Scenario 1: When you need to pay a 35-year mortgage.
Scenario 2: When you buy your property at a historically-high price.
Scenario 3: When you are really into property investment.
Scenario 1: If you have a 35-year mortgage
According to a survey by Department of Statistics in 2016, the median age at first marriage for Singapore guys is 30.3.
Our culture equates tying the knot with applying for a flat. Assuming that you don’t opt for early repayment, by the time you finally pay off your 35-year housing loan, you will most likely be 65-year-old.
However, you may want to upgrade your home at least once in your lifetime. If you need to upgrade from a HDB flat to a condominium unit and then to a landed property, you may have a new mortgage every time after you upgrade.
The conclusion: Unless you are buying your new home all in cash, you need to stay fit to service one mortgage after the other.
How many decades of life you still have after you bought a 99-year property? How many of us can live up to 99 years? So who said 99-year leasehold is not good enough?
Scenario 2: If you buy really “high”
During my property workshops, I often warn participants that if they buy properties at the wrong time, they have to prepare to work really hard, not on their jobs, but on their health.
When you make a wrong purchase and buy an overpriced property, if you don’t want to cut loss, you must make sure that you live long enough to wait for prices to go up again to at least see it breakeven.
It’s not a joke. Many buyers who bought properties at the market peak in the mid-1990s took almost 20 years to breakeven.
The riskiest type of property buyers and investors is retirees who are buying for the first time. When they make a mistake, they lose their lifetime savings and it is difficult for them to recoup their losses and start all over again.
Scenario 3: If you really love properties
For the sake of property investment, it is a must to live a long life.
1) You want to live long enough to make the right property decision.
If you are a property investor, you need to stay fit and mentally-sound to manage your properties, tenants, agents and bankers.
Besides, the longer you live, the more experiences you have, and the better investments you make.
Remember: Intelligence can happen at any age, but wisdom only comes with age and experience.
2) You want to live long enough to keep proving the media wrong.
Recently, whenever I read global and local news headlines, I am surprised that most of them look familiar to me. Then I recall these headlines did appear almost the same way some time in the past.
If you browse the headlines of old newspapers in the last few decades from the library’s newspaper archive, you will notice that the headlines and stories are very alike at different times, for instance, during a bull market, before market crash and in a bear market.
It makes me wonder why we still care about the news when the news is nothing new?
3) You want to live long enough to witness a few more cycles and to prove that you are right.
The more I know, the more I know that I don’t know. But I still want to prove that I am right most of the time.
I can be wrong at times. But that doesn’t matter. Ken Fisher in Beat the Crowd said “A 60% or 70% success rate keeps you well ahead of most … if you’re right 70% of the time in this realm, you become an absolute living legend.”
I can perceive that there will be one day when not many can win an argument with this old property blogger. Not because I become undefeatable, but it will come the day whenever I cite a historical event that happened during my times, people who hold a different view are either not born yet, or they do not have the energy or live long enough to prove me wrong.
The diet for good health
With the advance of medicine, we are living longer but not necessarily healthier lives. We see increasing younger people suffering from heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and cancer.
It is rare to recover from any chronic disease. It can at most be put under control. But in most cases, the condition only deteriorates over time.
As our Prime Minister told us, the average life expectancy of Singaporeans is 82, with an average of 8 final years in bad health.
Studies show that, in general married men live longer than single men. On the contrary, single women live longer than married women.
As a married woman, I need to work harder on my health. So I recently agree to follow my husband to be a vegetarian. Since mid of this year, he has become very health conscious – training every day and adopting a whole food plant-based vegan diet.
“Rule number 1: Whole food means no processed food and no junk food.”
The next moment, I found my comfort food – favorite titbits from overseas, oven-baked chips and premium ice-creams – all ended up in the rubbish bin.
“Rule number 2: Plant-based means no meat and no seafood.”
Soon, all fresh and frozen meat in the fridge ended up the same fate as my junk food.
I quickly went to rescue my can of abalone. To my relief, it was still there – hidden deep inside the kitchen cabinet.
“Rule number 3: Vegan means no egg, no milk and no dairy products.”
“But I just learned how to fry eggs with Hokkaido 3.6 milk,” I protested.
It is a big sacrifice for me, given that I love to eat, to cook and to cook for others. For one thing, nobody wants to go for lunch with me anymore.
But I tell myself that being a vegan is good for my health, good for the animals and good for the environment.
If there is karma, I am willing to make the sacrifice in return for 3 wishes in my next life:
1st wish: To continue to live healthily and happily in my next life.
2nd wish: To meet again the people I love in this life. The reverse is also true.
Last wish: To reserve another 3 wishes for contingency purposes.
Not too bad, right? And I almost forgot that all these start with a simple wish to live a long and healthy life for the sake of properties.