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a dash of  

SPICE |April  2016|  

Growing Up Strong

Retirement Special


content ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

issue 8 Ÿ april 2016

Interests and  Hobbies    

Fashion &  Beauty  

Food &  Drink    

Money Mine    

   

4   7     8     9     12                            15     20     24  

Feature: Growing  Up  Strong     The  Coach  

Health &  Fitness Travel    

Seeds of  Inspiration    

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editor’s note:

                                       

Approaching my  50s  has  me  toggling  between  confusion  and  trepidation;  confusion   because  I  really  don’t  understand  what  the  big  deal  is  and  trepidation  of  being  old  and   having  to  work  till  the  day  I  die.  Other  than  a  it  takes  a  little  longer  to  lose  weight,  a  little   aches  in  the  joints  and  some  greying  hair,  I  feel  and  think  the  same  way  I  did  when  I  was  in   my  30s,  or  so  I  would  like  to  think.  S o  I  don’t  see  why  anything  should  be  different  when   I’m  50.  But  when  I  think  about  being  70  or  worse,  85,  my  h eart  starts  pounding.  What  will   be  my  life  like?  Will  I  still  be  active?  Will  my  memory  start  fading?  Will  I  still  be  healthy?   Will  I  have  enough  money  to  live  a  good  life?  So  many  questions  but  so  few  answers.     As  I  speak  to  other  women,  I  realise  that  I’m  not  alone.  So  many  of  you  have  the  same   concerns  but  because  you  have  such  busy  lives,  these  issues  get  pushed  back  and  you  say   “I’ll  deal  with  them  some  d ay”.  Because  that  some  day  is  so  vague,  it  gets  pushed  further   and  further  to  a  point  that  it  is  forgotten  and  next  thing  you  know,  you’re  65,  out  of  owork   and  n ot  sure  what  to  do  with  your  life.     This  issue  is  dedicated  to  every  woman  who  has  to  plan  for  her  retirement-­‐  and  that’s  you.   Retirement  should  not  be  delegated  to  someone  else,  be  it  a  family  member  or  a  financial   advisor.  You  need  to  plan  as  it’s  your  life!  I  know  many  women  get  stumped  by  the  facts   and  especially  the  figures,  but  that’s  because  everyone  who  speaks  about  financial   planning  speaks  in  a  language  that  only  an  “elite”  few  can  understand.  I  prefer  to  have  to   have  things  spoken  in  plain  language,  the  simplest  of  terms  so  my  brain  knows  what  to  do   and  what  to  plan  for.  And  that’s  just  what  I’ve  d one  as  I  put  the  April  issue  together  –  no   fancy  jargons;  just  p ure  common  sense  approach  to  retirement.     If  you  have  a  story  you’d  like  to  share  and  inspire  women,  we’d  like  to  hear  from  you.   Drop  us  an  email  at  magazine@oneasiacoach.com  and  b e  part  of  the  spicy  family.     Begin  again;  Live  again;  Love  again.  

 

Editor, A  Dash  of  Spice    

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As an  18-­‐year-­‐old,  I  could  say  that  there  was  no  opportunity.  As  a  28-­‐year-­‐old,  38-­‐year-­‐old  or  a  48-­‐year-­‐ old,  I  can  only  blame  m yself  if  I  don’t  take  responsibility  for  my  own  happiness.  

  Hi,  my  name  is  Ai  Nee,  wife  to  a  wonderful  man  for  16  years  and  a  mother  to  a  15  year  old  son  and                       a  13  year  old  daughter  and  three  fuzzy  cats.  I  was  born  and  raised  in  Malaysia,  and  have  been  calling   Singapore  home  for  more  than  half  my  life-­‐time  now.  In  case  you  are  wondering  how  long  that  is,                               I  am  48  this  year.   I  gave  up  my  work  to  be  a  stay  at  home  mum,  until  both  my  kids  started  to  spend  a  good  half  of  their   days  in  school.  Since  then  I  have  dived  into  my  areas  of  interests,  and  am  a  certified  ACTA  trainer,  Master   NLP  (  Neuro-­‐Linguistic  Programming  )  Practitioner,  M aster  Chios  Practitioner,  Time  Line  Therapy   Practitioner,  Hypnotherapy  Practitioner  and  EFT  (  emotion  freedom  technique  )  Practitioner.  Two  years   ago,  I  finally  fulfilled  my  “secret  dream”  to  pursue  a  degree.  I  am  now  second  year  into  my  Business   Management  Degree  with  a  local  university,  and  thoroughly  loving  it  except  for  assignments  and  exams.   Having  the  privilege  of  working  with  people  at  a  very  intimate  level  as  their  life  coach,  I  believe  in   empowering  people  with  tools  that  they  can  use  to  make  the  change  they  want.  Seeing  people  transform   motivates  me  and  keep  my  passion  going  as  the  engineer  of  change.  I  am  passionate  about  issues   involving  women,  children  and  family.  By  sharing  my  story,  I  hope  to  connect  with  the  women  out  there,   who  are  struggling  to  stay  afloat.  You  are  not  alone.     Connect  with  me  at  https://www.facebook.com/integralspacesg/  

