What 2020 has taught me

What 2020 has taught me?

As we reach the end of 2020, we should all give a pat on the back to ourselves for getting through it. It’s been a year of change to the way we work, hang out and even the way we live. Even though 2020 is coming to an end, we know that things are not going to be changing much at the strike of 12am on 1 Jan 2021. 2021 will be the year we are all still adjusting to the new normal. 2020 has taught me many things as we all slow down and start to realize what really matters in our life.

Today, I invited a young Singaporean blogger with a 9 to 5 job, Shan to share more on her thoughts about 2020 with regards to wealth management, family, work and everything else. Thank you Shan for your contributions. Happy reading!

What 2020 has taught me

What 2020 has taught me

Family

My family definitely has spend a lot more time together in 2020. With my brother coming back from UK in March 2020 due to the pandemic, we have been spending more time together. Without travelling this year, we have managed to save a little more but have been spending it after circuit breaker as we are out for nicer meals once in awhile.

On the other hand, my mum has been cooking more often with on weekdays. She has also started new hobbies like gardening to help her pass time at home. I realised that just the simple evening talks and walks make me so happy on a daily basis. As my brother will be going back to study overseas in 2021, I definitely will miss the time we spent together since March 2020 when he came back.

 

Work

Work has been a huge learning journey due to the restructure in our roles and also expansion of duties. I am happy to be able to learn more after the restructure but the main thing is that people in the team has been leaving and the workload is getting heavier. This makes the remaining team members having to shoulder the work and it is not easy.

On the other hand, I am glad that my contract got extended, even though I was not offered a permanent, full-time role but a small increment was given so I am grateful for that. 2020 has been a really tough year for fresh graduates, from job searching to entering a role with a lower starting pay, no one wants to have it this way when they graduate. Wealthdojo has an article outlining the 3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life with one of it being “If you work harder, you’ll be able to earn more”

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“If you work harder, you’ll be able to earn more” is really something to ponder upon, there are many people who are willing to work hard and long but does it guarantee them the equal rewards as the effort they have put in? Not necessary and this is why it is important to look out for trends and to know your strengths to put them to good use at the right areas. Working smart is also very important.

The future of work looks to be very different as digitalization, data and technology looks poised to be the future. Even work in my department seems to be going towards digitalization for technology to do it and once done, no human touch will be needed as it can be done by a robot and data easily tracked. It is as though the future jobs will be taken over by technology as I can see the shift towards that and jobs that will be still be in demand will definitely be those maintaining the technology.

With a shift of jobs being automated, it sets me thinking on whether will I be replaced eventually, judging by the large administrative stuff that I do currently, I can see my job being automated in the near future considering that the pandemic has increased the pace of it. I wasn’t imagining this outlook when I started work as everyone was still thinking about automation but the pandemic has really gotten everyone to hasten the speed of digitalization.

 

Finances and Portfolio

2020 taught me that investing is really volatile but rewarding if you stay invested and invest in companies that you have done sufficient research. No one can predict the markets and this was so evidently shown this year. Many expected 2020 to be a bad year for the markets but if you were investing consistently in 2020, almost all assets are in the green. Particularly US stocks and also cryptocurrencies where Bitcoin recently crossed the US$23,000 mark as more institutions put money into it. 2020 has pushed my portfolio into the the green for the first time as I enter the US market, buying VT, VOO, Tesla and LMND which are all currently in the green. I have managed to save much more and has really made me a few steps closer to my financial goals.

Read more: Ending 2020 with a $30,000 portfolio and dividends collected revealed! | Tesla stock price crashed like soufflé?

Conclusion

2020 has taught me about resilience and that being financially prepared is important to ensure that in times of crisis, you are not going to be struggling and worrying about your expenses. At the same time, it has revealed to me the vulnerabilities of working for others where you can be made redundant due to the economic conditions or because the company is cutting costs. There really is no iron rice bowl and the only way to secure your future is to keep up-skilling and re-skilling. Your skills will determine your employability. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as we move into Phase 3 and 2021!

