Thursday, December 30, 2010

Refund of bus fares

I don't understand why must every ezlink card holder goes to MRT station to check if they are entitled to any bus fare refund. Since ezlink office knows which card is entitled to refund, cant they just automatically credit the refund into these affected ezlink cardholders? A simple computer programme can do this job.

Ezlink already over-charge... why make any mistake by troubling every Singaporean ? A waste of productivity! It is not right to donate un-claim $$ to charity. We should demand better service from our service providers. If they make mistake they should refund and compensate us.


Social Life 1.0

A game for singles. Let your avatar do the scouting for you. You create an avatar with characteristics that reflect your personality and indicate the personal qualities of the person that you look for as a life time partner. Your avatar will meet other avatars through activities held over 52 virtual weeks and go out on dates with other avatars that meet your criteria. At the end of the game in 7 actual days, you have the option to know the real persons behind the avatars that have dated your avatar a few times.

Financial Plan - help to promote this tool

Please inform your friends and other contacts, by email or facebook, that they can get a financial plan using the following website:

The financial plan is free and is important for consumers to have a feel of their financial future. It will help them to make the right way to save and invest their savings, and avoid getting a poor yield.

If you are an active user of Facebook or other social media, you can these channels and viral marketing to tell your friends and ask them to tell their friends.
Tan Kin Lian

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A consumer view about Fidrec

Mr. Tan
Just like the first comment on your blog, both FIDREC and the adjudicator are on the FI's side, be it the Bank or the Brokerage.

FIDREC's expenses in staff and office are financed by annual contributions from the FIs, so this body knows exactly who is their boss,honestly the adjudication stage is just a show, the process and outcome is just the same.

We could only show sympathy for the victims in private, no use bringing up to MAS, all of them work in collaboration for show only.

We put too much trust in this Govt, who let us down in times of need. One investor said that the adjudicator finally said during hearing, that investor should put the entire blame on MAS who allowed the derivatives to be sold to retail investors, not fault the FI who sold them, the FI is only the go between agent.

With such feedback, would it be much help to bring up to MAS attention about the adjudication's process. The buck is being pushed around in a merry go round. Just swallow the humiliation, and move on.


Spa victims writes to political parties

Dear Sir,
Thank you for your civic mindedness once again.
I would like ask an open question.
I had written to all the opposition parties about the True Spa Subtle Senses incident, but no one has taken up this issue to be discussed in the coming election. Neither have they responded to me.
Ministry of Trade and Industry recently introduced changes to the consumer protection law, albeit very late. At least they are responding but it is still too little too late. And they are also not addressing the petition that some 400 true spa victims have submitted to MTI.
I being to wonder if when the Opposition comes to power one day, will they also act like the PAP.
Thank you,
Spa Victim

My reply
It is not fair to expect the "opposition" politicians to do anything when they are not in power, and  not even in Parliament. It is the duty of the elected leaders and MPs to address these issues. 

Oil price and US recovery

Hi Mr.Tan,
With the already highest COE price for cars in Singapore and in the World, the next scenario of higher oil prices with surely put a dent on all the prospects of sustained recovery etc. as I can't imagine the impact of higher petrol price here?
$5 Gas In 2012, Ex Shell President Predicts

Theft of information from credit card

Here are three ways for thiefs to steal information from your credit and debit card and made fraudulent payments. Be careful

The Property Bubble and Investment Trap

Hi Mr Tan
I wrote this piece on Property in my Blog inconjunction with my last posting and article for SGEP on ""Concepts About Aging - Nanjing YY Li vs Singapore MM Lee" for year-end closing. I have received some positive comments via emails.

Note: This article has alse been published in SGEP

Cars in Singapore

COE prices have gone up due to the cut in quotas. Many people, especially those with children, said that they need a car due to the poor transport system, e.g. overcrowded trains and unreliable bus schedules. Allowing more cars to be owned will not solve the problem, as our roads are too congested and there are insufficient parking spaces in the offices and residential estates.

In brief, we have a bad transport system in Singapore. Our hope is that in 5 to 10 years time, when more MRT lines are opened, it will be better. Meanwhile, the construction of the MRT lines add to the congestion and pain. We have to be prepared to suffer many more years, due to the bad planning during the recent 15 years.

There is something that can be done urgently to improve the situation.  We need the Land Transport Authority and the two Transport Ministers to be willing to listen. They only need to look to Hong Kong and find out why their transport system is so much better than Singapore. Hong Kong has light buses to bring people conveniently to the train stations and an efficient taxi system (compared to the terrible de-regulated system in Singapore). Many people said that the Hong Kong system is convenient and inexpensive, compared to Singapore.

Tan Kin Lian

US economy is still disappointing

There were two bad news last night on the US economy:
  • Consumer confidence is low
  • Housing prices continue to slump
Economists were expecting things to get better but the US economy continue to disappoint. If the US does not address the underlying issues, they will not be able to get out of the slump. Read my views here.

Snooping on e-mails

There is a news report of a case in America where the husband hack into the e-mail account of the wife and found that she was having an affair. The husband divorced the wife. He was later charged and found guilty of snooping, i.e. reading e-mails of the wife without her permission.

The law in Singapore is not clear on such issues of privacy. There is a need for such clarity. These are important issues governing the rights of people (for privacy) and the free access of information.

We need out laws to be clear on many issues affecting the rights of people  and their proper social conduct. We also need the laws to be enforced. I hope that our elected MPs do their duty to bring up issues in Parliament. This is their duty and what they are elected for. We need MPs to be full time, so that they can do their job well. They are adequately paid now to be full time.

Tan Kin Lian

Accidents in Malaysia

There were two recent cases of accidents in Malaysia that should cause concern to visitors. A bus travelling down from Cameron Highlands went into a ravine killing many tourists. A boat capsized after a trip from a kelong in Sibu Island and 4 Singaporeans drowned.

I want to quote these two incidents about the harm caused by the free market, without adequate regulation. The tour operators had to compete fiercely for business by reducing their prices. They pay low wages to workers who have to work long hours to earn enough to make a living. There is inadequate regulation on working hours, minimum wage and safety standards. The consumers are not able to know about the poor safety standards, until they are in the bus or the boat, and then it is too late.

I am in favor of a regulated market, where there is regulation on fair practices and safety standards. The regulation will apply to all business entities. This may cause the price to be higher, e.g. due to minimum wage levels, but it is better for consumers in the long run. We see this type of regulated practices in the advanced countries of Europe, America and Australia. The standards should apply to Singapore, Malaysia and other Asian countries. I am impressed that China is giving attention to this type of issues, rather than just leave matter to the market to sort out.

