When you are facing death, what is the last thing on your mind? In a recent radio report by UFM100.3, it was revealed that two thoughts commonly fill the mind of dying people. On their death beds, most dying people worried that they would become a financial burden to their families and many were concerned on how their families could cope financially after their passing on.
As a wealth builder in Singapore, I think the survey was quite accurate because when facing death, probably you would not be thinking of how much money you have in your bank accounts nor would you be concerned about the assets that you would leave behind. Very likely, it is the thought of not being able to see your loved ones again that made the pain of death so unbearable.
Are they going to suffer as a result of your prolonged stay in hospital? How are they going to cope if you are the sole breadwinner? These are perhaps some of the worries that most dying people have in their last journey.
Death is an inevitable journey that everyone would go through and everyone is equal, regardless whether you are rich or poor. Yet most people refused to think or prepare for it. Many people thought that buying hospitalization plans and term policies is a waste of money but they overlooked the fact everyone would grow old and become ill one day. When that day comes, no insurance companies will cover you because you are deemed as high risk to insure.
That is why I always encourage young Singaporeans who just started work to buy private medical shield plans and term life policies. Nowadays in Singapore, the public hospitals are so crowded that they might not even have a bed for you if you opt for a normal “B” or “C” Class wards. So preferably, go for the most expensive private shield plans if you can afford. You don’t want to become a liability to your loved ones when you are ill.
In the last two years, I had lost my father-in-law first and subsequently, my father. Seeing them lying on hospital beds was an emotionally painful experience. My father-in-law was hospitalized in ICU for three months and my wife was pregnant at that point of time. So the feeling was really like a roller coaster ride for us. My dad was slightly more fortunate in the sense that he was in and out of hospital for several times. In the end, he passed away peacefully at home. He also got to see our baby daughter before his last journey. Both of them did not upgrade to private shields when they were healthy, so they were only covered under basic Medi-shield plans. For my father, he did not undergo surgeries, so the hospital bill was not hefty. But this was not the case for my father-in-law who had to undergo several operations, costing us ten of thousands dollars even after Medi-shield coverage.
Incidentally, I was on overseas duty trips on both occasions when my father and father-in-law were down. This made me realized that life is so fragile and in our pursuit of personal goals, we tend to take our loved ones for granted. Many people imagine that death would be a peaceful and slow process but in actual fact, it is very likely to be abrupt and unexpected. In fact, my wife and myself were not prepared for our fathers’ deaths and there were times I feel that I could have done more for them.
Many local finance bloggers are so fixated about making their first million and how to become rich. In my humble opinion, it is unrealistic to expect having millions to spend when we grow old and retire. Rather, it is important to be contented with what we have now and not chase the money blindly. Be a wise wealth builder, don’t be blinded by the color of money.
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SG Wealth Builder