Are we so controlling when comes to our elderly parents?

We thought that we were being good children when we took care of our elderly parents. We told our mother to take her cocktail of medicines prescribed by her doctor. What was the use of bringing her to her doctor on a regular basis if she refused to take her medicines afterwards? We thought we did the right thing to keep pestering her to take her medicines. My mother would always say that too much medicine would not have its result when she truly needed them in the future. That was warp thinking based on our logical minds. However, my mother was illiterate and was not exposed to the medical world, hence this was her kind of “logic”. So as her children, we got angry and threatened not to take her to the doctors in the future. So we had several unhappy episodes of quarrels and anger with our mother. We meant well but she did not appreciate.

It was only later, we all eased up on asking her to take her medicines. After all, it was her health and she knew better. It was her life and we could not insist on how she wanted to live. The only thing we could do was to let my mother had her way. Looking back, it was easy said than done! We still insisted that she must take her showers everyday. That she hated it very much. We insisted on her taking some food. She refused to open her mouth towards the end. (This worried us a lot.)

I felt that we were too controlling over our mother. I ask myself: How I want to live out my aging years? I want to be able to make my own decisions. I do not want to burden my daughter and my wife with second guessing what I wish in the future. Hear me or read my expressions (if I cannot speak). Be less controlling. Let me have my way. I take the consequences. I know they would mean well, but let me live my life is the one thing I want. No guilt feeling should arise. (I wish I still have a clear mind as I age.)

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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“One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is a Hercule Poirot Mystery.

The death of a dentist Dr Morley sparked off a search for the culprit who did this. Or was it suicide? The private Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot was a patient who was attended to by Dr Morley before his untimely death in his clinic.

This story was complicated for me from the start. The ending was difficult to understand. It was too much mind-twisting to get at the plot and the impersonations caused a blur for me.

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A visit to Labrador Nature Reserve

This Park size is 22 hectares, not too big but important for Singapore history. It was a World War II site where the British soldiers were defending Singapore against aggressors with its 6-inch Quick Firing Guns (cannons) facing the coastal water of southern tip of Singapore. Visitors can view the fort and pill boxes built on this park. Besides the historic feature of Labrador Nature Reserve, it has an area facing the sea that is quite open and suitable for picnics and social gatherings.

If you are interested in birds, NParks posted this on its webpage: “It is not uncommon for visitors to hear songs from a variety of bird species, including those of the Oriental Magpie-robin and Black-naped Oriole.”

Getting there is rather straightforward. Take the Circle Line MRT and drop at the Labrador Park MRT. The MRT station is close by the Nature Reserve.

For this morning, we took about an hour walking the nature reserve and viewed the 6-inch QF Gun, the fort, pill boxes, tunnel system (doors to these tunnels were closed). It was rather fortified to dispel the enemies from the south coming across the sea (but the Japanese soldiers took the route from the North of Singapore instead!) That was history. We ended at the stretch of land fronting the sea. We can see Sentosa across the water. We can also see the cable cars in the distance. This stretch of land was reasonably crowded on a Saturday morning at about 9 am.

Next we moved out of Labrador Nature Reserve and took the Bukit Chermin Boardwalk to move towards Reflections by Keppel Bay (a condominium) and the Caribbean at Keppel Bay (another condominium). We walked along the water edge and admired the yachts at the Marina at Keppel Bay.

Our final destination was Vivo City for our meals. We ended the walk in about two hours. To walk to Vivo City, we took the main Telok Blangah Road to reach there.

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“Sad Cypress” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is a Hercule Poirot mystery first published in 1940.

The story opened in the Prologue of the book where Elinor Carlisle stood at the dock in a courtroom accused of poisoning Mary Gerrard.  The prosecution for the Crown and the defence lawyer were both King’s Counsels.

The readers were brought to the beginning on how Elinor Carlisle came to be accused of the crime. Part I of the book transported us to the past and all that happened till the fateful day when Mary Gerarrd died because of poisoning.

In Part II, the famous Belgian private detective, Hercule Poirot went about talking to various people connected with the household of Mrs Welman and her niece Elinor Carlisle. Hercule Poirot was engaged by the family doctor to establish whether Elinor was indeed the killer or not.

Part III brought us back to the present in the courtroom.  The performances of both the prosecution counsel and the defence counsel were a treat to read. Both were very articulate and convincing with the witnesses examined and cross-examined. It was at this stage that new evidences were brought forth (as a result of investigations by Hercule Poirot).

Was Elinor Carlisle guilty as charged? Read it for yourself. You would not be disappointed.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Freed up Financial Commitments

I can appreciate why Singaporeans work so hard to earn a high enough salaries to support themselves in this expensive city of the world. I had been there before.

When one is in his forties, he is sandwiched between bringing up his children and at the same time taking care of his parents. He is likely to be still paying for his mortgage on his property. Cost of living is not getting any easier when cooked food prices have been rising. Health care costs are expensive as visits to General Practitioners (GP) show rising costs of treatments.

When my mother passed away last year at the age of 93, our financial commitments were freed up. My brothers, sister and I suddenly felt the load off our shoulders. The rental flat she stayed in for all her life was returned to HDB finally. With that, we need not pay for her rent, water and electricity bills, and telephone charges. My mother’s domestic helper was sent back to her country and this saved us paying monthly salaries and government levies on maid. There was no need to buy groceries and adult diapers for her too. We feel lighter on our pockets.

When my daughter started work some five years ago, our financial commitments looking after her were freed up too. Now my wife and I just worry about our own finances. We got where we were through financial prudence and savings.

Having gone through this environment of high costs of living, we wish not to subject our daughter to additional financial burden other than her own. I advocate financial independence and sufficient retirement income to see us through the rest of our lives. This is harder than one thinks or wish for, but what are the alternatives?

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Not Active in Investing

42% of my portfolio remained un-invested. Since January 2018, I decided to take a back seat and watch the financial markets by the side. Looking at the volatility of the markets in the first quarter, I am glad that I did just that. My overall position was down only 1.12%.

With the strength of Singapore dollar against a basket of foreign currencies, keeping money in Singapore dollar in low inflation environment is alright. My cash holding is not eroded by inflation at the current moment.

At the same time, I am watching my expenditure side of the wealth equation. Neither a spendthrift nor a miser, I spend wisely when necessary. I ask the question: “Can I afford to spend?” If so, spend it happily. I sleep comfortably without fear of the financial markets turning downwards.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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Shocking: Petrol Bill shot up

My petrol bill shot up to $85.56 (after discount) this morning. I am used to pay on average $70 for each pump to full tank. This is a 22% jump based on my consumption and refilling pattern.

There is a notice to say that the petrol price had gone up to $2.60 per litre (before discount) for Esso Supreme+ petrol. This is a new normal for me.

Driving a car is getting expensive in Singapore. You will see me driving less often and I will be taking public transport more. Come early next year, I would give up my car after it is 10 years old. A person without a constant income like employment income should consider whether driving a car is really necessary. This is a lifestyle that I can ill-afford.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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