Tan Kin Lian

Fidrec decisions

Fidrec was established to be an alternative dispute resolution center. For Fidrec to gain the trust of consumers, it has to be seen as being impartial and fair to consumers. Has Fidrec met up with this expectation? Please share your experience by sending a confidential e-mail to I will not disclose your identity, but I need to gather some feedback to pass to the authority. Please share your experience briefly and state why you felt the process to be fair or not fair.

Straits Times Forum 29 Dec 2010

Provide e-mail addresses on websites of govt agencies
Fidrec adjudicators' decision not binding on complainant
Insurer says sorry for lapses

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What does it mean being poor?

What does it mean being poor? A young man from a rich family found out that it is not too bad.

Fascination by Night

Beautiful night scenes of cities around the world accompanied by my favorite song Fascination sung by Nat King Cole.

Bus-fare refunds go unclaimed

Hi Mr Tan,
I refer to Asiaone headline today.

After reading the report in Shin Ming Daily news dated 19th Dec, a retiree claimed that he got back only 1 cent refund, though he and his wife take buses almost everyday. LTA reportedly insisted that their computation cannot goes wrong on the same day report.

My personal experience proof that this is not very true. I went to the AVM machine to try the refund on 21st Dec. I was shocked to see a quick flash, indicating that the refund I was entitled was only 10 cents (no details of how the amount was being derived). As I seldom take bus to work, for the 3 days in Nov, I took down the amount that was deducted wrongly from my card. After reading the report that LTA claimed the refund cannot go wrong, I made a manual claim from transitlink website, and got back another 60 cents that were being deducted for the 2 days (3rd day was correct).

My question is, how accurate the refund system is then ? Do they expect all the commuters to take note the amount that was deducted everyday and do a manual claim themselves? The problem is not only the few cents, but the faulty system. Having to even refund wrongly to the customers, then why spent so much money to set up rather then donate this amount of money to the charity ? 

Till date, I still encounter overcharging of few cents, but do not bother to claim anymore. Just wish to share with everyone else who read your blog frequently.


BEST Competition

Join in the competition for 3 industries (insurance, hotel, airlines) each night and win a prize for being the best player. The game starts on 27 December 2010 and three new games will be started every night until further notice.

Details available here:

Find out who runs the best insurance company, the best hotel and the best airline! Prizes are donated by Tan Kin Lian & Associates Pte Ltd

Watch this video on how th play this game. Login here to practice the game and take part in the competition:


Here are the educational talks being organised by FISCA. I will be conducting the talk on financial planning in February and on insurance in March. I hope that consumers will register early for these talks.

BEST Game - for practice and fun

You can practice the best game at any time against the simulated players. This allows you to learn the technique.
You can have fun by asking a few friends to compete with you. They go at a fixed time and choose the same game as you. After year 5, which takes 50 mins, you will know who is the winner. You can have a friendly bet with your friend and pay $1 to the person who reaches the top of the game. The game can be played here:

Enjoy and learn the skill of running an insurance company, hotel, airline or other types of business. Join the competition at 8 pm, 9 pm and 10 pm each night and compete against other players.

Financial Plan for John Tan

This is a sample financial plan for John Tan prepared from the website There is a link at the bottom of the document to seek further explanation from an expert.

Monday, December 27, 2010

End of holidays

As the December holidays come closer to an end, the visitors to my blog and website are now returning to normal, i.e.
2,500 for blog
400 for website

Unfair contract terms

We have a law against unfair contract terms. How does the law define what is an unfair contract term? Would the following contract terms be deemed to be unfair to consumers?

a) The bank imposes a penalty for late payment that is why above what it cost the bank to process the late payment? If the actual cost is $2, can the bank impose a fee of $200?

b) If an personal accident policy require the consumer to notify the insurance company about a change of occupation, can the insurance company deny a claim due to failure to comply with this requirement, even though the change of occupation did not have any impact on the nature of the risk?

As businesses now aim to increase their profits, they may be imposing penalties and conditions that are onerous and unfair to consumers. What redress does the consumer have under the law against unfair contract terms?

Tan Kin Lian

Utmost good faith and incontestability

The principle of utmost good faith in insurance applies in both directions. The insurer expects the consumer to declare truthfully what he knows or ought to know about the nature of the risk. The consumer expects the insurer to declare truthfully the nature of the insurance contract and also to settle the claim fairly, as was promised.

It would be wrong for the insurer to find unjustified grounds to reject the claim. As it is difficult to monitor the bad behavior of insurers, some countries have introduced the incontestability clause to govern life and health insurance policies. This is to prevent the insurer from finding flimsy excuse to reject claims due to alleged non-disclosure, especially if the consumer does not even know about the condition that they failed to disclose.

I hope that insurers and regulators understand the need for fair treatment of consumers and the correct application of the principles of utmost good faith and the incontestability clause. If consumers are unfairly treated, they will lose trust in insurance contracts.

Tan Kin Lian

Incontestability clause in life and health insurance policies

Read this explanation about incontestability clause in a life insurance policy. And this explanation about its application to a health insurance policy.

I am not sure if there is an incontestability clause in Medishield or a Shield policy issued by an insurance company. There is need for this type of protection of consumers against unfair rejection of claims.

Corporate e-mail address

I looked for the corporate e-mail address of MAS. They do not provide it. They provide the fax number and mailing address. I don't know why they prefer to have the inefficient way of communicating with the public?

MAS can provide a corporate e-mail address such as They can have a staff to check the inbox regularly and forward the mail to the colleague handling the matter. They have to do the forwarding with mail received by post and fax anyway.

Some corporations allow the public to submit a web form. Maybe MAS has this web form. In most cases, the web form is difficult to find, difficult to use (e.g. ask for many unnecessary information), have a text box that is too small and do not allow attachments.

Why create so much trouble for everyone? Just provide a corporate e-mail address! I hope that corporate IT manager or admin managers are reading this blog!

Read this suggestion:

Tan Kin Lian

Renovating a small industrial premise

I complained earlier that I had to spend $3,500 to get a qualified engineer to certify the fire safety for the renovation to my industrial premise of 1,600 sf. The contractor told me that if I did not get the stamp from the engineer, the building manager would not give approval for the work to start.

I now learned that the process took three weeks for the engineer to do the drawing. What a waste of time! What  a waste of money! I am angry that that the fire safety regulations is adding a lot of unnecessary cost to me. It is why the cost of doing business is so high in Singapore - due to these wasteful requirements. I have written to the Pro-Enterprise Panel. I hope that they are reading this blog.

Tan Kin Lian

Unfair rejection of Shield claim

Here is another case of an unfair rejection of a shield claim. The rejection was based on a medical condition that occurred 5 year previously and was not of a long term nature. The agent had advised the consumer that it was not necessary to declare this condition. The consumer was insured with another company previously but made this change after getting the assurance of the agent.