More about SingaporeanTalksMoney

She is in her 20s working in a salaried 9 to 5 job like many other Singaporeans. To her, money is a form of freedom as it will allow her to spend more time with her family and also to do things that she likes. As she embarks on her journey towards financial independence, she hopes to document it down and share her journey with everyone particularly for herself as well to reflect on it.

Find out more about her: SingaporeanTalksMoney

 

Final Thoughts By Wealthdojo

I’m a big fan of reflections. One of my favourite quote comes from John C Maxwell.

It is said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from other’s mistake. But the wisest person of all learns from other’s success.

I’m on a mission to collect mistakes and success from various gurus and financial bloggers in Singapore. Let’s all learn from each other’s mistakes and successes and be the wisest one of them all.

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.

3 Lessons I Learnt From Critical Illness Survivors and Family Members Being Strong

3 Lessons I Learnt From Critical Illness Survivors and Family Members

In July 2020, I had to honor to interview Critical Illness Survivors and their Family Members. I interviewed a Daughter whose mom suffered from a stroke, a 2-time breast Cancer Survivor and also a Father who’s son had Leukemia (Blood Cancer). After the 3rd interview, I noticed a consistent trend that all 3 exhibit and how they manage the whole journey in their family planning or wealth management.

I want to thank Angie, Grace and also Sean for their selfless sharing so that more people can learn what they went through. We also pray that you won’t need to use this lessons in future.

Thank you.

 

Lesson #1: It starts of with pain

In my interview, I realised that it starts from with some unexplained pain at a particular body part. Most of the time, it was brushed aside or just thought that it was harmless pain. Very commonly, the person will feel more tired than usual.

Pain is an message to your body that something is wrong. Please do not ignore it.

3 Lessons I Learnt From Critical Illness Survivors and Family Members Pain

3 Lessons I Learnt From Critical Illness Survivors and Family Members: Pain

 

Lesson #2: Seek Support

This was the most important when it comes to recovery. The journey of critical illness could be confusing, overwhelming and devastating. The right support could ease the journey where every single step is already well planned out. The Children Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Foundation specifically named in my interview for being very meticulous. These societies impacted their lives so much that they continue to donate or give back till today.

“Please don’t stay in a private ward” 

Even though your hospital entitlement might be a single bedder, staying in hospital with no other people to communicate with and journey together might give the feeling of being alone and that’s the last thing we want. Talk to people, listen to their journey, know that you are not alone.

Seek out your friends, family and GOD.

3 Lessons I Learnt From Critical Illness Survivors and Family Members Support

3 Lessons I Learnt From Critical Illness Survivors and Family Members Support

 

Lesson 3: Be Financial Prepared

Whether you are a parent or a child, a critical illness will rob your time off work and saving. Fortunately, my interviewees bought insurance to protect their livelihood, money and especially time so that their loved one can spend time to journey together with the patient. Grace’s husband was able to step away from work for half a year so that he can accompany Grace during her treatment. Sean was able to spend time with his son during treatment times as well.

The hospital bills will be scary. “It is easily more than $500K a year”.

Be financially prepared even before it happens.

3 Lessons I Learnt From Critical Illness Survivors and Family Members Bills Shock

3 Lessons I Learnt From Critical Illness Survivors and Family Members Bills Shock

 

Bonus Lesson #4: Keep yourself in good condition

As a caretaker, parents or child, keep yourself in good condition. You need to be in the best condition physically and mentally to bring your family out of this. If you want to blame and punish yourself for what has happened, punish yourself by keeping yourself in a good condition and take responsibility to bring your family out of this.

You need to appear strong in front of your child, your spouse or your parents so that you can give them the confidence that everything will be alright.

