGD 1.5 m for a 1,500 sq m space.
Food. How is eating out, or cooked in? What are prices like? Is it easy to get Asian food? What about service charges? How much does pork or chicken cost? What about vegetables, milk, fish, apples and mangoes? Will I feel at home? Afterall, we have live in Singapore for more than 50 years, with Cold Storage, NTU Fairprice, Seng Siong and our local grocery shop.
Friends. Easy to find friends and make friends? Where are they? One can tell how many Singaporeans live in Perth by chatting with the passengers on Scoot or Singapore airlines. We can also tell when there is a Singapore National Day gathering.
Health and Medical. As a citizen or PR, how are medical facilities and health costs? Oops, we are retiring tourist. How long does one have to wait to see a doctor? What is it like to see a doctor, a dentist or a pharmacist? Where are the hospitals? Private and Govt.
Seasons. How are the summers and the winters? How extreme can the weather get? Can we as retirees take the weather? Oh, my bones ache and my joints may go stiff. Or is it always hot, steamy and rainy? Does it snow?
Life must be more interesting. What about entertainment? What time do shops open and close? Do shops open on Sat and Sun? Heard that fishing, crabbing and picking abalones are fun activities. Are there bars, dancing places and restaurants that close at midnight? Or do they close at 6pm only? Anyway to get a massage for SGD 30 per hour? Cinemas, karaoke rooms and bowling alleys, are they easily available? What about open markets and Sunday Fleamarts? Hmm, got Korean or Taiwanese movies, or Singapore Ch 5, 8 or CNA, or not?
Space and fresh air. Australia is big. Australia is not Perth. There is Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania, Adelaide, and many more cities. What’s there to do? Farm stays, passion fruit picking, grapes and vineyards, kangaroos, whales, dolphins and sharks. Can we truly see a million stars at night or is there haze at times? Can we engaged in sports?
Many Singaporean retirees travel to Perth each year. This include a number of SilverHairsClub members who live in Perth. What is it like to live in Perth? Or in any other city. Share your thoughts and comments.
From feedback over the last 12 years in SHC, I would summarised that more than 99% of retirees finally prefer to settle down in Singapore, instead of going to Malaysia, Thailand, China or Indonesia. For many Singapore is home; Family is here, it is a safe country, and we have excellent medical facilities. Going overseas is more a holiday. And we communicate in English and Chinese.
However, there is a 1% that would still consider living overseas, for various reasons.
We started the topic of short term retirement, and I realise that many felt it is not as low cost as some of us would have thought. So, come the next question. If I plan to spend SGD XXX per mth, where do I get the money from? how do I fund my overseas stay.
Yes, for the 1%, you are welcome to join the SHC WhatsApp discussion on “How to fund our retirement overseas?
Simply, WhatsApp to +65 9489 4360 and msg “How to find our retirement?”. Closing date 15 Apr 2018.
We shall start on 17 Apr 2018.
Strict rules apply. no URL, no video. only screen shots allowed. This is discussion and text communication. And no personal attacks on anyone.
The SHC Retirement evaluation trip to Chiangmai 22-29 Mar 2018 has triggered questions on how to fund the 3 mths overseas retirement, without digging into personal savings.
Besides discussion in the CM retirement evaluation trip, we are now planning a one day activity to hear from experts in realestate.
Bobby Bok is in the realestate business, and I have invited him to lead in discussions on “how to fund a 3 mth overseas retirement program”. Bobby is an active SilverHairsClub member, and is known to many members in the Club.
During this same activity, we shall also discuss CPF life monthly payout. Together with Jassmine Teo, the topic on CPF life payout will be discussed further.
Venue, date and time have not be decided. If you are interested, please indicate your interest here. Seats limited. Strictly for SilverHairsClub members only.
As part of plans to build a SilverHairsClub communiy in Chiangmail, we shall have the first SHC gathering in Chiangmai on 28 Mar 2018. A venue will be identified towards the end of Jan 2018. Venue will be in Chiangmai city. we will invite fellow Singaporeans who are already living in Chiangmai.
Currently Scoot flies direct Sin/CNX/Sin on certain days of the week. March is the low peak season, is also attractive because of low hotel rates and low airticket prices.