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growing up strong:

by Ang Ai Nee

was a  social  butterfly  and  was  not  going    to  be   tied  down  by  a  child.  Besides  working,  she  had       a  busy  social  life.  I  was  very  lucky  to  have  a  pair     my   of  very  doting  grandparents.  Looking  back,   grandparents  were  really  awesome,  for  them  to     accept  and  love  me,  even  though  I  was  the   result  of  an  affair  with  a  married  man.  M  y   grandparents’  love  compensated  for  the     parental  love  that  was  missing  in  my  childhood.   This  lasted  until  I  was  7-­‐years-­‐old,  when    both     my  grandparents  passed  away  within  6  months     said   of  each  other.  I  remembered  that  everyone   Have  you  ever  been  told  that  you  were  picked  up  from     still   the  rubbish  bin  as  a  baby?  I  was  told  that  for  as  long  as     I  was  too  young  to  understand  death.  I  can   remember  clearly  the  loss  and  the  immense   I  can  remember  and  growing  up,  I  actually  believed     that.  There  was  no  father  figure,  just  a  mother  who  was   grief  I  felt  because  my  grandparents  were  my   such  a  beauty  that  as  a  young  child,  I  truly  believed  that   whole  world.  However,  no  one  thought  t  hat  it   was  important  to  help  a  7-­‐year-­‐old  grief.   I  was  picked  up  from  the  rubbish  bin  as  I  looked     nothing  like  her.     I  was  not  a  studious  child  growing  up;  I  did  the   Years  later,  I  realised  that  many  Chinese  families  in   Malaysia  said  that  to  their  young  children,  for  whatever   reason,  or  simply  for  n o  reason  at  all.  What  the  adults   didn’t  realise  was  the  detrimental  effect  on  the  child’s   psyche.  Strangely  generations  of  Chinese  parents  would   say  that  to  their  children,  and  this  pattern  perpetuated   from  one  generation  to  another.   When  I  was  selected  to  be  a  flight  stewardess  after   three  stringent  rounds  of  interviews  b y  Singapore   Airlines,  I  was  painfully  insecure  and  lacked  self-­‐ confidence  as  it  was  known  that  the  interview  process   was  very  tough  and  probably  that  only  10%  of  the   applicants  made  it  through  all  three  stages  of  the   selection  process.  When  a  compliment  was  given  to   me,  I  always  thought  that  I  was  being  made  fun  of;  and   for  the  longest  time,  I  could  n ever  accept  a  compliment   graciously.   Growing  up  in  a  single  parent  family  without  any   siblings,  I  was  desperate  for  company.  M y  mother  was   never  home.  She  worked  to  support  us,  not  like  all  my   friends’  mothers,  who  were  always  home.  My  mother    

minimum  that  was  required,  as  my  mother   never  supervised  my  study  nor  took  any  interest     in  it.  I  did  relatively  well  and  was  in  a  top  girl   school.  Whenever  I  got  good  results  in  the     major  national  examinations,  my  mother  would     brush  it  off  by  saying  that  I  probably  cheated  to   get  such  good  results.  Again,  it  was  one  o   f  those   Chinese  ways  of  not  praising  your  child  in  case     you  or  your  child  come  across  as  show  offs.    

When I  was  in  primary  school,  I  remembered         a  stinging  incident  when  some  of  my  classmates     called  me  a  “bastard”.  Somehow,  someone     that,   found  out  that  I  didn’t  have  a  father.  After   I  learnt  to  put  up  pretence:  that  I  had  a  h  appy   family.  I  put  up  a  happy  front,  I  always   pretended  to  be  cheerful,  always  went  o  ut  of   my  way  to  p lease  others,  hoping  that  I  would  be     accepted  and  loved.  Being  an  only  child,  with  a   mother  who  was  hardly  at  home,  I  was  a  lso   desperately  lonely.  I  was  never  truly  h appy.  

 

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After I  finished  high  school,  I  was  offered  a  job  as         a  flight  stewardess  by  Singapore  Airlines.  Moving  to   Singapore  with  no  relatives  and  friends,  and  just  a   grand  total  of  RM500  to  my  n ame,  I  started  the   next  p hase  of  my  life.  On  the  overnight  bus  from   Penang  to  Singapore,  I  was  overwhelmed  with  fear,   as  well  as  a  sense  of  release.  Fear  of  the  unknown   future  in  a  country  where  I  knew  no  one;  a  sense  of   release  as  I  finally  broke  free  from  the  stress  of   having  to  deal  with  my  mother’s  debtors.    

One  of  my  aunts,  very  wisely  told  me  this  when                 I  was  still  a  teenager  and  struggled  with  all  the   drama  at  home,  “Taste  the  bitter  first,  then  the   sweetness  will  come.”  I  h eld  on  to  her  advice  to  this   very  day.  If  things  are  bad,  they  can’t  be  bad   forever.  It  can’t  rain  forever.  It  can’t  be  downhill   forever.  We  just  have  to  start  taking  responsibility   of  the  outcomes  we  want,  instead  of  letting  the   circumstances  or  people  lead  us,  or  blame  the   circumstances  or  people.    

By then,  my  mother  was  addicted  to  gambling,  and   she  was  deep  in  debts  owing  money  to  relatives,   friends  and  to  loan  sharks.  She  would  often  go   “missing”  for  a  few  days,  and  I  h ad  to  handle   whoever  turned  up  at  our  doorstep  demanding   money.  We  moved  from  house  to  h ouse.  M y  only   memory  of  a  home,  was  a  little  single  storey  terrace   house  where  I  stayed  with  my  grandparents  until   they  passed  away.  