3 Lessons I Learnt From Critical Illness Survivors and Family Members Being Strong

3 Lessons I Learnt From Critical Illness Survivors and Family Members Being Strong

 

Conclusion

Don’t ignore pain, seek support and be financially prepared.

Thank you Angie, Grace and Sean for the inspiration for me to write this article. You can view the replay below.


No one will care about your money as much as you do.

In Wealth Management, it is important to Pay yourself first. Beware of scams. Before you invest in any company or popular investment opportunity, be sure to do your own due diligence. If you wish to learn more about investment, I hope to nurture genuine relationships with all of my readers.

Please feel free to contact me on my Instagram (@chengkokoh) or Facebook Page or my Telegram Channel! Or subscribe to our newsletter now!

Critical Illness Singapore Worry

Critical Illness in Singapore: The Next War

In Singapore, we are safe from natural disasters and crimes. However, we are not spared from illness. Critical illness in Singapore is ranked #2 and indirectly #1 for the top worries for Singaporeans. This is because a critical illness might lead to an involuntary unemployment.

(Source: What worries Singaporeans, inequality and playing a part in policy development)

 

Critical Illness Singapore Worry

Critical Illness Singapore Worry

 

In 2016, we have DECLARED WAR not on a country but on Diabetes. I still remember the National Rally where the Prime Minster of Singapore talked about Diabetes. (Source: Parliament: Health Minister Gan Kim Yong declares ‘war on diabetes’). We are also aware that the war of the future will be a health crisis. (Just look at what COVID-19 did to cripple our economy)

The critical illness war will destroy our income source, rob our family funds and take away the reasonable lifestyle that you are having. For those that are slightly older, the war will erode your retirement funds and you might need to continue to work to pay for fund your treatment.

 

Critical Illness Singapore Reasons To Act Now

Critical Illness Singapore Reasons To Act Now

(Source: Be in the know about critical illness plans)

In my previous article, we talked about the change in the definition of critical illness that is coming soon on 26 Aug 2020. In this article, want to find out which critical illness most people are concerned of in Singapore.

 

This is a part of a 3 parts series article.

 

Cancer War

In Singapore, about 39 people are diagnosed with cancer every day, 15 people die of cancer every day, and 1 in 4 people may develop cancer in their lifetime. (Source: Common Types of Cancer, Singapore Cancer Society)

Putting things into perspective, a typical household in Singapore is 4 people. That would mean one of them will develop a cancer in their lifetime. Cancer remains the top cause of death here, with around one in three dying of it now (2015). (Source: Sharp rise in number diagnosed with cancer, Straits Times)

With the high probability, it is no wonder people are concern about the Cancer War.

Critical Illness Singapore Cancer

Critical Illness Singapore Cancer

 

Heart Attack and Stroke War

Every day, 17 people die from cardiovascular disease (heart diseases and stroke) in Singapore. Cardiovascular disease accounted for 29.2% of all deaths in 2018. This means that almost 1 out of 3 deaths in Singapore, is due to heart diseases or stroke. (Source: Singapore Heart Foundation)

It is the number 2 killer in Singapore after cancer. The risk factors are very common in Singapore. These includes high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, too much stress, inactive lifestyle etc. Sounds familiar? (Source: Heart Attack: Healthhub SG)

Based on statistics from the Health Promotion Board in 2017, it seems like the occurrence will continue to go up.

Critical Illness Singapore Heart Attack

Critical Illness Singapore Heart Attack

 

C-War II

The ultimate horror is when cancer strike twice. With medical advancement, survival rates are also getting higher.

