Singapore is on the other side of the world from the USA. But like the USA, the family has the same concerns: how will the children fare when they are adults? Are their parents considered to be money lender to their children or is it the national/local government?
Growing Up in Singapore
Here is one country who is actively encouraging their citizens to have more children. How? By making the government the money lender to the expecting parent. They offer money for a variety of things. Programs like KidSTART Initiative which targets low-income families children of six years of age and under that gives them access to education at an earlier age and the Baby Bonus which gives the expecting parents $4000 to $6000 per child and also makes them open up a CDA (Children Development Account). Not only does the government do that but it also gives the parent a childcare and preschool subsidy to those same parents. The biggest money lender to the parents when you are children is the government. But the parents still have to maintain a job to take care of their families. The money is intended to help them with childcare costs, costs of living and medical care costs while the child is growing up.
Like the USA, the families still dealing with the question of one income versus two-income families. But in order for the parents to qualify for the offered services, the families (the mother) has to have an income or they cannot apply. It happens at the One Stop Centers they have where you have the baby and you fill out the vital statistic information.
Birth order also plays a part in the minds of some of how much income the child will make when they are their parent’s age. For example, an only child will be inclined to be a decisive person who wants to make enough money or more to survive without having to borrow too much. The education that they pursue will also show that. Whereas a child born into a multi-child family of three will have the children showing different traits the more children show up. I think it also has to do with the relaxation of the parent as they have more children and how lax they become in certain areas of discipline. Education wise though it will be the same except that the second child or the middle child will show a trait of being more accepting of certain things as they are comfortable and the baby will be the one who takes risks. This will show in their educational choices of college, and subsequent career chose.
Education costs money. Parents have to decide how to make the money to send their child to school. Because it has a high cost of living in Singapore there are other considerations that go into saving money for your child’s education. When you have your child you open up a CDA which starts out with the money given to you by the government in the Baby Bonus program. As was stated before the money lender that starts off your child’s life savings is the government. And then you the parent also become the money lender. Plus the status of the parent also plays a part in the education given to the child. If the parent is affluent versus lower income; this to will affect the money saved towards the child’s education. They have some incentives and relief measures built into the government program that lends the money to the parents. The money in the CDA if not spent entirely by the time the child is six (6) years of age can be rolled over to the next child as well as the age limit now increasing to the age of 12. So the government has or will be the money lender to the family until the age of 12.
The schools the parent can enroll their child in also cost money and also encroaches on the money saved towards the child’s secondary education which is college and graduate school. But again, the government through government incentive money lender programs will help ease some of the financial burdens.
For example, most children upon reaching the age of 18 and being enrolled in college are still living at home. One young lady who had given an interview to a reporter in the USA who was also an Asian American stated and I paraphrase that she expected to stay at her home with her parents until the age of 35. When asked why she stated that because at that age she could apply for her own government apartment. There was an age limit for the time to apply. You had to be age 35. That being said then the child costs the parent a lot of money past age 18 and may be working at the time. The then elderly parent would still depend on what their status was may have to maintain a job past the normal retirement age. But there are ways for the child to minimize the toll on their parent’s bank accounts and help themselves.
Millennials Survival and Parental Retirement
Debt builds up as you grow older. For some students to go to school the money lender is again the government who will loan you money to go to school which you the borrower has to pay back after graduation. There are ways to alleviate some of the money drag on you. Open up a bank account and then have certain things that happen to you automatically. For example, do online bill pay, set up an automatic monthly transfer, or something along those lines. Make sure you stick to a budget. You know that if you want to do certain things you need the money. Allot that money from your monthly income. For example, paying money to your parents for rent unless you live rent free, pay for your personal groceries of things you like, health insurance if you need it, personal expenses such as clothing, credit cards and the like. Pay off your student loan and other debt as much as you can in the beginning. It will pay off when you have less to pay. Don’t buy everything someone offers you for sale even family. And travel when you can but do it on a budget. If you do those things your parents will have less of a drag on their finances while you still live at home and not in your own apartment.
When your parents retire they no longer make an active income. You then become the money lender to your parent. Money needed to fix things around the house, payment of medical care given to the parent, these are just a few things you may need money for. Considering that the cost of living in Singapore is high any money lend to someone to help their child get a better education will increase their chances of having a higher paying job upon graduation and thus lessen the need for the parents to worry about the survival of their child when the parents die. And you save money for retirement.
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