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8/29/2007

Mother's wisdom

Siew Kum Hong wrote a thesis on why and how the use and misuse of the CPF are draining the retirement fund of the ageing population. He lamented that the govt should not use the CPF as a tool to manage the economy and the contribution rate should be restored to 40%. All the reasonings are sound and rational. It is a rational plea. But isn't a saving of 40% of one's income very high? How many countries in the world has this kind of savings? Would 20 or 30% be already a very generous sum? Why is it that other countries with much less savings than us, I mean the developed countries, do not face such a serious crisis? Where is the catch? I remember my mother's wisdom, told to me when I was a kid. She said it is not how much you earn (or have), but how much you spend. This simple truth is still as relevant as today. People live with what they have. Who is the clown that insist that people must have $120k or more to retire? Didn't he know that people can live on $260 pm with totally no other sources of income? Just because there are a lot of people who go around saying 'What is $10 million?' does not mean that everyone is expecting to live that kind of lifestyle. The govt cannot and should not dictate how much people shall have to live their lives. The govt may, in it's honest and good intention, legislate for a minimum sum for basic living. Those who want to save more, good. It must be voluntary. It is ridiculous to demand that people, and for that matter, everyone, the haves and the have nots, to have at least $120k in their CPF savings. It is not how much you have. It is how much you are spending. Idiots. And if govt policies is to price everything according to affordability, the $120k will definitely be not enough. It will become nothing with the rapidly rising cost of living.

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