facebookHigher Prices & Less Allowance From Loved Ones: Inflation in Singapore is Hitting Seniors Doubly Hard

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Higher Prices & Less Allowance From Loved Ones_ Inflation in Singapore is Hitting Seniors Doubly Hard

Higher Prices & Less Allowance From Loved Ones: Inflation in Singapore is Hitting Seniors Doubly Hard

profileJustin Oh

My favourite chicken rice stall has increased the price per plate from $4 to $4.50. And I’m sure you would have noticed such price increases as well.

Source: Giphy

That is the effect of inflation, which has pushed many of us to cut back on our spending and increase our incomes to cope with the rising costs of living.

But what if you are already living on the bare necessities and have little to no means of increasing your income?

That is the plight of many seniors in Singapore as they bear the brunt of inflation.

Here’s how you can help!


TL;DR: Inflation is a Double Blow For Seniors


Inflation is Hitting Harder For Seniors

It’s no secret that inflation (MAS core inflation rate July 2022: 4.8 per cent) has caused us to spend more relative to our incomes. In a DBS study, the average expense-to-income ratio rose from 59 per cent in May 2021 to 64 per cent in May 2022.

This is a stark contrast to what seniors are facing; higher prices have raised the expenses of those aged 58 to 76, to a whopping 96 per cent of their income.

To make matters worse, some seniors are also receiving lesser cash allowances from their children.

According to the latest Retirement and Health Study by the CPF Board, the share of seniors who received cash allowance from their children dropped from 69 per cent in the 2018 to 2019 period to 64 per cent in the 2020 to 2021 period. The median monthly allowance has also dropped by 4 per cent from $500 in the 2018 to 2019 period to $480 in the 2020 to 2021 period.

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Many Are Reluctant to Reach Out

Despite the economic struggles, some seniors are hesitant to ask for more as they are afraid of the extra burden on their children, or straining their relationships further.

Manager at Care Corner Services, Joe Tan, said that there’s a real risk when seniors try to cope by eating less or skipping out on medical appointments. These can go unnoticed by family members and be of greater concern in the future when these problems become amplified.

How You Can Help

Although there are already schemes in place such as the Pioneer and Merdeka Generation packages and the Silver Support Scheme, there are some seniors who may have fallen through the cracks, or simply cannot keep pace with rising costs. So here’s what you can do to help:

Continue Giving or Give Even More Allowance

For those of us with the capacity to do so, continue giving your elderly parents a monthly allowance or give more if you can to help them cope better with the rising costs of living.

Maximise Spending With Discounts

Another way you can help them out is to ensure that they are making use of available senior citizen discounts:

Have More Meals With Your Parents

You may also consider having more family meals with your elderly parents. This can help you and your parents save costs while serving as a great opportunity to bond with them!

Consider Re-Employment

For those who are fit and are able to return to the workforce, another way to cope with inflation is to go back to the workforce. Thankfully, the government has been encouraging re-employment with the Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant and Part-time Re-employment Grant.

For seniors looking for re-employment, a good place to start is silverjobs.sg.

Reach Out For Help

If push comes to shove and you know of seniors who are in need of help during these tough times, consider reaching out via the ComCare hotline at 1800-222-0000, or approach a Social Service Office.

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About Justin Oh
Your average Zillennial who is obsessed with anime, games, movies and of course, personal finance. Join me as I break down personal finance into easily digestible and fun bits!
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