Friday, July 12, 2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Interview Questions
Questions are posed by a student doing a project. The answers are given by Tan Kin Lian.

1. Do you think young adults are able to manage their money well?
Answer: Most young adults are not able to manage their money well. They do not know the fundamentals of budgeting, the importance of savings, and do not know how to make the right types of investments.

2. What are some on-going activities available for young adults on money management?
Answer: They can attend talks on financial literacy conducted by community centers and government agencies. However, they should be wary about talks that are conducted by representatives from financial institutions, as these speakers are reluctant to tell consumers how to different between good and bad financial products. The financial institution can make a better profit margin from the bad products. It is better for consumers to attend talks conducted by pro-consumer organizations.

3. To what extent are parents and schools responsible for money management issues among young adults?
Answer: Parents and schools should provide guidance to the young adults on the suitable educational talks and books on financial management. However, if the parents and teachers are ignorant themselves, they would not be able to provide the right guidance.

4. Are there any schemes for children to start saving from young? If yes, what are they? If no, what are some possible schemes that can be implemented?
Answer: The problem about saving is that the interest rate paid on savings is extremely low and is lower than the rate of inflation. In this environment, it is difficult for children and young adults to be interested in saving, as they find that their savings are eaten away by inflation. It is important for the government to provide bonds that can give a better return than inflation rate, so that people find it attractive to save. The government has to play a role here.

5. Do you think that counselling is an effective solution to solve the problem of young adults overspending? Why or why not?
Answer: It is more important to educate young people about budgeting, saving and spending, and the high interest rate charged on credit card and other borrowings. If the young people are aware about these fundamentals, they will be more willing to save. There are a few websites that are written by pro-consumer writers. The young people should be introduced to these websites.

Do first, instead of asking

Over the years, I have observed a common habit among many Singaporeans, especially the younger ones - they ask before they think.

Even when fairly complete instructions were given to them, they ask for detailed instructions on every step. I described it as "lack of initiative" or "common sense".

This is probably due to our education system, which focused on examination and the drive to get 100% score.

I wish to share two wise sayings from ancient times:
- When you don't know what to do, the doing will tell you
- Seek not to find the answer, but to understand the question.

I often give this advice to young people. You only need to know the important things. You can start to do what you know. The parts that you do not know will be clearer to you after some time - by then, you may know the answer, or may be able to ask more focused questions.

I hope that this tip will be useful to guide young people on addressing the uncertainties that they face in their jobs and in life.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

DBS Ideal 3 - a starter's guide

I have published a new PDF book called "DBS Ideal 3 - a starter guide". It gives tips to corporate customers of DBS bank on how to use Ideal 3 easily, 
This book is free for the time being. Hope you enjoy it. It takes 30 minutes to read.

Cleaning of hawker center in Aljunied

Read my views and the comments of other readers on this "petty issue"

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

DBS Ideal 3 - my journey

I have published a new PDF book called "DBS Ideal 3 - my journey". This talks about my experience in using internet banking for my corporate account. It also contains some tips to make the learning curve easier for corporate customers of DBS who moves to this new platform.
My difficulty with this internet platform reflects my general experience with websites designed by large organizations in Singapore. They follow a style that I can describe as "confusing". Someone, this seems to be a corporate culture, which seem to lack common sense.
This book is free for the time being. Hope you enjoy it. It takes 30 minutes to read.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Case study - file a claim for medical incapacity

Someone asked me for help to lodge a medical incapacity claim under the Dependent Protection Insurance Scheme. He thought that I was an expert and should know if his medical condition qualified for the claim. 

I first have to seek the definition of the coverage. After searching the websites of MOM, CPF and the insurer, I found that it is defined as "physically/ mentally incapacitated and unable to find work" as certified by a doctor.

He is reluctant to incur an expense of $150 to pay the doctor to provide a report, only to find the claim rejected by the insurer. He asked if his condition is likely to be approved - which I do not have the answer.

I helped him to write a personal statement showing his employment history and medical treatment over the past ten years. He had tried and was able to work for less than a year at the beginning. He was largely unemployed for the last 8 years. Nobody would employ him, due to his mental condition.

I asked him to show the personal statement to the doctor and ask if he can certify that his is incapacitated from working. If so, the doctor can write the statement. He can submit his personal statement, and the doctor statement to make a claim.

I am not using my knowledge as an insurance expert. I am only using my common sense and the general knowledge that is available to any educated person.

I urge Singaporeans to have the self confidence in your own ability and to learn how to think clearly and write clearly, so that your point of view can be understood by other people.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

DPIS - making a disability claim

A policyholder sought my advice on whether he is eligible to make a permanent disability claim under the DPIS as he had been suffering from a mental disorder that made it difficult for him to work for more than 10 years. Here is my advice.

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