I realised  that  I  can  only  blame  my   circumstances  or  feel  sorry  for  the   situation  I  am  in  up  to  a  certain  point.   After  that,  I  have  myself  to  blame  if                     I  were  to  allow  the  circumstances  to   continue  to  drag  me  down  or  to  affect   me.  Then  I  am  just  as  responsible  for  my   own  “misery”.  As  an  18-­‐year-­‐old,  I  could   say  that  there  was  no  opportunity.  As  a   28-­‐year-­‐old,  38-­‐year-­‐old  or  a  48-­‐year-­‐ old,  I  can  only  blame  myself  if  I  don’t   take  responsibility  for  my  own   happiness.  

I went  through  many  rough  patches  in  life,  from             a  loveless  childhood,  to  not  having  money  to  pay   bills  or  h ave  decent  meals,  to  relationships  that   were  simply  b ad  choices  because  of  my  desperate   need  for  love.  I  was  saving  every  penny  I  earned  to   try  to  fill  the  bottomless  hole  created  by  my   mother’s  gambling  addiction.  I  was  looking  for  love   at  all  the  wrong  places  as  I  hungered  for  a  fatherly   love  that  I  never  had.  

At my  darkest  hour,  I  had  contemplated   suicide.    The  stress  of  getting  phone  calls  at   odd  hours  demanding  money,  threats  to   harm  my  mother,  as  well  as  the  emotional   blackmail  I  faced  from  my  mother  were   driving  me  to  depression.  The  overwhelming   sense  of  hopelessness  that  I  would  never  be   able  to  pay  off  the  endless  gambling  debts   almost  drove  me  over  the  edge.  

My meditation  teacher  once  told  me  that  if  I  always   depended  on  others  for  my  own  happiness,  I  would   never  truly  be  happy.  When  I  was  young,  I  had  put   up  a  happy  front,  and  pretended  to  be  happy.  That   helped  me  cope  with  what  I  was  facing  at  home.   Today  I  am  truly  happy,  as  I  have  decided  to  take   charge  of  my  own  happiness.  I  chose  to  leave  the   past  behind  me  and  move  on.  Sure,  I  can  continue   to  wallow  in  self-­‐pity,  b ut  then  again,  I  have  found   that  it  feels  much  better  to  be  able  to  walk  away   from  self-­‐pity  and  choose  to  be  happy.  So  I  chose  to   be  happy.  

   

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the coach:        

I’ll be  turning  47  years  old  this  July,  just  3  years  away  from  the  big  50.         I  cannot  believe  it,  as  I  don’t  feel  like  an  almost  50-­‐year  old!  How  does  a   50-­‐  year  old  think  and  behave  that  is  different  or  is  it  just  a  perception   that  we  have  created  in  our  youth?  So  what’s  the  big  deal  of  turning   50?  I  suppose  it  gets  closer  to  the  second  half  of  our  live  that  is  usually   termed  as  “twilight  years”,  where  we’re  supposed  to  slow  down,   whether  it’s  at  work  or  in  life.  I  must  add  that  I’ve  been  thinking  hard  of   my  twilight  years  and  I’d  be  lying  if  I  didn’t  say  I  worry  about  what  lies   ahead  for  me.  My  biggest  worry  is  whether  I  will  still  have  the  same   opportunities  at  work  and  if  I  will  still  be  “employable”  as  I  was  when           I  was  in  my  30s?    

pla n fo r your retirement My fears  are  not  unfounded.  In  my  work,  I  meet   men  and  women  in  their  50s  who  tell  me  that  they     are  finding  it  hard  to  be  re-­‐employed  once  they   are  made  redundant  or  that  they  have  to  settle  for   a  far  lower  salary  for  almost  the  same  amount  of   workload.  Governments  in  many  countries  have   campaigns  preventing  the  discrimination  of  the   older  worker  and  even  legislations  to  protect  the   older  worker  from  discrimination  at  the  workplace.     So  why  do  so  many  people  have  anxieties  as  they   approach  their  50s?  From  many  years  of  speaking   to  employees,  there  key  reason  is  lack  of  planning.   Many  assume  that  their  employers  or  the   government  has  worked  out  a  plan  for  them.  I  get   responses  like  “They  can’t  fire  me”  or  “They  have   no  grounds  to  fire  me”  or  “the  government  has   some  retirement  plans  worked  out”.    

Reality check  –  they  can  fire  you  and   governments  can  revise  their  retirement   and  pension  plans.     Rather  than  be  afraid  of  what  will  happen  as  you   approach  your  50s  and  60s  and  get  closer  to  the   retirement  years,  start  planning  for  your   retirement.  The  earlier  you  p lan  the  better  for  you    

as you  still  are  at  the  peak  of  your  employment,   have  more  time  to  get  yields  from  your  investment   and  even  if  you  were  to  buy  insurance-­‐linked   retirement  plans,  your  premiums  will  be  lower  and   your  payments  will  end  before  you’re  in  your  50s.   Start  planning  when  you  want  to  retire  and  what   kind  of  lifestyle  you  want.     Am  I  less  afraid  now  that  I  have  started  p lanning   for  my  retirement?  No.  If  anything,  the  last  few   days  have  heightened  my  anxiety,  as  I  face  the   reality  that  I  only  have  13  years  left  to  my  work   towards  desire  to  have  enough  money  for  my   retirement.  So  I  am  going  to  take  a  chill  pill  for  a   week  and  calling  my  financial  planner  next  week  to   know  where  my  finances  stand  today  and  start   developing  my  action  plan  for  the  next  13  years.   Phew!  Think  I  deserve  a  glass  of  wine  now.  

