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!

Can You Afford Cancer Without Insurance Second Chance

Can You Afford Cancer Without Insurance?

The Cancer War destroyed many families wealth management and robbed people of their loved ones for centuries until now…

Because of medical advancement, we have a second chance. Let’s see if we can afford cancer without insurance.

Can You Afford Cancer Without Insurance Second Chance

Can You Afford Cancer Without Insurance Second Chance

 

Cancer Statistics

  • 39 People diagnosed with Cancer everyday
  • 15 people die of Cancer everyday
  • 1 out of 4 people may develop Cancer in their lifetime 

In other words, we have around 25% chance of developing cancer in our lifetime (Source: Common Types of Cancer, Singapore Cancer Society). Let’s put some fun facts as a probability comparison.

Enough said. So now I know the chances of developing cancer is high, what are the cost?

 

Treatment Cost

It really depends on what cancer we are talking about here. MOH now provide fee benchmarks and fee information for the treatments in public hospital and private hospitals. There are 3 main things that biopsy, surgery or treatment.

I have extracted the most common form of cancer in Singapore in a private hospital. (Data Extracted: 24 June 2020)

  • Breast Cancer treatment (conservation of breast, removal of cancerous growth with removal of underarm lymph nodes) will cost $23,423
  • Cervical cancer (female reproductive tract, scope of the cervix with removal of growth (<2am): $7,075 to $8,261
  • Colon cancer (lower abdomen, scope of large intestine for diagnosis with removal of growth (multiple or >1cm): $3,755
  • Prostate cancer (male reproductive tract, removal of entire prostate and surroundings): $53,326
  • Pancreatic cancer (upper abdomen, scope of bile duct and pancreatic duct with treatment): $1,412 to $2,984

You can find out more about MOH fee benchmark here.

The conclusion here is that the cost varies wildly and depends on the stage at which the cancer is discovered and the size of the tumor.

Outpatient Cost

The 3 common outpatient treatment for Cancer is Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and Immunotherapy. Like treatment cost, outpatient cost also varies wildly.

In Singapore, the average cost of Chemotherapy is $1500 per cycle. It really depends on the stage of cancer to determine the number of cycle needed. Depend on the drugs used, an article from David mentioned an average of 2 chemotherapy session a month may cost up to $10,000 (Source: MOH New Highlights). Would you be prepared to pay $3000/month (average cost x 2 session) for chemotherapy?

The average cost of Radiotherapy ranges from $25,000 to $30,000. (Source: Precision cancer treatment expected by 2020). There is a new treatment called Proton Bean Therapy that is just being approve by MOH. The cost could go up to three times as much and require about the same number of sessions.

Immunotherapy is the most “expensive” method because it is one of the newer treatment available. It cost around $9000 per dose. If we assume that the dose is needed very 2 weeks, the total cost could be $234,000 per year. (Source: Immune System Unplugged: Releasing Cancer’s Grip on Immune Cells with Checkpoint Inhibitors)

 

Are you afford Cancer?

Given a typical medium income of $56,550, (Source: SingStat: Key Household Income Trend), the outpatient cost will easily wipe away a person’s annual salary or more. Most likely, they will be digging deep into their saving to afford cancer.

This also assumes that the person is able to continue working during cancer. There is a possibility that you might be asked to stop work to undergo treatment. This lost income not only impact the ability to afford cancer but also the ability to afford your current lifestyle to provide for your family.

 

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 and hospitalisation 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 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!