For those interested, please make your own airticket and hotel arrangements. You may come to CM any date or time, but the SHC Chiangmai gathering is firmed for Sun 25 Mar 2018.
There is also a SHC Retirement community Chiangmai evaluation trip from 23 – 29 Mar 2018. This group will also meet up for this SHC gathering on 25 Mar 2018. For members considering long term stay in Chiangmai, you can participate in this trip. Whatsapp Terence +65 9489 4360.
We have identified a Thai song Sabai Sabai which is a catchy and popular song. This song is reflective of the SHC Chiangmai community that we will build in Chiangmai. I hope you will learn this song, to better understand the community, the culture and the language.
Keep in touch with updates here. Please register your interest to come hee.
Advance information. After all the talk on retiring in Chiangmai, about time to put some action into plan.
We are organising a special trip to chiangmai, for members to Chiangmai, with the aim of assessing retirement locations, activities and facilities. The dates are 22 Mar to 29 Mar 2018 (fixed).
A few points:
1. Thai tourist visa, applied at Spore Thai embassy is 3 mths, free. You need to show return air tickets.
2. Kenneth Tan, our regular CM advisor, suggests Scoot flying direct Sin/Chiangmai/Sin. Cost, less than SGD 300. So, you may want to book early. This is non-holiday period.
3. This is not a tourist trip, as it is intended for members looking at Chiangmai as a retirement location. CM will be used as the central and springboard to places in North Thailand. We plan to live the Thai way.
4. Accommodation, we will be staying at a few identified places, within a 1 hr radius from Chiangmai city.
5. Facilities planning will include local fresh markets, hospitals, pharmacies, Internet, parks, bus stations, lakes, night markets.
6. For those with special interest eg cycling, walks, gardening, chickens, Thai cooking, herbs, fishing, ease do research on the Internet. Let me know, and we try to accommodate.
So, please plan ahead. Do join the SHC Chiangmai retirement group, if you are interested.
This post is open to SilverhairsClub members and also members who are in the insurance business. Feel free to share and comment.
Strictly, no URL, tel, video and invitations. No copy and paste. You are allowed to mention the insurance company and your relationshio. Focused on travel and personal insurance only. Not life, term plans. Strictly for members discussions only.
SHC members are generally seniors, and at some stage do need travel and/or personal accident insurance. A discussion on this topic came up recently, and i thought it is a valuable topic to discuss. A number of our members are in insurance.
During the trip planning $D3N to Bangkok next year, a lot of time and discussions were placed on taking insurance and which one to pick up.
So, what is the difference between taking a personal accident insurance and a travel insurance? Personal accident insurance are usually valid for one year. So are annual travel insurance plans? Can a PA insurance plan be valid for travel.
As a buyer, which plan do you have?, How much does it costs and what is your experience with claims?
Does anyone know if SHC can have a group accident insurance or travel insurance, similar to corporate accident insurance.
Strictly, no URL, tel, video and invitations. No copy and paste. You are allowed to mention the insurance company. Focused on travel and personal insurance only. Not life, term plans. Strictly for members discussions only.
I am holding a focus group discussion for individuals who are interested to retire in Thailand to talk about the needs and wants that are important to living in Northern Thailand.
Date : Sun, 15 Jan 2017, 2pm to 4.30pm.
Location : Blk 495C, Tampines St 43, #08-384, S522495.
Duration : 2.5 hours
Number of participants : 10
The following is the agenda.
1 What do you like about living in Singapore ?
2 What you do not like about living in Singapore ?
3 Do you think you will enjoy the same lifestyle in 2 years’ time and beyond if you choose to remain in Singapore ?
4 Team Presentation
5 If you are given a chance to retire in Thailand, what you must have and what you wish to have ?
6 Team Presentation
7 An example to illustrate the lifestyle you will have if you choose to live in Thailand
Total participants : 10 max
Facilitator : 1
Light refreshments will be provided.
Please write to me on “email@example.com” leaving your name and mobile number if you need any clarification. Thank you.
