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09 Nov 2021
SOURCE: CPF Board
When it comes to retirement planning, the immediate thing that people think about is usually financial security. However, it is equally important to be aware of your retirement wellness.
With self-care becoming a buzzword of late, the spotlight has turned to how we can live well. We talk about taking a break from busy work schedules, and how we can take care of our physical and mental health. And this in turn has redefined our purpose in life and the way we live, both today and in our golden years.
We speak to five Singaporeans who are actively pursuing their passions, to glean some tips on how we can balance our busy everyday life with activities that we enjoy
Staying strong and active for a better future
"I’m in the entertainment line, and to stay relevant, you have to be fit. But I also do it for my health. I might not look like it, but I had a slip disk during my National Service and my lungs collapsed twice. That was a wakeup call for me. My goal is to still be active and as fit as possible when I get old. I’m 36 now, and I want to grow fitter as I grow older. Consistency in exercising and watching my diet is the only way to increase the odds of this happening.”
Fauzie sticks to a strict exercise regime but recognises that it is okay to go easy once in a while. Giving himself some “cheat days” is his way of pampering himself — after all, we only live once.
Pro tip: Fauzie shows that when it comes to physical wellness, consistency is key! It takes time to create good habits, and discipline to stick to them. Looking to start your own workout routine? Let ActiveSG take you through some simple exercises in the Move Better With Active Health online workshop during our Ready for Life Digital Festival. For those who are more adventurous, renew your agility and flexibility in the introductory Phoenix Parkour, an online workshop by Move Academy.
When personal growth is a constant journey
“Even though I'm 61 years old, I’m still learning, and creating opportunities for myself. I worked in the shipping industry for almost four decades, so I've been hoping to join a company that allows me to share the knowledge I have.
I’ve enrolled in a SGUnited Digital Supply Chain (DSC) course. I take my learning very seriously, sometimes taking days to prepare for classes. My kids laugh sometimes about how serious I am, saying they wish they could be like me! Past retirement age, I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing in shipping or doing something entirely new, but I think a positive mindset and the right attitude are most important. I’m a person who never says die till I try.”
Becky has enrolled in both a Professional Conversion Program and SGUnited course to upgrade her skills and fuel her love for learning, and hopes to do so even in her retirement. With all the experience and knowledge she’s gained, she aims to inspire the next generation.
Pro tip: By upgrading her skills and creating opportunities for herself, Becky continues to stimulate her mind even into her retirement years. Thinking of pursuing a different career, or seeking advice on how to recognise your work motivations? Check out the Find the Perfect Fit in Your Next Job webinar by Workforce Singapore during our Ready for Life Digital Festival.
Finding time for self-care amidst the busyness of everyday life
“As a mother, my kids are my priority. But I think it's equally important to have ‘me-time’ and things that are just for me. Honestly, I struggle too, because when you have so much on your plate and you feel responsible for each of those things, it's easiest to move yourself down the priority list. I've found that waking up earlier — before everyone in the house wakes up — to kick off my morning routine is a way to calibrate for the day with no distractions. I've also been trying harder to use my devices less. We can spend so much time on social media just browsing — time which you could dedicate to yourself. It's a challenge, especially if it's very much part of one's work life, but it helps to be aware, so that we can work on it.”
A marketing director and mother of two, Aarika makes a conscious effort to set aside time to pursue her other interests such as music and dance. As an advocate of a sustainable lifestyle, she also takes time to inculcate a love for the environment in her everyday life.
Having children has instilled in her the importance of planning for the future, and while Aarika is still working on her retirement plan, her goal is to lead a tranquil life, surrounded by nature, perhaps being self-sufficient on a farm.
Pro tip: Like Aarika's approach to making small lifestyle changes, it could be useful to take baby steps towards making time for yourself and discovering a purpose that grounds you emotionally. How about spending some time basking in nature, and discover how this green city can benefit you? Learn more from Living with Nature in Our City in Nature webinar by NParks, during the Ready for Life Digital Festival.
Rovik Jeremiah Robert
Giving back to society and changing communities
"My mother built her career in social work, so I had an early exposure in this area. I was instilled with a strong sense of service and stewardship while I was in school, and as a computer science graduate, I’m interested in applying technological innovation to make a sustainable impact in society.
For people who feel like they are too busy to help, I would encourage them to think about something that energises them, despite how tired they may be. We need to make time to do what matters to us and those around us.”
As the co-founder of The Hidden Good, a community engagement agency for social impact, and the content lead at better.sg, a tech-for-good collective that drives social change through technology, Rovik’s mission in life is to bring people together and create positive change for the communities they’re in. In his retirement, Rovik wants to continue pursuing his passion in doing social work.
Pro tip: Rovik put both his skillsets and personal interests to good use as he pursues what matters most to him. Wondering how you can make a change too? Hear stories from volunteers from various organisations such as RSVP Singapore, ActiveSG and NParks, in the Making a Difference webinar at CPFB’s Ready for Life Digital Festival.
Growing a network of support
“With my kids, we take every opportunity we can to celebrate moments throughout life — it could be small things like them doing well for their papers, or something going smoothly at work. My husband and I have always observed ‘couple time’ too; it’s important for us to be able to speak about topics beyond children, and still build our relationship.
Beyond family, I also make sure I stay connected to others. Through my design work, I’ve bonded with fellow businesswomen who share the same experiences as me. I’m also in groups with other parents, encouraging each other through our struggles. To me, when it comes to building and maintaining relationships with family and friends, it's the small gestures that matter, be it a message of encouragement, or a handwritten card. Making time does not necessarily need to involve actual plans.”
While some people prefer creating concrete plans when it comes to making time for loved ones, Grace believes that building relationships does not have to revolve around an agenda. Even simple, unplanned moments in each day — such as cooking together as a family — can be equally enjoyable and meaningful.
Pro tip: Beyond her family, Grace has formed various support groups throughout her various life stages. Want to understand a bit more about successful ageing, as we move through different phases in life? Tune in to Professor Paulin Tay Straughan’s sharing on how to lead a good life at the Ready for Life Digital Festival.
Making time for yourself; keeping fit and active; championing positive change; pursuing lifelong learning; building lasting relationships with others — all these sound like wonderful, meaningful ways to live. But it would be challenging to lead a life of purpose if you’re constantly worrying about making sure you have enough for today, and for all the tomorrows to come.
Once you have found your purpose, you should take care of your financial wellness too. Don’t wait too long, as the longer we wait before we start saving, the shorter a runway we have for compound interest to do its work. Having the assurance of a steady stream of retirement income allows you to focus on what you truly want to pursue in life.
What do you imagine your retirement to look like? We hope that Fauzie, Becky, Aarika, Rovik and Grace have provided some food for thought. Every purpose needs a plan. What’s yours?
Join us at CPFB’s inaugural Ready for Life Digital Festival, happening on 4 and 5 December 2021. Be inspired, discover your passions, and learn how you can secure a lifelong stream of income with your CPF to keep up your life purpose.