Rachpal  has  designed  an  online  coaching   programme  for  women  in  transition.    For  a   FREE  CONSULTATION,  write  to  her  at   more@oneasiacoach.com  or  visit  her   website  at  www.oneasiacoach.com  

7


interests/hobbies:

spice up your life

The Agile Mind That’s right!  With  all  the  reports  coming  out  on  how  as  we  age  we  start  forgetting  where  we  placed  the   keys,  names  of  people  or  what  we  wanted  to  d o  when  we  left  the  bedroom  to  go  to  the  kitchen,  let’s   plan  for  our  mental  health  in  our  retirement  age.  Some  leading  neuroscientists  say  that  the  reason  that   our  memory  start  failing  rapidly  as  we  age  is  that  we  don’t  use  our  brain  as  actively  as  we  used  to  and  as   the  neurons  are  not  constantly  fired,  they  become  weaker  as  we  age.   So  how  then  do  we  make  sure  we  have  all  our  marbles?  Well,  for  starters,  you  can  start  playing  marbles   again!  Yes  I’m  talking  about  all  those  games  we  used  to  play  as  kids.  Absolutely  love  board  games  and   card  games  as  you  need  to  plan,  strategise  and  outsmart  your  opponent.   What  are  some  good  games  to  choose  from  to  keep  an  agile  mind?  

Chess and  Checkers:  both  need  lots  of  manoeuvring        

and trapping  your  opponents  while  making  sure  your  seeds  are   safe.  This  is  good  if  you  like  a  little  challenge  and  some   conversation  over  a  cup  of  tea.  

                       

Card games  –  Gin  Rummy,  Dead  Rummy,  21  are  some  of  the  more   common  card  games  which,  not  only  require  p lanning  and  smart   manoeuvring  but  also  having  to  keep  an  eye  on  the  cards  played,  the   cards  played  by  your  opponents  as  the  play  is  very  dynamic  and  your   fate  can  change  at  any  time.  Great  with  a  group  of  friends  over  some   beers  or  wine.  

Monopoly Deal:  That’s  my  family’s  latest   craze!  From  the  9-­‐year  old  to  the  50-­‐year  old,   once  we  start,  there  is  no  stopping  us.  A  little   luck,  a  little  sly  and  a  whole  bunch  of  evil.  A  fun   game  where  you  get  to  steal  your  opponent   cards  and  it’s  not  how  much  money  you  have   that  determines  the  winner!  A  real  twist  from   the  classic  Monopoly  board  game  where  one   game  can  take  hours  whereas  Monopoly  Deal  is   all  about  speed.  Great  to  play  with  younger  kids   who  like  quick  games  and  lots  of  yelling  and   scheming.  

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fashion and beauty:

glitter and glam

DeliriousLife Review: Feria Smoky Pastels Multifaceted Shimmering Color in Smoky Blue

By Cassi Grey

Should you  try  the  silver  hair  look  at  a  bargain?  I  did,  and  now  I  have  red  hair.   I  love  the  lush,  silver  hair  that  was  all  the  rage  last  season,  and  had  my  own  natural  salt-­‐and-­‐pepper   shade  dyed  a  smoky  gray  until  recently.  It  looked  great,  but  it  was  a  b urden  to  keep  up  because   changing  from  whatever  color  you  are  now  to  silver-­‐gray,  even  if  you  already  h ave  some  natural  gray   in  your  hair  like  I  did,  requires  several  steps.   First,  you  must  do  a  total  bleach-­‐out  of  your  current  color  to  achieve  a  white  "blank  slate"  h ead  of  hair   to  deposit  the  silver  on  to.  This  process  can  take  several  hours,  depending  on  how  dark  your  current   color  is,  and  must  be  done  by  a  trained  stylist.  Attempting  to  “do  it  yourself”  from  a  box  or  other  at-­‐ home  treatment  could  ruin  your  scalp  and  cause  your  h air  to  break  off.  (See  “bad-­‐at-­‐home  bleaching   jobs”  courtesy  of  the  Internet.)  When  you  have  gotten  this  far,  the  silver  gray  tone  is  added,  which  is   lovely  but  tends  to  fade  quickly,  so  it  needs  a  salon  refreshing  every  few  weeks.  Then  you  need  to   maintain  the  upkeep  of  your  roots,  which,  even  if  you  start  off  with  mostly  gray  as  your  natural  color,   tend  to  look  way  d arker  when  compared  to  the  b leached  parts.  So,  while  it  is  a  very  chic  look,  it  can   also  be  expensive  and  time-­‐consuming.

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Before Feria   So  imagine  my  surprise  when  I  saw  Feria  Smoky  Pastels  M ultifaceted  Shimmering  Color  in  Smoky  Blue  at   my  local  drug  store  for  less  than  ten  dollars,  claiming  similar  results. "OMG,”  I  thought,  “A  boxed  silver  hair  color  without  all  the  salon  bleaching  and  expense!  What  a  great  

product! I  mean,  just  LOOK  at  that  model's  shimmering  hair  on  the  box!" Well...before  you  snatch  it  off   the  shelf  and  shell  out  US$8.95  for  it...wait.  I  tried  it   for  you  so  you  know  what  to  expect  if  you  have  hair   like  mine.  And,  b ased  on  my  experience,  especially  if   you  have  aging  hair,  you  might  want  to  think   carefully  before  you  do. Number  one,  unless  your  hair  is  already  almost   platinum-­‐white,  it  will  not  come  out  looking  like  that   model's  hair  on  the  box. Number  two,  if  your  mature  hair  is  dry  to  begin  with,   it  will  likely  feel  brittle  and  dry  as  a  bone  afterward.   Mine  did  even  though  it  was  in  pretty  good  shape         to  begin  with.   Before  Feria:  Light  brown  with  light  blond  highlights  and  

Which, three,  might  cost  you  a  trip  to  the  salon  after   some  salt  and  pepper  natural  roots.   all.  It  did  for  me,  and  after  my  salon  rescue,  my  hair   is  now  professionally  re-­‐dyed  cinnamon-­‐red  and  several  inches  shorter.

