2 years of HIATUS, that’s very long!

It’s somehow ridiculous. I have forgotten all about my blog. It’s all because of Facebook! Who still blog nowadays anyways?! 😉

And because of some unknown reason, I chanced upon this dearest blog of mine a couple of days ago. I read all my entries and I am pretty sure my entries are still relevant even after 2 years. So as of today, I’m gonna be back in business of blogging.  

So……

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What is the PERFECT life?

It is to have someone . . . to take care of us FOREVER!

If you have a good heart, you may want to view this:

Save More Money and Pay Less Taxes!

ATTENTION TO THOSE WHO ARE PAYING A LOT OF TAX!

If you heard of an idea where you will have the chance to take advantage of a range of tax-saving opportunities every year, I am sure you would want to know about it, wouldn’t you? What is a better way to do to minimize the amount of money you have to pay for taxes?

As initiated by the Government, this strategy is to encourage individuals to save for their retirement by offering tax incentives.

We have put together a program for high flyer like you to help reduce your tax bill.

Pay less tax now, have more money later. Everyone wants to retire comfortably and enjoy the good life after years of hardwork. It is a good idea to start thinking about next year’s tax contribution.

We would like to discuss the strategy that can be of benefit to you.

Let’s schedule a 30 minute discovery process and it would be a privilege to hear from you to arrange a session at a mutual convenient time.

Are you a SMART saver?

¶ Do you agree that in life, nothing ever stays the same?

¶ Do you agree that at different stages of your life, responsibilities, commitments and financial protection needs vary?

¶ Do you also agree that you have financial goals such as:

à Saving for a new dream home & that exotic holidays
à Funding an education plan which is one of the most valuable gifts you can give to your children
à Planning for your rosy retirement days so as to be able to enjoy every retirement day as if it was your last

However, while trying to achieve the goals that you have set,

¶ You have the tendency to spend the lump sum amount of savings on impulse purchases

¶ You have no discipline to save a certain amount of your income every single month

¶ You are stuck with a long-term, fixed savings plan whilst you prefer to have the flexibility to increase and decrease the amount in tune with your current needs

¶ You are worried that your hard-earned savings may be wiped out because of unforeseen circumstances

¶ You ended up with no savings at all!

I am sure you are SMART enough to agree with the statements above because those are the usual dreams, goals, concerns and worries of most individuals.

Whatever your financial needs and goals may be, let’s plan the flexible and SMART way so your plan stays relevant to you, now and in the future and most important of all, being able to achieve your SMART goals!

Think SMART and act SMART! We can show you the SMART way!

Goal-Setting

The month of December is the month to be jolly for most people. To some who are serious about their lives, the most crucial thing to do before December ends is GOAL-SETTING, not merely making the resolutions. I have shared quite a great number of tips last year so this is gonna be a short GOAL-SETTING entry.

Goal setting expert explains real success lies in life plans, not in making resolutions.
“You can forget about making New Year’s Resolutions if you’re hoping for a successful outcome. Most aren’t worth the paper they’re written on,” says Vic Johnson, a leading goal setting and motivation expert.

Most New Year’s Resolutions have gone by the wayside before January is over and most won’t even be remembered six months later. And the reason is pretty simple. Most are made in response to something negative; a habit or situation that the person wants to change or end. And therein lies the problem – it’s hard to develop momentum from a negative response. It is always easier to move toward something than away from something.

Consider one of the most famous and adopted goals — weight loss.

No one can get any excited about losing weight – because in actual fact, it requires deprivation. It is a negative response to concerns about appearance, health, etc. The results of weight loss New Year’s Resolutions demonstrate their weakness. A survey was done and it was found that more than three-quarter of all women between the ages of 25 and 54 make diet and weight-loss plans each year. Nearly nine of 10 respondents reported only occasional or no success, while almost half lost little or actually gained weight instead.

