Retirement: Why #Throwback when you can #Throwforward


As 90s kids, nothing gets us tickled pink quite like a good #throwback. While a trip down memory lane filled with all things wonderful and nostalgic gets us feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside, looking to the future can be just as fun.

Have you ever thought about what life would be like for us about fifty years down the road, blissfully retired with nary a care in the world? Kiss the stress of school and work life goodbye, I’ve always believed that I’ll make a cool mom someday, and thereafter a very swaggy grandmother.

Here are 13 more predictions about #SG100, based on actual developments in Singapore that are either unfolding soon or already in full swing. By the looks of it, things don’t seem too shabby at all. Who knows? It could wind up as the most glorious era of our lives!


1. Photo albums will be obsolete. Check out ah ma’s IG feed instead!


90s kid millennial retirement - kodak old photo albumSource  Lol-ing at the fashion faux pas and questionable hairstyles, all part and parcel of going through old photos.

Sneaking a peek into the days of our grandparents’ youth usually involves dusting off booklets of Kodak-developed pictures. In due time, we’ll be sharing sweet little anecdotes of our teenage years to our future grandkids too. Only instead of sepia-tinged photographs, it’ll be an archived log of all our Instagram posts from back in the day.

“Come, ah girl. Look how nice your granddad’s OOTD was in this shot. I still remember, it was our 8th month-sary. We very “hashtag relationship goals” hor!”


2. The F&B scene will have a lot more robots and drones – but not enough hawker uncles


90s kid millennial retirement - food served on drone waiterSource

By #SG100, the ordering process for food will become super high-tech, with automated ordering kiosks replacing service staff, and dishes brought to your table by drones instead of human waiters. This means you’ll get your food much faster, with absolutely no mistakes made!

I remember how my world was rocked the day I found out that fast food and pizza could be delivered straight to my doorstep, without the need for me to even put on a pair of pants. And with delivery services like Deliveroo and Food Panda hot on the rise, how long more would it be before another startup breaks into the competition by using drones not just in the restaurant, but to deliver food all over Singapore?

Could this Robot Chef Change the Future Of Cooking? | WIRED
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Could this Robot Chef Change the Future Of Cooking? | WIRED

Plus, a pair of robotic arms capable of cooking dishes is now a thing. As cool as this sounds, I would hate to visit my favourite kopitiam stall 50 years from now, looking forward to some friendly banter along with my char kway teow only to see that my hawker pal has been replaced by a machine.


3. Computers that will be qualified to give you an MC


Talking to a doctor about my problems can be a nerve-wracking experience for me, and if I still get nervous about it now, what’s to say the social anxiety won’t be haunting me into my golden years?

90s kid millennial retirement - electronic health check singaporeSource

Enter the fabulously futuristic clinic featuring fully automated check-up machines. For all your routine health needs, simply go through the course of self-administered procedures and you’re good to go. Not a single syllable needs to be exchanged between you and another individual!

These machine-operated check-up machines are already being piloted at a clinic in Bedok, with a 0% error rate after its first month! If all goes well, expect them to roll out across the nation in due time.

90s kid millennial retirement - singapore electronic health checkupSource

With the rapid advancements in health-related technology even during our years of youthful vigour, there’s no doubt that the infrastructure will continue to become more sophisticated, spelling higher costs down the road, so it’s best we get future plans for our health sorted now.

Get a quality healthcare plan while you’re still fit as a fiddle – think lower premiums for first class healthcare! – and you’ll be set to live the later stages of life to the fullest.


4. Walking sticks and wheelchairs? Pfft, try hoverboards and electric scooters.


90s kid millennial retirement - old people hoverboardSource  #CoolerThanYou.

Although I’m a few decades away from retirement age, a part of me feels like a cranky old lady every time a teenager whizzes past me on the street with one of those new-fangled hoverboards.

It’s safe to say that in time to come, I’ll be hoverboard-racing with my fellow aunties and ah mas to the wet market to snag the freshest deals of the day.

And those years I spent as a little tot zipping around the playground on my razor scooter with the hot pink wheels? They will have provided me with ample training to ride the electric scooter down to the community center for my weekly line dancing session. Just pray that it’ll never strike me in the ankle – one tiny knock to my 70-year-old Achilles and I am gone.


