Short-term retirement abroad

I have been keeping a copy of the Straits Times, dated Mar 17, 2008 with the article "Retirement city: Develop low-cost retreat abroad", and think it is still relevant to toy with this subject again.  Please note this thread is not about giving up one’s citizenship or packing up and say goodbye.

Over the last 24 months, I have been asking around, and came to some conclusions why Singapore is the ideal place to retire in.  I may be wrong; but I tend to think there is truth in this observation.

  1. Most of us have families, children or relations in Singapore; and it is not possible to just uproot oneself.
  2. Between the men and the women, almost all women will not even think about the possibility of leaving Singapore for good.  For the men, the percentage is slightly higher, but as a family unit, the family will not leave Singapore for any of the nearby countries.
  3. The idea of selling the Singapore property may sound attractive, and together with the CPF can make one feel like a millionaire in another land.  Reality is the roof is still a required shelter for many years to come, for the children, parents or even ourselves.
  4. Health insurance, other kinds of insurances tend to provide cover, if one is living in Singapore.  Depending on the T&C, hospitalisation and other health care may not be covered under existing insurances.
  5. The idea of short-term living overseas, maybe 3 months, in nearby countries, sound like an attraction because of lower cost of living, lower medical costs and travel opportunities.

I tend to like short-term living overseas; yet, I feel sometimes it is not practical because of the above factors.  Lower costs overseas and travel opportunities are not enough drivers.  Shorter-term of 7 – 14 days overseas seem to be more practical and feasible.  What are your views?

Terence Seah 

66 thoughts on “Short-term retirement abroad

  1. Referring to Terence’s info on Straits Times, dated Mar 17, 2008 with the article “Retirement city: Develop low-cost retreat abroad”, you can read the article from the following URL : http://tinyurl.com/3plh8m

    If we are looking for a place to retire, we need to consider the following pointers :
    Climate, Government, Tax System, Medical Care, Real Estate, Shopping and Cost of Living.

    First we should know about our country from a foreigner’s perspective, by referring to the following URL on Singapore :
    http://tinyurl.com/5uow32

    And to know for example Thailand from our own perspective, by referring to the following URL :
    http://tinyurl.com/5gtmvp

    What is your opinion after reading the URLs?

    Is there a place to consider for short term retirement?

    I really hope that there is an alternative to transform one of our surrounding Islands into a retirement village, and those who reach their ripeful old age can afford to live in and also can be readily reach by relatives and friends.

    Hope that our Government can give a thought to this.

    Cheers

  2. When SHC started discussions some two years back, the idea of property development did not receive support and follow-through.

    If you read the old threads, you can read the many suggestions and considerations of an ideal retirement village. I guess property development is for property developers. At this stage, SilverHairs seem to prefer short-term travel or short-term overseas retirement living eg 3 mths.

    As for now, I would also think that finding suitable places in Malaysia, Indonesia, China, India, Australia, Thailand and Philippines can provide opportunities for SilverHairs to enjoy their Silver years. Hopefully, we can stretch our dollars too.

    Terence Seah

  3. Hi Terence,

    Living in Malaysia(JB) can really stretch your dollar…eg..a plate of lontong for bf cost only RM$2.50,a cuppa of coffee RM$1.00,petrol dollar for dollar.A beautiful 2 storey terrace house in a gated community cost around RM120-130K.
    Anyone need more details can get in touch with me through email…..rgds

    enjoy

    dan

  4. Hi Terence,

    Living in Malaysia(JB) can really stretch your dollar…eg..a plate of lontong,nasi lemak or even lunch costsRM$2.50-RM$3 most ,a cuppa costs only RM$1.00,petrol dollar for dollar.A beautiful 2 storey terrace house in a gated community cost around S$120-130K.
    Anyone need more details can get in touch with me through email…..rgds

    enjoy

    dan

  5. Hi Terence /others,

    My eldest brother bought his recent new 4 storey semi-D bungalow with a beautiful garden at Desa SPK in Damansara area for his youngest son around MR 800 000 approx S$ 370 000.
    For the same amount of money we can only afford to buy a 4 room HDB flat in the Western District.

    Such is the “good” quality of life in Malaysia compared with Singapore.