My view
The agent is greedy to make a few dollars of commission on the Shield plan. The agent had harmed the consumer considerably through this irresponsible behavior.

Private hospitals

Malaysia is also facing problems with the charges in private hospitals. The journalist advice consumers to insist on itemised bills. SGEP

Best and Worst of Singapore in 2010

What are the best and worst of Singapore in 2010? Be ready for a surprise! Read SGEP

HDB prices and government subsidy

Are HDB flats being sold at subsidised prices? Here is an update. SGEP

Shark's Fin

This article contains photos of how sharks are being killed for their fins. The writer wants us to stop eating shark's fin.

Explanation on Financial Planning Projection

Here are some questions that the consumer may ask about the financial planning projection that has been printed from and the expert who can provide the explanation.

TKL Website (

Do this survey. Thank you.

I created the TKL website using the PDF centric format in August 2010, slightly more than 4 months ago. I wish to share my experience with this style of website:
1. It is easy for me to create content in PDF and to upload them into the website. I create several PDF each week.
2. It is easy to search for the PDF using the keyword. I have to use it often to locate PDF to answer questions from my readers.
3. My reader are able to use the "Enquiry" tab to send questions to me. I receive a few questions daily.
4. It is fast to retrieve information from my website, using the web browser.
1. Some readers said that they had difficulty in reading the PDF on their mobile device. I am not able to find a solution to this weakness. My intent is that the PDF should be read on a web browser and not a mobile device. I have tried to use the HTML format, but I found it difficult to embed graphics in the HTML format under the database structure of this website.

I believe that a public or business corporation should have an actively managed website with dynamic content and allow the public to search for information in an easy and fast way. The PDF centric website seems to provide this capability. The ease of creating content on PDF should encourage the corporation to have an active website, compared to the traditional HTML website.

I welcome feedback and suggestions to be posted here or sent to
Tan Kin Lian

Private Shield and the well off

Are you well off?
If you are - it is all right to have private shield, as you can afford the higher premium and higher co-payment  and you are assured of a better choice of doctors.
But, if you are not well off, and money is an issue, do read these FAQs:

Do not be mistaken that private shield will cover more of your medical bills. They do not. With a private shield, you are likely to end up paying more for your medical treatment. Whether you really get better quality of treatment is a separate issue.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Suzy Orman and Life Insurance agents

Suzy Orman does not like life insurance agents. Watch this video for the reasons.

Life insurance - its useful role

Most of the life insurance policies sold in the market in Singapore are bad for consumers, as they take a lot of money and give a poor yield. But life insurance, as a tool for managing personal finances is good, provided that is is designed to give a fair yield to consumers. It has to be sold directly. See this article.

Find out more about the flexi-life policy in You can also generate a financial plan and watch the tips on financial planning and insurance.

Motor insurance with Direct Asia

I recommended a friend to check with Direct Asia on the motor insurance for her car. She obtained a lower quote than her existing insurer and moved to Direct Asia. She found their service to be excellent. She preferred to deal directly with the insurance company, rather than go through an agent. See:

Competing with the experts

When a consumer buys insurance, the consumer has the compete with the insurance experts, e.g. the actuaries, on what is a fair price for the insurance protection. The insurance company will naturally want to make a bigger profit, if they can, and will charge more to the consumer for the protection. There is no way that the consumer can compete with the insurance company as they have the statistics and the expert to do the calculation. The unwary consumer is likely to pay too much and get a bad deal.

The best protection for the consumer is:
  • Deal with an insurance company that is pro-consumer, i.e. they will charge a fair price. An example is an insurance company that is not profit-driven. Today, it is difficult to find such a company in Singapore.
  • Buy a standard insurance policy that is offered on similar coverages by several companies. The market competition will force the company to lower their margin and make a modest profit. Examples are term insurance, motor insurance, personal accident insurance and fire insurance.
  • Avoid a specially designed product, under an exotic name, that is marketed to you by an insurance agent, adviser or consultant.  This applies especially to a life insurance policy that combines protection with investment of savings. You can be sure that this policy cannot be compared, and is likely to be highly priced to give a big margin to the agent and the insurance company.
Tan Kin Lian

Accept low yield or take market risk

We are in a period of low interest rate. Consumers should accept this low yield and do not be greedy. If you want higher interest rate, take the risk of investing in an indexed fund, comprising of equities. Accept the volatility and average out the good and bad years.

The worse investment decision is to buy structured products or unregulated products that seemed to promise high yield. The investor is likely to fall into a trap from cheats and scams or from financial institution that take off a large margin on the structured products and do not tell the real risk of these products.

Do not believe any marketing person who assure you that you can get a good return without risk. They are likely to tell you a lie. When you find out later, you are not able to hold them accountable, as they will deny the statement.

You should read my book, Practical Guide on Financial Planning or attend the educational talks organised by FISCA. If you do not put in the time to be educated, be prepared to lose a lot of money from bad investments!

Tan Kin Lian

Risk of long duration bonds

If current interest rate is 0.5% and government bonds for 10 years give a yield of 1.5%, which is better for the investor?

If interest rate remains at the low level for the next 10 years, it is better to invest in the government bonds and earn an additional 1% interest yearly. However, the risk to the investor is an increase in interest rate. If the interet rate increase to 3% per annum, the investor is stuck with 1.5% interest on the government bond for the remaining period. If the investor decides to sell the government bond at that time, there will be a capital loss of about 1.5% times the remaining period. If the remaining period is 8 years, the capital loss can be 12% (or thereabouts). The loss is higher, if the yield goes up to 5% (say).

It is difficult to predict the future interest rate. Even the the fund managers or analysts or the government leaders are not able to predict this trend. So, the investor cannot make this prediction. They should not ask other people, as nobody knows.

If you decide to invest in long term government bonds during a period of low interest rate, you should be prepared to wait out the entire period at the current yield. If you do not want to take this risk, you should invest in a bond for a short duration, say 3 to 5 years, even if you get a lower interest rate compared to long duration bonds.

Tan Kin Lian

Investing in equities

Many consumers find it difficult in deciding on which stock to invest in. My advice to them is to invest in an indexed fund or an exchange traded fund. They should not worry about stock picking (which is difficult) and market timing (which is also difficulty). If they are not sure about the timing, they can invest in several installments based on the principle of dollar cost averaging. Read this FAQ

Apple iPad

This writer explains why he is NOT buying the Apple iPad

I agree with his reasons.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Understand your biggest risk

Your biggest risk is NOT premature death. It is NOT critical illness. It is earning a poor yield due to the bad life insurance products sold to you by an insurance agent (who wants to earn a fat commission from selling the product). By earning a poor yield, you will not have sufficient savings for retirement, even though you have been frugal and have saved as much as you can during your working life.

