The Real Cost of Long-Term Care in Singapore

The Real Cost Of Long Term Care in Singapore

In the next fifteen years, 20% of the population in Singapore will be aged 65 and above. That figure is astonishing when you put this into perspective: there will only be 2 citizens in the working age band (aged 20-64) for each elderly citizen.

Singapore is not too far away from Japan as one of the fastest ageing population in Asia. With low fertility rate and later marriages, Singapore faces the challenge of a declining working population and stagnant economy.

With the increase in the number of elderly to 900,000 in 2030, healthcare and long-term costs are expected to rise alongside.

The concern of whether our 3M (Medishield, Medisave and Medifund) healthcare system is adequate to address the impact of a silver tsunami should be reviewed.

Besides the 3M approach to healthcare, what about the costs of long-term care (LTC) after being discharged from hospital? LTC refers to those with chronic medical conditions that has rendered them severely disabled to the extent of not being able to perform 3 out of the 6 activities of daily living which include washing, dressing, toileting, transferring, feeding and mobility.

The Eldershield scheme is designed to provide financial protection for long term care which seeks to provide a cash payout of $300 or $400 per month for a period of 5 to 6 years.

The question is if that amount is sufficient? Let’s take a look.

Inpatient care:

Community Hospital

You may be discharged from the hospital but that doesn’t mean you have fully recovered. You will need additional inpatient care such as therapy and rehabilitation, nursing care and the need of caregiver to provide help with daily living. The estimated cost is around $8,000 – $9,000 a month. There are government subsidies between $1,800 to $7,000 a month which you can apply for.

Nursing Home

These are for patients who cannot take care of themselves in their own home and need significant assistance. It costs around $1,200 – $3,500 a month. You can tap into government subsidies and Medifund for selected homes only.


Those that require temporary help can apply for respite care costing around $100-$150 a day.

Inpatient hospice care

Patients who suffered from serious and progressive diseases may need extra attention from a highly trained medical team.

It costs around $7,000 a month payable via Medisave.

Day centres:

Day rehabilitation centre

Suitable for patients who need therapy to regain the ability to perform daily tasks. Estimated cost: $700-$1,000

Dementia day care centre

Estimated cost: $700-$850

Hospice day care centre

Patient with cancer and life limiting disease. Estimated cost $700-$850

Care services at home:

Home medical service:

For those with mobility issues, home medical service is an option and cost around $130-$200 per visit

Home nursing:

Suitable for bedridden patients. Estimated cost: $80 per visit

Home therapy:

Estimated cost: $100-$150 per visit

Home help:

Patient who live alone and can’t leave their home will need some assistance which cost around $100-$150 per visit

Hospice medical/nursing home care:

Suitable for cancer patients. Estimated cost: $150-$220 per visit

Cost of informal family care

In a study by NUS, 80% of informal care for the elderly was provided by family member. That is to say, elderly who can’t afford to look after themselves financially will need assistance from their loved ones. These duties usually have a negative impact on the caregiver with majority of them having to make work accommodations, take leave of absence or to turn down a promotion.

It also changes the family dynamic of the caregiver as they have less time for their own family which can strain the relationship between spouse and children.

Ways to pay for it

Fortunately our government values our Pioneer Generation and has various schemes in place to help shoulder the burden of long term care cost. Here are some options:

Medisave: Medisave can be used to pay for the expenses at approved community hospitals, hospices, day rehabilitation centre.

Medifund Silver: Forms a safety net and to be used as last resort for elderly who can’t afford basic healthcare. It has been extended to include non-residential intermediate and long term care (ILTC) services.

Eldershield: Cash payout of $300-$400 a month to help defray living costs

Personal Savings: You may have to tap into personal savings should your long term care cost exceed the total benefits you can claim

Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) Grant & Levy: A monthly grant of $120 to support families who hire a foreign domestic worker

Senior Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF): Subsidies for assistive devices, specialised transport and consumables

Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE): Home modifications to make it more conducive and safe for them

Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme:  PioneerDAS provides $1,200 a year to help pioneer with their care need

Interim Disability Assistance Program for the Elderly (IDAPE): Provide $150 or $250 a month for a maximum of 72 months for those who are not eligible for Eldershield due to age or pre-existing condition

Subsidy for intermediate & long-term care (ILTC): Eligible patients can claim for subsidies through mean-testing and depends on the per capita monthly household income

 Ageing Singapore


5 Places To Get Cheap Christmas Decorations

Tis the season to be jolly, so why not give yourself some peace of mind by spending less on Christmas decorations? Christmas decorations are only used once a year, after which they’ll be stored somewhere at the back of your store room, never to be seen again until the next Christmas, or thrown in the garbage after a brief few days of splendour. Do you really want to spend a bomb on Christmas decorations that are only going to be up for a short while? Why not check out these places around Singapore where you can get cheap and beautiful Christmas decorations!




