I want a simple life after retirement

GLOBETROTTER: Commercial pilot Viknesh Jayakumar travels regularly for work, so he reckons he won't have a strong desire to do so after retirement. The 34-year-old is happy with the simple things in life.


    Oct 30, 2013

    I want a simple life after retirement

    In the fifth instalment of a six-part series brought to you by Manulife Singapore, we explore the issue of retirement planning at different life stages




    MR VIKNESH is a commercial pilot who travels as regularly as four to five times a month for work, to places in Asia, Europe and the United States.

    When he is not working, the first officer is quite the fitness junkie, as he spends a fair bit of his free time at the gym.

    Apart from his commitment to keep fit, Mr Viknesh also dabbles in some foreign-exchange trading.

    Five years ago, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph tissue. He underwent treatment for about six months.

    While he has been cancer-free since, his pre-existing condition has prevented him from obtaining a comprehensive and all-inclusive medical-coverage solution.

    Mr Viknesh lives with his parents in a five-room Housing Board flat, but he hopes to buy his own apartment soon.


    What are your financial goals?


    My long-term financial goal is planning for retirement, for both regular as well as medical expenses. I don't have comprehensive medical insurance owing to a pre-existing condition, so I have to plan for that.

    For short-term goals, the only thing on my list at the moment is buying an apartment for myself.


    How far do you think you are away from your goals?


    With regard to my short-term goal of buying a home, I would say that I've attained it. I have sufficient funds to purchase the property at the moment. It's just a matter of finding the right place.

    As for the long-term goal of retirement planning, it's hard to give a gauge. I do save a major portion of my salary every month, so my savings are growing consistently. I also have products with Manulife, into which regular sums of money are invested.

    I'm in no hurry to retire, as I really love my job. That gives me 30 years or so to grow my retirement fund. At the current rate, I should be able to amass what I need way before I officially retire.


    What were some challenges that you've had to overcome?


    Well, I haven't actively tried to apply for any additional coverage since my illness.

    I was told by my Manulife adviser that after a period of time has lapsed, I can try to apply for some coverage with exclusions.

    The only plans I have with Manulife are modified plans, with minimal insurance coverage, that my adviser arranged. They are meant to be more of an investment product.

    I have my MediShield coverage and I'm also covered by the medical benefits provided by my company. I have no private medical insurance. Any medical bills - visits to the general practitioner and hospitalisation - are taken care of by my company.

    I do hope to get some private insurance in the future, which would probably have exclusions. Otherwise, I will just have to accumulate more savings and investments for that purpose.


    How would you like to live your life after retirement?


    I intend to live a very simple life after retirement. I get to travel a lot now, so I don't think I'll have a strong desire to do any more travelling by that time.

    As for my day-to-day lifestyle, I am perfectly happy with the simple things in life and I expect that to continue even after retirement.