Your priority is to get a good yield on your investment, at least 2% higher than inflation. You should avoid life insurance products that take away 40% or more of your accumulated savings. You can buy term insurance for 25 years to cover premature death and earn a good yield by investing in a ETF. It is explained in my book, Practical Guide on Financial Planning. You can also read this article.

Tan Kin Lian

Personal Financial Plan [3]

I encourage consumers to carry out a personal financial plan, using the calculator shown in this website, The key feature of this calculator is:
  • It is free (unlike the fee charged by a financial adviser)
  • It is easy to understand
  • It shows you the projected income, after adjusting for inflation
  • It highlights the difference in your income, based on a 2% difference in yield
  • It shows the importance of getting a yield that is 2% above inflation
  • It show the danger of buying a life insurance policy that gives you a poor yield, due to high deduction.
You can also view the tips on "financial planning" and "buying insurance". Working out a Personal Financial Plan is mandatory for every young person, as your future is at stake!

Tan Kin Lian

Singapore is the happiest place on Earth

Do you agree with this view expressed by an author of a newly published book? Read SGEP for an alternative view.

Art of being minimalist

I received this message from a reader. 

Dear Mr. Tan
In these days of blatant consumerism, especially in Spore, and during this holiday season, please find attached an e-book for your reading pleasure...

Term insurance to age 99

I wrote this letter to the Straits Times to comment about the comparison between whole life and term insurance to age 99. I said that this comparison is misleading to consumers. The Straits Times did not publish my letter.

The insurance agents used this type of comparison to mislead the public to buy whole life or investment linked insurance. It is disappointing that the Sunday Times used the same approach.

Tan Kin Lian

An unusual cautious view for 2011

Many people are predicting better times ahead. But this writer has sounded a note of caution. Read his views in SGEP.

WikiLeaks and Damage Control

While Singaporeans largely blame WikiLeaks,a minority is attributing the underlying cause of recent problems
to a “condescending attitude” towards friends and neighbours less successful than them. Read SGEP


SGEP contains a selection of articles about the social and political issues in Singapore and other countries that have an impact on Singapore. It includes views of astute bloggers that are not found in the daily newspapers. Visit SGEP daily.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Project work for Family Life game

I need an artist to draw cartoons and an expert to create animated graphics. See details here:

Here are the details of the Family Life game.

High income and integrity

A young graduate is torn between the attraction of becoming a financial adviser, with the promise by the agency manager of 3 to 4 times of the typical earnings, and the knowledge that she might be causing harm to her friends and relatives. The agency manager had advised her to approach the people she knows and get them to switch to the investment-linked policy that is actively sold by their insurance company. She realized that this policy has a high deduction from the consumers.

She asked for my views on this important choice. Should she take up the job to be a financial adviser?

The easiest way to earn a lot of money is to sell products that give a large margin to the seller (i.e. the financial adviser and the insurance company), but this must surely be at the expense of the buyer. There is no magic that can give a good income to the seller without harming the buyer.

Some new financial advisers do not know that they are doing harm to their friends and family members, because they have been misled by the agency manager. Some financial advisers know the truth, but they only take care of their own interest and do not bother about the people that they are harming.

It is easy to fool consumers to switch to a new investment-linked policy. I have seen many cases where the financial adviser tells half truths and blatant lies to an unsavvy customer, such as:
  • They can earn 9% projected return (This is not true, as the 9% is just an assumption which is too optimistic in the uncertain environment today)
  • The adviser does not tell the client that there is a big deduction that can reduce the yield of 9% to 4% or lower. If the yield of 9% is too optimistic, the net yield will be terribly low.
It is blatant dishonesty, but seem to be quite common. Many people are just taken for a ride. By acting dishonestly, the financial adviser can earn a high income, and the agency manager can also take a big cut. It also earns a big profit for the insurance company.

You have to decide for yourself which route you wish to take. It depends on your conscience. I believe that it is better to earn less, but in an honest way. You can also talk to your parents and get their advice.

Tan Kin Lian

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Video clips and animated graphics

I am looking for a knowledge person to make video clips of 10 to 15 secs of events. The clip can be a video or animated graphic with sound and should be less than 0.5 to 1 M. It can depict lifetime events such as wedding, birth of baby, getting a job, getting fired, etc. It should be in a format that can be played on a mobile phone. Interested, please write to

Note. These video clips are to be used for the mobile game called Family Life, as explained here:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sometimes, all that glitters ...

Gold investment firm placed on MAS' Investor Alert List
Former NTUC Income chief executive and consumer rights advocate Tan Kin Lian said such gold investment schemes could be operating on the basis that money from later investors is used to pay the earlier ones.

He also urged for greater regulation, saying: "The Government should make it illegal for any company to operate an investment scheme without getting a licence from MAS. They should not be allowed to collect deposits or investments and promise a high return, when they do not have the assets to back up their liabilities."

Offering packages at Temple

Hi Mr. Tan,
I would like to share with readers and hopefully, authority can pick up the message. I went to 财神庙 at sembawang for "return prayers" to 太岁. I noticed that the offering packages are at $10 per packet. I've 5 packets to buy. I remember other temples used to offer just like $2 per packet. Hence total amount paid today is about $50.00. I could have paid $10.00 in other temples. Just feel that a temple should review the sales price of the offering packages and offer wider selection, e.g. $5, $2 packages for devotees/visitors.
Sembawang resident

Mobile App - Family Life

This application is being developed to let the player experience the important decisions that affect the work and family life.

It will be good for the young people in Singapore. It may even be an interesting mobile app, like Second Life.

Property agent for Rajah Tower

My friend wishes to get a property agent to sell his apartment in Rajah Towers. If you know of any agent who specializes in this condo, please ask him to contact me at

Prepare Your Financial Plan [2]

You can prepare your financial plan in this website, There were 30 requests on 22 December. This tool has the following special features:

  • Adjust for the impact of inflation
  • Shows you the amount that you can get on retirement 
  • Shows the impact caused by a different in investment yield
  • Highlights the importance of getting a yield that is 2% more than inflation
  • Allows you to do further calculation of your regular savings, to achieve your retirement goal.
You can also see the Tips on Financial Planning and Buying Insurance in this website.

I will get investors to set up a new life insurance company to market the Flexi-Life product that is shown in this website. You can view the 3 videos to see how this policy works from the perspective of the consumer. 

Tan Kin Lian

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Prepare Your Financial Plan

You can use this calculator to project your savings to retirement and the drawdown of your savings to give a monthly income. This amount is adjusted for inflation. The amount of monthly income that you see will have the same value as today.

You have to provide your actual e-mail address for the plan to be sent to you. It will not be displayed on the browser.