5. Our MRT system will be a crazy web of hyper-connectivity…


90s kid millennial retirement - singapore future mrt mapSource

We’ve all seen the highly circulated, speculated MRT map of the future. Boasting more railway lines than the colours of the rainbow allow, it is but a mere prediction. But if it’s anything to go by, we could well be able to travel from one end of the island to the other by the time we’re comfortably retired.

Plus, with talks of a direct MRT link to Johor Bahru to be completed shortly beyond 2020, we might be on the fast track to overseas trips via trains. Tapping in at Dhoby Ghaut and tapping out at Bangkok, Thailand? Yes, please.


6. … and buses will undergo many more makeovers, and may even be driven by robots!


Us 90s kids have probably seen a significant portion of the bus evolution throughout the ages. The latest update sees the Land Transport Authority asking the public what we want to see on our streets for the decades to come: green, or red?

Update: Lush Green prevailed over Bright Red by 144 votes! We’ll be seeing Lush Green buses from as early as late May 2016.

90s kid millennial retirement - singapore new red green busSource

I know I’m not alone in this when I say that neither of the two options are the most aesthetically pleasing vehicles I’ve ever set my eyes on… and will this spell an end to quirky bus ad designs?

90s kid millennial retirement - bus advertisment singaporeSource

In the vein of robots taking over human jobs, public buses may very well be machine-driven in the future too. I’ve never appreciated the warm and personable greeting from the living, breathing bus driver more than I do now. Excuse me while I try to give them a hug each time I board the bus – at the risk of a restraining order.


7. Leisure activities will take a high-tech spin while remaining just as pointless


Retirees love justifying endless hours of playing mahjong claiming that it prevents dementia. Watch this take a high-tech turn when we become the old folks. Hologram displays may or may not have become a reality by then, but we’ll be content with the good ol’ fashioned touch screen devices.

90s kid millennial retirement - mahjong vs smartphone gameSources: Top, Bottom

And our way of keeping the mind sharp and the fingers nimble? Conquering Candy Crush, one level at a time. Hey! At least we’ll be able to cash in our CPF to buy in-game lives and powerups.


8. New and improved fitness corners will come with sneaky incentives for you to get moving


90s kid millennial retirement - fitness phone chargerSource

You scoff at the meek little metal contraptions under your HDB block as you make your way to the gym to pump some real iron. Little do you know that with time, such machines are going to fuel your entire world.


90s kid millennial retirement - fitness charging stationSource

Newfangled exercise machines will be equipped with charging devices, powered by kinetic energy produced by none other than you and your lovely body. Like the one pictured above, which can be used to charge your phone and already exists at Bukit Panjang!

With built in electricity generators, you’ll have to pedal your legs off to boost your phone with juice. Hey, at least keeping fit will be a breeze!


9. Work spaces will be revolutionized so swankily… you may even be tempted to rejoin the corporate world


As the number of retirees heading back to work on both full and part-time basis increases, we can only expect to see the trend rising further with movements like hot desking and “smart work centres”.

90s kid millennial retirement - hipster officeSource

Having been doled out gradually since a couple years back, libraries and community clubs in the heartlands are getting transformed into professional work spaces. This likely spells the end of the cold, concrete confines that traditional offices bring. Call it a post-retirement career, if you will, but this technological reform will bring a whole new lease of life to your job.

Ideally, of course, you won’t need to work when you’re well into your twilight years. To ensure that’s a reality, put your money where your mouth is and start making plans for it now! Find our tips on how to scrimp and save every cent you earn here.


10. Never seeing these familiar heartland sights again, except in the museum


90s kid millennial retirement - old school pay phoneSource  An ancient relic.

As cool as it is to make self-sustained and very swanky looking HDBs our abode, gone will be the iconic factors of old-school housing estates that once established our childhoods. When was the last time you stumbled upon a pay phone? Besides the empty and pointless phone booths you see at certain MRT stations now… without an actual pay phone inside.

90s kid millennial retirement - singapore void deck blockSource  R.I.P childhood…

Also, the installation of metal railings under each block means that our kids may never get to experience a lively afternoon session of void deck soccer.

My childhood is a thing of the past, I just hope that there’ll be a nice spot for chess playing and songbird admiring in future heartland sites. Or, whatever the new-generation equivalents of retiree hangout activities may be.


