When I read a letter by an ex Singaporean, a Colombo Plan scholar who migrated there and living his retirement in that bitter cold country, I knew something must be wrong. Wong Thye, the ex Singaporean, is now 64 and getting about C$1000 per month of living allowances from the Canadian govt. His wife is also getting the same amount plus other perks, like C$36 free public transport fare for a year, and they are living their retirement in a frugal budget. Their house and car are paid for. And they live off the land, fishing, planting some vegetables, and having fellowship with friends. Quite pathetic. But no fear of big hospitalization bill that will bankrupt them or having to rent out their homes to share with strangers, or worst, to sell it for retirement money.
Compare to the Singaporeans in their 60s, eagerly waiting to go for further training to get a job, to be independent and living with dignity, maybe working till death, now which is better? Not forgetting that life begins at 60, to catch the second wind. And Singaporeans can look forward to a fatter retirement fund in his CPF, don’t expect govt charity, when he retires at 70 or 80. And making sure there is enough savings for the next hospital bill. I think a Singapore at 80 could enjoy the pathetic retirement lifestyle of Wong Thye. And I say the Canadian Govt is asking for trouble.
The Canadian govt has been feeding their retirees from public fund for so many years and must be running a huge budget deficit. And their leaders are definitely not that talented as ours given the small salary they are being paid. How could they manage to pay their oldies from the public coffers for so long while our Govt may go bankrupt if they do so here? And our Govt are so worried that our oldies will have not enough in their CPF savings and are introducing new schemes for the oldies to continue to work, and maybe to raise employer’s CPF contribution to help them.
I think our system must be better, at least the oldies got the opportunity to work till maybe 80, and live with dignity. But I will love to be in Wong Thye’s shoe, having a more relax lifestyle, and still got a house and no need to think of selling it or renting some rooms to earn some money for retirement. And still got a cheap car to drive around, and go for holiday. Now what kind of lifestyle is that, not working and wasting their time away? Look at the quality of our oldies here, fit as a fiddle, never mind if it is cleaning tables or washing plates. It is a very useful life, every moment and second is productive, and independent. Full of dignity and self respect.
Shit, I am going to trade this great dignity and respect and go waste my time in Canada, with no respect never mind, but with a life, a lazy life, and not having to work again. Some may think this is silly thought, but I still think life is more than just working to death and with a saving scheme that is never enough, and wondering when would the savings go kaput on hospitalization bill. And forget about owning a car.
And where got energy to catch the second wind? Walk also panting. For those who are mesmerised by the thrills of working till 80 or till they drop dead, I say, good luck, daffy. So pathetic that at an age when one is supposed to have a little bit of wisdom, one can still be easily conned.