Pro-Enterprise Panel

I gave my feedback to the Pro-Enterprise Panel about the charges for the fire safety requirements. There was no reply for one week. I mention in my blog that I wanted to send them another feedback and that I do not expect any reply from them.

I just received an acknowledgement from the secretariat to my first feedback that they are contacting the Fire Safety department. Perhaps my blog did the trick in getting the reply?

One-sided stories and half truths

A financial adviser wrote to me to complain that my postings on rejection of private Shield claims are negative and one sided, and that it did not contain details of the reasons for the rejection.

I am not able to post the details as the claimant usually does not wish to be identified. In some cases, the claims are still under appeal, and they do not wish to damage their chances. They do not wish their friends or family  to know of their difficulty.

On the contrary, I know of many instances where the insurance agents tell one side stories, exaggerations and half truths to get consumers to buy life insurance or private Shield insurance that are a waste of money. These are told verbally to the consumers, without any written record. The agents are more likely to be the people who are responsible for one-sided stories.

Here are the half truth stories.

Tan Kin Lian

Test your skill as an Entrepeneur

Take part in this competition every night AT 8, 9 and 10 pm

Cost of medical report - who pays?

This letter was printed in the Straits Times Forum.

Some consumers have to pay $90 or more to get a medical report that is usually required by another party, e.g. the insurance company, employer or for National Service deferment.
I suggest that the government should make it clear that the cost of these requirements should be borne by the party that needs the report, and not the consumer.
These big organisations that ask for the medical report are in a better position to negotiate down the fee for the medical report, or to change their requirements to reduce the cost of the report. They should not impose expensive requirements to be borne by the hapless consumers.

Tan Kin Lian 

Avoid exclusions on your private Shield

Dear Mr. Tan,
NTUC offered to upgrade my Medishield, but with exclusion in 2008. I rejected it as I believe this exclusion may lead to debatable claims in the future. However, I am now under the basic plan which is not restricted by the exclusion. What I am looking for is to allow me to upgrade my medi-shield plan without the exclusion and also, can extend the coverage with rider if possible. If NTUC Income is not prepare to do anything about it, I don’t see any options at all… Do advise me if there is any suggestions.

My view is that it is better for you to say with basic Medishield, rather than ask for an upgrade to a private shield. Even if Income is willing to accept you with less onerous restrictions, it may not be worth while for you to face future uncertainty. Read this FAQ.


Learning Tips - Nightlife in Singapore

Where are the interesting night life in Singapore? You can find out from Learning Tips. This app is now available on Windows Phone, which you can download from Microsoft Marketplace. You can also learn from the tips on other topics covering financial planning, insurance, health and tourism. Watch the video of Learning Tip on the web and on the Window Phone.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Financial Planning - do your plan

This video shows how to prepare the financial plan and to understand the results. It is most suitable for young people who has just started work, or has been working for a few years. You should use this tool to prepare your financial plan before you put your savings in a life insurance policy (that gives you a poor yield).

You can do your financial plan in this website,

Fight against True Spa, True Yoga...all True Group biz..

Hi Sir,
Here is an update on the True Spa Victims case for your update on your blog.
spa victim

World Tour

Mike Hansford shares this file of the best places around the world.

Easy to make a death claim under Term Insurance

Hi Mr Tan
I have been following your approach of doing DIY for my term coverage, SAF Term Insurance and shield plan, I find that I have much left over to invest in STI ETF. I am very pleased with this approach indeed.

One thing I would like to find out is the ease of claiming in case of death and illness. For example, if something were to happen to me, will it be very tough for my spouse to handle all the claims? Not forgetting that she will be in much emotional distress at this stage. Based on your experience, have you encountered any person, who is still in the right frame of mind, while in mourning of a loved ones, to go to the insurance company customer service centre to do claim?

Making a death claim should be quite easy for the dependents. Many people handle it daily. There is really no hurry - so it can be done after all the other arrangements have been completed. No need to worry about it.

An underground city

Mike Hansford sends this collecting of interesting photos of an underground city in Turkey. You can view it without actually visiting this site.

Images of the past

My friend, Mike Hansford, collects pictures of interesting places around the world. Here are some images from the past.


Read SGEP for views on the social and political issues in Singapore. Some of my blogs are covered there, but you can also find more interesting views from other bloggers. There are also social issues featured in the local and international media. You should bookmark SGEP and visit it daily. Keep abreast of the issues that will affect your voting decision at the next general election.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rejected claim under private Shield

Someone asked me for help. She bought a private Shield plan a few years ago. She was recently hospitalised and spent more than $10,000 for an operation. The claim was rejected due to some "exclusion" which was not clear to her or to a lay person.

This is the danger of private Shield. The consumer thought that she would be covered for A class ward. She spent a lot more in premium to get the peace of mind, and ended up in a nightmare!

A few consumers had asked for my help in similar situations. This is why I advised consumers to avoid private Shield. Read this FAQ. Even if the insurance company rejects the claim under private Shield, they have the duty to make a claim under the Medishield portion, which should be covered.

Read the FAQ on "rejected" in You will find other people suffering from the same distress.

Tan Kin Lian

SP Services - Open an utilities account

SP Services require the consumer to submit the following documents to open an utilities account. It seemed that they feel it their duty to act as the legal office of the government to check for ownership or tenancy of the premises. Why is this necessary? Surely, no one in their right mind will open an account from somebody else?

Are they going overboard with their requirements? They seem to be quite happy to give hassle to their customers.

They also require me to find out the KVA of the electric supply. As I do not know the answer, I have to find out from the developer. The staff who answered my call also did not know the KVA. So, it was really a hassle.

Why do they ask for it? They want to ask for the appropriate deposit based on the KVA. It would have been easier if they collect an intial deposit and adjust it according to the consumption. There is a simplier way for consumers, but they prefer their way for their own convenience. They don't care about the hassle that they give to others. It seems to be quite common in Singapore!

Tan Kin Lian

Eldershield - good or bad?

I wish to analyse the Eldershield premium that is being charged now for people who reaches the entry age. Please send the following infomation to me:

a) starting age
b) amount of annual or single premium
c) duration of premium payment
d) benefit covered by Eldershield.

If you have received the offer for the Eldershield supplement from the insurer, you can send the same details for my analysis.

Learning Tips

I have added several additional topics in Learning Tips. Go to and tick on Learning Tips.
They include financial planning, insurance, health and interesting places in Singapore (for tourists and locals!)
Direct link: (please bookmark it).

Life insurance - its useful role

Life insurance can play a useful role for consumers to manage their personal finance, provided that it can be bought directly without incurring an exorbitant upfront charge (to pay commission). Here is chapter 7 from my new book, Get Value from your Life Insurance Policy.

You can learn more about the Flexi-Life policy (an investment linked policy where 100% of your savings is invested from the first month) here. This policy is not available yet, but will hopefully be available one day!

