'Don't wait until it's too late! Do it now,' was what my dad used to say all the time.
My dad had adopted something similar to a YOLO mindset way before the current generation – just that his version involved a bit more planning. From saving up to bring my mum on a romantic getaway for their 50th wedding anniversary, to learning how to bake my daughter's (his only grandchild) favourite blackforest cake for her 35th birthday, he always found a way to do the things that make life extra special (before it was too late).
So when he passed away a couple of months ago at age 90, I knew that he left without regrets. But when I read his will, I realised just how much I wasn't living up to his memory, especially his 'don't wait till it's too late' philosophy.
Everything that he had distributed in his will and CPF nomination was carefully decided, right down to the discounted Singtel shares in his CPF account to kickstart my daughter's retirement savings – something I had not bothered to advise her on yet.
It actually spurred me on to make my own CPF nomination as the first step towards living YOLO, dad's style – it's a small step, but it would hopefully be the first of many to come for a fulfilling life without regrets.
Life goes on, even after you're gone.
I had made my will a few years ago (which needs some updating) but I had completely neglected to make my CPF nomination. In fact, if not for dad's passing, I probably would not even have realised that it was necessary for distributing your CPF funds according to your wishes.
All my life I had been supporting my family in their financial decisions, so I wanted to be able to have a say in how they could make the most of my CPF when I was gone, instead of leaving it to the
public trustee to decide who gets what.
Make it as easy as possible – for the right people
Another one of dad's favourite sayings was, 'Always make it as easy as possible'. He hated to complicate things, so he made sure that he always had a clear goal and direction in mind.
I wanted to leave my CPF savings in cash to my daughter and wife, which would be an easy decision for me. But then I realised that there are other options that would make their lives easier – which is the purpose of the nomination in the first place.
After some consultation with my wife and reading through
this article about CPF nomination, I decided to leave my CPF monies to my daughter Abigail's CPF account under the Enhanced Nomination Scheme, instead of giving it to her in cash. This is so that I can help to contribute to her retirement savings and hopefully, prompt her to start planning for it too.
My wife would get her share in cash, just to cover up any
immediate financial burdens. Not having to worry about finances in a difficult
time would definitely make things easier on her.
Do it ASAP, because YOLO
I was never the type of person to draw up to-do lists. But dad loved making those lists, mainly because he loved ticking things off them. He actually called them 'to-day' lists, because he wanted to get things done as soon as possible.
Turns out, it's easy to add a CPF nomination to a 'to-day' list – all you have to do is go download a CPF Nomination Form, sign it in the presence of two witnesses (above 21 years old) and mail it back.
For convenience sake (the CPF Service Centre is right next door to my house), I decided to go down to make my nomination in person. The staff acted as my witness, and it was done in a jiffy.
The whole process was over in a day – and I am now one step closer to honouring dad's memory.
Next step, to update the will…
Writer's Profile: Jonathan Lim is a writer who loves taking showers - because that's when the best ideas strike! Showers and deadlines aside, most days are filled with copious amounts of black coffee and gym sessions.