Participant list :
1. Terence Seah
2. Jassmine Teo
3. Stella Sheng
4. Jeffrey Lim
5. Zacman Chiam
6. Richard Lean
7. Lilian Teo
8. Bobby Bok
9. Daisy Wee
11.Ong Lin Lhim
Direction to my place :
Take bus 293 from Tampines Bus Interchange, located next to Tampines MRT. There are 2 buses of 293. Take the one bus going to Tampines St45. Count 4 bus stops from Tampines Bus Interchange. Alight at Blk 493B. Look for Blk 495C behind bus stop.
I used to wonder about retiring in a foreign country. The idea was exciting when I was working and in my prime. However, now that I am semi retired, I feel that Sge is the best place to retire for Sge citizens.
CPF is making sure we have an adequate nest egg when we retire. For needy pioneers the govt provides subsidies for this and that. And medical treatment – no one will be denied medical treatment for lack of money. This govt pledge is really heart-warming.
Our HDB flat is an asset that can be used to earn income should we need cash. Most of us have this asset. At present many elderly including retirees are financially independent and have strong purchasing power. As the country progresses with an aging population in mind, retirees can look forward to a good future – a vibrant retirement life.
Terence is retiring in Thailand and Abel is retiring in Indonesia. The ‘push ‘ factor for both men is strong – both have families in the foreign countries. For me and my circle of friends, the pasture is greener at home!
The AWWA Senior Home community article in the Sunday Times (26/6) is an eye-opener on how it operates. There is a lot of freedom of movement for the residents. I think this is a good model for a retirement village, Sg style.
The studio apartment blocks can easily be adapted to a retirement community by following the AWWA Senior Home model. As the occupants of the studio apartments are owners of the apartments, they would need to pay a fee for the services provided, hence it is important that the retirement community of studio apartments be managed by a govt. department to keep costs affordable for the residents.
Recently I visited a friend who got a studio apartment in Hougang. She told me her neighbouring units are taken but the occupants are seldom at home. This implies that these elderly buyers of the studio apartments have a place to stay but thought it a good measure to buy a studio apartment. These early birds.
Now my friend, flushed with cash by downgrading to a studio apartment, is going on a tour of Europe. Life is good. :)
I had no clear idea when people talked about integrated shield plans (IP) until recently when I had to give advice to a relative who was wondering whether he should downgrade to the new standard IP which will come into effect in May.
I went to read up about medisave, medishield, integrated shields etc… and I realized having MediShield Life is enough health coverage with affordable premiums paid from Medisave if we do not mind being in class B2 or Class C wards.
I asked my relative ( an ordinary employee) why he had bought the IP and he said his insurance agent told him it was good to have that and that the premium would be paid from medisave which savings he could not touch anyway. (A little knowledge is indeed dangerous).
My conclusions – IPs are for :
People who want to be warded in B1 or class A ward. They can choose their doctors.
People who want to be treated in private hospitals.
Interesting info from MediShield Life website:
“60% of Singaporeans have integrated shield plans but many end up not staying in the ward their coverage entitles them to.” No reason given but I thought it was strange.
When asked when he was going to retire, 75 y.o. Tom Jones replied: Yeah, to what? (S.T. March 4 )
There are many elderly who do not want to retire because they do not know what to do if they retire. If you enjoy your work, like Jones, do not retire but if you do not enjoy your work (or more likely your job) but are hanging on to it for the money or the fear of not knowing what to do after retirement, then work, work, work till your health takes a heavy toll.
Retirement is the time when one enjoys a slower pace of life and has the opportunity to engage in work that one likes or even enjoy a second wind where one is one’s own boss!
One of the most sought after activity after retirement is travelling. Some of us are contented to say in Singapore; while others are forever looking out for near places to live their retirement. In the last two weeks, the Straits Times carried two articles on Perth and Western Australia.
For some members, their children are studying in one of Perth’s universities. For others, it is a golfing outing with friends. Many just love the open air and wide space. Families may go there to see dolphines and whales. And for others, a chance to own a 450 sq metre piece of land with a landed property at about AUD 450,000 freehold.
Some years ago, SilverHairsClub organised a homestay among Singaporean homes, enjoyed Fremantle and its wide and beautiful coastline, moved leisurely around Perth city, and mixed with the Singapore community.
