Over the weekend, I had a great time meeting up some good friends. Firstly, it has been a long time since I last saw Ed, due to his work commitments and my erratic schedule. Lunch was great: har mai spaghetti, toast bread with otak otak, pumpkin soup, green curry puffs (I tell you – this man is a genius) and he did this all by himself!
As usual, we lamented about life and the escalating costs of living. We, with our average income – we find difficulties sustaining our lifestyle – our mortgages, utility bills, annual trips, entertainment, medical, insurance – and the worst part is none of us are married yet. We scratched our heads on how some people can actually manage with only RM1,000 salary and feed the entire family.
As I was driving home, I wonder whether how long more I would stay healthy and be able to continue earning money. Time is running out.
This morning, I went to visit my ex boss who just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I car pooled with my ex HR Manager, Mr M, a nice man in his 50s. On the way, I asked about my ex colleagues. It was shocking to learn that the receptionist is due to give birth again this September, after her delivery in late December last year. One after another – like a baby machine.
So far, she already has 2 small children. Mr M told me that, her belly swell real big and it looks like going to explode anytime. I asked if there were twins inside; he said, the receptionist didn’t know because she was too poor to go for medical check up. Too poor to go for medical check up? Where will she get money to actually buy diapers and milk for the children? Education? Medical expenses? Living expenses? Some people just never think.
I don’t blame the rakyat who went on strike when the government imposed a price hike in petrol recently and more in the future. *Cringe*
With lame excuses such as – other countries are paying more for their petrol, and we only pay less than what we are supposed to, are bullshit. Now, they even want to control sugar. It is getting a bit out of hand.
They never take into consideration that other countries have lower living expenses. Take for instance if you work in Singapore with an average salary of S$2,500. You pay rent about S$400 per month, transportation is so efficient that you don’t have to buy a car, things and food are cheap – a bottle of Head and Shoulders 400ml shampoo costs about RM19.90 in Malaysia, but it is only S$7.00 in Singapore. Comparatively speaking – if you also earn RM2,500 in Malaysia, your spending power is so much lesser compare to Singaporeans.
Some of us already started planning to save money. Experts advised us to save half of our salaries every month – but it takes a miracle to achieve that. We cannot possibly do that unless we lead a monk’s life. Back to basics, back to simplicity. It is very hard when you have a house mortgage, car loan and credit card bills. Some of us bought hefty insurance to guarantee our life when we are old. Buying insurance is wise, but we have to bear in mind that insurance is only good when we are sick, permanently disabled or dead.
We cannot solely rely on our EPF – statistics shown that they will be finished by the third year after retirement, and just look at those morons who are managing our EPFs.
So, where we will get out money to keep on living when we retire? Some of us hope our kids would be good enough to take care of us – well, don’t even think about it! We can’t even feed our own parents NOW with the existing living expenses. We could only bear the utility costs – which are due to increase in a few more months and basic needs. If a major sickness hit either one of our parents, without insurance, that’s it. All hell breaks loose. It was a good thing that my dad was a government servant and both my parents would be living off pensions and medical bills taken care of by the government.
Some of us invested on stocks or properties, but this is done with great risks. We are not sure whether will stocks perform or will the properties appreciate? Yiddie yiddie yadda yadda. No wonder, many people are falling into scams of get-rich-quick; some left home when their parents refused to fork out RM30,000 in order to start a selling aromatheraphy lamps – guaranteed that there would be more RM30,000 to earn in near future, greed blindfolded all of us. It is indeed suffering to be a human.
Jeffrey joked that, he is now helping out and visiting an old folks home, so that next time, probably when he is old and grey, he would also be staying in that old folks home for a special rate. I told him to include me in his next outing to help out - I am serious.
I was just telling a friend of mine – might as well be a nun in a convent or a monk so that we don’t have to care about the material world and lead a religious life which is also good for our dead souls. Hhmph – don’t you think this is a good retirement idea?