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What do Singaporeans want?

The average Singaporeans are not too demanding, I believe. I will venture a guess on what an average Singaporean would think is a decent and comfortable life. 1. To be able to raise a family of 4, ie two children, put them through schools, polytechnic or university, without begging for assistance. 2. To live in a 4 or 5 rm flat, and being able to afford it. 3. To own a car, and be able to bring the family around for leisure. This may be a bit difficult given our space constraint and further complicated by the thoughtless ambitious dream of a 6.5m population. 4. For those without cars, decent public transportation that does not cause them an arm or a leg. 5. Basic medical healthcare that will not empty one's life savings. 6. Able to retire by 60 or 65 without having to work till death. I don't think the above expectations are unreasonable for a first world country. But it is evident that some of these basic dreams of the average Singaporeans will be unattainable. Bringing up two children is now impossible to a big number of Singaporeans. I was being generous in my earlier post suggesting that a family income of $3k could put a child to university by setting aside about $1k a mth. In reality, many, even with a household income of $4k cannot afford to save $500 pm. $3k is a bit far fetch. Then to retire at 60 or 65 is going to be very difficult. And buying a 4rm or 5 rm flat is gradually moving out of reach of the average Singaporeans. Medicare, if hospitalised, is going to bankrupt many Singaporeans or at least empty their live savings. It is time the govt rethink their policies on what is good for the average Singaporeans to live their lives and at a cost that is manageable. No need to waste so many millions and billions on gardens and world class resort facilities that the average Singaporeans cannot afford to enjoy.


Mockingbird said...

It is buying one's own car that will cost one an arm and a leg, not taking public transportation.

If a man's take-home pay is only $2k a month and he spends up to $1k on his car, that means he only has $1k left to feed his family, if he has one to feed. $1k out of $2k sounds like an arm and leg to me. Imagine taking a 10-year loan on the car and having to spend $1k every month for 10 years. Scary.

Mockingbird said...

Costs of living in Singapore are certainly reaching all-time high, reason enuff for many couples who don't earn much to either postpone or cancel their baby-making plans.

redbean said...

we need to look at the average income which becomes the means of the average singaporean and what this amount can provide him.

then on the supply side, education, housing, medical, transportation etc should be packaged to be affordable to those with this average income.

when the income is stagnant, which has been for 10 years without anyone knowing, and the cost of goods and services shooting to the sky, the standard and quality of living must be going downhill.

cannot afford to have babies, cannot afford to retire. what a joke!

Mockingbird said...

Having insufficient financial means to have a baby and retire is no joke for poor Sinkies. It's a hard fact reality they have no choice but to live with.

Mockingbird said...

Singaporeans who don't earn much and don't really have what it takes to become a high-income earner just want to whine and complain about the high costs of living. They may have no choice but to do so until their dying day, along with working until they kick the bucket.

Anonymous said...

For some, taking home $2K and paying $1K for a car is an ego booster, so it is worth the sacrifice.

For me, I have never owned even a bicycle, but I am happy with what I am and what I can afford. No ego, no worries, no debts and at 63, I have put my two kids through university, without them having to take out bank loans. I can still manage despite having stopped working at 55.

redbean said...

for the young who don't have to support a family and may even stretch out their hands to daddy for spare cash, still possible to own a car and drive around happily with a $2k salary. these are the exceptions.

for the average guy, no way can one afford a car with a $2k income.

during the 60s and 70s, people could afford to own cars with very small income, raised several children and even retired at 55. they might not have all the expensive trappings of today, but life was less stressful and with a lot of time for themselves and visiting relatives and friends.

compare to what is today, i don't think they are worst off.

the govt has an impt role to structure and engineer society for the greater good. not just for the good of the elite. this will build up strains in the system. the govt must reexamine its role and look at it from the interests of the people.

not many people will be able to live a carefree live like anonymous 63 because the distribution of wealth is badly mis skewed to make a few very rich and the majority struggling.

this is what one will get from instant politicians whose objectives are very different from people who come out to serve the people and the country. what we are seeing is more like self serving.

Mockingbird said...

An average guy with a $2k income can afford a car if he has no other family commitment(s) to take care of. He can put down a minimal sum for the initial deposit or even none and take out a 10-year loan on the car.

Anonymous said...

True, you do not even have to pay a deposit to drive away a new car nowadays.

redbean said...

you know that i am still eating $3 lunch most of the time? but all the young ladies and guys working in junior administrative positions are happily tucking away with their $10 or $15 set lunches.

the young are very fortunate, earn and spend every cent they have. tomorrow is still or will still be a better day.

Anonymous said...

'The young are very fortunate, earn and spend every cent they have'

Redbean, you and me are the old economy dinosaurs. The new economy young ladies and guys will even borrow to spend to keep up with the changing times. They are copying and keeping up with the American way of life. I am envious of our young too!

redbean said...

ya, we are of the generation when everything was not enough. and thrift was virtue. just hope that the young are not spending what they don't have.

time is catching up with the americans. warren buffett has seen this and know that it is not sustainable if people are spending more than they earn.

america is at the brink of an economic collapse. they are ignoring it and postponing it. it will come.

Anonymous said...

The Americans are postponing the inevitable. They are pumping money to prop up the banks, financial institutions and stock market from collapsing. How long can they continue with this? Nobody knows how to tackle the mess, and they are just doing a balancing act until a new President takes over. But I doubt the new President can or will do much.

redbean said...

basically they are doing themselves in. the days of high spending and excesses are numbered.

the empire is going down.

Anonymous said...

It is high time Gahmen define what is Affordable. Affordable to who? Elites or Common Peasants who happen to form the majority in Singapore.

redbean said...

the definition may cause many people to flip.