Breakdown of family support system

Save, save and save for the golden years is the mantra that has been hammered constantly on the Sinkies. To more than half of the people of the world, maybe 70% of the people of the world, the amount we have saved or set aside for old age could be the equivalent to their income of a life time, or their equivalent of millionaires. The irony, no matter how much we have saved, it is NOT ENOUGH. Why?

There are three major factors contributing to this vain effort to provide for our golden years. The first is high inflation and cost of living. We are not saving but losing the value of the money we are saving for tomorrow. It sounds really silly, saving but losing our money at the same time. To have 200k Sing dollars in the savings is huge, big money, but more like a con game. And $200k is not the only asset that the Sinkies have. In fact it is over saving.

The big problem is the destruction of the family structure as a support unit for the oldies. In our haste for economic growth, our family unit is getting smaller and smaller and in some cases, there are no children to depend on, childless. People in this category would not be around after one generation.

On the other hand, those with one or two children, unless they are exceptionally endowed or blessed to earn big money, many are just making ends meet and looking after parents, providing for parents, will put a severe strain on their limited financial resources. It is a case of heart willing but unable to do so.

Why is living, buying a home, bringing up children, so bloody expensive that one is left with nothing to look after parents? Is it the policy of affordability that everyone would just have enough to buy a flat and to pay for the children’s education, not enough for their retirement? Forget about taking care of their parent’s well being, especially those who did not have enough in their savings.

And thirdly, the super rich govt with about the highest reserves per capita, did not see it as its responsibility to provide some support to the needy oldies. It is a case of to each his own unless one is so broke, so broken down, before the govt is willing to hand out a few dollars and sarcastically ask how much do you want, to eat in hawker stalls, foodcourts or restaurants.

How much is enough to save for the golden years? And there is this grave assumption that people have the money to save. In many cases, many could not even have enough for their daily needs. If we have not destroyed the family unit in our social fabric, there is no need to be so obsessed about savings. Many people around the world could get by living with their families with very little or no savings. It is a heavy price to pay for many for progress and economic growth when raising a family is so costly and time consuming that many choose not to have.

Yes, many will live their last lives of being, no new generations to continue in the family. Many families will simply disappear after they passed away. What is the point of saving?

Kopi Level - Green


Anonymous said...

Singaporeans needs $1.15 million for retirement. How many, earning say $4K a month can save that kind of money, with CPF deductions. Some even do not earn that much gross salary in their whole working life.

When insureres and wealth managers talk about retirement, it is always in the millions. This is to instil fear and envy, which is good for business and also good for the Government.

There are many ways to survive in retirement with less, if you know how to manage and temper your needs and wants.

Of course, what they featured in the MSM is always people needing $10K or $20K a month in retirement. What about the common guy just needing $1.5K and totally happy with that money to live on. It does not mean he is less happy in retirement than the big spender.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, many will live their last lives of being, no new generations to continue in the family."

Tiok. That's exactly why PAP want to have lots of foreign "talents" willing to come here and replace no new generation Sinkies lah.

No fish, prawn also good mah.

Or else Sinkieland will not even have people in the future, tio bo?

Of course PAP cannot put it in this way lah, or else the no enough Sinkies will get angry and not vote PAP.

Anonymous said...

"What about the common guy just needing $1.5K and totally happy with that money to live on."
8:58 am

Tiok. And he may even be happy enough to vote for PAP come election time.

Perhaps that's how PAP could still get 60% votes, despite the high cost of living and the so called $1.15 million amount needed for retirement. Maybe this amount applies to the top end of the 60% only?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

$1.15m where got enough? Kena one terminal illness the medical bills will blow it away in 6 months.

Anonymous said...

They are trying to con the daft sinkies to put more money into the CPF.

Daft sinkies must stop listenning to the snake oil con men and decide what is good for themselves.

To save $1.15m, then no need to eat for the rest of their lives?

Anonymous said...

Live Within Means!

living on this tiny, crowded and
expensive city state you really
cannot afford to be poor......

because poor will be poorer....

in fact people who are now
average are fast becoming poor.....

to survive, never never follow
the crowds but live within
your means....

this is the only sustainable way......


Anonymous said...

For some $1.15m is not enough. So
how much is enough? It is never enough.

Insurance companies will always tell you your insurance cover is not enough. When they first enticed you to buy, they start with little. Then, when that first step is successful they will come back to tell you you must buy more as you will need much more. And more and more while they will tinker with the coverage, with a little addition here, some salt there, some pepper here and this gives them a chance to increase premiums.

I think this world is built on who can con better. Take baby milk powder for example. All kind of funny stuff are added as the years go by and suddenly the prices of a tin of milk powder is so impossibly expensive, yet the contents is getting less, 800 gm when it was formerly a kg.

Anonymous said...

Understand this! This problem is CREATED! That's to say, the problem is not that the vast majority of sensible and intelligent people do not save enough for their retirement.

Rather, the cost of living is rising so fast and high that it continues to outstrip any attempt by the vast majority people to provision effectively for their retirement.

Fact! Singapore today is the most expensive city in the world to live, work and play in. Yet the average salary is no where near the level to make dignified living possible, let alone set a little aside for retirement.

That is why so many young couples these days don't see the wisdom of having children. People will bolt raise children when they believe tomorrow will be better than today. When they decide to go the other way. It says a lot of about where society is heading along with attitudes.

Darkness 2014

Anonymous said...

Politicians if you notice these days. Do not want to talk about our lamentable TFR. They much prefer to wax lyrical about their chimeric GDP and GNP.

To me this is like a captain of a ship when told that his ship is leaking, much prefers to deal with the problem by increasing the horse power of his pumps to keep his ship afloat. When asked why he doesn't plug the leak. He tells everyone, all ships leak water.

But life is an expression and understanding of truism - that's to say just because one doesn't talk about a problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It just means the leaders prefer not to see the problem.

Life therefore will always be cruel and brutal.

Darkness 2014

Anonymous said...

They used the affordability formula to squeeze every cent out of everyone and expect them to raise a family and look after their parents and have money left for retirement?

Wicked scheming bastards.

b said...

Every problem has a solution. The solution to aging population is ebola. Thats why rich countries leaders are so reluctant to find a cure. If their aging population died, they do not need to pay pensions. Politicians are all bad.

Virgo 49 said...

Mr RB, jump down from any open corridor.

Clean and neat.

Still some reserves for next of kins.

But please print out latest CPF statement of account as balance may be confiscated by the Board.

To be able to reconcile what you leave behind.