ElderShield & Ageing – time to accept we are not young!

So last week, there was talks all around about ElderShield after the ElderShield Review Committee’s interim report was released. If you missed it, according to a Facebook post by Chee Hong Tat:

“…To help Singaporeans prepare for their long term care needs, the Committee has recommended that the enhanced ElderShield should be a universal and inclusive scheme for cohorts aged 40 and below when the scheme takes effect. Policyholders will join the scheme from age 30 so they can spread their premiums over a longer period while they are working, to enjoy lifetime coverage after they have grown old and retired. At the start of the enhanced ElderShield scheme, those aged between 31 and 40 will be included as these cohorts are not covered by the existing ElderShield 400 scheme. The ESRC further recommended that the enhanced scheme be administered by the Government as a key pillar of our social safety net. The Committee has also made some useful recommendations on how to make the claims process more accessible and convenient for policyholders and their caregivers.”

That’s all? Interim report mah… but wait wait wait! Did you blink and miss the magic number?

“Policyholders will join the scheme from age 30 so they can spread their premiums over a longer period while they are working, to enjoy lifetime coverage after they have grown old and retired.”

Eh harlow, 30 years old???

Some of us at 30 are still trying to save for wedding, put downpayment on our itty bitty BTO flat, some trying to start/just started a family, and of course some still partying and backpacking like will be Forever Young. At 30, how to start thinking of being an old man/woman? #FeelingOld

But I get that idea lah, you buy insurance, also start buying in your 20s, when premiums are lower right? So it makes sense – you spread the cost over longer term, then pay lesser each time lor! Simple mathematical division in theory, but in reality, it is a pain point, especially when you trying to save for this and that, and then you gotta also contribute CPF, and now contribute to your old age, maybe you die from exhaustion early before you reach the age to use this ElderShield.

As my kopitiam buddy said, “This ElderShield hor, you contribute, you better make sure you live long long to be able to get some benefit from it hor, die early, then your money in that pool for other people to enjoy”. So now we better all wake up our idea and live healthy lifestyle wor!

healthy eating

He’s got a point. Actually this is like some combined piggybank right? All pool money together, when someone need it, can then draw from it (when that person reaches the correct age). Each generation take charge of their generation’s old age, “collective responsibility” that is.

Then earlier this week, a bunch of MPs stood up in parliament and talk until bang chest and lao bak sai about their father/mother/grandmother/grandfather when they suddenly spoke on the topic of ageing. Basically, the heartfelt speeches were about adequate support for care of the elderly, and letting the old folks age with dignity, having more social safety nets and also more laws to hamtam those heartless children who chut pattern and con their parents of their flats and live savings then throw them on the streets.

From lowering the starting age of contribution to removing the option to opt out, and then to politicians talking about doing more for the aged in Singapore and having more policies and laws to support seniors, it looks like the Government is asking us to “Wake Up our Idea and stop YOLO-ing!

The sad fact is, Singapore is ageing, and now the age to start thinking about it is 30. Time to grow up and stop eating French fries!