Nevertheless, in  devotion  to  my  readers,  I  bought  the  b ox.  I  took  it  h ome  and  applied  it  according  to  the   package  directions.  Here  is  how  my  hair  looked  before  applying  the  color  (see  picture  above)   Immediately  After  Feria   After  leaving  it  on  for  25  minutes,  rinsing  and  using  the   enclosed  conditioner,  here  is  how  my  hair  looked   immediately  after. Nice,  right?  But  what  you  cannot  see  is  that  it  colored  only   the  highlighted  parts  of  my  hair.  The  brownish  parts,  as  well   as  my  roots,  were  only  lifted  to  a  slightly  lighter  brown.  And   my  hair  felt  like  straw,  even  after  using  the  conditioner  that   was  included.

Silver!!!  

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Post-­‐Feria Here  I  am  less  than  two  weeks  after  I  applied  the   color.  Still  silvery,  b ut  greatly  faded  and  frizzy-­‐ looking.  This  was  what  I  looked  like  when  I  finally   went  to  the  salon  for  a  fix. When  I  got  to  the  salon,  my  ever-­‐tactful  colorist,   Dawn,  took  one  look  at  me,  my  empty  box  of  Feria  in   hand  and  asking  for  new  highlights,  left  and  promptly   returned  with  another  stylist,  both  of  whom  started   touching  and  feeling  my  h air  as  if  it  were  a  science   experiment.  After  a  few  moments  examining  my   strands  and  talking  between  themselves,  Dawn   gently  explained  to  me  that,  because  of  the  damage   done  b y  the  boxed  color  to  my  aging  and  porous  hair,   she  couldn't  safely  bleach  or  highlight  my  hair  again   for  at  least  another  6  months!!!  Together  we  opted   for  an  all-­‐over,  rich  cinnamon  shade  to  condition  and   give  my  hair  a  “rest”.  However,  before  she  could   apply  it,  Dawn  had  to  use  something  else  to  "fill  in"   the  holes  left  from  the  chemicals  of  the  boxed  hair   color  (you  heard  that  right),  so  the  n ew  color  could   properly  take.

Eew...what happened??  

Red is  the  new  Grey   So,  having  to  kiss  good-­‐bye  to  my  beloved  highlights  for   a  while,  a  new  red  me  was  born,  which  I  love.  But  in   the  end,  that  $8.99  box  of  Feria  ended  up  costing  me   an  extra  $120.00. How  many  stars  would  I  give  Feria  Smoky  Pastels   Multifaceted  Shimmering  Color  in  Smoky  Blue?  For   mature  women  with  dry  and/or  porous  hair,  that   answer  is  none.  But  for  ultimately  introducing  me  to   this  new  shade,  which  is  super  fun,  I  would  give  it  a   high  five.    

Now a  proud  salon  redhead!  Red  hair  colouring  by  Dawn   Stuurop,  Roots  Salon,  St.  Paul  Minnesota,  USA  

For  fashion  and  styling  tips,  follow  Cassi  at:   Web:    www.DeliriousLife.net     Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DeliriousLifeFashion/  

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food and drink:

spice, dice and splash

The Retiree’s Survival Kit When you’re  working,  breakfast  is  possibly  a  quick  toast  with  coffee,  tea  or  a  cup  of  juice,  which  you  grab   from  the  coffee-­‐shop  near  office.  Then  lunch  is  a  probably  from  the  café  or  food-­‐court  near  the  office  and   then  by  the  time  you  get  home  for  dinner,  you’re  probably  too  tired  to  cook  anything  fancy  so  it’s  a  quick   stir-­‐fry  or  a  take-­‐away.  The  games  changes  when  you  retire.   Once  you  retire,  you’ll  be  starting  to  have  most  of  your  meals  at  home  and  if  you’re  not  used  to  cooking   and  meal  planning,  there  will  be  utter  chaos  with  meal-­‐times  happening  at  odd  hours.  My  h usband  is  on   a  short  pre-­‐retirement  sabbatical  for  6  months  where  he  agreed  to  take  charge  of  the  housework  and   cooking.  Well  the  first  week  was  “orientation”  where  I  introduced  him  to  the  kitchen,  the  pots  and  pans,   the  herbs  and  household  budget.  Week  2  was  when  the  excitement  set  in  when  he  forgot  to  buy  the   groceries  on  Sunday  and  the  market  was  closed  on  Monday  and  Tuesday!  Then  another  day  he  got   carried  away  chatting  with  his  friends  after  his  morning  walk  and  by  the  time  he  got  home  it  was  almost   noon  and  I  had  to  have  cereal  for  lunch!  Now  he  is  better  with  meal-­‐times  but  h e  cooks  for  four,   forgetting  that  there’s  just  two  of  us  at  home!   To  spare  you  the  daily  histrionics  of  my  household  and  almost  starvation  on  two  occasions,  I’ve  put   together  some  tips  on  how  to  p lan  for  three  meals  at  home.  Good  news  if  you’ve  never  set  foot  in  the   kitchen  –  these  tips  are  for  the  novice  chef-­‐in-­‐the-­‐making.  

