Encik Tan, at 60 years old and retired, the old guard from the Singapore Armed Forces (presently driving a Grab whenever he feels like it) is a sight to behold.
We had just concluded our discussion on upgrading of his Eldershield plan, Sitting comfortably at his regular coffee shop, and looking extremely comfortable; the man does not look a year over 50 with closely cropped hair, fitted in a black t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans..
Just for keeping the conversation going, I casually popped a question; “Encik (accustomed to addressing him by his rank as I have known him before he retired), what is your secret of looking great at your age and having enough in your bank after retirement?”
Without hesitation, Encik Tan replied, “Boh, I tell you ah, there is no secret. I run 5km at least twice a week to keep my cholesterol and blood pressure down. Old already lar, I still remember 1 year after retirement, I put on weight, blood pressure went up, cholesterol also went up.” He chortled “Nothing to do, everyday eat, sleep and shit. That’s why get a Grab licence to pass time.”
“What about financially?” I added, hoping that I may have a sales opportunity.
“My two kids are already independent, HDB loan fully paid for, enough in my CPF retirement account.” He added, “And a couple of maturing endowment plans, some dividends payout that’s enough to go for a holiday a year to keep the wife happy.”
That sounded like a “boh” (no) opportunity to me. Slightly crestfallen, I mildly complained, “You already invested very early ah?”
Then suddenly looking serious, he said, “In my younger days, where got think so much, just cheong lar, can earn money earn. Go overseas attachment best la, earn extra allowance.”
He concluded, “When you are young and strong, health is definitely not something that you intentionally pay attention to.”
He continued; “In my late 30’s, one of my insurance friend asked me to plan for my future, as my career lifespan in the army is relatively short.”
I may have shown some disappointment on my face, and he spotted it.
He joked, “Sorry la, Boh, that time I don’t know you yet.“
“Its ok lar, 'cik. You heard the common saying, health is the true wealth, got money no life to spend also no use.”
That is when he said “Bullshit! Who says you cannot have health and wealth at the same time!”
Definitely everyone wants to have both
The question is a series of “How’s”?
How much do you think you need in your future retirement so that you are contented like Encik Tan?
How do you start investing today so that into you can choose to do what you want when you retire; like Encik Tan drives a Grab to pass time.
How do you achieve a work-life balance today so that in later stage of life, there are no regrets.; like Encik Tan who just focused on keeping fit and healthy to enjoy his retirement
As these questions are popping like popcorns in my head, the sun shone on me again.
Encik popped the question; “Boh ah, my endowment policy maturing this year, DO YOU have any recommendations?
“YES ENCIK! I DO! ENCIK”
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