“The people who succeed at losing weight and maintaining the loss have usually been motivated by a dream much bigger and more positive than just losing weight,” explains Johnson. “They see themselves living a healthy lifestyle. They begin to act and think like people who are in good physical shape. There is more of a radical change in a person’s thinking and actions than you see with most resolutions. It wouldn’t be possible to effect and sustain such a radical change unless the person is motivated by a big dream that is positive in nature.”

According to Johnson, the best goal to set is one that calls for the individual to create a plan for their life based on a set of personal dreams. Complete the plan before you get started on anything. And then begin to ACT and THINK like (your own goal e.g. one in a good physical shape or non-smoker etc.)

December is coming to an end. Before we draw the curtains for 2009 and say hello to 2010, date yourself out to a calm and peaceful place for some soul-searching.

So, what are your 2010 goals?

Do you want to get the most out of your life and career?

According to Wikipedia, Personal Development for individuals refers to actions or aspirations oriented towards one or more of the following aims:

  • improving self-awareness
  • improving self-knowledge
  • building or renewing identity
  • developing strengths or talents
  • identifying or improving potential
  • building employability or human capital
  • enhancing lifestyle or the quality of life
  • realizing dreams
  • fulfilling aspirations

As Mark Twain explains, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Life without growth would be a pretty dull existence, isn’t it? It is human nature not to choose personal development due to common reasons (excuses?) like fear, routine, busy lives, outside interference, etc.

Not now i'm busy

Personal development is no doubt, important. It voices our opportunity to create a better quality of life be it physically, mentally or spiritually. It opens doors and provides the satisfaction that comes only from accomplishment.

We are all capable of personal development. We are simply “too busy” with our lives and make no time to really sit down and discover one’s real potential. The first step is to recognize your areas of interest and to decide that you want to improve. Begin by changing your attitude and the way you view your opportunities.

Few pointers to ponder about as you work on self-improvement:

  • Fear of making mistakes is one of the biggest deterrents to growth.
    Everyone makes mistakes thus it is really alright. Keep in mind that as long as each mistake is a new one, you are making progress. Look at it as an experience. Be bold and willing to try new things. Learn from it and move on. You have a chance to change the present and the future by your choices and actions you made.

    fear

  • Always give your best.
    No one looks back on their life and has regrets about doing their best.
  • Accept personal responsibility for growth.
    Focus on the area that you have selected and most importantly, get started.
  • Learn from the experience of others.
    It will shorten your learning time and give you more energy for growth.
  • Have a mentor to keep your progress on track.
    Spend time with a person you respect. You will be learning from interacting with them and they will be supportive of your goals.

Some easy ways to begin NOW:

  • Read books, magazines and newspapers.
    Many articles have been written to provide in-depth plans for personal development. Research shows that avid readers read better, write better and concentrate better. Reading can also keep your mind active and engaged well into old age. Take time to read every day. So go to the nearest bookstore or public library and grab a book/magazine/newspaper.
  • Listen to some positive thoughts. positive thoughts
    Apply these thoughts in your own life.
  • Attend a seminar
  • Listen to an audio or watch a video presentation at the comfort of your home
  • Take classes.
    This is to ensure that you stay current in your field of expertise. The world is changing fast and you must learn to manage change to avoid becoming obsolete.
  • Find a nonjudgmental mentor .
    Someone who will help you by providing feedback, suggestions, challenges and support. A mentor also provides that element of accountability that can be difficult to measure alone.
  • Make use of internet opportunities.
    The internet makes accessing information easier than it has ever been. There are websites filled with information about every possible subject. Take time to look up areas of interest and select options that will be a benefit as you work toward your personal development goals.

While developing yourself, why not get some of your friends to join in the quest. Encourage them to try new things. Many people are stifled by fear of the unknown and a word of support from someone they respect can provide the courage needed to attempt areas of personal development not otherwise considered.

This is an era where the winners can win big and the losers can lose big.

Make a commitment

at an early age to learn the skills we need to develop and evolve through our lives. Why not commit to controlling the areas of our life that benefit us the most? A commitment to personal development is the first step in taking control of how your future will turn out, the way to go to achieve success in life. You should pay special attention to your personal development. Those who ignore personal development will stagnate in life while those who work on it will grow.

