After we bid farewell to our full time job after 56 or 60, do we still want to continue working? The answer is not important as long as that’s what we really want. Today, I felt sad for a few minutes in an encounter with an old uncle. I was having breakfast with my family in Ipoh. We were ordering our drinks through an uncle who’s still fit and sharp. I think he’s slightly over 60 but looking much more alert than most at his age. In fact if he were to have a boxing match with my father, he may just win. He wrote all our orders into a small piece of paper and when he returned with the drinks, he got one of it wrong. He just laughed it off.
After my mother paid for the drinks, he suddenly remarked that my father is luckier than him. He said my father must be the same age as him but he is the waiter while my father is sitting there enjoying his breakfast. My mother said that as long as we are fit, we should continue to be active. He then told my mum that even though he felt fit to work, he did not want to. However, just pumping petrol for his car alone is RM200 a month and his daughter gives him just RM500 per month which is insufficient. For a while, I felt sad for him, the same feeling I had for the uncles and aunties who were still working in food courts everywhere including Singapore. Sometimes, it may not be their fault. Perhaps many circumstances happened. Some may have been cheated to part with their savings or assets for some reasons.
On our way home to KL in the afternoon, I reminded my wife that we must always remind ourselves never to overspend and to save whenever and wherever we could. We do not need to look good to the outside world but we may be a mess inside. Fortunately for me, my wife is even more careful with our family spending than me. I guess as long as I am still married to her when I am very old and retired, she should be able to still treat me meals from her savings. I also asked my 3 1/2 year old daughter if she would take care of me when I am old. She did not understand fully but answered YES anyway. Remember, sadness is just a feeling, it does not change anything. Getting ready is a doing. In other words, appropriate actions when we still have time to do something. Happy doing.
written on 3 July 2016
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