There is plenty to talk about an impending election in Singapore – perhaps one that would feature prominently the next generation of leaders. There is a lot at stake for Singapore given both internal and external challenges facing the country. As the most significant block of votes, seniors do have a big voice and carry a bigger stick with their votes. Here are 5 things you need to pay attention to:
- How is the government planning to support one-fourth of the population that will be over 65 by 2030 should be top of your mind. Assuming you fall into this demographic group, you should be looking for the government to pay adequate attention to our overall national strategy to support ageing. The generation that built Singapore into a first world nation will now need the government’s help in their silver years. The best place to gauge what the government in doing is the Agency for Integrated Care, whose mission is to “reach out to caregivers and seniors with information on staying active and ageing well”.
- Of the many moving parts of a national ageing strategy, none is more important than healthcare. One can argue that the current government has done much in the last decade or two in building up our healthcare capacity – from general hospitals to nursing homes. Is that enough to meet our needs come 2030 and beyond? As the population ages, demand for healthcare services will skyrocket – and it is a fair question to ask if we are adequately planning for this train wreck in slow motion. Start here to learn more.
- As many seniors will likely live into their nineties, a very big concern is having enough money to last. When it comes to what the government can do, we often zoom in on the Central Provident Fund(CPF) policies – whose stated mission is to provide a “comprehensive social security system that enables working Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents to set aside funds for retirement.” While most are concerned about how much actual dollars we have — there is a more important question. An irresponsible fiscal policy by our government can hurt retirees by simply allowing inflation to run out of control – which is actually an unchecked tax on the purchasing power on the hard earned savings for the retirees. Unlike those still working, most retirees are unable to earn more money to cover this gap. And this is why voting for a responsible fiscal policy – a strong Singapore dollar and low inflation – is in your best interest!
- This may sound a little oxymoron, but you need to have a government that continues to focus on economic development that may actually compete for the very same dollars that would have been invested into the ageing infrastructure. But a pro-growth budget is GOOD for seniors. There is never enough money in the government coffers to pay for everything the senior needs in the decades ahead — and the only way to pay for it is to elect a government that can sustain our economic growth. A healthy economy will generate sufficient taxes needed to support an ageing country.
- As retirees, I am sure many care deeply for the future of our children, grand children and even great grandchildren. That is is probably the most important thing to consider when you cast your vote in the next election. The right question to ask is: Will this government be responsible in building a good future for the future generation? Two areas comes to mind – that the future generation has the RIGHT to a good education to compete in the global economy and a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
Every vote matters in an election and you should make yours count by starting to learn more and form an opinion about the choices before you.