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4 Tips & Cheats to Meal Planning 1

Set fixed  meal-­‐times.    

This will  help  you  plan  the  preparation  and   cooking  time.  Keep  the  meal  times   consistent  so  that  you  can  plan  your  other   activities  around  it  and  it  ensures  you   don’t  b inge  on  snacks  .

08.00 a.m.  Breakfast   12.30  p.m.  Lunch   07.30  p.m.  Dinner  

2 •

• • • •

•  

Calculate preparation  time  (single  simple  dish)

2 cups  of  rice  usually  takes  about  45  minutes  to   cook  in  a  rice  cooker  or  about  20  minutes  on  a   stove.  I  usually  get  this  started  first.   Dried  vermicelli  (Bee  Hoon)  needs  to  be  soaked  in   lukewarm  water  for  about  20  minutes.   It  takes  about  10  minutes  to  peel  and  chop/dice   chilli,  garlic,  ginger  and  onions.   You’ll  n eed  another  10  minutes  to  wash  and  chop  2   vegetables     Add  in  another  10  minutes  to  wash  and  dice  meat,   chicken  or  fish   A  quick  vegetarian  stir-­‐fry  will  take  10  minutes  and   if  you  add  seafood  or  meat  it  could  take  an   additional  15  minutes  

So what  this  means  is  that  you  will  probably  need  to  start  about  1  hour  before  a  meal-­‐time  for  a  simple   dish  and  if  you  are  making  two  dishes,  you  might  need  an  additional  half  hour.  

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3

Make  bigger  portions  

It can  be  very  draining  after  sometime  to  have  to   spend  almost  2  hours  everyday  in  the  kitchen.  One   trick  is  to  cook  bigger  portion  sizes.   •

You can  eat  the  same  d ish  for  lunch  and  dinner.   Curries,  soups,  stir-­‐fry,  fried  noodles  and  pasta   can  be  made  in  bigger  portions  for  two  meals.   Make  bigger  portions  of  sauces  and  curries  that   you  can  freeze  in  smaller  portions  for  that  lazy   day  when  you  don’t  know  what  to  cook  or   you’re  just  tired.  

 

4

Dried Food      Refrigerator  and  Pantry  Essentials  

These are  the  basic  things  you  can  stock  up  for   emergencies  to  spice  up  the  food  or  when  you   forgot  to  d o  groceries  so  you  still  have   something  you  can  cook.   Herbs  and  Spices   • • • • •

Chilli flakes   Garlic  powder   Ginger  powder   Dried  Spices  like  oregano,  basil,   parsley,  curry  leaves   Curry  Powder  

Canned/packed food/drinks   • • • •

• •

Tuna (choose  the  ones  in  water  so  that   you  can  vary  the  taste  with  spices)   Sardines  in  tomato  sauce     Baked  beans   Tomato  paste  (I  buy  the  small  tins  but  if   it’s  a  big  tin,  I  use  what  I  want  and  I   freeze  the  rest  in  smaller  portions)   UHT  milk   Milo  

• • • • • •

Rice Pasta   Noodles   Biscuits   Rice  crackers   Lentils  (for  making  Dhall    &  soups)  

Items for  the  refrigerator  (recommended  items   can  last  for  a  week  or  two)   • • • • • • • • • • •

Fruits (apples,  oranges,  grapes)   Carrots   Tomatoes   Celery   Eggs   Butter   Cheese   Yoghurt   Frozen  peas  or  frozen  mixed  vegetables   (this  can  last  for  about  2  months)   Bread  and  wraps  (Keep  in  refrigerator  so   that  they  last  longer)     Chicken  and  fish  fillet  (wash  and  dry  with   paper  towel  and  cut  into  smaller  parts  and   freeze  in  separate  portions)  

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money mine:

common cents

Common Sense Retirement Plan?

First,  let’s  be  clear  that  I’m  no  financial  expert  and  not  a  financial  planner  nor  do  I  have  any  qualifications   related  to  finance.  However,  there  are  two  areas  related  to  finance  that  I’m  extremely  familiar  with  and   I’m  sure  many  of  you  reading  this  article  are  experts  in  at  least  one  or  both  of  these  areas  –  spending  and   saving.  But  many  of  us  cringe  at  the  sound  of  the  word  retirement.  In  the  past  few  months,  several   newspaper  reports  h ave  suggested  that  many  women  do  not  have  the  know-­‐how  to  plan  for  retirement   compared  to  men.  Is  that  really  true?  The  reports  suggested  that  women  did  not  invest  their  money  that   would  give  them  exponential  growth  and  tend  to  rely  on  savings  in  the  bank  where  the  growth  is  slow.     Alright,  I’m  going  to  make  a  confession.  Guilty  as  charged.  I  worry  if  I  have  enough  money  for  my   retirement  and  I  don’t  know  what  I  need  to  do  to  get  there.  A  chat  with  a  financial  adviser  some  years   back  has  left  with  more  fear  and  hence  less  confident  in  investing  my  money  when  he  told  me  that  my   investments  have  d ecreased  in  value  and  h e  admitted  not  being  able  to  monitor  the  trends  correctly.   Then  there  are  complicated  financial  jargons  and  charts  that  they  use  that  completely  baffle  me.   So  I  had  a  chat  with  a  few  laypeople  just  like  me  and  asked  what  would  be  reasonable  when  planning  for   retirement.  I  also  read  several  books  and  articles  and  finally,  this  is  a  simple  guide  I  use  to  plan  for  my   retirement:  cost  of  lifestyle  based  on  current  standard  and  then  add  4%.  So  what  does  that  look  like?  

