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18 May 2021


What does retirement mean to you? Perhaps long afternoons spent with your favourite show or book and a hot cup of tea? Or perhaps being able to pursue the hobbies you could not before? Naturally, retirement gives you some well-deserved time to yourself, because let’s be honest: you have earned it after all those years of hard work. But retirement doesn’t always have to be spent on solo pursuits; it can be an opportunity to meet – and help – people too.

And that is precisely what Mr Loh Wai Poon – known across the Internet as Grandpa Loh – has chosen to do. Having retired in 2011 after spending over thirty years as an aircraft engineer, Grandpa Loh chose to dedicate his retirement days not to himself, but to others. In his free time, he volunteers at various organisations, taking up a variety of roles such as being a tour manager for students going on overseas trips.

Mr Loh Wai Poon, Grandpa Loh, elderly man sitting in front of camera

When asked why he chose to volunteer, Mr Loh replied with a hearty smile: “I wanted to do something meaningful instead of doing nothing.” He then revealed that he had begun volunteering even in the months before retiring, and simply decided to fully commit after retirement!

The joys of volunteering

As the man himself put it best: “Volunteering is a good thing, because it helps the whole country.” To Grandpa Loh, there is no ‘best’ form of volunteering, as they are all equally important.

How should one decide what to volunteer as then? 

As it turns out, Grandpa Loh has some pearls of wisdom to share: “Volunteering comes in all shapes and sizes, so find something you like to do, and then you will like it.” He believes that if it’s something you enjoy doing, then you will come to enjoy the volunteering process through performing that activity.

A legacy to remember

To Grandpa Loh, volunteering is a meaningful thing. As he cheerfully notes, “You can see the impact on people, because volunteering is a very direct thing.” But his giving spirit doesn’t simply stop at volunteer activities. Having lived through rather turbulent times himself, Grandpa Loh uses his own experiences to teach others how to avoid mistakes and make the right choices in life. To the younger generations who have just started working, he notes that he could teach them good lobangs – “Lohbangs”, if you will – that they wouldn’t know about, so as to guide them along their path to maturity.

Having experienced retrenchment in his youth, Grandpa Loh understands the desire to spend as much of one’s CPF savings as possible in order to have more immediate savings on hand. Because of this, he advises young adults against splurging or depleting their CPF savings as they are wont to do, as it is “meant to cover you in your old age”. With his wealth of life experiences, Grandpa Loh recognises the importance of planning ahead, and accepts that CPF is there to help secure one’s retirement further down the road. Armed with such wisdom, he helps educate the younger generation to plan ahead for their own desired retirement, alongside their CPF savings. You can always count on Grandpa Loh for some great Lohbang!

Inspired by Grandpa Loh’s actions and giving spirit? You too can become a CPF Volunteer like him! The Community Paying it Forward movement allows everyday heroes like Grandpa Loh to help others in their social circles better understand CPF schemes and make informed decisions on using their CPF savings!  ​Find out more about the movement here, and take the first step to becoming a CPF Volunteer today!