    However, do not forget the air pollution and constant traffic jams in KL city and the many tolls set up along the highways leading to residential areas.

    Bus transport is not as efficient as in S’pore. Sometimes, the bus driver has to wait for the bus to almost fill up before jalan. and most bus services ends early around 11pm.( Last bus )

    Even with LRT stns ,there is no shuttle bus to bring you there esp.in the suburbs

    Driving a car can drives one crazy because in the city area always traffic JAM,JAM,JAM.

    Look at the city horizon,Telecom Tower and KLCC is often shrouded by a thin layer of haze from air pollutn. It is becoming like Bangkok with its infamous traffic jams soon.

    This is the price you have to pay although the others are a bonus in terms of $$$.

    Sacrifice for our clean air,garden city, environmental cleanliness,efficient MRT.LRT and bus transport like S’pore ?

    You better THINK carefully although sad to say S’pore is an EXPENSIVE city to stay in. Hope it is not like Dubai.

    My 5 cts. worth.

    SC

  6. I think there is a good number of Singaporeans who buy properties overseas; but whether for retirement living or investment, I am not too sure. In fact, I tend to believe that few would-be retirees would consider buying overseas properties.

    For me, it’s different, because my wife and kids live in Thailand, so I have a good reason.

    My belief is that many retirees and would-be retirees would only consider short-term travel or short-term retirement living outside Singapore; not give up and go.

    I am hoping that Singaporeans who have got homes in Johore can share their views. I see Daniel Kang has popped up after some time.

    Terence Seah

  7. Hi Steven,

    Why bother to take buses when car are so affordable here in JB.There are places here where it is safe to live in.
    A friend just bought a 10,000sq.ft freehold single storey bungalow in an exclusive area for around RM$400K.5 mins to the causeway.

    If you really do your sums it is really worth living here on a long term basis.

    Austalia is no longer affordable to live in these days, just got back from Perth and realised that everything has gone up.Prices of property has tripled over the last couple of years.No longer on my wishlist……sigh

    just my 10 cents worth….hehe

  8. Dear Daniel / fellow SHcians

    1) You are right on about Australia due to the booming economy in commodities : oil, gas and mineral exploration and production.

    2) There are also many worthwhile missions one can undertake for meaning and purpose in life. There are teaching, reach-out and humanitarian projects in Asia.

    Cheers,

  9. Hi all,

    Just some lunchtime reflections:

    Inflation at 26 years high, Sentosa $1 billion hotel coming up after the IR, food prices and petrol expected to higher. Seems we will be like the Hawaiians soon, where their island in the sun is meant for the rich and famous.

    The ordinary people will just be that ordinary serving to the needs of the weathly and trying to be happy, smiling and contented and to keep on working to make ends meet.

    We can move to a cheaper country and stretch our dollar and dull our senses to adjust to less comfortable environments but the equation is still the same.

    Somewhere we have to learn to cross the line of being only the employed but to be the investor who can ride the waves, else we will just be swept up and down.

    They say it takes at least 7 years to be a successful entrepreneur or investor if you still have the resources, spirit and years left.

    So enjoy it which ever way you are heading and SHC is there to console and comfort you in some ways. Hopefully as our numbers get larger there are some who can guide us. As there are some who may find helping one of our kind to move ahead is their calling and a way to enjoy good friedship and happiness.

  10. Hi all,

    Just some lunchtime reflections:

    Inflation at 26 years high, Sentosa $1 billion hotel coming up after the IR, food prices and petrol expected to higher. Seems we will be like the Hawaiians soon, where their island in the sun is meant for the rich and famous.

    The ordinary people will just be that ordinary serving to the needs of the weathly and trying to be happy, smiling and contented and to keep on working to make ends meet.

    We can move to a cheaper country and stretch our dollar and dull our senses to adjust to less comfortable environments but the equation is still the same.

    Somewhere we have to learn to cross the line of being only the employed but to be the investor who can ride the waves, else we will just be swept up and down.

    They say it takes at least 7 years to be a successful entrepreneur or investor if you still have the resources, spirit and years left.

    So enjoy it which ever way you are heading and SHC is there to console and comfort you in some ways. Hopefully as our numbers get larger there are some who can guide us. As there are some who may find helping one of our kind to move ahead is their calling and a way to enjoy good friedship and happiness.

