Saturday, February 19, 2011

Views about the budget 2011

Read the views from the international media, local media and alternative media (i.e. blogs) about the Singapore Budget 2011 in SGEP.

Budget 2011 - Responses to TKL paper

Here are the responses of readers of TKL blog to the views contained in my paper on "Budget 2011- my wishes for the future of Singapore".

Budget 2011

Here is a CNA report about the budget:  Do you like the budget? Give your views here: 

Cartoon by Wing Lee Cheong

Wing Lee Cheong writes a blog called You can see some o f his cartoons in SGEP.

Singaporeans cannot afford to retire

Singaporeans worked hard and has a high per capital income. But many cannot afford to retire. Why? See the cartoon by Wing Lee Cheong in SGEP

Can you answer to the question posed in the cartoon - why Singaporeans cannot afford to retire? Give your answer here:

What do people live for?

Hi Mr Tan
I watched this video more than 10 times....simply inspiring.....


Family Life 1.1 - beneficial for young people

The Family Life game teaches the participants about making the decisions in life that affect their work, health and family life.  Read the Guide on how to play the game. 120 prizes will be given to the players who achieve the top 5 positions in each of 24 games daily.

Family Life game: 

I am giving away the book, "Tangram" to a player who has achieved any of the top 5 positions in any game of Family Life. A game is created each hour, so you have the chance to win any of the 120 books in a day.
 Each player is entitled to win the prize only once. To claim your prize, you have to take a screen shot of the final year, showing the results of your avatar and its place within the top 5 positions for the year. Include your name, address and a brief comment about the game. This is to be sent to An example of the screen shot is found here.  In this example, the avatar #1 (current player) has achieved the 3rd position and is entitled to a prize. 
 This prize will be awarded until further notice.

Old friends

Have a great laugh

Friday, February 18, 2011

Editorial in SGEP

There is a new editorial in SGEP about the issues for the general election affecting older voters. You can read it at

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Financial Plan - revised format

Try the revised format of the financial plan here:
View this example.

Competition Judge on “Wisdom on How to Live Life”

From the18th Annual Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Awards Competition, the judge commented on “Wisdom on How to Live Life” as follows:

This was a wonderful, thought changing book. I thought the author did a wonderful job of using the conversations between the two Gurus and Tom to teach the lesson of the book. I was very impressed with the easy of reading such complex ideas. Dr. Wong used “real life” examples, I could almost picture who Guru Dick was (I have met many of these types) and the same for Guru Harry (I only hope to know more people like this in my life). The story Dr. Wong tells has helped me to inspire to be a better person in everything I do.
Tommy Wong’s books are on a special one-day promotion (2-6 pm on 19 Feb 2011) at Tan Kin Lian’s office.

Bad customer service - OpenNet

Dear Mr Tan,
On reading your blogs about bad customer service, I have something to share about my personal experience with Opennet.

I received keys to my Ubi resale flat in October 2010. In mid November 2010 when I was doing house renovations, I made an appointment with Opennet as my previous owners opted out for the free installation. I was given an appointment for the fibre cabling - 14 January 2011 ie 2 months later. But till today, I am still unable to take up any optic fiber plan as my stage is “fibre reached but not commissioned” so I have yet installed a residential phone line and CCTV since internet services is not ready.

I have been calling Opennet hotline and was always given the same responses “sorry, but we are unable to advise when the commissioning will be ready”. When I asked to speak to a manager, I was told to leave my contact numbers and no one bothered to return call after more than a week. I then called their hotline to ask for their feedback email address so that my feedback could be made in writing and hopefully heard.

Finally 2 days after sending the email, one Duty Manager returned my call. I was advised that the commissioning could take as long as 6 months, although it might not be the case for me! The manager was unable to give me a satisfactory reply and when I told him that I wish to abort the commissioning since the wait is indefinite, I was reminded that I had a contract (being the delivery form which my son signed during installation) and it was clearly stated on the contract words to this effect: that there will be delay and no promise when the commissioning will be completed. I should have informed the Manager that my son is only 11 years old and they can’t sue him since he is a minor! 

