Score Points With Your Parents: Show Them How SilverSchemes.sg Works
Whoever said old is gold probably already knew about the many kang tao that are out there for those aged 50 and above in Singapore.
If your parents and grandparents don’t, then score brownie points with your folks by telling them about the Silver Schemes website which collates all the good stuff for the elderly.
But we know they (and, ahem, also you) may be too busy or/and lazy to navigate their way around the many policies and programmes designed to help them enjoy active ageing, so here are some of our favourite ones at a glance.
Don’t say bo-jio okay!
If they are aged 50-54…
… and want to invest
By investing, we don’t mean buying Toto every weekend. Get them to sign up for the voluntary Supplementary Retirement Scheme which lets them save for retirement, over and above their CPF savings. Contributions to this account are eligible for tax relief (yay!), investment returns are tax-free before withdrawal (double yay!), and only 50 per cent of the withdrawals from this account are taxable at retirement.
... and always complain about how high their utility bills are
If your parents live in a HDB flat and fulfil certain conditions, they are eligible for the GST Voucher- U-save. Credited to your home’s utilities account, this provides lower- to middle-income Singaporean HDB households with quarterly rebates. But that doesn’t mean you can anyhow shower for hours or leave the lights on when you go out, okay?
… and say they are retired and bored
Get them to become a senior volunteer with one of the more than 50 charities and organisations that The Organisation of Senior Volunteers RSVP Singapore works with. More meaningful than watching endless afternoon reruns of 1990s TV drama series. Or nagging you to get married.
… and need help with daily activities
Depending on your household monthly income levels, you can apply for the Home Caregiving Grant which includes a $200 monthly cash payout. This can be used to defray caregiving expenses like hiring a foreign domestic worker, paying for transportation to medical appointments, and engaging home or community based services.
If they are aged 55 to 67…
… and working
They will be glad to know that certain companies and organisations have joined the WorkPro Programme which encourages employers to implement age-friendly management practices and job redesign for older workers. Because 50 is the new 30, 60 is the new 40… you get the point.
… and need to save for healthcare needs
In case they didn’t know liao, they are the Merdeka Generation. Which means, hooray, they can enjoy a MediSave top-up of $200 annually from 2019 to 2023.
… and shopping for a new home
Tell them about the Senior Priority Scheme that improves their chances in the computer ballot for a new HDB flat. Don’t be jealous now, young BTO seekers.
If they are aged 68 and older…
… and need you to care for them at home
You can tap on the Caregivers’ Training Grant, a scheme that will provide you with a $200 annual subsidy to attend training courses so you can take better care of them.
… and go out a lot
They will benefit from the many elderly-friendly transport public facilities that have been put in place or will be built. By this year, all buses are slated to be replaced with wheelchair-accessible models.