Live Life Simple. Stop collecting.

Life can be simple. In the past, I kept things. I bought them and sometimes things were given to me. As I started to clear my drawers and boxes recently, I found items that I had forgotten I had them. One such items are key-rings to hold my keys. Do I really need them? I know some of these had sentimental values with a history behind them. Common sense prevailed and I do not need so many key-rings. I decided to give some up for jumble sales.

I am at this stage in life when I would be offloading things instead of collecting. There is no need for keepsakes. I do not need clutter. It would be wonderful to live life simply without many items that are not going to enhance my well-being. When we go on an overseas trip, do we bring along the whole house? Surely not. We only bring along essential things to keep our lives going and comfortable in the foreign country.

If one is attached to material things, we may run the risk of hoarding them. It is time to let some of these items go. Do we know what we are keeping in the house? I am certain that for most people they may not know they have them. Let me share that it was a great feeling to clear things and let these go.

Copyright © 2019, limkimtong for Living Investment

Posted in Living Tips

About Death

Please skip this if one is uncomfortable reading about death.

One read about sudden mass deaths as a result of an aircraft crash or a terrorist attack or an earthquake in recent times. Lives were lost for people who were still healthy. It is not like old age when one could see the deterioration of one’s health over a period of time.

Much that we do not wish to be the unfortunate victims, we need to ask ourselves whether we could die with a peace of mind.

It is never too early to start a conversation about our own deaths. This is especially so once we are married and have dependants. Just like we need to have our own peace of mind, we do not wish our loved ones agonising over our deaths and what to do subsequently.

I can think of few broad areas to cover.

Financial Affairs and a Will
Writing up a formal Will is important. Have we nominated beneficiaries for our financial assets and properties? CPF nomination and insurance policy nomination are to be executed. Set up a list of all financial assets, properties and insurance policies details so that our loved ones could follow up on these. It would be nightmare for them to try to piece together what we have in our own names.

Matters on the Internet
We have accounts in cyberspace, such as e-mail, Facebook, Instagram, personal blogs, WhatsApp, etc. What are our loved ones supposed to do with these accounts? Would our loved ones be able to access these accounts and close them off? How can they know our passwords and details in order to do that? Think about that.

Locations of these items mentioned earlier
Tell your closest ones where these items are kept and how to access them. Make the locations obvious to them and not hide items secretly.

Insurance and Banking Accounts
These two items deserve a special mention. Knowing these will help them to do insurance claims and to close all our bank accounts.

Funeral rites
The last area to consider is on funeral rites. What to do with our ashes after cremation? I had seen cases where there were differences in opinions on funeral rites from older relatives. By setting our wishes upfront, this would facilitate our loved ones when they carry out our wishes.

These actions are like keeping our house in order. It is necessary because life is uncertain. We cannot know what will happen the next moment. We do want our loved ones to know what to do if untoward happen to us.

Copyright © 2019, limkimtong for Living Investment

Posted in Retirement Planning

Cancelling DBS Esso MasterCard

I had the DBS Esso MasterCard for many years. I held it until DBS upgraded it to Platinum card at an annual fee of $36. Then I received a statement advising me that from 12 December 2018 the annual fee will be revised to $192.60.

I am not going to pay $192.60 each year for DBS Esso MasterCard. Furthermore, I had already stopped driving and I do not need to pump Esso petrol.

Instead of using credit card, I have decided to use debit card. With the Passion POSB debit card, my charges will be deducted directly from my bank balance. This debit card is doubled up as my ATM card.

This is my journey from chasing the 5 Cs in the past to slowly removing each C, starting with Clubs, Car and now Credit Card.

I now have one credit card left and I do not pay annual fee for it by virtue of my relationship with the bank. I shall be using less of this card and instead rely on the debit card for my transactions on-line or otherwise.

I actually feel good when I cancelled my DBS Esso MasterCard. I know that I would be spending responsibly and within my means.

Copyright © 2019, limkimtong for Living Investment

Posted in Retirement Planning


There can be only One CEO. There can be only One Managing Partner, One Principal. There can be only One Prime Minister of a country. This is the hierarchical structure of the governing world. Only one person can reach the pinnacle of an organisation. For majority of us, we can only play the roles to support the formal leader.

I have been thinking of why there has been so much stress in the society, especially in a society where economic growth is the focus for the well-being of society. Only with GDP growth, can the government hands out subsidies and money to those who need them most. It is an irony. One would think that with good GDP growth, citizens would be happy.