Perth is 5 hours from Singapore, same time zone, and with Scoot, jetstar,
Quantas, Singapore airlines and Air Asia, many can buy their air tickets between S250 to 900 return. Hotels starts from AUD100, and rentals of an apartment or house are around AUD 450+ per week.. Car rentals are pretty cheap, and available at around AUD50-70 per day. Coffee is expensive, at about AUD 4 per cup. A single dish is big sized, and likely to cost AUD 10 – 18 each.
What are your experiences and considerations when it comes to holiday or retirement in Perth? Share and discuss.
I was with a few friends in Petaling Jaya last night. My Malaysian friends have retired; and we discussed life during retirement, and getting old. Many of my friends were fit; they play golf, and travel extensively. Two weeks ago, I attended the wake of a long time friend of mine who has been with me in the newspaper industry for almost 30 years. He was only 55, and he suffered a stroke, I understood no one knew about it, until it was too late.
Many of us are alone at some times of the day. As for me, I travel a lot, staying in hotel rooms most days in a year. Well, I sleep alone most nights. How I wish I had company every night; unfortunately it is not the case. Guys, I swear by what I say.
Seriously, dont meant to joke about being alone. But, many of us are alone at times, at home, in the office, while travelling or at an unknown or familiar place. Husbands, wives, girlfriends are not around to help or may have switched off their phones. We may have a fall; we may sleep through and not wake up. We could have locked the room door. The chest was getting breathless and the pain was spreading. We may have only 10 minutes; and we dont know what to do. The only thing we have is our phone or smartphone.
(Click on the pictures for a bigger and clearer image)
I have always wondered what I will be doing on most days when I have difficulties in walking, when I am lonely and when I grow old. My time will come. But, not yet, I can still walk, I can still work, and I like to work for as long as my legs allow me. Of course, soon or later, I cannot work; but I want to keep myself active, and maybe do some volunteer work. That’s if I have the money to live through my SilverHairs years.
A couple of days ago, I visited a privately-run daycare centre in Australia. It has a size of about 400 sqm. It opens Monday to Friday 10.30am to 3.00 pm. The Daycare is run by some fulltime staff and some volunteers. It has a good size kitchen that prepares food and drinks for the elderlies that come to the centre.
The Daycare has a program, with different activities each day eg singing, poetry, crafts, games, magic show, indoor golf, ….. The activities are organised by the full time staff. The elderlies, all of them, require some help in moving around, and thus not bed-ridden. The daycare accepts elderlies who are not suffering from contagious diseases, dimentia, and mental illnesses. They live within a certain distance from the day-care and are picked up by a van driver from their residence. They arrive at the daycare at 10.30am each day, in a specially designed van.
The kitchen services the daycare and cooks the meal of the day, as well as prepares hot beverages and biscuits twice a day. The kitchen is run by a full time staff. Volunteers assist in the kitchen, serves the elderlies and generally clean up the place after lunch.
While at the daycare, elderlies get to play games, learn a craft, enjoy singing, do some gardening and follow the program of the day. Many elderlies are lonely and they do not want to stay at home. Their children prefers they go out, keep active and mix with other friends. At the end of the day, the elderlies are happy, and look forward to meeting other elderlies on other days.
I spoke with the staff of the daycare centre. The daycare employs some full time paid staff who administrates the centre, organises the activities and the daycare operation which includes picking up the elderlies from and to their homes. The volunteers help with interacting with the elderlies, keeps the place clean and tidy and other odds and ends. The centre is self funded, and it survives based on collections from the elderlies. At the end of each day, the centre collects between AUD 25 – 30 from the elderlies. This includes home-daycare centre transfers, a main meal, two tea-breaks, activities and program as per published schedules, plus a healthy day interacting with other elderlies.
I am not sure if the daycare centre is privately owned or rented. But, I see it as located within a quiet residential community. The daycare pays for maintenance, lightings and water tilities and upkeep of the building.
I am not sure how daycare centres are operated in Singapore; but I see some silver linings in a daycare centre.
There are opportunities for seniors and elderlies to use the services of a privately daycare centre.
Full time seniors get to work and get paid in a daycare centre, not a home or a hospital.
Opportunities for seniors to volunteer some time to interact with elderlies who are lonely, chatty, fun and need someone to talk to.