While Spotlight may be more well-known among mothers and craft hobbyists for their wide range of craft materials and fabrics, they also stock a wide range of Christmas decorations, from wall hangings to hanging globes. Most of these Christmas decorations are available in bulk, so you can buy a whole lot of Christmas decorations all in one shot, saving you the hassle of having to go to different stores to get enough numbers of different types.

Besides the ready-made Christmas decorations available, Spotlight also provides guides that are available on their site,, for projects that users can do to create their very own Christmas decorations, using the materials available at spotlight! If you’re really looking to save money on Christmas decorations, DIY is the way to go!

Address: Level 5, 68 Orchard Road, 238839




At Daiso, everything goes for $2, so be prepared to feel a very strong inclination to splurge the moment you step in the store. Their “everything for $2” rule applies to their Christmas decorations as well, with things like stockings and ornaments going for $2. Whether all of these Christmas decorations are worth the $2 is up to your discretion though, as there are some really good deals, and some items that are really small and don’t really look like they live up to the $2 price tag.

Address (Dhoby Ghaut Branch): 68 Orchard Road, #05-01/02/03 Plaza Singapura, 238839


Image Credits:

Image Credits:

One of the great Swedish imports alongside ABBA, Ikea is famous for being a lifestyle products giant, selling furniture, home décor, and various home necessities at low, low prices! Fortunately for us, they also stock Christmas decorations, which would be perfect for the Christmas season! A trip to Ikea is an adventure in itself, so get your Ikea shopping bag ready to pile all the Christmas décor in. As usual, all the Ikea Christmas décor and products are tastefully designed, so you’re definitely getting the bang for your buck this Christmas.

Address (Tampines Branch): 60 Tampines North Drive 2, Singapore 528764


Yeo GM Trading

If you don’t mind taking the time travel a bit out of the way, check out Yeo GM Trading if you want to get Christmas decorations for less! They sale Christmas decorations wholesale, so you can pretty sure that what you’re getting is as cheap as you get can get for that kind of quality. If you prefer to shop from the comfort of your own home, they also have a website for you to refer to at your own leisure.


They provide delivery services too for a fee, depending on which part of Singapore you live in. If you decide to make a huge bulk order though, they provide free delivery for orders above $200. Perfect if you have a whole house to decorate, but you don’t have time to go down to a shop to buy Christmas decorations.

Address: Blk 1 Rochor Rd #01-550, Rochor Centre, Singapore 180001


Hsen Global Pte Ltd

While the previous store had a website to complement their physical store, Hsen Global operates primarily through its website,, which lists a large variety of Christmas decorations which customers can choose from.



All their Christmas decorations are sourced from their factory in China directly, which lets them sell their Christmas decorations are dirt cheap prices! All the better for us I must say. Do choose wisely, as the quality of some of the products might be somewhat dubious. But hey, you get what you pay for.


So there you have it, all you need to liven up your home this holiday. Have a good time decorating, and Merry Christmas!





Snapchat’s Snapcash lets you transfer money fast!

One of the widely used Social Messenger App in Singapore (especially for the youngsters), is Snapchat. Recently, Snapchat has unveiled its new feature called Snapcash that allows its users to send money to their Snapchatting friends.

We all know how Snapchat works: you take a photo or a video of yourself; you send it to your friend; and, seconds later, it will disappear as though it never existed. So, will sending money be as quick as that?

Snapchat partnered with Square, Inc. to revolutionize fast mobile money transfer. Square is a company, which permits individuals and merchants in the United States, Canada, and Japan to accept offline debit and credit cards on their iOS or Android smartphone or other tablet devices.

Snapcash via

Snapcash via

For now, Snapcash is only available to users in the United States who have debit cards and are 18 or older.

How does it work?