  11. #4 Daniel,

    I am keen to explore buying a terrace house or condo near to causeway as it has convenient access to SBS to SG. I tot foreigners can only buy pty above RM250K? Have considered Horizon Hills and Ledang but too inconvenient. Prices of terrace ard RM290K. Any recommendations nearer to JB?

  12. Hi Terence and others

    Noticed no comments from the ladies. So my 2 cents worth. In Perth, generally property prices have peaked and may be going down. This is not so further north as it’s booming there due to mining etc. Howvere unless you have a job there which is why many go there, you may not choose to do so.You can get a 3BR/4BR house and land package for below $400K, depending on location.

    Property in Malaysia is still affordable and I agree that cost of living is still much lower there. Being an ex-Malaysian, I would agree that that was my 1st choice of retirement living till I went to Perth. Perth offers very pleasant weather most of the year except for probably 2-3 mths when it’s either too hot/cold.

    Finally my home is still Singapore though I visit instead of reside there.

    Joan

  13. My favorite subject…

    Here’s a useful checklist of “Do and Don’t”

    (1) Most important. Hedge your investment currency. Use the ATM to Dynamically Value Hedge (DVH) your investment and cashflows. Otherwise, with SGD up, you risk losing gains made even in a clever investment in ringgit. With DVH you can have your cake and eat it too. You make a tidy recurrent profit from a combination of capital gains, rent and from your hedge. You should DVH for any class of long term investment in a foreign currency.

    (2) Never buy from plan for a foreign property. If you need instalment, get it from a loan. Make sure that title is good at the point of purchase.

    (3) When assets are cheaper, there is always a heighthen physical security issue. For residential even landed properties, try to buy gated communities. These are like condos with a guard house, security guards and club house facilities. This comes with a slight premium for the value added services. But don’t end up like many Sporeans who love to boast about how cheap they can buy a no-frills, standalone bungalow only to find that it is stripped bare after renovations. Its not only about not finding their imported Hans Groher “raindance” shower sets. Even the copper pipes are gone.

    There are many more tricks to note and do. There is this alpha-male-type who thinks that getting his girlfriend to manage his villa was a bright idea. Until the whole village moved in and refuse to budge. Many bright ideas turn out quite dim after all.

    If members are really interested we can get together and share. It can be a very lucrative or painful experience. It is a a potential final solution to a leisurely retirement. Don’t turn it into a tour of hell.

    All depends on experience and execution.

  14. Hi Joan #12,

    There will always be buyers of overseas properties, either for investment or planned retirement. For a good many reasons, cost of living maybe one of these reasons, an overseas property can make a lot of sense if one lives there with other members of the family.

    In one of my earlier comments, I mentioned that most women are not likely to buy an overseas property for emigration reasons. Men, together with their family, may do so, if they can agree as a family. Investment reasons, sure if one has the money, and taking into consideration KT’s warnings.

    I do think that short-term retirement living, maybe 3 months, in nearby countries is a probable solution to the desire or the itch for travel and stretching the Silver dollar.

    I shall keep dreaming. Have always.

    Terence Seah

  15. Hi KT,

    “(1) Most important. Hedge your investment currency. Use the ATM to Dynamically Value Hedge (DVH) your investment and cashflows. Otherwise, with SGD up, you risk losing gains made even in a clever investment in ringgit. With DVH you can have your cake and eat it too. You make a tidy recurrent profit from a combination of capital gains, rent and from your hedge. You should DVH for any class of long term investment in a foreign currency.”

    I don’t know anything about DVHs, but I assume the operative word is ‘hedge’. So you buy a LT asset in M$, earn rent or divds and hedge for your S$? How does it work? Is it through the interest differential? Is it possible that the asset class plunges, M$ plunges and the S$ continues to appreciate. What happens then to the DVH? Or if the asset plunges, M$ rises and the S$ drops. Is the hedge still working?

    Much obliged

  16. Hi Terence @14,

    I like your idea of a short-term stay in a foreign place for up to 3 months. Personally I am confident of 1 mth.

