While many citizens lament that they have insufficient funds for retirement and hope the authorities would lend a hand, let us ask ourselves if we have truly done our part to meet our own retirement needs.
When buying a home, how many of us plan very carefully and consider the worst-case scenario - where we lose our jobs and remain unemployed for an extended period?
If a big flat is out of our reach, there are smaller and cheaper ones we could consider.
In this case, we would not stretch ourselves beyond our financial limits and could even have some Central Provident Fund savings left after we finish paying the housing loan.
As for cars, they are good to have but not a must-have for most people. We can always take public transport.
And for tech gadgets, if we do not hanker after the latest models just to keep up with trends, we could save a tidy sum.
How many working adults actually set aside, say, 15 per cent or more of their monthly salary for their retirement needs?
And what about our performance or year-end bonuses? While it feels good to splurge a little to reward ourselves or please our loved ones, we can easily save the rest.
It is all about discipline in saving diligently for retirement throughout our active working years.
By living modestly, we will be able to retire confidently without having to rely on others for our retirement needs.
Lim Lih Mei (Ms)
This article was first published on May 22, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.