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Getting Started………. (Retirement plan for 2 people) First, list  d own  what  age  you  p lan  to  stop  working.  Let’s  say  I’ve  decided  that  I’ll  stop  at  60.  (That  doesn’t   mean  I  completely  not  work  at  all  but  rather  that  any  work  I  do  after  that  is  just  to  keep  me  from  going   insane  and  out  of  mischief).  So  if  I  live  till  85  years  old,  I  will  have  to  p lan  for  25  years.   Secondly,  list  out  all  the  expenditure  you  have  n ow  that  you  will  continue  to  have  when  you  retire.  Split   them  into  fixed  costs  (those  that  you  must  incur)  and  variable  costs  (these  are  optional).  You  must  also   calculate  if  this  is  for  a  single  person  or  for  two  people.  In  the  example  given  below,  it  is  based  on  the   following  and  you  will  need  to  adjust  if  your  circumstances  vary:   • • •

plan is  for  2  people   couple    have  medical  insurances   home  is  paid  for  in  full  

Expenditure  

   

$

(A) Monthly  fixed  costs  refer  to  those  costs   you  will  incur  every  month;  regardless  of   changes  in  your  life  circumstances.  So  even   if  you  went  away  on  a  holiday  or  were   hospitalised,  most  of  these  charges  will  still   have  to  be  paid.  The  minimal  control  you   have  is  if  you  spend  less  on  utilities  (if  you   don’t  run  the  air  conditioning  for  example)   or  if  you  don’t  travel  on  taxis  and  only  use   buses  or  walk.  

(A)  Monthly  Fixed  costs:     Utilities  (electricity,  gas  and  water)  

150  

Mobile phones  

100  

Home Internet  

50  

Cable Television  

100  

Groceries

600  

Town Council  charges  

       50  

Public Transport  

   400  

Monthly allowance    

Based on  this  calculation,  you  will  need  to   put  aside  at  least  $2,000  for  basic  living   expenses.  That’s  about  $1000  per  person.  

500

Housing Loan  

NOTE: if  you  h ave  an  outstanding  housing   loan,  this  figure  can  be  significantly  higher.  

0 Total  

 1,950  

     

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(B) Monthly  Variable  costs:   Dining  Out  

       500    

Weddings/Birthdays Gifts  

       100    

Movies  

             50    

Car loan  

         0    

Petrol/Parking/Road Tax/Motor   Insurance  

0  

Car Maintenance  

0

Home help  

0

Gym membership  

0

   

Total

(B) Monthly  variable  costs  refer  to  expenditure   that  you  can  do  without.  These  could  be  extra   perks  that  you  want  to  enjoy  because  you  have   been  used  to  it.     Your  current  lifestyle  will  be  a  rough  indicator   of  how  much  variable  cost  you  can  expect  to   incur  when  you  retire.  So  perhaps  you  might   like  to  have  “No  Gift”  p olicy  with  your  family   and  friends.  Ask  yourself  if  a  car  is  really   necessary?  Do  you  really  need  the  gym   membership  that  you  cannot  afford?  

650

       

(C) Annual  Variable  costs:  

Holidays

10,000   1,000  

Home repairs/furnishing  

2,000

Clothes and  shoes    

1,600

Toiletries/Grooming

1,200

 

Medical Insurance  

0 Total  

Medical  (more  if  inadequate  insurance)    

15,800

(C) Annual  variable  costs  are  the  ones  that   many  people  forget  to  plan  for.  Holidays,   clothes,  shoes,  medical,  dentures,  home   repairs  are  just  some  examples.  If  you  are   certain  that  you  will  not  want  annual   holidays,  then  this  figure  can  change  your   financial  planning  drastically.  However,  there   are  emergencies  that  you  cannot  anticipate   for  example,  the  stove  is  broken  and  you   need  to  replace  it.  Hence,  just  like  you  need   an  emergency  fund  when  you’re  working,   you  need  to  set-­‐up  one  when  you  retire.  

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Calculations  

$

(D) Total  Annual  Expenditure  (Ax12  +B  x12  +C)   (1950x12)  +  (650x12)  +  15,800       (E)  4%  adjustment    

47,000

Total

(F) Estimated  monthly  expenditure  

48,880  

 (E÷12)       (G)  Grand  Total  for  25  years  

4073 1,222,000  

(E x  25)   (H)  Annual  Adjustments  (from  age  75     years  needs  will  decline  and  expenditure   goes  down)   Holidays  

-­‐5,000

Dining Out  

-­‐2,400

Gifts

-­‐1,200

Total Over  10  years  

86,000

(I) Adjusted  Grand  Total  for  25  year     (G-­‐H)  

1,136,000  

The calculation  in  (D)  works  out  what  the   annual  expenditure  is  while  (E)  adjusts  the   annual  expenditure  at  a  4%  inflation.  Most   financial  planners  use  3%  but  I’m  just  a  little   conservative.  (F)  gives  you  the  estimated   monthly  expenditure.  To  sustain  the   lifestyle  in  Parts  A,  B  and  C,  I  will  need   approximately  $4000  a  year.     You  will  notice  an  adjustment  made  which   is  reflected  in  part  (H).  When  you’re  much   older,  your  needs  will  adjust  again.  Perhaps   you  might  not  travel  as  much  or  might  not   travel  to  far  away  places.  So  you  have  about   $86,000  savings    over  10  years.   Are  you  alarmed  by  that  figure?  That  you’ll   need  to  have  a  whopping  $1.1  million  by   age  60  or  put  aside  $87,384  a  year  for  13   years  to  get  there?    How  will  you  get  there?   Is  that  even  possible?   As  I’m  no  financial  expert  and  if  you’re  like   me  and  many  other  women  out  there  who   have  no  investments  and  depend  on  your   current  income,  you  could  take  the   following  approach,  which  I  call  the   “retirement  lifesavers”.  