11. Say goodbye to the karang guni man, and the familiar toots of his horn


90s kid millennial retirement - karang guniSource

The problem of traditional careers dying out is all too real. One profession which many of us tend to overlook, but is sure to come tootin’ down our HDB corridors at least once every week, is the humble karang guni. Known in other countries as a rag and bone man, they’re known and loved for the “karang guni, boh zua tian si kee (newspapers and TV)” jingle that awakens all our childhood memories.

Karang Guni Remix
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Karang Guni Remix

Come 2050, print publications like newspapers and magazines would probably have died out – we’d be getting constant news updates streamed to our gadgets and gizmos, including wearable technology like smartwatches and the elusive Google Glass.

With no actual boh zua in circulation, what’s there left to recycle? Uncle, my old iPad you want?

*sheds a tear*


12. Kickin’ it in futuristic HDBs fuelled by the sun… and rubbish.


Back in the day, condos were the ultimate definition of fancy living. Amenities like gyms and swimming pools were highly sought after, albeit rarely used. Throw in a semi-decent balcony view and that’s your dream home, sorted!

90s kid millennial retirement - punggol waterway terraceWaterfront residence in Singapore has now become a reality!

Refusing to lose to their private housing counterparts, HDBs have been stepping their game up. Just take a gander at new developments like Skyville@Dawson and Punggol Waterway Terraces. Besides being architecturally stunning, the housing estates also boast some seriously high-tech features. Things like urban rooftop farming as well as energy renewed from solar power and even garbage (!!) may seem like distant futuristic concepts, but they’re already becoming a reality.

90s kid millennial retirement - skyville dawsonSource  Skyville@Dawson and its abundance of sky gardens.

Upon retirement, we can lovingly tend to our crops right upstairs from our HDB home. While listening to the oldies station on the radio – playing the greatest hits of Beyonce and T-Swift, we’ll find great comfort in knowing that the electricity is fueled by none other than trash and the sun. Score one for Planet Earth!


13. Living it up in quaint retirement villages you get to call your own


You’ve probably heard of retirement villages in Singapore. Or, as some call it, “old people areas”.

90s kid millennial retirement - senior citizen villageSource

No ageist discrimination here, ’cause we’re all gonna get there soon. As the millennial generation enters our golden years, you can bet that these social clusters of retirees would’ve multiplied widely across the island.

Picture peaceful estates fully decked out with all the amenities you need. Without having to venture far and wide, you’ll get access to a bunch of shops as well as recreational programmes and facilities. Surrounded by a pleasant neighbourhood, it’ll be good times aplenty as your days become filled with people to chill with, things to do and sights to see!


Bonus: SG100 festivities will mark the party of our lifetime


Us lucky millennials get to witness not only SG50 but the platinum jubilee of a hundred years as well! We can only imagine that it’ll be the biggest, brightest, most luxuriously glitzy spectacle our nation has ever seen.

90s kid millennial retirement - sg50 ndpSource  Majulah, the only way is up.

How will we continue to top each year’s National Day Parade and the quintessential fireworks display? What new mascots and national icons will we be commemorating? Your guess is as good as mine. One thing I’m definitely looking forward to, are the special SG100 discounts and promotions.

If SG50 means 50% off everything, does SG100 mean 100% off?! Just kidding, I’ll gladly settle for 100 cents storewide sales. Only 49 years left, mark your calendars!


Redefining retirement


Retirement isn’t something that crosses our minds on a daily basis, but it’s a stage of our lives that we’ll all eventually reach. You may think that it’ll entail a whole lot of sitting around on our aged bums doing nothing in particular, but as of now, retiring in 2050s’ Singapore sounds like a hoot!

One not-so-fun thing that awaits us several decades down the road is the havoc that inflation would have wreaked. Think of all the leisurely activities that you take for granted now like catching the latest superhero movie or enjoying some brunch. Their prices would have skyrocketed by the time retirement rolls around, which will make catching up with your auntie and uncle kakis at the neighbourhood hipster cafe cost a small fortune.

90s kid millennial retirement - senior citizensSource

Likewise, having access to the best healthcare technology will take a toll on your bank account. Stay one step ahead of your finances as everything starts to get more and more expensive. You already know that it’s never too early to start planning for retirement, so snag yourself a retirement savings plan like Aviva’s MyRetirement or MyRetirement Plus!

Check out how much your desired retirement lifestyle might cost with a nifty online calculator like this one, and start planning what could possibly be the most fulfilling period of your life.

I don’t know about you, but I’m quite looking forward to the SG100 celebrations! See you soon, retirement!

This post was brought to you by Aviva.

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