I think each of us has a different vision of what we will do when we have difficulties walking, cannot leave our homes on our own or meet friends without assisted transport or feel lonely while our children are working to earn a living. Many of our children would hope we can spend some time outside to get some fresh air, meet our regular friends and have our regular lunch.
Will you go to a Daycare centre and join its activities?
One of the most current affairs stories today is “Our CPF”. It’s about letting Singaporeans decide how much we need during our retirement. I think it is good we have a discussion here. Perhaps you know everything; but some of us have questions and comments.
If you have questions, do ask; and anyone can respond. If you have comments, great. Keep your response short, so we enjoy and understand you better. Please keep short your response to 1-3 paragraphs. I have questions too.
In the case or we turning 55 in 2016, and the options are:
Basic retirement sum (with property): A monthly payout of $650 – 700 for life, for basic needs.
Full retirement sum (without property): A monthly payout of $1,200 – 1,300 for life, for basic needs.
Enhanced retirement sum $241,500: A monthly payout of $1,750 – 1,900 for life, if we choose to put more in the retirement account.
If you wish to rate your thoughts and share it with fellow members, use the scale of 1-10 (10 is excellent), avoid using I dont like it or it is a good idea.
SilverHairsClub developed its main objective to provide a platform for SilverHairs, over 45, to meet new and more friends. Over the last 9 years, we get to understand our objective better, and whether it has served our efforts.
The Council of Third Age recent survey revealed that many Singaporeans who have left full time work are not able to fulfil their leisure interests because they need to look after their family duties first.
Grand children to look after, keeping the house clean, get ready homecooked food and caring after an ageing family member. Are you one of those who are unable to participate in SHC activities because you have family duties to do? What percentage of your SHC friends do you know fall under this category?
Or are you within the 36-45% surveyed that say your reasons for non-participation in leisure activities are due to lack of money or because of age? The survey added that most seniors prefer to keep to themselvces after they retired and may lack the courage to proactively intereact with others?
Come share your thoughts, even if you have been inactive? What do you think? What about you? Make an effort to share your thots.
I have been comptemplating retirement for a long while and my concept of retirement has been
constantly evolving as I look around , “listen to my body” and observing retirees.
I have seen many friends and neighbours who became so bored that they have become a nuisance to their spouse and children and to others!
A few of them have solved the problem by going back to work. They were able to do so because they have a skill/expertise that is still in demand. The rest live aimlessly or are waiting to die – a very sad situation, indeed.
There is no right or wrong but I have come out with some thoughts for sharing.
4 Pre-Conditions for Retirement
You should retire only when you fulfil these 4 pre-conditions:
1. Your children are financially independent (e.g. they got jobs),
2. You have zero liability (all your borrowings are paid up),
3. You have enough savings to support your lifestyle for the rest of your life,
AND most importantly,
4. You know what you would be doing during your retirement.
DO NOT retire till you meet ALL 4 Pre-Conditions. And of course you should not retire if you enjoy working and are getting paid well for it!
The problem cases I know of are those who failed to meet Pre-Condition #4.
When asked, “What would you be doing during your retirement?” some replied, “I will travel/cruise and see the World”. They did that, some for 3 months and then ran out of ideas. The golfers replied, “I can golf every day.” Most could not because they are no longer fit to play well enough to enjoy the game. Those who could, need to overcome another hurdle – they need to the find the “kakis” to play with them.
It’s the same with mahjong, bridge, badminton, trekking and karaoke – you need “kakis”! Most could not find others who share their favourite game and playing/singing alone is no fun.
Thus if you are into group sports or games, you must form your groups BEFORE you retire. You need to identify your “kakis”, play with them and discover whether they “click” with you.
The less sporty “can read all the books bought over the years”. I know of one guy who fell asleep after a few pages and ended up napping most of the time! He discovered that he did not like to read after all. We do change and we may not enjoy the hobbies we had.
Routine Activities To Fill Your Week
For most people, your routine work activities are planned for you or dictated by others and circumstances. When you retire, you wake up to a new routine – one that you yourself have to establish as nobody else would do it for you!