Stress builds up when workers have to deliver results. To keep up with the costs of living one wants to be better than the next person. Parents wish their children could excel in their academic and other pursuits so that they could have a head start in earning a living.

This brings me back to “there can be only One CEO” at the start. It must be accepted that each one of us is made differently, different DNA and different upbringings. We have different capacity, capability, aptitude and interest. Acceptance of who we are is key to less stress. We cannot force someone to be who they cannot be. This is especially so with young children. They mustn’t be pushed to their limits until they cracked. This applies to adults climbing the corporate ladders or leadership positions.

With acceptance, comes contentment with whatever we have and whoever we are. We are the ones to decide our own destinies. We alone bear the consequences of our actions. The devil is our greed. If greed can be acknowledged and then set aside, we can reduce frustrations and unhappiness. Be content with what we have.

Copyright © 2019, limkimtong for Living Investment

Posted in Living Tips

The Boardwalk at MacRitchie

Walking, left right left right
Purposeful, mindfully
Along calm water edge

Rain forest on the right
Colours of green and brown
Natural, not arranged

Cool even with morning sun
For most parts shady walk
Some parts bright and sunny

Birds singing far distance
Sounds of monkeys distinct
Voices drift in and out

Perspiring at the end
A change of clothes needed
But good for health and mind

Prunus Trail and Petai Trail at MacRitchie Reservoir, along water’s edge

Copyright © 2019, limkimtong for Living Investment

Posted in Things beautiful and meaningful

Competitive Society causes Stress to Children

Parents always want a better life for their children. This is true for most parents in Singapore. Who doesn’t want their precious kids to do well in schools? This mindset is so ingrained over decades of phenomenal progress in Singapore since independence. During my times as a kid, I was consistently reminded that children must study hard. The saying then was that if we did not study well, we would end up sweeping the roads. I certainly did not want to be a sweeper. (I was too young to understand that road sweepers had pride too for us to belittle these people in this manner. They too played an important role in society.)

Over the years of economic success, Singapore depended on scholars to helm the government ministries and government agencies. In order to be hired for jobs with higher wages, educated employees with good academic results stood better chances of getting it. This explains why there are more people going for post-secondary school education. More than 9 in 10 of today’s Singaporean youths are expected to have a post-secondary education. (Source: Mr Heng Swee Keat’s Budget Debate Round-up Speech) A secondary school’s education is not sufficient in today’s competitive society.

It does not help when there is still stratification at Secondary School level even after MOE had decided to do away with Express Stream, Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) Streams. (This is a good policy to remove Express and Normal streaming. But it did not go further.) The Integrated Programme (IP) is desirable to strive for by primary school children. It is a feather in the cap if the child can get into the coveted IP schools. Stress still remains if students push to get the grades for IP schools. (In my earlier blog post, I had advocated removing Integrated Programme. I am happy that The Straits Times’ reporter Chua Mui Hoong had the same opinion in The Sunday Times’ Thinking Aloud column, 10 March 2019. )

Finally, we can only do that much to reduce stress for our students and to help them cope with studies. Ultimately, we live in this world where competition comes from not only among citizens, it comes from the talents of the globalised world. This is the real stress of the competitive world. Coping with stress and failures is the way forward.

Copyright © 2019, limkimtong for Living Investment

Posted in Education Matters, Social Issues

Lasting Power of Attorney

The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is my last major action I took as part of my retirement planning. This completes a series of actions I did for a peace of mind, as I get older.

I had drawn up my Will, applied for Advance Medical Directive (AMD), made my nominations for my insurance polices, and made nomination for my CPF money. LPA is the last.

With the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), I know that should I be mentally incapacitated or suffers from dementia, I will rely on my wife to take care of my personal affairs with regard to personal welfare (including medical treatments) and property & affairs matters.

It is important to pick the right person whom you can trust to look into your affairs.

Application for the LPA took considerable time. I started it from 26 December 2018 and I got the LPA registered on 21 February 2019. I only received the notification of successful registration today (8 March 2019). It was about 2 months for all the due processes to be satisfactorily completed.

Please note that the fee for LPA Form 1 applications of $75 was waived until 31 August 2020 for Singapore Citizens.

Copyright © 2019, limkimtong for Living Investment

Posted in Retirement Planning