Ok boomer, stop calling us the strawberry generation. We have a new name.
Soft truths to keep Singapore from stalling.
It wasn’t too long ago when elders of a certain vintage had a few choice adjectives for my generation.
“Serial job hopper.”
But now a newfangled term shook my unflinching, uncaring core; yes, it affected me that much.
Club or BLT?
Being part of this generation doesn’t mean being a tasty piece of salty, processed meat, it really means I have young kids for me to nurture and ageing parents for me to take care of.
And thus, I’m caught uncomfortably between two buns.
Let me explain.
Long live the boomers
Hey, don’t get me wrong, this is potentially great for my parents. According to a report, Singapore topped the world in life expectancy in 2017 with an expected lifespan at birth of 84.8 years, beating usual suspect Japan.
It’s all fine and dandy until you read this:
In the same report, it was stated that “What it means is that Singaporeans born in 2017 can “expect to live for 84.8 years, but that 10.6 of those years would be spent in poor health”.
Yes, the journey to 84.8 years doesn’t mean just nice flowing white hair and lines of wisdom on the face; chronic illnesses are common among older people which means more visits to the doctors.
This also means healthcare bills go up. Y’know just the good ol’ cancer, heart attacks and strokes.
In the same report, it was stated that “the years that Singaporeans have gained are too often spent coping with age-related health problems”.
Which also means a heavier burden for me if their savings/CPF run out.
Because filial piety. Because Asian values. Because duty.
Because all of the above.
Raising kids is no joke
And if you’re one of those Singaporeans like me who also choose to heed everyone’s (read: the government, your parents, relatives, neighbours and pets) call to do your part as a Singaporean and have kids, it gets worse.
While getting old is potentially costly, growing up is also equally taxing on the wallet.
Take for example, this recipe of raising an infant to a toddler:
732 sleepless nights
1258034 soiled diapers
32429846453 pieces of wet wipes
3541 cans of milk powder
231 days in the infant care
Voila, you have successfully raised a toddler. ONE kid. Slightly exaggerated numbers but you get the drift.
All these cost money and we’ve yet to hit the primary school stage (I want the Smiggle bag!) and the pubescent stage (I want the iPhone XX!).
Now, multiply expenses by the number of kids you have.
Steam. Shagged. No puns were spared for this article.
Newsflash, boomers: this generation doesn’t have it as easy as you may imagine. In fact, every generation has its own struggles.
Granted, there are several government schemes to help alleviate the saltiness (Pioneer Generation, Merdeka Generation package, enhanced childcare subsidies) but they are some things money cannot buy.
Time spent with my folks and my kids.
So now you kinda get why I’m so affected. Because at the heart of it, the biggest fear I have is that I neglect both slices of bread because I’m trying to make ends meet.
So I guess it’s kinda good to have some help in sorting out details like remembering immunisation jabs, looking for government schemes and merchant discounts for my folks.
Like what they always say: “There’s an app for everything.”
Moments of Life
In a nutshell, Moments of Life, developed by GovTech, is an app that supports Singaporeans at different milestones of their lives.
It currently supports families with children aged six and below and seniors aged 60 and above, providing useful services and info on a single app.
Its key features include:
And this is how the app looks like when you boot it up.
Just look out for that “Win a tablet” banner.
At the end of the day, being in the Sandwich Generation is manageable. The most important thing to do is really to stop and smell the flowers (or soiled diapers) sometimes.
To end this long and winding article, here’s some new adjectives for the boomers’ consideration.
Top photo via Unsplash
This sponsored post made the writer appreciate sandwiches.