Thursday, March 19, 2015

Random thoughts: Emergency fund? Don't make my mistake.

I count my blessings. 

That now that my mum is diagnosed with 4th stage breast cancer, my siblings and I are all calm, composed and discussing. No one acted big boss, no one overly kanchong or overly helpful that actually inevitably add on to stress level. 

However, although at the back of my mind, I have always been mentally prepared that my parents hospitalization will be a big expense when the time come, it is still scary. 

Talk about 6-12 months emergency funds. I have only about 3 months, and I thought it will be enough since I have a iron rice bowl. 

What a delusional thought. 

It's ok. I think it's high time my investment and FF plan take a back seat. Over the next few days, I will be taking opportunity to increase cash. Especially the higher risk companies. I no longer can afford to wait out a bear, any profit making counters or breaking even counters might be cash out. Cannot bear to wait for it to be in red when I need money. I have reduced stake for Lippomalls, ST engineering, Sembcorp Industries and Singapore Shipping. I am grateful that I actually have the option to cash out of investment. Most probably will need money to hire another maid soon. If the price is right, I might cash out further, if the price is wrong, at least I have increased my buffer. I am going to surrender my endowment policy later in the afternoon. 

I know SMOL might not agree with this, but do get private care insurance when u are able. While it might be a myth that private care is better; trust me, when your siblings wanted the best for your loved parents, you wouldn't want to be the one clamouring for govt hospital care,
Especially when time is the essence. My mum has refused to face up to it, and refused check ups and my brother and I  didn't insist. My mum 重男轻女,when my sister ask to see what she is stuffing in her bra, she choose to hide and refused to talk to her. The doctor told us the lump is around for 2 years. 2 years! It's only in recent months that signs show: she start to slim down, etc. When my brother asked, she relent. Maybe we could have tried harder. 

A friend just told her relative treatment cost 160k in a government hospital!!! It really is scaring the shit out of me, because even if we divide that amount by three, it is still scary.

So my readers, if u are starting out in your young 20s, save and save! When you are married, there are many problems and it is harder for compounding to work. It might really be good idea to discuss with your wife about getting a car. If she is pregnant and you want convenience, get a second hand car. Explore explore explore. 

For me, I am not going to lament the past lost, or opportinity not grasped. 

I do see how much "wonder" what money can do, but I do think I can let go of money and FF dream. 

Life is still beautiful. Look at my mum, she didn't understand that her neck ache that refused to go away could well be due to the spread of cancer cells, she still bravely said after the surgery, she wanted to get it done once and for all. 

My dad who is always "verbally abused" by my mother, eyes swell when he knows she got cancer. 

My wife ask me not to worry about home. My brother and sister are not engaged in blame game. 

Me, I have more time for myself, family. 

I thanks Mr Karma for 手下留情。


  1. Replies
    1. I am not sure what treatment actually. I did ask if it was private care.

      But it was SGH. 1 week at ICU then passed away. She was very pissed when she relate the incident

    2. SGH also have Private patient class with no subsidy. Can be very costly. My own personal encounter for B1 is still manageable.

    3. Could be... Never ask details, was a short chat due to a coninciden meet at kopitam...

      I guess so la, how can govt hospital be so ex. You know, just the day before, I went with my dad to TTSH for check up while my sis went to Alvernia with mum. She apps me photo of dressing for wound to get, because Alvernia run out of it. It cost 80cents off the shelves at TTSH, buy $9.90 at alvernia! That 1200% difference!

  2. The harshness of reality. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Sillyinvestor,

    When I blogged about Life is not a straight line extrapolation, I was speaking from personal experience.

    My sympathies and regards to your mom's situation.

    Yes, you are lucky to have supportive siblings willing to share the load; imagine if you were the only child.

    All I want to share is that the medical treatment my mom got at NUH and Alexandra Hospital were not "2nd class". The senior consultants that were assigned to us were quite well-known and famous in the medical community. I did my checking with those inside the medical field (tip - talk to your regular family doctor) ; not through rumour or gossip from well-meaning friends.

    The differences between Class A and B2 are just the wards - medicine and doctors were the same.

    1. The doctor was the specialist for my sister, my sister seemed to trust her a lot

      Yup, point taken about single child, trying to get a buddy for my son. LOL.

      I was telling CW about my conversation in the morning with my ex. Colleague, she said she brought insirance when she was young. But the payout or insured amount is only 60K

      I wonder when my time come. What seems adequate now, will it be a joke?

  4. Hi SI,

    Take care of her. I'm sorry this happened, but cest la vie - that's life. Money can easily be earned back, don't worry about it. My good thoughts will be with you and your family.