Over 35 years, the proportion of men who survive a cancer diagnosis by at least five years has gone up from 13.2 per cent in 1973 to 1977, to 48.5 per cent in 2008 to 2012. For the same period, women survivors more than doubled from 28 per cent to 57.1 per cent. (Source: More in Singapore getting cancer, but survival rates also up)

For people who have previously been diagnosed with cancer, this risk of getting another cancer is up to 30 per cent. And this risk continues to increase as they live – for patients who have undergone cancer treatments in the past, the longer the period after treatment has been completed, the higher the risk of developing another cancer. (Source: when two or more cancers strike)

Here is a real story of a person going through C-War II. “I didn’t need to go to the toilet; there was no urine at all,” says the 37-year old, who had to go for four-hour dialysis sessions three times a week from 2004 to 2008. (Source: It Changed My Life: One body blow after another, but he fights on)

 

What should you do?

The problem will still be there even if you don’t face it.

Firstly, check if you have adequate critical illness coverage. Follow up with your financial consultant or you can contact me if you don’t have one. Your coverage amount will be determined by your age, whether you have a family, number of dependents, etc.

Do it before 26 August 2020, After 26 August 2020, all critical illness policies in Singapore will have to follow the new definition as stated by the LIA.

Take Care and Stay Safe!

 

No one will care about your money as much as you do.

In Wealth Management, it is important to Pay yourself first. Beware of scams. Before you invest in any company or popular investment opportunity, be sure to do your own due diligence. If you wish to learn more about investment, I hope to nurture genuine relationships with all of my readers. Please feel free to contact me on my Instagram (@chengkokoh) or Facebook Page or my Telegram Channel! Or subscribe to our newsletter now!

Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020

Critical Illness Definition Change Aug 2020: Should You get CI Coverage now?

Have you been thinking of getting a Critical Illness (CI) Coverage for a while but haven’t done so? In Wealth Management, insurance is one key element of planning and we have talked about Life Insurers to change definition of Critical Illness in 2019. In 3 months time, there will be new definition for critical illness coverage. Will it affect you? Should you get a CI coverage now?

Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020

Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020

 

What’s happening?

Like it or not, it is happening. Life Insurers in Singapore will have to comply with the new set of critical illness coverage as set by the Life Insurance Association (LIA). Previously, the definition of the 37 critical illness was standardized so that the coverage is consistent across the industry.

This review on the common definitions is to bring the definition up to date and aligned with advances made in medical technology and medical practice as well as to address areas of ambiguity based on insights gained from the past five years of experience.

(Source: LIA 2019 Framework)

 

What are the changes?

In total, 21 of the critical illness definition will be changed while 16 remains the same.

Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020 Table

Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020 Table

 

Does this mean it is harder to claim in future?

After looking at the definitions, I believe there are pros and cons to the new definitions.

Pros

  1. Those suffering from Thalassaemia Major or Haemophilia can now get covered under the HIV CI condition.
  2. Viral Encephalitis: Previously, viral infection has to be the cause for it. Now, scope is expanded to include all causes, not just viral infection.

Cons

  1. Stricter, more exclusions for Benign Brain Tumor, Coma, Stroke, Aplastic Anaemia, Heart Attack, and Major Cancers among other things.
  2. The addition of ‘irreversible‘ to deafness, blindness, aplastic anaemia.

 

Personally, I believe the cons outweighs the pros because the more major cancer, heart attack and stroke have a higher occurrence rate in Singapore. (Source: Top 10 Conditions for Hospitalisation In Singapore). See point 2, 4, 6, 9.

Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020 Top Causes of Hospitalisation

Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020 Top Causes of Hospitalisation

 

What should you do?

You have time. But, not long. After 26 August 2020, all critical illness policies in Singapore will have to follow the new definition as stated by the LIA.

Review your policies during these few months. Follow up with your financial consultant or you can contact me if you don’t have one.

Stay safe!

 

No one will care about your money as much as you do.

In Wealth Management, it is important to Pay yourself first. Beware of scams. Before you invest in any company or popular investment opportunity, be sure to do your own due diligence. If you wish to learn more about investment, I hope to nurture genuine relationships with all of my readers. Please feel free to contact me on my Instagram (@chengkokoh) or Facebook Page or my Telegram Channel! Or subscribe to our newsletter now!