Life insurance after retirement

Should a consumer keep a life insurance policy after retirement, if he or she has no further need for life insurance protection, e.g. the children have grown up?

Singaporeans travel in December

My friend observed that the traffic on the road is quite light in December. Many Singaporeans must be travelling on holiday. This is also confirmed by the visitors to my blog, which dropped 30% in December. I observed last year that after the holidays, it jumped back to normal.

Buoyant property prices

Benjamin Ching wrote in the Straits Times Forum that the buoyant property prices is a sign of rising wealth and it could be attributed to the measures taken by our government to achieve the economic recovery. This statement must please our government leaders greatly.

This was the same argument given to the booming property prices in Japan in the late 1980s. Although the property prices went to astronomical levels, the optimists justified them by pointing out  the exceptional performance of the Japanese economy, especially in exports. I could not remember if anyone said at that time that it reflected "a sign of rising wealth". The bubble burst in 1990 and the property prices have remained in the doldrums for two decades.

A similar situation could be found in America during the greater part of this decade. The rising home prices were justified by the reasoning that the American economy had inspired confidence of investors around the world. Well, the bubble had finally burst and even the most optimistic observers now do not expect any recovery for a few years. It could take longer.

The rising property prices in Singapore is more likely caused by the extremely low interest rates, the large influx of foreign workers and the inability of the government to anticipate the shortage of  housing. It is aggravated by the inflow of speculative foreign funds (and the lack of control of the inflow).

As with other countries, I expect the pain to come when the property prices correct in Singapore. I do not buy the argument that the government could cushion the fall as Singapore is a small place and can be managed. When things get out of control, it cannot be easily managed.

Tan Kin Lian

Flouting of traffic rules

Tan How Chuan wrote to the Straits Times Forum to suggest that the Police should penalise drivers who cause rear end collisions. He lamented the lack of enforcement action by the Police on drivers who float the traffic rules and engage in tailgating.

I agree with him. Many Singapore drivers have bad habits. They are impatient, sound the horn unnecessary and tailgate.

I observe that there are insufficient policemen on the road. It could be due to a desire to reduce the cost of the public sector. This is a short sighted measure. In a well managed society, there should be a certain ratio of policemen to the population. If the population increases, we need more policemen. The exception is when the people behaves well, reducing the need for policing. I do not see any evidence of such a good trend.

The situation is made worse when the top civil servants are rewarded on a KPI which includes the ability to reduce manpower cost, without regard to the negative impact on society. I wonder if this could be a reason?

Another possibility explanation is the inability to recruit people to take up the job of policemen, especially if it involves outdoor work. I know that many people aspire to join the banks or enter the financial sector, or even to take up jobs as property or insurance agents. They are able to earn more from these jobs, even though they do not add value to the wealth of the economy, except to help inflate asset bubbles.

Quite likely, it is a combination of both factors.

I expect the standard of safety and low crime rate to deteriorate in the future. This will be sad trend, as Singapore had the quality of being clean, green and safe - and they are now disappearing. Already, we are seeing criminal gang activities among the young. I suspect that the actual crime situation is worse than what has been reported in the newspapers.

Tan Kin Lian

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Read my book on financial planning

Dear Mr. Tan,
I do not have any life insurance and I would like to buy a whole life insurance. Now I am considering 2 life policies, i.e. NTUC VivoLife and GE FlexiLife 20.

As I have read your comments in your blog, VivoLife is not a good choice due to its low yield. However, I wish to get your advise on GE FlexiLife 20, if it is a better choice for me who do not own any policy.

I am 34 years old and looking for sum assured of $100,000 and a payable term of 20 years. Greatly appreciated for your advise.

Did you buy my book on financial planning? There is an explanation on how to evaluate a life insurance policy. You can buy it at

Data roaming charges

I wrote this letter giving some suggestion on data roaming charges. The Straits Times declined to publish this letter.

I urge the mobile operators to honor their commitments in the corporate social responsibility statements and avoid making profit from unwary customers. I also urge the regulators to come forward and carry out their duty to regulate the behavior of the mobile operators.

Insurance of co-payments

A consumer asked for my views about the rider that is offered by an insurance company to cover the co-payments under a Shield policy. The consumer gave me a lot of trivial details about the insurance rider - repeating what must have been told to him by the insurance agent. It is really a waste of my time to listen to the sale talk repeated by the consumer.

There is no need to buy the rider to insure the co-payments. This is explained in the FAQ here. The insurance agent will spin a long story to confuse the consumer and get the consumer to pay a few hundred dollars more in premium for the rider.

UK to ban commission on investment products (i.e. life insurance policies) from 2012

Read this article:

The UK Financial Service Authority found so much abuse with the sale of life insurance policies by commission based agents that they gave up trying to enforce ethics on them.

Risk of becoming an insurance agent [2]

I saw a friend, who is an engineer, studying to be an insurance agent. He said that this is where he can make more money. I asked him to read this message from the wife of an ex-insurance agent:

Low cost term insurance

Dear Mr. Tan
My husband is a Malaysian PR. He is not eligible to buy group insurance from SAF. What other option for him to buy low cost term insurance?

Here is another option to get low cost term insurance:

Although the premium is higher than the SAF group policy, it is still much lower than other types of life insurance policies.

Considering cost and coverage

Dear Mr.Tan:
I am considering to buy health insurance policy in singapore. I have done some research, I found that there are total 5 insurance company which have the medishield upgrade plan. Those are covering hospitalisation. out of 4 of the insurance company provide 100% cover for medical expense. and only NTUC-INCOME cover 90% of hospital bill.
How do you think the 100% cover and 90% cover? When we choose health insurance what should we need to take note?


You should consider the premium that you have to pay as well. The difference between 100% cover age and 90% coverage is small. The difference in premium should not exceed 10%. Read my views about Shield coverage in (search for "Shield" or "Medishield.)

Bumped into TKL website

Hi Mr Tan,
Bumped into your website resently. Found that you have put up a lot of useful educational materials which I believe will benefit a lot of people like me, who are not very financially literate and who would like to take better control over their personal financial matters and don't quite know how to do it. Thanks for the effort and keep it up!

You can buy my book on financial planning (
or attend the educational talks organiserd by FISCA (
or visit my blog (
or website (

FISCA Talk on Insurance - follow up questions

Dear Mr.Tan
Thank you for your talk and very useful advice for us on buying insurance.

1. Seminar Talk - Exercise 3. Earn interest 4% per annum, How much is the total contribution plus interest over 35 years? (Factor to be used is 73.65) Question: a) How to get 73.65 ? b) How to get 1,272,672?

