Budgeting for the elderly in our country

In case you have not heard or read it yet, the South China Morning Post reported that Heng Swee Keat (current Finance Minister of Singapore) is said to be the next potential Prime Minister of the republic.

There is also some chatter that Singapore elections will be held this year.

In an NST article entitled “Singapore unveils big-spending budget amid election talk”, it was reported that Heng set aside SGD6.1 billion (RM18.37 billion) in aid for the elderly.

Heng described the package as “a gesture of our nation’s gratitude for their contributions and a way to show care for them in their silver years”.

The package included concessions of government-built sports facilities and healthcare plus insurance subsidies.

Another SGD3.1 billion is for long-term care needs, including subsidies and payouts for severely disables workers.

To recognise the founding of modern Singapore’s 200th anniversary, another SGD1.1 billion was set aside for handouts.

Around 1.4 million low-income citizens are eligible to receive SGD300 each to help with living costs. Others will receive benefits such as pension fund top-ups, tax rebates and education support.

The total population who is above 65 years old in Singapore as at 2017 is 13%. In other words, the population is already nearing an aged nation. (14% of total population).

Any country with over 7% of its population above 65 years old is considered an ageing nation.

Malaysia will reach ageing nation status (7%) by 2030/2035 depending on estimations. According to statista.com, the median age for Singapore is over 40.

The main reason is because the total fertility rate per one female Singaporean is now at 1.14 according to statistics by the Department of Stats Singapore.

This means that without taking into account the new population, the total population of Singapore is actually dropping.

By the way, 2030 is really not that far off. Malaysia should learn and implement many of the measures already being implemented by other ageing nations around the world.

Perhaps what is happening in Singapore will be a good example to follow?

This article first appeared in kopiandproperty.com

Charles Tan blogs at property investment site kopiandproperty. He dislikes property speculators and disagrees that renting is better than buying. He thinks it’s either property or poverty. He is presently the CEO of an auction house auctioning assets beyond just properties.