Personal development also helps you to connect you with positive people. When you focus on something, you tend to find things that are related to it. For instance, if you are learning economy, you will spot many more economic-related stuff than you normally would. That’s because your mind has a filter that filter out irrelevant things. When you focus on something, your filter is set in such a way to give you more of it and less of other things.

When you focus your attention on personal development, you are more likely to find like-minded people than you would otherwise. Having these positive people around you will in turn make it easier for you to grow. It’s a virtuous cycle that brings you to higher and higher level in life.

Now that you know how important personal development is, you need to make conscious effort to grow yourself. Start reading personal development books and apply what you learn. Of course, growing yourself is a process that takes time, but by being aware of its importance you will have the necessary motivation to move forward.

 

Live life with a purpose! meaning of life

 

Motivation Pill: Perseverance

I have decided to have an entry for motivation.  A way to remind myself and also to those who need some motivation dose too! 2009 is coming to a close. About two months left before we bid goodbye to 2009 and say hello to 2010. If you are in similar state as me, come on and try to achieve those goals you have not yet achieved. It is still possible.

achieving-goals

During times of deep trial, despair, and sadness, seek comfort and guidance. Bear those difficult times with “patient, perseverance and prayer.” Indeed, many people before us have suffered and had their faith tested; so too will we be tried and tested in this life.

Key word is PERSEVERE.

So what is perseverance?

o      Commitment, hard work, patience, endurance

o      Being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint

o      Trying again and again

 

You persevere when you . . .

o      Try a new sport that is very difficult but you don’t give up

o      Come from a home where there is fighting, negativity and unhappiness but you still try your best

o      Are at the end of a difficult race but you cross the finish line

o      Save money and make sacrifices to buy something beneficial

o      Spend hours practicing on your music

o      Try out at something you were not successful at the first time

o      Etc.

Let’s persevere and achieve the goals we have set beginning of the year.

Here are some useful quotes:

o      Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily

o      Work hard and give it your best shot; never be a quitter ~ Charley Taylor


Put perseverance into action:

o      When something starts to bother you

o      When something does not work right, try again and again

o      Do not lose your temper when something upsets you

o      Always finish what you start

o      Keep working at something that is difficult until you complete it

o      Do not give up on difficult jobs or situations

o      Work a little harder or a few minutes longer on a task that you do not like

 

Not-to-dos:

o      Escape or avoid your problems

o      Blame yourself

o      Blame other people

o      Blame chance/luck

o      Blame other things, forces, or powers

blame

To-dos:

o      Face and accept what happens in your life

o      Express your feelings

o      Write about your feelings

o      Get help if you need it

o      Take good care of yourself

o      Learn and grow from your experiences, including the ones that hurt

learning_from_experience


“Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives, and the fruits of your toil. But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who say, when afflicted with calamity, ‘To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.’ They are those on whom descend blessings from their Lord, and mercy. They are the ones who receive guidance.” (2:155-157)

“No one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but persons of the greatest good fortune.” (41:35)

This is my personal favourite quote:

Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it.  The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.  ~Earl Nightingale

perseveresuccess

Heard of these MYTHS before?

Many people still fail to have themselves adequately insured. They still have the “popular” misconceptions that keep them from getting a comprehensive medical plan.

Let’s discuss.

MYTH No. 1: I am still young and healthy

young and healthy

TRUTH:  Do not take good health for granted as you never know when your health may deteriorate. Have you heard of illness striking the elderly ONLY? Young people are not being spared from this and when one faces with severe health problems, this may cause great financial difficulties to the family.

Insurability is the reason you need to buy insurance early when you are young and healthy. You must get it before you need it because if you don’t have it when you need it, you may not get it anymore.

MYTH No. 2: I have bought enough insurance

TRUTH: Different insurance plans are designed to cater to different protection needs. But many people feel that once they take up ONE insurance policy, they are fully covered. And when claims arise and they are unable to make certain claims, they blame their advisors and insurance companies.

Thus it is important to understand what type of coverage you have.

