SIXTY AND GOING STRONG 六十而不惑

While going through my inbox, I found a meaningful article which I will be sharing with my parents. I have translated the traditional chinese portion into simplified chinese for ease of reading for most of us, enjoy!

Sixty and Going Strong
(Translated from the original in Chinese below)
“There are 1000-year old trees in the mountain, but not many 100 year-old people”
At the most, you live until 100 years old (only 1 in 100,000).
If you live until 90, you only have 30 years.
If you live until 80, you only have 20 years.
Because you don’t have many years to live, and you can’t bring along things when you go, you don’t have to be too thrifty.
Spend the money that should be spent, enjoy what should be enjoyed, donate what you are able to donate, but don’t leave all to your children or grandchildren, for you don’t want them to become “parasites”.

Don’t worry about what will happen after you are gone, because when you return to dust, you will feel nothing about praises or criticisms.
Don’t worry too much about your children for “children will have their own destiny and find their own way. Don’t be your children’s slave”
Don’t expect too much from your children. Caring children, though caring, would be too busy with their jobs and commitments to render any help.
Uncaring children may fight over your assets even when you are still alive, and wish for your early demise so they can inherit your properties.

Your children take for granted that they are rightful heirs to your wealth; but you have no claims to their money.

60-year olds like you, don’t trade in your health for wealth anymore;
Because your money may not be able to buy your health.

When to stop making money, and how much is enough (hundred thousands, million, ten million)?
“Out of thousand hectares of good farm land,
you can only consume three quarts (of rice) daily; out of a thousand of mansions, you only need eight square meters of space to rest at night”.
So as long as you have enough food and enough money to spend, that is good enough.

So you should live happily. Every family has its own problems. Just do not compare with others for fame and social status and see whose children are doing better, etc. but challenge others for happiness, health and longevity.

Don’t worry about things that you can’t change because it doesn’t help and it may spoil your health.

You have to create your own well-being and find your own happiness;
As long as you are in good mood, think about happy things, do happy things daily and have fun in doing, then you will pass your time happily every day.

One day passes, you will lose one day;
One day passes with happiness, and then you gain one day.

In good spirit, sickness will cure; in good spirit, sickness will cure fast; in good spirit; sickness will never come.
With good mood, suitable amount of exercise, always in the sun, variety of foods, reasonable amount of vitamin and mineral intake, hopefully you will live another 20 or 30 years healthy life.

六十而不惑

“山中也有千年树,世上难逢百岁人。”
最大限度,你也只活到百多岁(十万人中才有一個)。
能活到九十岁,只有三十年;
能活到八十岁,只有二十年。
因为剩下的日子不多,你临走时什么都帶不走,你不必太节省。 该花的钱要花,该享受的要享受,该捐助的要捐助;唯独不能留這笔钱给儿孙,把他变 成 “寄生虫”! 。

不必对死后的事考虑太多,因为变成灰的你,对表扬与批评已无感觉。
不必对儿女的事考虑太多,“儿孙自有儿孙福,休为儿孙做马牛”。
不要对儿女幻想太多,孝顺的儿女有孝心,但工作太忙,帮不了你!
不孝的儿女也许(在你活着时就抢夺)盼着你早死,好早日继承你的财产。

你的钱财,儿女认为给他们是天经地义;
儿女的钱,却不是你的钱,你想要却十分困难。

六十岁的你,再也不要用健康去换取身外之物,
因为此时,你用金钱已未必能买到健康。

钱挣到何时、何数(十万,百万,千万……)才算夠?“良田万顷,日食三升 ;大厦千间,夜眠八尺”,夠吃夠用就行了。

你要愉快地活着,虽然家家都有一本难念的经,你不要再和別人比名利地位、儿孙如何有出息……等等,而要比谁活得更愉快、健康、长寿!

你无力改变的事,就不必太操心,因為操心也无用,反而影响了自己的健康。

幸福靠自己努力创造,快乐要千方百计去寻找。
只要心境好,每天想愉快的事,做愉快的事,自己找乐趣,就能天天都过得高兴。

过一天,少一天;
过一天,乐一天;乐一天,赚一天。

精神好,病能好;精神好,病早好;精神好,病不倒。
心情愉快,适当运动,常见阳光,食物多样化,
保证多种维生素和微量元素的合理(适度而不超量)吸收,盼能健康地再活二、三十年。

TOPPING UP THE PARENTS’ RETIREMENT PIGGY BANK

Today, it was the monthly old girls’ gathering and our topic revolved around scary varicose veins, housing issues, CPF etc. So I was reminded to explain my rationale on why I top up my Ma’s CPF. First, and foremost, you may wish to read on how CPF interest rates are computed on a monthly basis here. Basically, the lowest balance of each month is taken into consideration.

Some Background

Since Jun 14, on top of a monthly allowance to my parents, I have decided to top up $200 monthly into my Ma’s CPF Retirement Account (RA) as long as it is within my means. She is turning 56 this year, and has been a full time homemaker for a larger part of her life. She has very minimal CPF savings from her first few years of work as a factory assembly line worker. Hence, she is under the CPF Minimum Sum Scheme ie minimum monthly payout of $250 from age of 65 until the sum is drawn down.

Current State

Using a rough figure of $5,000 as current stash in the CPF RA account, and a 5% annual interest rate assumption (since account balance is under $60,000), the payout will be exhausted in 2 years 10 months, just before my Ma turns 68. Absolute payout dollar is  $750 + $3,000 + $3,000 + $1,829 = $8,579.

MA CPF SA No Top Up

Making an impact ourselves

Instead of giving my parents an additional $200 for allowance now, I diverted the cash into my Ma’s RA (which earns an additional 1% interest vs my Pa) since they are unlikely to need this portion of money for a good 10 years. With the 5% interest, the $200 today will become slightly over $300 in 9 years plus (a risk free 1.5x money booster). I intend to do the top up until my Ma gets down to the draw down age of 65. While $200 a month does not seem very substantial, the total top up will amount up to $22,600. Thanks to the recurring interest, the payout can last slightly over 18 years, a little over her 83 year-old birthday. Absolute dollar payout will shy a little of $55,000.

MA CPF SA Top Up

Well, a $250 payout alone doesn’t seem much especially with increasing inflation rates, but it is still good money to be cherished. For me, it is the same $200 that I need to chip in, so I’d rather maximise the value for my parents first until it is needed (especially for my parents who are simple folks who know nothing about investments). And the second beauty of it is the money get deposited into their account every month so the feel good factor (vs me passing the allowance directly to them) is definitely higher for them. Sometimes I can only regret not looking through these for my parents earlier to make better use of the compounded interest. Recently there have been many talks involving CPF, but my stand is always the same – understand the pros and cons of a system then work it to your advantage / situation. I will only wish the extra 1% for the first $60,000 can be maintained as long as possible, and of course I won’t grumble if CPF interest increases eventually.

SGYI does two simple and good article on CPF and the minimum sum here and here, you may wish to take a look and learn more. Do also note there is tax relief in topping up the CPF account so that is double maximising the dollar.