Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Friday January 19th 2018

66-year-old senior can’t properly retire and works as part-time security supervisor

Singapore has one of the most senior population worldwide and chief on most of our senior mind is the ability to retire comfortably in the world’s most costly country. We interviewed Peter who is a 66-year-old post-graduate and he has to work part-time as a senior security supervisor in order to supplement his $750/month CPF retirement payout.

Hi Peter, please tell us more about yourself – age, education, current status and whether currently working or not?

I am a Chinese age 66, post-graduate, semi-retired, working as part-time senior Security Supervisor.

If you have already retired, what are your greatest current struggles and how you learn to cope with them?

Since I am not 100% retired, I don’t really encounter any struggle financially or socially.

Many have say that in Singapore you have to work till you die due to our poor retirement planning – do you agree with this statement and explain your answer in detail if possible.

Whether we work or retired we die one day. It’s better to work to keep us productive, healthy and independent. Yes I agree that the early generation lacks of financial planning lead them into financial hardship.

CPF has being our country’s biggest self-funded retirement plan – do you think that this is sufficient and what could be done to enhance the scheme?

CPF itself is insufficient for retirement unless one is willing to downgrade his lifestyle. I use to have a car and eat regularly in restaurants, now travelling by MRT and food court for my meal is sufficient.

My monthly Life Plan from CPF of $750 pm is definitely not enough. I am working part-time for my second income. Total of both income is sufficient to meet my monthly lifestyle.

There is currently a senior retirement scheme – “Silver Support Scheme” provided by the government and each senior aged above 65 will receive between $750 to $250 per quarter depending on your home size. Do you think that this is sufficient and what can be done to enhance it?

The amount received of $750 quarterly is not enough for any luxurious spending but probably enough for a short trip to Malaysia or few sumptuous meals with family members.

Many seniors have encountered loneliness issue due either to a divorce or the spouse passes away, how do you think a senior can learn to cope with it?

Seniors can join elderly neighborhood clubs which organized daily exercise and social activities. Many of these clubs belong to Churches or charitable organisations.

Should our seniors try to retire abroad in a third world country eg Malaysia or Indonesia as it is cheaper so that we can max out our retirement funds and do you also harbor the same thought? Why or why not?

There is no necessity to retire abroad. My current situation allows me to retire quite comfortably in Singapore.

Many seniors have lamented at the healthcare cost here and as a senior one’s health will need more medical care, do you think the Pioneer Generation programme is sufficient and what more can be done to improve on the healthcare programme for our seniors?

I am not familiar with this Pioneer Generation Programme. From what I gather about the medical cost of the seniors, many are unable to pay for their medical care.

Do you think that our country fails to take care of it’s seniors properly and even our children find it difficult to care for them as they themselves struggle with the high cost of living? What can the state or our own people do to improve on the situation?

The Government should now unlock our national reserve to help the seniors instead of investing in other countries and helping foreigners in scholarship and training. Charity begins at home. Singaporeans are struggling and the Government is turning a blind eye.

Government should set aside a budget and provide free housing and food coupons to those destitute seniors and families who deserve help.

There is the talk of building a retirement village here like those in the west, do you think that it will work and whether cost will be the main barrier again?

It’s a good idea to build retirement village. In Shanghai 5 years ago when I was working there, retirement villages have already existed and more have being built since then.

Thank you and end of interview

Editor’s note: If you are a senior and wish to be interviewed online, please write in to us at gilbert@transitioning.org.

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