    About investment in properties. I find Singaporeans have a propensity to choose this asset class because (a)They have a good experience in Singapore. (b)There is a status or high satisfaction level in the feeling that one owns more than 1 property.(c) They are most familiar with the property market, not least because the govt here has indirectly pushed this asset class as the investment class in this country.Reference the ease of credit, low interest rates, use of CPF, estate duty planning (at least till Apr 08) good and reliable laws covering property transactions, media support of the property market and the myriad stories of successful property tycoons. (d) limited land in this country. I am sure there are also other reasons but the above should suffice.

    What most investors have forgotten is the period after the 60s when we first got independence, and the early 70s when interest rate were high due to our poor savings rate, the oil shock (then US$28 per barrel and lack of credit. Also in 1985, after our first few years as a successful mfg economy, leading to the Pan-El collapse. Most will remember the 97 Asian financial crisis and the relatively short-lived internet boom of ’99 and 2000. Basically the point is that most of the investing public now, are only familiar with the success stories and have not known of the ‘suckstone’ stories. When they unconsciously extrapolate their ‘experience’ to other countries, they assume the same parameters of limited land, good infrastucture, high savings leading to cheap credit, same integrity of laws and rights of private property and most important, a strong growing economy. Change the parameters to abundant land, (eg Alia, Msia etc) poor laws (also the same, Alia and Msia) low savings, with mortgage rates exceeding 8%, no integrity of land laws, high crime, corruption, political instability etc and you have a recipe for a disaster. Usually you will not hear of such stories. Why is that so?

    As our country matures and the investment experience becomes more widespread, sophisticated, matured, wizened, you will find that the property mkt also becomes sharper and proximates to a yield-based model. This is why when you interview investors of the last 10 years, their grudging conclusion is that as compared to other asset classes, the returns of their property investment, after the repairs, additional taxes, problems with lessees, interest imputation, perhaps some capital gains tax are just ‘so so’. Maybe even negative. More so if they impute an alternative return on their asset.
    A better alternative would be to buy a property, re-develop it, or rent it as a service apartment, or add some other value-added idea to it. But that is a different model and is akin to a business, which requires WORK, outside the ambit of SHC.

    FYI and for what its worth, Wee Cho Yaw, said that the property mkt here will bottom off in 3 years time, and in Alia will continue to drop till end of this year. Of course WCY is not God but he is richer (meaning more successful) than many of us.

    I have no vested interests in property and accordingly declare it, neither short nor long, here nor overseas. I have no interests in arguing with anyone, nor talking down the mkt, but just to add some perspective.

    Money, like water, finds its own level, ie it follows the best rate for the priced risk, anywhere in the world. If you could be invested in owning a taxi for hire, with its current 3 year payback, all of us would be taxi owners. Unfortunately the govt, in her wisdom, has garnered all the taxi licences, and legislated its distribution for a fee.

  17. Hi Charles

    Do you know and understand KT’s a) ATM and b) DVH?

    Let KT share three key features and their three salient working/practical mechanics of (a) and (b) concisely without any deviation.

    Cheers,

  18. Hi Henry Lim @ #11

    A friend of mine is a developer of landed properties in Cemerlang, 20 mins’ drive from JB. I was looking at some of his projects last year. Terraces were going for MYR 280k and Semi-Ds MYR 400k then.

    I can ask him for the latest pricing if you are interested. And if you wish to visit the site, I can arrange with him and perhaps include an educational tour to his palm oil mill. (His mill is the largest in Malaysia.)

  19. Elanour @ #18

    Uhhh….

    You think he has a durian plantation also. No?

    Seriously, is his a gated community? Do you have photos, website.

  20. Terence @#14 and Charles @#16

    You guys for real or not? You Singaporeans or what. Or is this just a GA rated family show.

    Pretend to forget “xiaolongnu” (little dragon girls) and the favorite rural real estate investments in ??? (er nai cun), huh?

    Excepting moi’, of course (I also have disclaimer).

    Man-Lun Ng, M.D. of Humboldt University of Berlin reported the situation in Hong Kong: it was estimated that out of the approximately two million married couples in Hong Kong, about 300,000 husbands had mistresses in mainland China (1996). In 1995, 40% of extramarital affairs involved an enduring long-term relationship with a stable partner.

    The traditional attitude toward mistresses is reflected in the saying: ????, ????, ????, ?????? (wife is not as good as concubine, concubine is not as good as prostitute, prostitute is not as good as secret affair, secret affair is not as good as the affair you want but can’t get) .

