My Reality and Blog Motivation
Updated: Jan 28, 2020
Last year December, my mum suffered a minor stroke and was admitted. She was diagnosed to have a minor clot in her left brain, resulting in the loss of control over her right body. Based on doctor's evaluation, a full recovery was impossible. According to medical experts, anyone suffering from stroke must seek medical attention within 4 hours (which they called it Golden Hour). Unfortunately, she had stroke during her sleep so the damage done was already irreversible by the time she reached the hospital.
It had us thinking about all sorts of negative things like how are we going to take care of her? With our current finances, could we even afford to hire a helper?
Despite our family situation had turned for the worst, every cloud has a silver lining. My mum slowly recovered strength in her right leg on the 3rd day. That night, I still remembered my dad told me that mum had been constantly practicing to walk back and forth the ward's corridor. She was discharged 6 days later, able to walk out of hospital but still without strength in her right arm.
Since my family situation had reached a new low, it should not get any worse right? Sadly we were all wrong, she was admitted again for high fever. The hospital ran some blood tests and discovered it to be caused by viral infection. Somehow, it originated from her urinary tract which was believed to have begun during hospitalization.
How can someone be sent to the hospital for stroke, stayed for 6 days but walked out with an viral infection unnoticed? We sought explanation from doctor.
Thankfully, the doctor had the same suspicion. At least he made factual judgments and did not try to be politically correct. We frankly told him that no way we were paying for this mishap caused by the hospital staffs. He assured us that he would try and see what he can do. Few weeks later after my mum was discharged, the fees for warding and treatment were waived. Greatly appreciate this doctor for doing what is right.
The total medical bill amounted to be a staggering $16,000 approx. before subsidies and insurance for just 2 weeks in the hospital plus treatment! Half of it was waived by the hospital. Government subsidy was at 45%. Insurance covered another $3,000 and the remaining was paid using my dad's medisave. Really grateful for the financial relief in place.
Point Of Realization
When I saw the medical bill, it made me realized that we are now caught in a difficult financial situation. Both my parents have aged along with their health slowly deteriorating. They are gonna get sick more often and medical expenses will rise.
My dad, currently 60, is still working full time but not for long. He is looking to retire in 5 years time (assuming he doesn't get retrenched before that). Soon, it will be my responsibility to look after them when he retires. I haven't done any retirement planning for them yet but I think that my monthly wage coupled with their CPF savings will not suffice for rainy days. Not mentioning the rising expenses of living in Singapore and my future plans.
People used to tell me, problem that can be solved by money are not problem. The real problem is when you don't have money. Sadly, I am just not financially prepared for all of these.
Motivation For This Blog
Instead of brooding over these problems, I decided to just learn how to make my money work for me. Through blogging, I want to remind myself of my successes/failures and to track my progress. Although I am not a good writer (I blame all the technical reports I had to prepare), I do hope that it may interest like-minded people like yourself.
Some things about myself, I belonged to a low-middle income family with my dad as the sole breadwinner. Family income was not low enough to qualify for any financial aids yet not high enough to have a better life. Growing up, I had never really felt poor, I was satisfied with whatever I have. Even when my primary school peers shared about their overseas trips (going to Disneyland etc.) after a long school holiday, I only felt different. Their faces changed when I told them I went to Malaysia and they carried on the conversation among themselves.
The only exception was when my tuition teacher told me privately to keep my fee amount a secret. My dad informed him of our financial situation and my tutor was willing to take me in out of good will. So what I have become today, I owe it to my old man.
Over the years, I learnt to appreciate the value of things by not taking it for granted. Spending only if necessary by prioritizing needs over wants and always looking to get biggest bang for my buck. With this accumulated years of experience, I hope to apply it on investing.
I am not from a finance background so my stock analysis will be limited to I have learnt and understand. It wouldn't make sense to just throw in figures that can't be used to paint a big picture of the business.
I would also like to remind that the times now is no longer like how it used to be 10-20 years ago. 4 room flats cost roughly $100,000 back then and now it has increased by 400% into a shocking $400,000. Nonetheless, landing a job upon graduation will not have you set for life. Our monthly salary is unable to keep up with the rise of living expenses.
I shall end this post with a motivational quote from Reddit.
"It is not wrong to born poor , it is only wrong to remain poor."