MYTH No. 3: Already covered under my company’s medical plan

TRUTH: Most group medical plans are still not portable which means to say, once your employment ends, your medical plan stops there. And what happens if your health deteriorates by then? That makes you uninsurable! So do not delay to get your coverage.

MYTH No. 4: I already have Medisave and Medishield

TRUTH: Do you know that Medisave is your own money? You should not depend on Medisave for your medical bills instead you should use it to pay for health insurance premiums. Furthermore, you earn 4% on your Medisave account yearly therefore it should be sufficient to pay for your premium.

There are many limitations to Medishield. For all you know, your hard earned savings may be wiped out for not having a full, comprehensive hospital and surgical coverage.

money problems

Never take insurance planning for granted or you regret it when crisis happens.

Especially for people born between 1947 to 1964 (BEWARE: You are one out of nearly a million)

If you are born between 1947-1964, you are one of those baby boomers in Singapore.  The baby-boomers will form the largest aged population Singapore has ever experienced.

There is a strong emphasis in society to plan and save money for retirement but the bigger questions are: ‘What am I saving for?’ and, ‘What do I really want to do when I retire?’

baby_boomers 1

Individual members of the baby boom should:

o    Consider increasing their saving rates because of the uncertainty

o    Hold their wealth in a diversified manner

Some studies have indicated that individuals who manage their own retirement plans are too conservative in their investing. Investing in Treasury bills, guaranteed investment contracts and money market instruments is “probably too conservative for people investing for retirement purposes”. Treasury bonds are not safe when you think of inflation so look out for other financial tools, which have, better interest rate.

If you really want to diversify, you ought to have some international investments as well as domestic investments.

So if you are one of those who feel that placing money in fixed deposit in banks, think again. You are definitely losing out because of the inflation rate. You can still place some of your hard earned cash in fixed deposits but placing everything is not really a wise thing to do.

Another issue for you baby boomers is HEALTHCARE. This topic has always been a talk by the government. We are well aware that costs of living have been on the rise so is medical costs. Many Singaporeans have inadequate healthcare insurance coverage and many who are insured have healthcare plans that do not provide adequate protection from medical costs.

Thus the number of policies you have is not important (for all you know, all you have are all endowment policies!) rather the type of coverage that you have is more crucial.

Ponder about the issues discussed above but do not take a long time otherwise…

baby boomers 2

Waste no more time… Take action!

Are you in this trap too? You are not alone.

Recently, I have met many prospects who are facing problem paying up their credit card bills or bank loans. Sometimes I wish I could help these people plan their finances well earlier. One of them even mentioned that he would ask his teenage daughter to seek professional advice from people like me when she has started her career. He doesn’t want his children to be in the same financial situation like him. 

Very often, these people who have debt problems feel very alone. They tend to keep the debt problems to themselves, not wanting anyone to know because they may feel ashamed, silly, guilty, loss of pride or worry about losing their job. For some married persons, they don’t share or even dare to let the spouse know about the debt problem. In short, many heavily-indebted individuals carry the heavy burden alone and in silence. As a result, the debt problem grows bigger, the stress level becomes higher, work performance is affected, relationships turn tense and subsequently, the individual may become depressed.

stress
Financial issues cause many divorce cases. It is sad to see when family ties are broken because of financial problems.

 divorce

Never take on more than you can chew, or in this case afford. Before making that commitment for a loan or undertaking always evaluate carefully before signing on the dotted line. It’s not only a matter of convenience. Your credibility itself is on the line, in addition to your personal honor and integrity and reputation. Pay your bills on time – even earlier than required. This applies to all loans – whether they are for rent, mortgage, utility bills, bank loans, credit card payments or student loans. If you cannot pay in full, then at least pay a bit above the minimum payment.

If you want to avoid this trap, always spend within your means. Use a debit card instead of credit card.

cut credit card

At least you know you are spending the money you really have.  With debit cards, cardholders exercise the choice to “pay now,” compared with credit products, which allow cardholders to “pay later.”

 

Live debt-free, worry-free!

worry_free

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