    The first time many women get to know about their hubbies’ foreign investment properties is when strange women with children in tow come crying to his wake.

    For the record.

    Hee-hee

  21. Eleanor @ 18,

    Please keep me in the loop also regarding your developer friend. Does he have any projects near the Iskandar Development Region?

    tks

    Jon

  22. Hi Andrew K @17

    “Do you know and understand KT’s a) ATM and b) DVH?”

    The only ATM I know is my bank’s Automated Teller Machine, amd Mary C’s ‘Ample Time and Money’ Aside from those acronyms that I know sweet FA about KT’s ATM and DVH.

    To KT @ 20, You have me at a disadvantage there as I have to confess I am illiterate in Mandarin and don’t understand your posting.

    To Eleanor C @ 18,

    If I am not interested in the properties but only in the tour of the palm oil mill, can I come along? I can contribute a car, a driver and some Santana music. BTW does the biggest oil palm refinery belong to Tai Tak Ests?

  23. Hi KT @ 19,

    Just got off the phone with him. No, he does not have any durian plantation. I suppose growing oil palm is a more lucrative business than durian.

    His development is a gated community.
    This is the website: http://www.crescendo.com.my/

    Jonathan @ 21,

    Yes, he has 500 acres of industrial development in the IDR, very close to the 2nd Link. Phase I has about 60 completed units of which 80% were sold. Phase II will be ready soon.

    Charles @ 22,

    Sure, this can be planned as a day trip. He suggested a Saturday morning because it is half-day work for his workers. He can also let us visit on Sundays except that the mill will not be in operation. The last time when I visited the mill, the guys climbed all the way to the top about 3 storey high to view the full operation.

    He cannot confirm if Tai Tak is the biggest but his mill is the most integrated, whatever that term means.

  24. Alamak!!

    i’ve asked KT to share his DVH strategy in another thread. And he has conveniently decided to make more statements without giving us any inkling of how and what and when he can do this.

    KT: please put your money where your mouth is (or is it your mouth where your money is?)…

    Hahaha!! Look forward to have your DVH session.

  25. Hi Charles at #22

    Those are the questions I request KT Wong to share concisely at the other thread started by Ronald Wie – Forex Trading- comments #37, 43 and 48.

    Let us wait patiently a few days more for KT to give us a concise and transparent account of what are his ATM and DVH.

    Otherwise, we just smile them off and close this “non event” chapter indefinitely.

    Warmest regards

  26. HI Eleanor

    Please count me in for the tour of the palm oil plantations and its mills estate.

    Hi Jonathan : shall we go together ?

    Warmest regards

    Andrew

  27. Hi KT Wong:

    Three of us in this thread are requesting for your concise answers.

    Please see #17, 22, 23 and 24 in this thread and the other thread ( Forex Trading ) mentioned under #24 in this thread.

    Please focus on the three questions on your ATM and DVH.

    Please do not bring in any irrelevant topics and comments. TY . Stay focus.

    Warmest regards

  28. Hi Eleanor at #18

    Thks for kind offer to obtain more info about your fren’s project. I understand there are a few more projects which are nearer to JB eg Ponderosa condo. yes, i will be keen to join in the tour to familiarise myself with the place. I prefer JB area as it is convenient to return to SG. Btw, how do we overcome the issue of visa since no need visa if stay within 30 days. It means staying in Msia for max 30 days and leaving. Any problem with such arrangements? I am not keen with their MMSH.

  29. HI Henry @27,

    I think when you cross the causeway or take the 2nd link, the customs will,only give you a 2 week visa. It is possible that if you fly to KL or any of theri intl airports, like Penang, you might get a 30 day visa.

    Without MMSH, you must be prepared to travel in and out of Msia every 2 weeks or else donate to the Polis and Customs Fund in JB.

    Before you take such a bold move, a better alternative would be to rent a condo or house in JB and experience ‘retirement’ in JB. Rental in JB is cheap. You can always buy a house later when you are more familiar with JB, the different locales, the crime situation, and your personal preferences. You might even want to experience retirement in M’cca or PD or Batu Pahat or Kluang or Mersing or Kota Tinggi or…..