    1. Think so. Even if unhappy also bo bianz, maybe if no money need to worry more, can pay just struggle along ...

      Thanks for your good thoughts

  5. SI : Sorry to hear about your mum's condition. Take care and keep going...

  6. SI: Sorry to hear about this.

    My mum passed away from cancer in 2010. During here cancer treatment, the government subsidized ward at SGH was way too uncomfortable. Her bed was next to a window, and the sunlight heated the bed up until she was constantly sweating. Chemo heats up your body. She could not sleep and she suffered greatly as well.

    We had to move her to a private ward in SGH. Air-conditioned and less patients. It was 1000x more comfortable.

    It was a tough time.

    SI, I can more or less understand what you are going through now. Stay tough and keep your mother's spirits up. If there was one thing I regretted, it was not supporting my mother enough through her final fight.

    Don't let that happen in your situation.

    1. Hi BfGF,

      Thank you for your reminder. Indeed, so far, the Pet scan etc are all done in comfort. Perhaps this is the least we could do

      My mum is indeed a fighter. She almost had a fall from the escalator had I not hold her up. I told her we will get a maid to help her, she rejected me outright

  7. Hi SI

    My sympathy goes to your mum. Please take care of her and the family these while.

    I don't think you have to worry about the investment portion at all. This is clearly a different importance of ball game and it's clear that family comes first before anything. Please stay strong and be with her through this hard period.

    1. Hi B,thank you

      My policy almost break even. Cool. Ya... I shouldn't be worried about this at all.

  8. Hello SI, I sympathize and empathize. I just went thru a 白事, and the hospital bills had not even arrived yet. But I had bought hospitalization insurance, and my dad is of the PG, so the bills will probably be manageable. We are both teachers and my heart goes out to you. Let me know if I can assist in any way. Will be glad to help.

    1. Hi Angelfire,

      Such kindness, extended to a stranger. Thank you. I will do fine. My brother and sister are richer than me. LOL

  9. Hi mike.
    I am.sorry to hear this. My dad passed away in 2012 due to prostate cancer stage 4. From diagnosed to his last day, he lived about 9 month.

    The doctor did not advised any treatment as my dad was old, 72 that moment. Even he went through treatment, also only extended at most 1 year life.

    So then, we decided to let him go without much suffer from chemo or any other treatment.

    One good things about malaysia medicine is FOC. But the service is really sxxk. We didn spend much on medical fee. But i am so regret that I didn spend much time with him.

    Do spend more time with your mum.

    All the best to her health. Jia you!

    1. i do not know what i can offer to help, be it financial or work.
      do let me know.

      probably i can help u to set exam paper:)
      but do not let your colleagues know it, just kidding:)

      do not worry much, i will pray for your mum.

    2. LOL, not need to help me set exam papers! Thank you for your offer of help. There is something which I would really appreciate your help.

      Any website where I can learn to cook simple healthy soup of food for my parents ???

    3. well, ask your mum do not eat any meat.
      eat more protein. after chemo, appetite not very good. then buy this prosure milk powder for your mum. a bit expensive. i bought for my late father last time. but it really helps. it help to regain energy.

      my auntie also a cancer patient. now she is doing well, breast cancer stage 2. survive and live well about 5 or 6 years liao.

      do not give up hope.

      well, ask ur mum take more 五谷。vege.then do some tai ji.

      u heard the 优顿草?
      感谢我们的网友Stanley Chong,他家里种了很多忧遁草,如果Johor附近有需要的朋友,可以直接和他联系。
      名字: Stanley Chong
      地区: Taman Johor Jaya, J.B
      联络方式: 016-7881001

      well, mike.
      maybe u can try 优顿草。
      can try to contact the person.

      see whether it helps


      hi mike
      i do not whether it helps or not. maybe this is not 科学的方法。

      but since your mum is stage 4 cancer. so i just think to try something else beside chemo .

    5. hi mike.
      some information for you.

      whether your mum or your family decide to try it out or not. it really your family decision.

      hope it helps.

    6. Thank you Yeh.

      Actually I am just thinking of simple home-cooked food that are be easily prepare in 30 min?

      Soup perhaps. I am thinking of fish slice soap, yong tau fu etc. But fun know healthy a not.

      The soap based I heard better not put soya bean for taste. Ikan bilis can? I go online for recipe but like not good lei

    7. Buy that prosure milk powder. It really helps.

      Then try to eat more protein foods like bean or 五谷 or 十谷。

      Those after chemo normally will lose weight n no appetite. Drink the milk powder then good enough.

      As for solid foods. My advise is different kind of vege and fruits.

      As for niang dou fu and fish soup.

      Fish soup is ok. Niang dou fu not so healthy.

      I think bean is good..more protein leh.
      Cancer patient need to take more protein.

