'It's a never-ending chase': Why Hong Ling plans to retire in 10 years and lead simple life overseas

'It's a never-ending chase': Why Hong Ling plans to retire in 10 years and lead simple life overseas
Hong Ling's got her retirement planned out.
PHOTO: Instagram/Hong Ling

Life has given Hong Ling lemons, and now she's growing a lemon tree — literally.

In a recent interview with AsiaOne for the Mediacorp drama Fix My Life, Hong Ling spoke about her retirement plans and explained the rationale behind her decisions.

"When I was younger, I had a lot of 'wants' in life. I wanted a car, so I worked and bought one.

"Then I wanted a house, so I worked for it and got the house — but I wasn't satisfied, and wanted an even bigger house," Hong Ling, 28, said. "So it's a never-ending chase and it was very taxing on me."

And when Covid-19 came around, it threw a spanner in the works for the actress — but instead of hindering her, it might have helped her find the path she wanted.

She shared: "Maybe Covid-19 slowed down the pace, and I didn't get many offers in my job — prior to that, I worked solely for the sake of money, but after Covid-19 I gave it more thought.

"I realised that actually, life is for us to enjoy, not for us to spend on chasing things that we think will make us happy but which only gives us hardship."

That was when she changed her way of thinking, Hong Ling said, and decided to aim for retirement in a decade.

But as much as she has a goal in mind, she's also aware that there's more to achieving a goal than just acknowledging that it exists.

"Truthfully, I don't think I'm in the position to completely step away from my job just yet because I'm still young. I'll work hard for these 10 to 20 years… I hope my life in the future will be very simple."

Taking it to Thailand


So what exactly is the "simple life" that Hong Ling has envisioned?

"Maybe I can have a source of food from what I grow, like plants — I've actually started getting into gardening recently, but the things I grow can all be eaten," Hong Ling shared.

Her garden now consists of green vegetables, chilis and even a lemon tree.

She added with a laugh: "Although the tree hasn't bore any lemons yet, I think in 10 years' time [they should!]"

Hong Ling also intends to rear chickens for their eggs and doesn't intend to eat the chickens themselves, she said.

But all this isn't taking place in Singapore — she hopes to take her retirement overseas to Thailand.

And although her mum is Thai, it isn't the reason behind her choice.

She elaborated: "I've been to Thailand for vacation before and I can see that the people there are happy even though they're not wealthy. They're very content with life."

However, the life she wants to achieve in the future might make things complicated for her relationship with her fiance Nick Teo. The couple got engaged in August last year after dating for seven years. 


Nick, 33, is also an actor, and while Hong Ling may be willing to give up her career to pursue her dream lifestyle, Nick isn't of the same mind.

"He can't give up his job, so I was thinking of flying to and from Thailand — it's not a bad idea, but I'll have to earn a bit more money," she said. 

Retirement isn't the only thing on her mind, however, as Hong Ling also has a wedding to plan for. 

They've recently gone and looked at wedding gowns, while the wedding date itself has yet to be finalised, she told AsiaOne.

As for a home to live in, they're not too worried — the couple intend to start searching only when they're ready to buy it.

Hong Ling, who currently owns a condominium apartment of her own, intends to either rent it out or sell the place in favour of a new home with Nick.


In Fix My Life, Hong Ling plays Yuan Manying, a 'slashie' who works multiple part-time jobs. She meets Fan Shede (James Seah) while working as a journalist for a magazine, and they work together to start a business helping clients declutter their homes by tossing old items out.

Things get complicated when Shede and Manying develop feelings for one another, and the waters get murkier when Manying's editor-in-chief, Zhou Andao (Nick Teo) tries to win Manying's heart.

Fix My Life also stars Peter Yu, Cavin Soh, Desmond Ng, Liu Lingling and Aileen Tan. It is available on demand for free on meWATCH now and is shown weeknights at 9pm on Channel 8.


ALSO READ: 'It's mouldy and smelly but she can't bear to trash it': Nick Teo on how Hong Ling is a bit of a hoarder


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