In all fairness, Opennet was INDEED very prompt, in sending me their invoice – YES, I have received the invoice. This is paid service, surely it’s not too much for me to expect them to expedite and not wait like those who have opted for free installation?! 

When I made enquiries at M1 and Starhub, I was told that many of their customers face the same issue. I really wonder how many more are in the same predicament as me – I have waited 3 months since my first call with Opennet and am still counting.

Mr Tan, are you able to advise if I should be writing to CASE or IDA about Opennet’s bad service?

Mrs Chua

My comment
I advised Mrs. Chua to write a letter to IDA.

Singaporeans and elections

Cartoon from Wing Lee Cheong

Kampong Night with SDP

Message from Jaslyn Go of Singapore Democratic Party

Fancy playng a round of chatek? Feel like singing along to Teresa Teng's 天黑黑 (Tian Hei Hei)? Up to dancing theronggeng? Then you won't want to miss Kampung Night. That's when we dip into the past and relive some of the times when we grew up romping around in our slippers and singlets.

That's also the theme for our annual dinner this year and we're looking forward to spending a nostalgically relaxing evening with you. So why not get a ticket and join us next Saturday, 19 Feb 11 from 6-10 pm?

And those of you who've been to SDP's events, you'll know that we rarely pass up the opportunity for a hearty meal. This one will be no exception. Come hungry.

Also come in your kampung best (we'll leave that to you your memory - or imagination - of what that might be) because at the end of the evening we'll be giving out prizes for Best Kampung Dress. There'll also be performances and games which will be good for a chuckle or two.

But even as we relax for a night of fun and entertainment the serious business of our preparation for the coming general elections is never far away. Because of this, we are also looking to raise funds through our dinner. Proceeds from our ticket sales will go towards funding the huge expenses for the elections.

If we are going to run a credible campaign and win the contests that we are in, we need finances. The PAP drips with money and outspends the opposition many times over during the hustings. If we are going to be competitive we will need your help and support.

So come and help us celebrate our annual dinner, and support the party that stands up for you. If you haven't already purchased a ticket and would like to do so, please click here or call Ms Jaslyn Go at 9239-3133 or email us at

Jaslyn Go.

Comment by Tan Kin Lian
I encourage readers of my blog to join this event and get to know the people in SDP. They are quite well educated and sensible people. Give them your support, so that they can be your voice in Parliament.

Invest in land in Canada

Hi Mr. Tan,
I was approached by a marketing manager who gives me an interesting investment proposal. Can I asked your opinion. Will it be a good investment to put some money on land in Canada near Vancouver?

Go to Ask Mr. Tan or and search for "Land Banking". You will see a FAQ written by me previously.

Make your personal financial plan

Make your personal financial plan here. You will get a PDF report showing how much your savings will accumulated at the time of your retirement (you can specify the age or leave it at the default age of 65) at various investment yields. This is converted into a monthly sum, assumed to be withdrawn over 20 years - which is the typical life expectancy after age 25.  It also shows the monthly sum adjusted for inflation - to give you an idea of the real value of the retirement income, so that you can see if it is adequate. You can make changes to the savings and see the impact.

This financial plan shows the importance of the following:

  • To earn  a yield of at least 4% per annum, or 2% above the rate of inflation
  • To have adequate savings to supplement the CPF (say 15% to 20% of your income)
If you need advice on how to understand the financial planning, you can refer to an expert who can provide guidance for $50 only. This can save you from wasting a few thousand dollars in a bad life insurance policy. It is important for young people.

Here are some examples of the financial plans for people at various ages:

Age 25
Age 35
Age 60

However, you should prepare a plan that suits your personal circumstances.
You can buy my book, "Get value from your Life Insurance" to know the insurance policies to avoid and a better way to manage your financial planning. It is available at a discount on the soft launch on 19 February.

Tan Kin Lian

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Do you have a good boss?