    I doubt very much the Msian property mkt in these areas I mentioned is going to run away in the next year or so. For all you know, they may even decline, like the years since 2000. Why, you may even revise your views on retiring in Msia.

    I think a better idea is to follow Terence and stay for about 3 months in a place to check it out. Rentals are cheap in Cambodia, I think Thai also, definitely so in Msia, also in many other places you might be interested in.

    Hi Eleanor C @ (can’t find your post here),

    I don’t know if Tai Tak is the biggest palm oil refiner in Msia too. I only asked because many years ago I was working as an intern with them and one of the 2 brothers, told me his plans for Tai Tak. It has been more than 30 odd years since then. I don’t follow the palm oil mkt but know that they are now making SUPER-normal profits. They are the Arabs of SEA. Cheers

  30. Hi Henry @ #28

    I have the same reservation as yours when I was looking at his project last year. Cemerlang is not in JB so one would need to drive.

    When investing in overseas properties, one has to be clear about his/her objectives. If you are buying with the intention to retire there, then you may want to look for a property in a good neighbourhood because you would eventually live with the folks in that estate. It need not be in the city centre as suburb properties may give you better value for your money.

    In my case, I would buy only if the rental return is attractive and close to the city centre. Currently, Johor properties do not offer such yield advantage.

    Hi Charles @ #29

    If you have driven along the N-S Highway lately, you would have noticed most of the rubber plantations are gone. All of them have been turned into oil palm plantations. That was how Peter Lim made his billions from Wilmar shares.

  31. Hi everybody,

    This short-term living is my favourite topic too, except that I focus on 3-mth retirement living in a foreign city.

    For those considering all the different cities in China, make sure your spoken Chinese is passable. I just landed a few houirs a go in Beijing, and took a cab to Beijing West Railway station. Shall be heading for ShiJiaZhuang in Hebei province at 8pm Singapore time. My Mandarin is slightly below passable, but I manage to get ticket for appr $17 for a 270km journey. Terence

  32. Hi KT

    Re your query on durian, he will get his secretary to check it out and revert. According to him, Malaysians seldom go to the plantation nowadays to feast on durian. Instead, the fruits are brought to
    Durian Marts whereby you can choose the type / grade and eat there.

    Let you know once I hear from him.

  33. Hi Eleanor,

    No fun to go to those durian plantations cos you will be sucked alive by those mosquitoes. Somehow or other, these mosquitoes will bite the visitors and not the occupants of the property. I went once with my father and it no fun, cos always on the look-out for the mosquitoes, so how to enjoy the durians. Just bought the durians, put them in the boot and drove home. Anyway, went unprepared and did not use mosquito repellent cos never been to a durian plantation b4.

  34. Hi to those coming in to JB,

    I am selling my place in JB,its a terrace house in a gated community.
    You can give me a call if you would like to view it.

    *This is not an advetisement.

  35. I have been interested in large scale retirement village projects in the region for many years.

    I lied about Blue Helmet. That was second. What brought me initially into SHC was the RV. I talk about Blue Helmet mostly because that was what most members can remember. Nobody can remember the RV issues anymore. But its coming back with a vengeance like a volcano forgotten.

    Why?!

    A SGD $800K 1,3 K sq ft of 99 years HDB flat (balance 60 years) at Queenstown overseeing your neighbour’s laundry is a far cry from a free-hold Baliness resort waterfront house at 2K to 3K sq ft with maids, driver and car….

    You don’t want to move, you will also complain-lah. Loud-loud.

    A number of events has intervened but eventually I believe it will be done. It’s a dream come true. Current status is active KIV and can fly anytime. The preparatory work is done.

    California has its Frisco; Oz, Sydney Darling waterfront; Canada, Vancouver; and Spore, Orchard Road.

    Property values and growth is not uniformly distributed. Don’t worry about the total available space and natural advantages.

    Its mostly about community packaging and marketing. For an RV to be successful, we create an enclave that focuses on certain communities.

    A place where Singaporeans will be comfortable to call home. Where gurkhas stand guard at the gate and visitors vetted before entry. Where everything runs on ISO 9000 SOP. Where taps flow and lights switch on cue. Where hokkien mee is white not black …

    Where it is 45 mins by chauffeur car compared to an hour standing amidst everybody’s BO on a MRT to reach home from work in Singapore. Put a TV and internet in the car and you miss nothing on the way back. Change to diesel (you can up there not here for private cars) and the money you save will pay for your home utilities.