  10. Hi SI,

    Thanks for sharing and the reminder to always prepare for life's unpredictability. Your mom is brave and I'm sure you will stay strong as well.

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

    I w

    1. Hi Derek,

      Like my wife, I can only hope for less suffering. I will be strong. I need to be. Work is demanding too. Sigh...

  11. Replies
    1. Thanks STi

      You are kind. The fiancial community is very supportive too!

  12. Hi SI,

    From the comments so far, it seems like your family have the financial aspect covered. That's really a good start! Finances was really a big concern when my mother was diagnosed with 3rd stage cancer 6-7 years ago.

    Think my only advice will be to spend as much time as possible with her during this trying time. The benefits go to both parties. All the best and my heart goes out to you.

    1. Yeah Hww,

      I have some plans to squeeze 1 or 2 weekdays to cook for them .... Only problem is although I worked part time as a kitchen crew before, I knly know how to cook western food. Hence my call for help to yeh. Not sure those dumplings and Tang tau hu healthy a not

  13. Hi Mike,

    I am sorry to hear about this. Glad that you have supportive family members supporting one another.

    The coming Months will be crucial, take care of your health too.

    1. Thanks solace.

      Yup, I am bracing myself for ghe next few months to a year perhaps. I think it is time to know what I am make of. Potato or egg.

      Just hope things dun fall apart

  14. hi sillyinvestor hope your family pull through from this

    1. Thank you Kyith,

      I am highly aware that my situation is already much better than many others who might be in my shoes. I have elder brother and sister who are successful in life too. Mother who is brave ...

      Think the rest are technicalities to sort out

    2. you say until you are damn chui. but i understand not having to worry about siblings is already a big blessing.

    3. Huh Kith,

      I am not Chui.. I also do not want to be seen pandering for sympathies

      Indeed, so far so good. Maybe so far money not an issue yet

  15. Replies
    1. Thanks Jimmy L!!

      I will take care. Thank you for drpppping a note

  16. Hi SI,

    Sorry to hear about your mother. Be strong! Spend as much time as possible with her as family support will make her stronger.

    Good to have supportive siblings in this situation. I am sure your family bonding will be ever stronger.

    Take care of your own health and beware of caregiver fatigue.


    1. Indeed, farmer

      I think I have spent the last 1-2 day preparing myself mentally. Think should be able to ...

      Will discuss with sis and bro about a maid later

  17. Hi Silly investor, I am sorry to hear about your mother. My mum and her siblings also faced this issue as well as my grandma also suffered from breast cancer. I understand that the hospital bill is expensive but there are subsidy for it, so you should check it out. Stay strong and I know it will be hard on you but stay strong man.

    1. James,

      As far as I know, there is no subsidy or whatsoever with private care.

      But we are reasonable too. My sis is telling me we should go for double or 4 beds at alvernia. I said 4 beds, as I said it should be comfortable enough and mother would not mind. We need to prepare for expenses post treatment too. She agree.

  18. Hi SI,
    So sorry to hear this, do take care your health and I wish your mum a speedy recovery.

    1. Thanks Stock Hunter,

      Her cancer cells have not spread. So surgery is still possible although there are other implications...

      But it is a miracle le

  19. Hi SI

    Hang in there my friend, hope your mum can make a good recovery. We are all rooting for you and wishing you the best.

    1. Hi RT,

      Thank you for your well wishes. Appreciate it. Ya.. I am gladly and surprise at the support shown, look at the number of comments. Really 受宠若惊

  20. Hi SI,
    It's times like this when the family comes together and supports each other makes all our goals of FF seem small. Stay strong for your family but don't forget to take care of your health too

    1. Hi Joyce,

      Indeed, I hope things stay this way. So far, only negative feeling is fatigue which is very good.

  21. Hi Uncle Temperament.

    Indeed, so far still at peace. Just not sure when school starts and work piles up will things be different.

    But let's just take one thing at a time. Oh, at 67, I assume you already FF. Why unpleasant things DAILY. That is rather frequent??

  22. Hi Sillyinvestor,

    Wishing your mum a recovery! Hope your family will be able to get through this and emerge stronger from this ordeal. In a way 人算不如天算 but hope good things can come out eventually. Best of luck and take care of yourself too!


    1. Thank you EC for your well wishes !! We just have to take things one day as we go.

  23. Hi Sillyinvestor,

    Wishing you hope and love and a speedy recovery for your mum! Pray that your family will grow closer through this difficult time!

    SG Physiotherapist

    1. Hi SGP,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. Appreciate your well wishes

  24. Hi SI,

    Sorry to hear about your mother.

    You could consider to bring your parent to see TCM as complimentary treatment. TCM treatment could help to reduce the symptom from chemo and improve the appetite.

    If cost is a concern, you could go to 中华医院。 (see