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8/26/2007

The rich but poor Singaporeans

What is the financial profile of an average heartlander living in a 4 or 5 rm flat? When these people reach their 60s or 70s, it is very likely that they will still have a flat that has 70 years of lease left and may worth $500k or more, and likely to be fully paid up. In addition, each may have a piece of life insurance worth $100k. And in the CPF they will have $30k worth of Medisave and $120k in their minimum sum. Maybe the present generation may not have the full amount but at least half. And if both were working, this amount is doubled. Then there could be the little savings as an extra bonus. All these without taking into considerations the new measures that are going to be implemented. What about the few good and rich children that can afford to hand them some pocket money? What is the net worth of a couple of average heartlanders then? Easily $600k or more. In anywhere, in any circumstances, these people are rich beyond anyone's imaginations. And they only have themselves to take care of. No more burden of raising the young. But not in Singapore. Here is the bad news. For in the future, with all the cost of livings going up, these people need help or they will have nothing for their old age. They will become a burden to themselves and the govt. And that is why the govt is very concerned. And that is why more of their little savings must be kept till they are well into the 80s and 90s. Should the average Singaporeans celebrate their wealth or it is only a mirage? Excluding the top 20% of the population, this group of average Singaporeans could easily form 50% of the population. Actually, really, no bluff, why should this 70% of the population be seen as potential destitute and need to live on charity? Beats me really.

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