26 December 2019

Boxing Day 2019: The Day the Aliens Came

X'mas 2019 came and went. Yet another X'mas. The next day, however, was an altogether unforgettable affair. Definitely not another typical Boxing Day.

It was the day the Aliens came. Their arrival was swift and awe-inspiring, dancing in the skies for hours over lunch and into the afternoon, enthralling all. People were seen running out of the malls to see for themselves first hand, hearts palpitating.

The next day, 27 Dec 2019, hospitals and clinics island-wide reported being overwhelmed with many patients, all complaining of blurred visions coupled with neck injuries. Productivity hit rock bottom.

Oh wait, what? Not an alien invasion? But that Alien eye looking thingy ...

It's just a solar eclipse?  Oh.  *embarrassed silence*

Looks like we get to live for another 43 years before the next sign of an invasion.

Continue investing. You'll still need money to retire on. The end is not here yet.

Merry X'mas and Happy New Year!

17 December 2019

Angst of replacing a home

It's such an angst trying to find a practical way to replace a home with another. I'm not talking about upgrading, simply about moving from one to another equivalent.

So here's the setup.  The home is a condo (originally an E-condo) with a 99-year lease. It is now 12 years old.  Things are starting to break down here and there, although perhaps nothing major.  It worked well when the kids were studying at schools nearby.  But now that they have moved on to tertiary education, the location is no longer ideal.

All that's desired is to find another equivalent place to move to, which places the kids nearer in terms of travel time to their tertiary locale, and my time of travel to work is no worse off.

A 17th floor condo at 1292 sq ft bought 12 years ago was $501,000, and is roughly worth $950,000 now. That sounds like so wow. BUT, to get an equivalent place, the price tag appears to be $1,300,000 for a 5-year resale condo on a mid-floor, with only ~1000 sq ft!  That's a differential of +$350,000 for a smaller space.

A completely new condo that is yet to TOP is even worse.  That same price can only fetch an 800 sq ft unit!  Anything in the range of 1,000 to 1,200 sq ft appears to be $1,500,000 to $1,800,000. Phew.

The alternative is to renovate the current home and fix up all that needs to be fixed. Probably $80,000 you think?  But the pain is on having to pack everything to move out during the renovation period, rent a temporary place for a couple of months, and then move back in again thereafter.  That's two moves.

Wifey and I are 52 years old now. Is it viable to live in the 12-year old home for the next 30-40 years? Or would a 5-year old resale home be a better option?  While it is smaller, I do foresee that one or both kids would ultimately get married and move out in a matter of 5-10 years from now. So the slightly smaller space might just be a short term situation.

What would you do?

12 December 2019

So far away from being digital to the core

I went to a bank recently to close an account that I no longer needed. The whole affair was pretty straightforward.  What I found strange though was that the bank officer had to print a bunch of forms that I had to sign. In this day and age of digitalisation, it's puzzling that there's still so much PAPER work.

When I quipped this to the bank officer, he was most apologetic, and politely said, "I'm so sorry."

Then I had some queries about my wifey's supplementary Visa card issued by the bank. It seems she couldn't do online transactions with overseas sites as they needed to send an OTP to a phone number when transactions were being made. As she didn't have a bank account with this bank, there was no number to send to. On enquiry, the bank officer helpfully provided a form that we could submit to register her phone number to do so. More paper! When asked if this could be done via some online means, apparently the answer was "no".

Bet he must have been thinking that I was such a troublemaker!

We're a loooong way from fully embracing the Digital Age.

Digital to the core.

p/s: It's 12-12. Happy 12'ing.