The routine to establish should keep your body, mind and spirit “sharpened”. A good routine would comprise:
a) One weekly physical sport – you need to keep fit to enjoy your retirement. If you are the non-sporty type, you should fire your maid and clean your home without mechanical aids. Dancing and baby sitting are good alternatives.
b) One weekly mind stimulating activity – e.g. writing, studying for a degree, acquiring a new skill, solving problems or puzzles, learn or teach something. You need to stimulate your mind to stay alive because the day you stop using your brain is the day you start to die.
c) One weekly social activity – choose one involving lots of friends/neighbours. Get yourself accepted as a member to at least 3 interests groups. Unless you prefer to be alone, you do need friends more than ever as you get older and less fit to pursue your sport.
d) One weekly community service activity – you need to give to appreciate what you have taken in this life. It’s good to leave some kind of legacy.
With 4 weekly activities, you got 4 days out of 7 covered. The remaining 3 days should be devoted to family related activities. In this way, you maintain a balance between amusing yourself and your family members. Any spare time should remain “spare” so that you can capitalise on opportunities that come your way like responding to an unexpected request to do a job or to take advantage of cheap fares to see places or to visit an exhibition.
Mind stimulating activities
Most judges live to a ripe old age. They use their brains a lot to decide on cases.
Mind stimulating activities are hard to identify. They require your will to do something useful with the rest of your life, a mindset change and the discipline to carry it through. Find new field to learn or new hobbies.
Your Bucket List
Despite your busy routine, you will at times be bored. Then it’s time to turn to your Bucket List.
Your bucket list contains a list of things to do before you kick the bucket. They are not routine and are usually one off activities. You need them to have something to look forward to. These include anniversaries, trips (and pilgrimages), visits to friends and relations abroad, re-doing your home, attending conferences (related to your hobbies), acquiring a new set of expertise. 4 such activities that are spaced our quarterly would be ideal.
Retirement Is A Serious Business
If you can afford to retire and want to, do prepare to live to your fullest. You need to be fit to enjoy it – therefore get into shape now. You do not want to get up on a Monday and wonder what to do each week, therefore identify your set of weekly routine activities now and try them out to confirm that they are the activities that you will be looking forward to doing each week, week after week. You bucket list of “rewards” or “projects” or “challenges” is needed to help you break away from the routine thereby make live worth living. Start listing what you fancy and refine it as you chug along in your retirement.
I hope the above help for those who are planning of retiring. I am looking forwards to my retirement to embark on my various personal projects.
Two Sundays ago, I took this shot of an elderly lady in the park; she was enjoying herself in the middle of the city. She didn’t say a word, and while I was looking at her, neither did the caregiver say a word. But, I could sense in the lady the feeling of peace and satisfaction. This picture was not taken in Singapore.
Then, I began to see myself and my fellow SHC friends and members in a wheelchair. Various thoughts came to my mine. Many of us are fit, perhaps working and enjoying our lives. We cannot wait to see the rest of the world; so many countries to go and not enough time. We feel we are still somewhere up there, and that we have made it after all these years; and that no one should tell us what to do, how to do it right and that I am wrong. Then, one day, we land up in that wheelchair. No one talks to us, not even the caregiver, if we have one.
Ever since SHC started in 2005, I see many fit and young faces among Club members. Where will we be?
When I first retired from my full time job age 50 with NTUC, I wanted to set up a co-operative for Seniors but was put off as I had an attractive offer to work in China. Now that I am jobless and believe time in on my side .
I believe in pooling members ‘ existing resources to work for the success of this co-operative. I do not believe in asking members to contribute money towards this set-up. No body is to bleed for the failure of this misadventure.
Many retirees spend on all forms of necessities- which forms the revenue of this co-operative. As this co-operative taps on the facilities provided by SHC enterprise- a 3% on revenue sales is provided as a constribution. All resources provided by members will be awarded in monetary gains. Details of rewards will be outlined as we roll out programme.