Users must enter their banking details to a Square account first. Then, to send cash, Snapchatters must type the dollar sign with the amount (e.g., $12), and click the green button. This shall be done through a private message.

The good thing is that Snapcash messages don’t automatically disappear. Although, once you send money through, there is no way to cancel the transaction. So, be careful.

Another cool way to send money is by using the app’s “swipe-to-send” feature by typing three dollar sign into the chat window, like this video below:

Oh, it’s like tossing play money around—except it is real!

Snapcash is fast, fun, and incredibly simple. At least that is what Snapchat says. What do you think? Is it a good idea to bring this feature in Asia?


8 Books Young Investors Should Read

8 Books Young Investors Should Read

Every young people should invest their money. That’s the best advice i heard since i was in college. When you are young and in your twenties, the most valuable asset is not money – but time.

When you are young, you not only have the time horizon to ride out market fluctuations, there are plenty of time for the effect of compounding to work in your favour. Investors who start young will have the flexibility to take on risk and recover from any missteps.

Many young investors procrastinate because they think that investment is confusing and trying to comprehend investment jargons is akin to reading the entire encyclopaedia. That’s a common mistake to make by not starting at all.

My favourite way of learning to pick up investment is to start reading books. Books are a good way to increase your knowledge of a particular topic as they were written by people who have had vast amount of experience in the field.

We picked 8 investment books to read for beginners. Unless you have a knack of picking winning lottery numbers or you were born with skills of a perfect investor, make sure you read a couple of these books before you start to ride the bull and bear roller coaster.

In no particular order:

1. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham 

Ever since it was first published in 1949, it has sold more than a million copies worldwide. If you do not know who Benjamin Graham is, you better know who Warren Buffett is – the second richest man in the world. Benjamin Graham is the mentor of Warren Buffett, so it is no doubt that this book is acclaimed as the “bible to investing”. In his book, Graham tries to explain behavioural investing and to develop an intrinsic valuation of a stocks. Despite being a heavy read, i highly recommend reading this before entering the stock market.

2. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle

John Bogle is the founder and retired CEO of Vanguard Group which is one of the largest mutual fund provider in the U.S. He is also the person who created the first index mutual fund available to individual investor.

His philosophy of investing in index fund is clearly explained in his books where the stock market is a zero-sum game. For every stock that beats the market, there is a stock that doesn’t beat the market. That is to say for an average investor, half of the stocks picked would beat the market and half will not beat the market. What is left, is the investment less off fees – a net loss. His focus on costs minimisation and low-cost investing is his manifesto to success.

3. A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel

Malkiel explains both technical and fundamental analysis in this book where he thrashes out technical analysis as a “a run of luck or misfortune of the ordinary gambler”.  The market is full of randomness and trying to impose any sense of order is spurious at best. He also talks about the bubbles throughout history: Tulipomania, Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the South Sea bubble and addresses market efficiency in his book.

4. Irrational Exuberance by Robert J. Shiller

As per book title, irrational exuberance purports the notion of human emotions as illogical herd mentality. His analysis was spot on and warned about the dot-com bubble before it crashes. He also challenged the efficient-market hypothesis where investors value a stock base on expectation of future dividend discounted to present value. His take? Market volatility was greater than what could be explained by any rational view of investors – taking reference to the performance of the U.S stock market since 1920s. A good read albeit being lengthy and verbose.

5. Why Stocks Go Up (and Down) by William Pike

This should be read before reading any other investment books. You will understand why as this book is packed with many investment fundamentals such as financial statement analysis, stock price valuation and more. Terms such as price/earning ratio, diluted earnings, enterprise value/EBITDA are succinctly explained in his book. Have a go at this first to build up a strong investment basics before loading yourself up with capital market maxims.

6. Bull: A History of the Boom and Bust, 1982-2004 by Maggie Mahar

We know that past prices is not an indicator of future performance – a common mistake every investors make. What’s a better lesson than learning and picking up from a mistake? Mara began by examining the history of the Dow since 1982 which hovered below 1000 before it peaked around 11,000 in 1999. It came to an end when it crashes in 2000. She teaches many valuable lesson in her book and noted that euphoria is self-blinding – a regular feature of every bull market. It is easier to pick trend rather than timing them.