  36. Hi KT #35,

    So, RV has always been your pet project. And Blue Helmet was second.

    I think it is good you follow through a concept based on your idea of a RV. Take us through, and some of us may learn to like your idea.

    For me, I love the 3mth short-term retirement living. Guess, both ideas can work.

    Terence Seah

  37. Hi Wong KT at 35 ,

    … I lied about Blue Helmet. Like that how to trust you leh?

    From DVDs to ATMs, what next ?

    I am getting more confuse as you come up with more and more of your new business terminologies.

    Take no offence.

    SC

  38. “My Mandarin is slightly below passable, but I manage to get ticket for appr $17 for a 270km journey.”

    It was RMB17 but you paid $17 (I hope it was SGD not USD). Heeee, must hv learned yr mandarin from tan aminah in a crash-course that will crush yr wallet soon…………..

  39. Hi Terence at #31

    Since you are in China, probably returning to Bejing too:

    Suggest you pick up some materials complete with CDs/DVDs at the world-renowned Beijing Language (& Culture) University to brush up your Mandarin. It is beside the famous Tsing Hua U (??)

    Materials from basic, elementary, intermediate to advance including Business Mandarin are available there.

    Believe with determination, you would able to speak some standard (with hanyu pinyin help) Mandarin.

    2) Your train ticket costs RMB 75/80, is it an economy class or 2nd class?

    Cheers,

  40. Hi Andrew,

    Yes, usually I buy some reading materials in Chinese, and English too.

    Tim, I went to Hebei province, Shi Jia Zhuang city. Small, 2.2million people and wide variety of food. This can be one of our 3mth short-term retirement living.

    Terence Seah

  41. Terence, the north & south of the river (thus henan & hebei) boasts of many great pugilists and if you’re in luck, meet one and go for another crash course and come back a taiji master or a master of many taitais……..

    Heeee, indulgence in food & debauchery with the 2.2 mio people only bloats yr tummy.

    Btw, since someone is riding on you to do some shopping, maybe you too can buy me 5 jugs of maotai, 20 bolsters, 50 cartons of condoms used by socialites, 5 sabres made famous by YI Tian Tu Loong Ji’s Hsieh Shin (golden haired lion king), 1 tonne of the best choiced tobacco, shaolin monks robes, ermei nun’s robes, the olympics mascot…………….will add on more later.

    Heeee, happy shopping while on yr biz trip.

  42. Well said at #43, Terence.

    May you enjoy your meaningful and purposeful trip.

    Good to read Time and Economist to keep up/polish your practical English beside keeping in touch with global happenings.

    Be blessed.

  43. Dear Terence

    If you are keen with Mandarin HSK of BLU, there are altogether 11 levels.

    If you can read, write and understand 2,000 words and their composition, it would be level 5/6; 3,000 words – level 7/8; 4,000 words – level 9(start of adv level. Beyond that, it will depend on your performance and ability.

    Cheers,

  44. Hahaha, Terence you no good lah, zap me into a buffalo then my gfs in SHC how? You will hv to zap them all into buffalos too and then what do you hv : a buffalo club and………………a neither here-nor-there preacher?

    Like that huh, you hv no one to talk with other than the preacher telling you all the virtues in life. Heeee, dont look for the zap, I am hiding it, too late to want to become a buffalo mow and save yr badly ravaged ears.

  45. Hi KLY at 40.

    ….Terence, your train ticket costs RMB 75/80, is it an economy class or 2nd class?

    NO class.
    Terence perches on the roof top of the train to enjoy the view of the buffaloes at play. LOL.

    SC

  46. Hi Steven

    Please do not spell my name wrongly.

    2) Surely you do not want to be zapped too?

    3) If Terence sits on the roof of the train, then that is a “special” class.

  47. Hi Steven #47,

    At RMB 75-80, the ticket was neither economy nor 2nd class. You see I was late, and all seats were booked. So, this ticket allows me to sit in a particular cabin, but you have stand or sit in front of the door.

    Today, I was also late to catch my train to Beijing. So I bought from the touts, paid RMB 100, again standing room.

