While recently researching Singapore’s history in water management, I came upon an interesting fact – in the 1960s, Singapore was ranked 170th out of 190 countries in terms of water security. At that time, there was a population of 1.6 million and zero natural aquifers. Much of Singapore’s rivers and waterways were unfit for drinking, as the sewage system was inadequate. In addition, floods were very common. For a steady and safe supply of potable water, Singapore was heavily dependent on Malaysia.
Co-working spaces have become very popular in the last few years, especially due to the rise of entrepreneurship in Singapore coupled with the rising cost of office rentals. Co-working spaces are more affordable than traditional offices, and they provide a great place to network, learn from other start-ups, and hold meetings, workshops, and seminars. Instead of being locked into a typical year-long office lease, co-working spaces have daily, weekly, or monthly rates. Coffeemin, a relatively new kid on the block, is the only co-working space in Singapore (that I know of) with hourly and minute rates.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make lasting, meaningful and valuable memories during the school holidays. As part of the Families for Life Celebrations, you and your family can bond and make new memories while enjoying free Segway® rides, indoor rock climbing, kayaking, and a Despicable Me marathon screening at the newly opened Singapore Sports Hub on 13 – 14 Sept from 3-9.30pm.
When Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong listed the various ways in which a “cash poor” senior can get extra income from his/her home in retirement, he said, “It is better if you keep your property. Even if you rent out the whole flat, it does not matter, it is yours, and you can fall back on it for your old age, just in case anything happens.” I disagree, though I understand and appreciate where he’s coming from. He’s worried that many people who end up selling and cashing out their property would not be able to appropriately ration the lump sum earnings and make their windfall last throughout the remainder of their lifetime. This is why he put constraints on taking lump sum withdrawals of one’s CPF. Additionally, owning a home provides some assurance that you will have shelter, which is a basic need. But in the case of selling your own property, I believe if you are prudent with your money (perhaps you can buy an annuity with the proceeds, or just keep it liquid in an account), the option to cash out your property should be a viable consideration for seniors.
Have you ever wondered why Chinatown is referred to as Ox-Car-Water (Niu Che Shui)? You’ll find out if you join the Kreta Ayer – Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee’s second annual Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival Walking Trail. The trail hits many highlights of Chinatown, from the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple to the Sri Mariamman Temple and the Jamae Mosque (only in Singapore will you find such religious harmony – a Buddhist Temple, a Hindu Temple, and a Islamic Mosque in close proximity and all in Chinatown). You’ll also learn about Chinatown’s rich history, from the time of the British and the Japanese occupation, to the Samsui women and the clansmen who ran the secret societies along “death street”. (more…)
The Singapore government has the difficult task of finding the right balance between flexibility and sustainability. CPF is a prime example of how the government is trying to allow some individual flexibility while ensuring that the retirement scheme is sustainable for years to come. The CPF Minimum Sum scheme aims to provide Singaporeans with a monthly income to support a basic standard of living during their retirement. The portion of CPF that exceeds the Minimum Sum can be drawn out by age 55. Compared to other countries, the CPF is actually quite flexible. As an American under age 67 (what is considered “full retirement age” for my cohort), I cannot draw on my Social Security contributions to pay for my home; in fact, I can’t draw on them at all until age 62, the early draw age in which I’d have to pay a penalty. Even the idea that Social Security is “my money” is an almost laughable thought. (more…)
In its 13th year, Pesta Raya – Malay Festival of Arts returns to the Esplanade for four days (28 – 31 Aug) to celebrate the Malay arts and culture through dance, music, and theatre performances. In addition to ticketed shows, there are plenty of free events and opportunities to take part in the celebrations at the end of the Hari Raya Puasa period and to gain a deeper understanding of the culture.
One of the reasons why I absolutely love living here is that there is always something fun, inspirational, or entertaining to do or see that is free! This year, the Bras Basah and Bugis precincts will once again be transformed into a nocturnal showcase of arts, heritage and culture filled with dazzling displays and unexpected surprises for the next two weekends. The Singapore Night Festival is in its 7th year, and begins tonight. This year’s theme is “Bold and Beautiful” and we can expect it to be “louder, edgier, and wilder”, according to Festival Director Angelita Teo.
I was recently invited to attend the Singapore Blog Awards Ceremony where the nation’s most popular and most followed bloggers gathered to celebrate and honour each other’s achievements. The awards categories included “Best Food Blog”, “Best Beauty Blog”, “Best Family Blog”, “Best Travel Blog”, “Best Lifestyle Blog”, and “Best Fashion Blog” among others. As this is my first attempt at blogging, although I was not recognized during the ceremony, I still felt very honoured to have been invited to such a prestigious event. It made me reflect on why I started this endeavor in the first place.