Sunday, June 05, 2005

Get Married Earlier

I have been encouraging our ladies to get married earlier, before they embark on a career. Most people disagree with me.

I was surprised to hear this story of someone who had actualy done so. Here is her story.



Marriage for the Singaporeans' ladies seems to be a secondary priority and late marriages and childbearing is most common in Singapore and many developed countries especially for the educated women.

I tend to differ. I believe that early marriage and child birth provides more benefits though the early years are are tougher with lesser income and stronger need for career building.

I married in my third year of University, and gave birth at the age of 24 and 26 years old. This is most rare as most of my friends only got married at the age of 30.

The decision was to settle early and have an "early" retirement from motherhood. Starting early mean that at the age of 40, the prime of my career and life, my 2 children are already teenager and babysitting is no longer required.

Furthermore, youth provides me with more energy to nurture and play with my children.



Anonymous said...

Yah loh, I married at 21 and had our first child at 23. Now at 52 our 2 sons are 29 and 25. Both are graduates and financially independence; the envy of our colleagues!

My mother-in-law's advice: It's better to be burdened with children early and enjoy an easy life sooner.

Anonymous said...

i certainly agree on Mr tan and Hor mai view.

However, the situation is different from last time. Our singaporeans tend to marry at a later age of around 30, for guys, because of NS. There were no such thing before 1967. Is it still possible then ?

In the past, our economy is growing steadily. Though pay then was low and standard of living is also lower, one can easily find a job to feed the family, providing the minimum support. My uncle, an odd job carpenter then, could make ends meet and manage to struggle to a four room flat now. Do you think my uncle can still make it in today's world? If jobs are not easy to get , working conditions are not humane with the long hrs from boss's demand, and foreign low cost labour competition, i certainly think it is beyond one's imagination that a baby could be brought up. How do you expect a young couple to dream of starting a family early when they take turns to be retrenched, their housing loan is huge (200k for a 4rm as compared to abt 50k 20yrs ago)and they can't save much for the child's future expenses?

As such, couples are left with little choice even if the dream of being freed early from bringing up them is a dangling carrot.

Just like in the war wearing period, ww2 and ww1, child birth is the lowest during then. And, there is always a baby boom after war. People will plan for a family when they see steady times ahead which probably explains why there is baby boom after war ended.

song kin san

Tan Kin Lian said...

My suggestion:

- marry early
- have children early
- live simply and on one income
- do not need to buy an expensive house
- enjoy the things in life that are free: clean air, nice parks, beach
- save 15% of your earning to meet the rainy day - if you should be retrenched

I think that this is possible. Just compare with people who are able to survive on a lower salary

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Tan,

You are a CEO. As such, on one income, yourself, you have nothing to complain as ceo's pay is high.

on average, a person income would be about 2k. After CPF, he is left with 1.8k. Housing installment for HDB flat (270k loan) is 1200. So must topup with cash. Thus left with about 1.2k per month. At this level, it seems fine to support a wife and yourself.

How to have a children then? The maternity charges for bringing a child to the world is about 4k. then for the rest of the child 20yr of upbringing, average, u would need about 300 per month just for your child.

In the past, salary goes up gradually as you gain experience. Nowadays, it is different. It is work and retrench and work then retrench. In between your few short years of working, your pay is not raising as they is no career advancement to talk about. you are basically working from contract to contract and the pay is frozen. Look at the most high-tech and talked about job in sg, the biomedical research area. Research assistant, with master degree, is employed by contract of 2yrs plus. In between contract, they are not much fluctuation in pay level. Furthermore, contract jobs usually do not spell out bonus on good performance of company and the benefits are not portable. It is exactly because of this disadvantage that most companies ,nowadays, are in favour of using contract workers. My quoted example of the latest hot job in the biomedical area spells out the pain in other job areas. Construction industry's engineers are also paid in similar manner.

Of course, unless you are on the special carrer path , like Mr tan's, it is basically more pain than joy to have children. How many of us can be like Mr tan or his management's officers whose career path is there and there is a good boss like NTUC.

it is a sad reality but singapore is now like that. the only way to get people to have children is to guarantee their upbringing when the couple is in trouble. it is not possible with the PAP govt. As such, i think spore just have to be contented to have a dying population with increasing foreigners who feed the vicious cyle and soon the country will be in crisis. Will foreign talents stay when spore no longer holds the prestige it has in the world? Unfortunately,the coporate would not pay for the country for such talent ( fighting for a sinking boat).

... some mermaids have legs... said...

Wow, Kin San, you sound rather bitter about job prospects in general. I've always believed that one should work for what he wants or believes in. It's easy to sit back and complain about inflation rate, rising cost of living and whatnots. However, mere complaining probably wouldn't get you very far. If you feel that the prospects in your particular line of work isn't good enough, maybe you should move on to a different job or industry.

My 2-cents' worth. : )

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