    No worries, it was fun talking with our China Chinese counterparts. I think next time, I would like to organise a trip to Beijing, an all food outing week. Excellent food here.

    Terence Seah

  48. Hi Terence at # 49,

    Aren’t you LUCKY, one day in HCMC, one day in Bangkok, one day in Seoul, one day in Bangla dash,… another day in Beijing.

    Of couse you got class otherwise how to be a PM for SHC.

    Not to worry, you are not Indiana Jones happily zapping away any moving objects to buffaloes while sitting on the roof top of the train.

    Why buffaloes ?

    Use your magic wand Zap,zap,zap them into donkeys instead for calling you a donkey.

    Like that NO one will ever dare to call you a donkey anymore. LOL.

    Beware,standing room for many hours will bring about premature varicose veins.

    On the other hand sit for long hrs.with a huge crowd with hardly much space to move invites thrombosis of the veins.

    Either way you tend to lose. Next time better be EARLY than late.

    SC

  49. Hi Steven

    Stay on course on the intent of this thread. You are now a Singaporean, at least be a good one !

    Otherwise from miles away, can see an ugly one or smell an obnoxious one!

  50. At #53,

    …..Otherwise from miles away, can see an ugly one or smell an obnoxious one!

    There goes the “preacher” preaching again.

    Anyone can have its own opinion. It is whether you choose to agree or disagree.

    I had stayed a long time in both countries and hence I can make CRITICAL judgements unlike you.

    Like that how to aspire to be a PM leh ? LOL.

    SC

  51. Steven, that guy’s appetite is huge…….he wanted to be president not PM hor but when they opened up his books for all to read he became a pest-instant.

    Well, he’s a lot smarter now and aims for smthg more achievable like the president of public toilets. See, what he writes is as good as if not better than what you get to read scrawled on the walls of unwashed loos. He has my vote for that presidency……at least he entertains with his brand of virtues couched in poor english but is a refreshing change from the ah beng loves ah seng stereo……………..

  52. Heee, will massage yr aching tummy when we head for the short-term retirement abroad in Beijing together with Terence standing in the train doing the “east is red” refrain till we go insane. Sure, China is a good place to retire, not to elbow ourselves in the hustle & bustle of Beijing/Shanghai but far far away say in heilungjiang or tung teng lake…………

  53. You have been forgiven so why are you still kneeling there with the nite-soil pot on yr head? Alright, I shall have your being forgiven gazetted then.

  54. Tim,
    I avoid reading certain people’s comments as they are still full of bs, hypocrisy and ‘preachiness’, but sometimes, out of curiosity upon reading yours, will do so.
    Yup, the nite-soil pot is very appropriate, especially to hold all that bs that’s being dished out.
    ;-)

  55. Terence,

    If you like being abroad so much, forget about standing on train roofs. Let the other guy come to you instead. Run RVs across the region instead.

    Compared to a job, selling retirement plots is many times better and more lucrative. You live a leisurely life amidst idyllic surroundings.

    If I am not trying to save mankind now from themselves and imminent financial ruin, this will be what I’ll be doing next ac (after crusade).

    Hee-hee

  56. MaryC, it’s ludicrous that someone comes in here to so mananinously declare his forgivesness of Terence’s sins when his only sin was to open up this forum for the preacher to peddle his wares so i had to call the potty’s bluff.

    KT, so you are uplifted by a rising market which you managed to catch the wind? For the sake of mankind, you shdnt be one kind to charge a fee for learning yr trade but to share foc with all, making no distinction whether she’s auntie or humpty dumpty. Take a slow walk down from where Scorebot is and where you’re, to Hong Lim park and in there the knowledge you share.

    We can then adjourn to Hans cafe nearby and work on yr next crusade…..drinks on me.

  57. Tim @ #64,

    Nah. If I have to depend on mother nature, I’ll be like Zhuge Liang calling forth a southeastern wind.

    Thanks to modern technology. I have my own internal mother-of-all blower. It blows where i want to blow on cue and with precision.

    All automatically. And you don’t even have to break wind to win…

    Hee-hee

  58. Hahaha, KT, what a piece fr you and with that you blew both the trumpeter and his trumpet away, sparing not his dentures which are left embedded on the trumpet…………eerie………..

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