Singapore-based financial blog that aims to educate people on personal finance, investments, retirement and their Central Provident Fund (CPF) matters.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

What is the Correct Retirement Mentality?

There has been a retirement debate going on on Straits Times' Forum Page.
The thread was started by one of our writers.
The first article can be found HERE.

There were feedbacks from the general public.
We have attached the articles regarding the different views HERE.
We would like to post a reply to the 'Second Thread', where our writer's letter to Straits Times was not published.
We think these views are important, and we hope to share these views with our readers and get more people to discuss these issues!

I would like to thank Mr. Lawrence Koh (‘Retirement is both a privilege and an entitlement’, 7 September) and Mr. Paul Chan ('Don’t miss out on life’s best chapter’, 7 September) for their views on my previous letter (‘Retirement not an entitlement’, 3 September).

Both men agreed that retirement is an important aspect of our lives and we should not simply spend our whole life working without enjoy the fruits of our labour. I fully agree with that statement. I am not against retirement, neither am I for working forever. I am just against the idea of forcefully going into retirement because ‘I have reached my retirement age’.

Ideally, we should have sufficient savings or retirement income (investments or CPF) to tide us over the rest of our lives. If we really cannot afford to retire at age 62 (due to financial concern), do we still forcefully go into retirement because it is part and parcel of life and because ‘I have earned it by working 40 over years’?

My concern is the mindset that we might have, the concept that ‘I have worked all my life, I deserve to retire at this age (62). If I can’t make ends meet, I should get financial support from the government.’ This is a very toxic mindset because it is what that is causing governments from around the world to run into insolvency or potential insolvency.

Majority of the people fall into the category of direct correlation between personal effort and monetary rewards. I am not against the minority of people who receive financial aid. But when a large percentage of people starts to receive such levels of financial aid, the question becomes: “is this a financial aid for the lower bracket or has this become a free-for-all package.” The last point is particularly important because free-for-all package is essentially what many democratic countries have done and subsequently bankrupt their countries’ coffers.

If we worked all our lives, we are sure to lose out on life’s best chapter. But if we fail to secure enough for our retirement, I do not think an inadequately funded retirement can make the best out of that phase either.

-End of Letter.

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