7. One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In The Market by Peter Lynch

Peter Lynch is touted as a legendary mutual-fund manager and in his book he advocates two rules which he stands strongly by: “Invest in what you understand” and “Invest in companies you like”. Average investors can beat any professionals and achieve financial success. He also offer guidance on investing for the long-term and how it can reward you. His style is witty and entertaining and offers a good read for anyone who wants to invest on their own.

8. Buffett: “The Making of an American Capitalist” by Roger Lowenstein

Nothing is better than learning more about the most successful investor Warren Buffett. Roger Lowenstein’s prose in his biography of Buffett is well-crafted. Besides knowing deep into Buffett and his family, this book shares insights on Buffett’s investment strategy and how he avoided the dot-com bubble. There were many “how-tos” and noted Buffett’s long-term strategy of focusing on undervalued stocks and holding them to their worth. A rather lengthy read but it pays to know how this man has amassed a fortune from investing where many would envy.

Note that the list is not exhaustive and neither of these books are money-making recipe. They form a bedrock to your future investment journey and there could be no better time to pick up these valuable knowledge when you are still young and intellectually competent.



7 Awesome Christmas Gift Ideas Under $50

Christmas is just around the corner. While searching for the perfect gift, keep in mind that you must also be financially-savvy. You may be tempted to go over your budget since this holiday only come once a year. But, your gifts need not to be expensive to make your loved ones smile! Here are 7 Awesome Christmas Gift Ideas under $50.

US$29.95 or S$39.53. Buy it here.

The Wake up Workout Alarm Clock is the perfect gift for that person who wants to lose weight, but is too lazy to get up the bed. This alarm clock only shuts off after you have done 30 reps of consecutive bicep curls. The dumbbell-shaped alarm clock has a countdown timer on one side, which counts the number of reps you have done. Even the motion sensors inside can detect how many bicep curls you have done only if you swing it right. So, it will be really hard for you to cheat!

Wake up Workout Alarm Clock via

Wake up Workout Alarm Clock via

S$12.90. Buy it here.

Since the Coachella Music Festival, the trend has been leaning towards the gypsy or bohemian style. This Jeweled Hair Decor by H&M will surely make your sister stand out from the crowd. Don’t worry about its fitting because its silver chains have an adjustable length up to 63 cm.

Jeweled Hair Decoration via

Jeweled Hair Decoration via

S$29.90. Buy it here.

Busy moms who are always stressed with tight deadlines need pampering too! With this Wild Argan Oil Beauty Bag by The Body Shop, your mom will feel beautiful from head to toe. It is consist of an Argan Oil shower gel, body butter, body scrub—all imported from Morocco. Best of all? The cost of youthful skin won’t hurt your wallet.

Wild Argan Oil Beauty Bag via

Wild Argan Oil Beauty Bag via

S$21.86, Outliers Book. S$21.83, Tipping Point Book. Buy it here.

Indulge your deep thinking dad with the best-selling books by Malcolm Gladwell. Personally, I recommend the “Outliers: Story of Success”, and the “Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference”. Not only will he thank you for this interesting read but it will change his view of the world too.

S$42. Buy it here.

Nothing beats a custom-made gift such as a Personalized Name or Word Necklace from MyLittleBow shop. You may use his or her nickname, your secret code or your term of endearment. It will make your girlfriend, boyfriend or best friend feel that you have really thought of them. Orders take about 3 weeks to be ready, so be sure to place your order early!

US$14.95 or S$19.73. Buy it here.

This heat sensitive battery mug glows green once you pour hot beverage on it. Then, the battery turns black once your coffee or tea is cool enough to sip. The battery will also appear empty once you’ve finished all of its contents, and it’s time to refill. Your boss will surely appreciate this thoughtful reminder.

Battery Mug via

Battery Mug via

S$20, Badges. S$22, Canvas Totes. Buy it here.

The Little Dröm Store sells Badges and Canvas Totes for several types of Singaporean. From the Precise (Zhun zhun guni hoon), to the Champion (Kiasu), and the Composed Singaporean (Steady Pom Pipi), this store has it all for you! The badges are available in 16 different designs, which you may check out here.

Kan Cheong Spider Badge via

Kan Cheong Spider Badge via

While, their totes (fits A4 folders) are available in 8 designs namely: Stylo Milo, Siao On, Jiak Gan Tang, Steady Pom Pipi, Chop Chop Curry Pok, Kan Cheong Spider, Kiasu, and Huat ah. These adorably designed and hilariously clever badges and totes will make you feel closer to home.