I have plans for Tour programme -(A) Spore-Pengerang-Spore (B) Spore-kukup-Spore. we will develop other packages as times go by. The details of (A) as follows :
Spore-Pengerang-Spore Tour 1 Spore-Pengerang-Spore Tour 2
8.30 am – Assemble at pick-up point 8.30 am – Assemble at Changi Ferry T 8.45 am – Cars leave via causeway 8.45 am – By Boat to Tg Pengelin Ter 10.00am- Arrived lago land/shoppingComp 10.00am – At Pengerang walk around 12.30am -Lunch at Farm house/others 12.30pm – Lunch at Kg Sungai Rengit 2.30pm – Tour around Sungai Rengit and tour around 3.oopm – drop passengers at Jetty to 3.15 pm – Pick up Tour 2 passengers ferry home heading for JB shopping By 5.00pm – Those intend to stay a night 6.00 pm – Dinner is optional at own
The resources require to make this tour successfully depends on members car pooling, as well as salesmanship. Sales commission 5%. Car driver get $ 140 ( travel by Taxi to kampong Sungai Rengit from JB is S$ 70).
I intend to price this tour package at S$88 (all inclusive except Lago Land entry fee) per pax..Any suggestion to charge higher are welcome. Under this win-win arrangement. As participant- you have the comfort of travelling in private car. As a participated Driver-you have ( S$140-88 ) S$ 55.00 appreciation fees.
Opinion poll : How about each passenger pay S$ 75 transport to Participate Driver for Genting / Malacca Trip ?
For those who wish to stay short term in Thailand and wish to learn conversational thai, i would encourage you to take up live learning, direct from thai people. With today’s internet, you can learnt thai over Skype. You can see the teacher. You will use a common thai conversation book. Two adult students can learn and speak and listen together. You will be corrected if you pronnounce wrong.
These is a great way to learn from your own desktop or even mobile. Right from Singapore from Central Thailand. Good Thai schools charge about 30,000 for one-one coaching. But I think we can get teachers for less than 50% on a twin sharing.
As part of my ongoing plan to encourage retirement in Thailand, i encourage you to start learning thai now.
I look forward to have some Singapore friends in Thailand when I retire. Especially when you have some thai language skills.
Let me know if you wish to learn thai. BTW, another way is to have a thai boyfriend or girlfriend or to go for slow thai karaoke.
In 2004, my close friends, William Chew, Richard Ng and Vincent Khoo got together regularly to talk about retiring in Thailand. That’s 10 years ago. We have been living in the region for more than 20 years. Today, Richard stayed on and worked in Bangkok. Vincent Khoo moved back recently to Singapore due to health reasons; he is eager to get back next year. William Chew stayed on in Myanmar, having lived there for almost 30 years. I have been living in Thailand for more than 20 years, and today, I am extending my plans to live in Thailand for an indefinate period of time.
There are many Singaporeans living in Thailand, enjoying their retirement. They can be found in Chiangmai, Phuket, Bangkok, Korat, Pattaya and HuaHin. Most have either a house Upcountry or an apartment in key cities. Many live on a modest lifestyle, enjoying the vastness of Thailand, the beautiful shores, the wide range of medical facilities, the modern supermarkets, the friendly culture, and importantly, the low cost of food, transportation, housing and travel.
Language is easy, most Singaporeans can pick up day to day communication within 3 months. I went to school for 6 months, Thai karaoke every week and speak Thai in my best with anybody around me.
Whether you are a man or a woman, you will find friends to help you make Thailand a place to stay, even for retirement, short term or long term. It’s for you to build the relationships.
There is a Singapore Club of Thailand (SCOT) and there is the Singapore-Thai Chamber of Commerce (STCC). I was the President of SCOT for two terms and a co-founder of STCC. The first is social and the latter is more business. Either one, you can join.
You may be able to get a job in Thailand, or you can start a small business with a local partner. Both of which are not complicated procedures. A small business can make your stay beneficial and worthwhile.
While Thailand has a growing middle class, many Thais are still very poor. They are mainly in agriculture. If your heart is to help the poor, you will find doing charity projects meaningful as our contributions to the less fortunate.
Here in Thailand, you can easily have a maid, a kitchen help or a driver. On a shared basis, among friends, you will find the cost of living in Thailand workable and within the means of a small calculator.
I shall lead this Post on Thailand covering issues on retirement living, including short term living. Each week, I shall cover an issue, and you are free to ask a question or make a comment.
Please stick strictly to Thailand and retiring in Thailand issues. For members who wish to join in on this topic, please feel free to join in.