Read this FAQ:

3. Mr.Tan, you have the best price for those PA and Term plan with less than $500.
Could you give me some insurance company ? I will find out and compare the price to less than $1,000. with insured 1million. From my record, I have asked some insurance companies and agents, they quoted me the price were more than $2,000. with insured 1 million.

Read this FAQ:

Selection of International Songs

Songs reflect the best of any language or culture. For a song to be popular, it has to be written by the best writers and musicians of that culture. I have selected a few of my favorite songs around the world. Here are the lyrics of the song in the original language and the translation into English. I find that it is enjoyable to learn a language and the culture of a people through its popular songs.

FISCA Talk - Consumer Guide to Insurance

The talk was held on 18 December 2010. It was well received. Here are some feedbacks:

Dear Mr Tan
I attended your  talk today ( and also the previous talk on investing for the long term). I believe Fisca and what you are doing is invaluable and it is very tragic re how poorly regulated financial services are in Singapore. Is there any way more people can get to know about financial literacy? I feel more people especially the old and less literate  should be protected against these scams. Like holding more talks  on a much larger scale? But I suppose it is a behemoth of an industry you might be up against.

Dear Mr Tan
Thanks for the illuminating talk on financial planning and insurance today, I've learned how to derived the costs of insurance as a result of your talk.  Thanks for your work in helping to educate and inform ordinary consumers like us.

More talks
I will be holding more talks on this topic. You can register at
Attendees of the talk can click here to download the zip file of the relevant FAQs from the TKL website. Here is the outline of the talk, but it is better to attend to talk.

Tan Kin Lian

Saturday, December 18, 2010

BEST Business Game

Practice and develop the skill of pricing, marketing and stocking - the essential skills to run a profitable business by trying this game. Click on Video to see a demo of how the game is played and the strategy to follow. There are several games every hour, covering several industries. Each game should take 1 hour to complete.

Use Excel to calculate yield

I gave a talk on "Insuring your Financial Security" under FISCA. If you invest in a life insurance policy, you should aim for a yield of at least 3.5% per annum over a period of 25 years. You can calculate the yield using Excel. It is explained in this FAQ.

Invest in an indexed fund

In the past, the lay person does not know how to invest in shares or which shares to choose. A good choice is to invest in a life insurance policy and let the insurance company manage the investments.

The option of investing in a life insurance policy is no longer attractive for consumers, due to the high deduction may by the insurance company to cover its expenses and profit. Many life insurance companies take away 50% of the accumulated savings from the consumer, leaving a poor yield. For example, the insurance company can earn a yield of 5% but they give only 2% to the consumer. The difference of 3% is a lot of money.

Consumers now have the choice of investing in an indexed fund that takes away 0.3% per annum. If the indexed fund earns 5%, the net yield to the consumer is 4.7%. The consumer can buy the insurance protection through a 25 year term insurance policy and pay a small premium, which is less than 10% of the premium for a whole life or investment linked policy.

After factoring all the cost for the term insurance, the fee of the indexed fund and other expenses, the consumer is able to keep 85% of the accumulated savings, instead of 50% provided by a life insurance policy.

If the accumulated saving is $500,000, the consumer can keep $425,000 (after deducting 15%) instead of $250,000 (after deducting 50%). the difference is more than $150,000.

This concept is explained in several FAQs stored in my website, Read this FAQs and learn how to invest in the indexed fund. You can also attend the educational talks organised by FISCA (see or buy my book, Practical Guide on Financial Planning.

My message is very important for young people, especially the graduates who are starting work for the first time. Many insurance agents will be seeing you to tell you about investing in a life insurance policy. If you take their advice, you will likely be losing $150,000 or more, during your lifetime. Act now, before it is too late.

Tan Kin Lian

Role of social insurance

Most countries have a universal health insurance system that is provided by the state or through the private sector on conditions that are regulated by the state. It allows the population to have the basic level of health care at an affordable cost. Most developed countries, with the exception of America, have this kind of arrangement.

America has a private health care system. It produced high cost and leaves a significant portion of the population to be uninsured.

Singapore used to have a good and affordable health care system. In recent years, we are adopting some of the bad practices of America. There are now complaints that parents cannot buy insurance through Medisheld or the private alternatives for children with some congenital conditions.

Our problem is caused by the misconception that the private sector is more efficient in the use of resources. This is only partly true, but it has to be balanced with the negative aspects  of the pursuit of profit at the expense of other consideration, and the high cost of marketing and administration.

Some services, such as health care and education, are better handled under a social insurance scheme, rather than by the private sector. See the explanation in this article.

Tan Kin Lian

Friday, December 17, 2010

GPS Navigation System

I wish to look for a GPS navigation system in my car. I have a Packard Bell system, but it has been giving trouble lately. So, I am looking for a different system. Any recommendation of a good system that is easy to use and give good directions?

Tourist attractions

I have added some tourist attractions in Learning Tips. It can be viewed through the internet or on a Windows Phone.

Renovating an industrial premise [2]

I had a difficult time to find a contractor to renovate my industrial premise. Most of them quoted over $70,000 to renovate and furnish a premise of 1,600 s.f, of which only 1,300 sf need to be furnished.

I finally decided to scale down the work and managed to appoint a contractor at a more affordable cost. It still cost a lot of money, including the fee of $3,500 payable for "fire safety".  I sent my feedback to the Pro-Enterprise Panel, but they have still not acknowledged it after a few days.

Over the past few days, I have to signed many forms to different agencies. It seems to be quite complicated and time consuming to fill up these forms.

It is a hassle to apply to open an account for utilities. The form asked me to state the KVA of the power supply. I am not an engineer, so I do not know how to provide this information. My staff called the hotline of Power Supply and was told to get the KVA from the developer. The call to the developer's office was answered by someone who does not know the KVA. They will get someone to call back. I bet they will forget about calling back, which is quite typical of the standard of customer service in Singapore.

The form also asked for the date of incorporation of my company. I do not understand why this information is needed by Power Supply. So, I have to call my company secretary to find out this information.

Singapore has bred many people who are insensitive to the hassle and expenses cause to other people through their requirements. Some of these cost are imposed directly (through the fees that have to be paid), and some are borne indirectly (through the wasted time and work).

I shall write to the Pro-Enterprise Panel again. I do not expect them to acknowledge my feedback, but I will still write.

Tan Kin Lian

Who pays for the cost of medical report?

I wish to advice consumers who have to get a medical report to support an insurance application or claim. You can ask the insurance company to pay for the medical report in the case of an application.

For an insurance claim, you can add the cost of the medical report as part of the claim and get the insurance company to pay for it, i.e. to reimburse you. This is a legitimate claim expense and should be borne by the insurance company.