Read an article in SGEP, Search for "good boss".

Financial Planning book in Chinese

Wobao printed this article about the financial planning book (in Chinese) by Tan Kin Lian It will be available in the bookstores by the first half of March.

Financial advisers can benefit or destroy consumers

I met a marketing director of a computer software to be used by financial advisers. He wanted to see how we can collaborate. I told him that there are two types of advisers:

  • Those that benefit consumers by helping them to take advantage of tax incentives and earn a better yield, net of tax and charges
  • Those that mislead consumers into buying a life insurance policy that gives a poor yield
He agreed with my views. He was previously a financial adviser in Holland. He told me that Holland had the same bad experience of mis-selling and that the regulators had to impose fines on insurance companies and advisers. I told him that, to my knowledge, no fine was imposed on insurance companies, although the case of malpractices is quite bad in Singapore. He agreed to write to me and share some of his perspective as a financial adviser.

Tan Kin Lian

TOC Budget Forum - 19 February 2011

Survey: Give your views on my paper in this survey.
Read my views in this paper

I have accepted an invitation to be a Guest Speaker at the Budget forum as follows:

Date: 19 February 2011
Time: 2pm to 5pm
Venue: Azea Personal Coaching,  24 Raffles Place, Clifford Centre #07-04 Singapore 048621

There will be three guest speakers. The purpose of this forum is aimed at giving people a platform where they can listen to the speakers’ views and discuss about the government’s Budget which is released the day before.

The format is such that the speakers will be given about 20 minutes each to speak on their respective topics before the floor is opened to the audience for a Q&A session.

I will be speaking on the following topics

a) Taxation and GST
b) Use of tax revenue for social benefits
c) Keep housing affordable
d) Moderate the cost of living

Look forward to have you join the event. (TOC will be putting up a registeration form soon at

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Discount on "Wisdom on How to Live Life"

On 19 Feb and for one day only, the 'Wisdom on How to Live Life' books are also sold at discount (i.e. $20- each). See

Term to 99 years

This term insurance policy looks attractive, but has high risk. You pay twice the premium (of a 25 year term) and stand the risk of losing the excess premium due to many factors beyond your control.

Ask Mr. Tan

This is an example of many evaluation of investment and life insurance products that will be available only to FISCA members when the new website is launched on 1 March 2011. We invite the public to join FISCA an benefit from these evaluation. It is easy to search for a specific product.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Latest postings

The latest postings in SGEP and TKL website can be found from the "Latest" tab in these websites. I usually refer people to this page, so that they can view the other articles that have been posted. If you visit after the same day, you may not be able to find your article in the top page. In that case, try to seach for the article by entering the keyword in the Search button. You will usually get it quickly.

Some readers have asked me to post the direct link to the article. I will do so selectively. My aim is to get the readers to read the latest articles daily, rather than rely on the direct link. It is best for you to keep a bookmark and visit the latest page daily. 

Tan Kin Lian

We help the dictators to steal

There is an article in SGEP about how Britain helps dictators to rip off and steal from their people. Singapore should also be careful that we are not seen to be playing a similar role.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Democracy vs the Elites

Read this article about American democracy and the elites
Sounds like Singapore.

Sites that answer your money questions

Here are some websites that have FAQ on money issues or an expert who will answer your question. In the future, this type of information will be available to FISCA members only - after the login to the FISCA website.

Ask Mr. Tan

Poor yield on Vivo-life

This case study shows the low yield on the Vivolife policy. The reduction in the yield is too high.  The insurance agent sells this policy on the point that the policyholder needs to pay premium for a limited period, but does not explain that the deductions are too high, giving a poor yield.

Ask Mr. Tan

This is an example of the evaluation of financial products that will be available exclusively for FISCA members after the new website is launched in March 2011. There will be many examples of life insurance policies, structured products and bonds. We will build up a databank of more than 100 evaluations within a year, I encourage consumers to wait until March to join FISCA, as we are now busy in revamping the website .

Tan Kin Lian

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