If the insurance company expect you to bear this expense, you can lodge a complaint with FIDREC as a dispute. If it is stated in the insurance policy as a contract term, you can lodge a complaint to CASE (Consumer Association of Singapore) that this is an unfair contract term. If I am not mistaken, CASE has a role in the administration of this Act. Alternatively, you can send your policy wordings to me, and I will try to help you to file the complaint.

Tan Kin Lian

Financial planning for a child

Many parents think that they should buy life insurance as a financial plan for a child. This is a bad idea. It is an idea that is planted to them by an insurance agent who wants to earn commission to sell any insurance policy. So, buying insurance for a child, e.g. to fund for university education, is one of these ideas.

It is better for the parent to invest the savings in one pool, to be used for a variety of purposes (one of which is education expenses). It is important that the savings should be invested in a flexible form and should produce a fairly attractive yield. Most life insurance policies in the market fail on both scores - i.e. they are inflexible and provide a poor yield.

Read this FAQ about financial planning for a child.

Read this FAQ about personal risk management for young people.It is more important that they have adequate savings for emergencies and their retirement. If they have more than enough savings, they can use some of this pool of savings for the tertiary education of a child, but it should not be at the expense of the other needs.

Tan Kin Lian

Financial planning for retirees

Many retirees have a sum of savings and are need advice on how to manage these savings. They can buy a Life Annuity, but they don't like the idea of losing their capital on early death. They think that they need life insurance, which is not suitable for retirees, except to pay for the funeral expenses. They cannot get proper advice from insurance agents (or financial advisers) as they only keen to sell unsuitable life insurance policies to earn a commission.

The best way for a retiree to manage the savings is to invest in an indexed fund and to draw down the amount that is required each month. This is explained in this FAQ. The retiree can get more information from my book, Practical Guide on Financial Planning or by attending the educational talks conducted by FISCA.

By spending some time and money to be educated, the retiree can save a lot of money by avoiding the wrong financial products that give them a poor yield or can cause them to lose their capital (remember the Lehman saga)?

There are several articles about investments and financial planning that you can read in Just type some keyword and you can get the articles that cover the topic. All articles are quite short, and contain the useful information for the lay person. They are quite easy to understand.

Tan Kin Lian

Keep your existing Living policy

Dear Mr Tan,
I am reviewing my existing policies: Living, Incomeshield and Ideal Plan, I have been unemployed for more than one year and found it difficult to get a new job as I am now in my fifties.

I was advised not terminate my Living Policy. I am considering whether I should buy a term policy (which you have recommended) since it would be cheaper and I could get a larger sum insured. However, will it cover my existing conditions of fibroids? 
Will this condition affect my Living policy since it was discovered after the policy was issued?

My advice of buying a term insurance policy applies mainly for young people - so that they can invest their savings in a low cost investment fund.

Looking at your circumstance, i.e. age and medical condition, it is best that you keep the existing Living policy, rather than switch to a term insurance policy, as you will have difficulty with getting term insurance now.

Your fibroid condition was discovered several years after you took your Living policy, so you will not have any problem with the coverage under the Living policy due to this condition. You can read my FAQ on "Indisputability".

I suppose that your children are now quite old, so there may not be any need for you to increase your life insurance coverage.

After the Event Insurance

Dear Mr Tan
While doctors and hospitals can buy insurance to cover malpractice suits, there is no similar plan on the patient side to provide the financial muscle to mount a suit. As a result only the well-heeled can afford to challenge the hospitals.

Also, the medical profession is well protected by the Bolam test that "established that there is no breach of duty of care so long as the doctor acted in accordance with a responsible body of medical opinion."

Just wondering whether an insurance programme, perhaps called The Patient Protection Insurance, can be set up along the lines of travel insurance. Just as a traveller would buy travel insurance before taking a trip, a patient going for surgery could pay a fixed sum upfront. With thousands undergoing surgery every year, a sizable war chest can be built up to provide for seasoned lawyers and independent expert medical witnesses (from abroad for obvious reasons), to sue for damages should an operation go awry.

With this facility, affected patients will at the very least have access to topflight legal advice on the merits of proceeding with a case instead of simply accepting a hospital's explanation with resignation.


My Reply

There is already such an insurance, called "after the event insurance". You can read the website of Lockton Insurance Brokers to learn more about it.

High insurance charge on ILP

Hi Mr. Tan,
My mother has Pru-Link insurance and has paid for nearly 10 years. She is over 60 now. When she bought the policy, she was told that she only needed to pay 10 years. I looked at her policy now and realized that her insurance charge is half of the monthly premium and there is not much left in the investment account. And I found out that my mother cannot stop the premium as there is not much investment value to cover the insurance charge for long.

My question is:
1. Should I stop the insurance now, as the charge is too high?
2. If I continue the insurance, does it means that I need to give more money every month for protection?

My reply
Please bring your documents and see me in my office. I will discuss the options with you.

The greedy agent only wanted to make a fat commission and does not care about selling an unsuitable policy and the anguish that is being left with the policyholder and the family.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Capsule hotel in Japan

You can rent a capsule in Japan at a cheap rate. It seems to be quite comfortable. Maybe Singapore can adopt it one day. [Mike Hansford]

Beauty of the night

Interesting night scenes of cities around the world [Mike Hansford]

Credit card for those above 60

Why do banks refused to issue credit card for those above age 60?  I guess it must be a mindless ruling from MAS - designed by young officers who live in their ivory towers. SGEP

Concept about aging

C H Yak met an old man on his visit to Nanjing. He posted this message:

A Response to "Making Life Easier for The Elderly". MM Lee at the old age of 87, said this during a recent constituency event; "If I'm fit, I'm prepared to stand. But whether I stand or not, that's up to the Prime Minister". Asked if he was feeling up to it, Mr Lee chuckled and would only say: 'It's for you to judge.' [ Source : Straits Times, 14 Nov 2010 ] SM Goh announced that the Government is carrying out a 5-year study in Marine Parade to assess the implications and needs of an ageing community. He said the elderly are a special group, and Singapore need more young people to engage older Singaporeans to help them grow old graciously ... but "in a cost effective way". [Source : Today, 13 Dec 2010] During my recent trip to Nanjing, I met this interesting old man ( an octogenarian ),......[]

Read his message at SGEP. Here is an idea that is different from MM Lee.

Color printer

I wish to have recommendation on a good color printer to buy, where the price is reasonable for the printer, and the consummables are not expensive.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Download of Window Phone Apps

Videos of these apps are available here:

The downloads during the past two weeks:
Entrepreneur - 61
4D Simulator - 34
Toto Luck 20
One in a Million 17
Total 132

By country
USA - 54
Germany 19
UK 17
France 6
HK 5
Spore 4

The downloads are better than I expected, but mostly from USA, Germany and UK. Singapore is still slow - only 4 downloads.

Blog Archive