     

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3 Retirement Planning Lifesavers

1 Scale  down  on  your  lifestyle  if  you  can.     Is  there  anything  that  you  can  do  without  or  less  of  in  your  retirement   years?  Looking  at  the  example  that  I  gave,  it  is  rather  conservative   with  the  biggest  splurge  being  travel.  So  what  do  you  do  if  you  cannot   scale  back  any  further?  

2 Plan  for  the  fixed  costs  and  make  sure  have  enough  for  that.     So  in  the  example  given,  at  $1,950  per  month,  that’s  a  total  of   $585,000  over  25  years.  That  will  mean  that  for  the  next  13  years,   you  will  need  to  put  aside  $45,000  per  year.  Now  that’s  definitely   more  manageable  for  a  couple,  to  put  aside  $22,500  per  p erson   annually.  So  you  are  only  putting  aside  money  for  Section  A  in  the   table  above.  So  what  happens  to  Sections  B  and  C?    

3 Sections  B  and  C  are  variable  expenditure  –  expenses  that  are  optional.     For  example,  if  you  don’t  have  enough  money,  you  don’t  dine  out  much  or  you  have   cheaper  h olidays  every  alternate  year.  So  when  I  shared  this  with  my  husband,  he   claimed  it  was  a  “death  camp”  and  I  sure  don’t  want  the  planning  or  my  retirement  to   be  that!  So  perhaps  you  could  continue  to  work  until  age  65?  In  the  example  above,   the  variable  expenses  amount  to  $23,600  a  year.  Perhaps  you  could  have  that  lifestyle   till  age  70  or  75  and  then  you  could  scale  it  down  by  50%  from  age  75  onwards.  Or  you   could  take  on  additional  work  for  the  next  few  years  and  save  up  that  extra  $45,000  a   year  so  that  you  can  live  it  up  in  your  retirement!  

Disclaimer:  The  author  is  not  a  registered  or  qualified  financial  planner  or  adviser  and  this  is  author’s  own   common  sense  approach  to  make  sense  of  how  to  p lan  for  her  retirement.  The  intention  of  this  article  is   to  give  women  a  headstart  in  planning  for  their  retirement  so  that  they  can  have  more  focused   discussions  with  their  financial  planners  or  advisers  and  use  basic  terms  that  are  easily  understood  minus   those  complex  jargons  and  graphs.    

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health and fitness:

fit and fab

The Fit and Fabulous Retiree 3 Retirement Workout Tips First  it  was  Fit  at  40.  Then  it  became  Fab  at  50  followed  by  Sexy  at  60.  Whatever  the  fad,  the   desire  is  the  same  –  to  age  gracefully  and  to  remain  healthy  as  we  age.  As  you  move  into  your   retirement  years  and  possibly  no  longer  have  an  active  income,  how  then  can  you  keep  fit  if   gym  or  health  clubs  membership  is  a  luxury  you  can  no  longer  afford?  So  for  the  month  of   March,  a  retiree  I  became.  If  I  were  no  longer  having  an  active  income,  how  would  I  keep  fit?   Well,  I  was  pleasantly  surprised  that  this  was  perhaps  the  easiest  part  of  retirement.  There  are   so  many  free  and  convenient  locations  that  I’m  already  contemplating  giving  up  my  gym   membership.    

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Public Parks   5  stars  for  convenience  and  cost       The  public  parks  and  park  connectors  in   Singapore  are  a  haven  for  fitness  buffs  b oth   young  and  old.  Park  connectors  link  one  park  to   another  so  you  can  choose  from  slow  walk,   brisk  walk,  jogging  or  cycling  along  the   connectors  or  parks  right  in  your   neighbourhood.  The  tracks  along  the   connectors  are  all  marked  so  you  can  keep  track   of  the  distance  you  cover  every  day.  In  addition   to  that,  there  are  exercise  stations  with   equipment  to  workout  your  arms,  legs,  hips  and   even  benches  to  work  out  your  abs!  And   because  you’re  a  retiree  you  can  do  this   workout  at  off  peak  hours  like  weekday   mornings  or  early  evenings  so  you’re  not   competing  with  the  after  work  crowd  in  the   evenings  or  weekends.  To  add  some  spice,  you   can  throw  in  a  trip  to  the  nature  reserve  or  the   beach.  Not  only  do  you  get  a  workout,  but  you   meet  people,  have  a  chat  and  enjoy  the  flora   and  fauna  and  birds  and  bees.  And  if  you’re   lucky  to  be  living  near  a  river,  you  have  the   company  of  kingfishers,  turtles  and  monitor   lizards  and  the  occasional  migratory  birds.  

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Youtube Exercise  and  Yoga  Workout     4  stars  for  convenience  and  cost  and  1  star  for  excitement     You  know  that  you  can  look  u p  the  Youtube  for  almost  anything  and  this  is  my  go  to  when  I  need  to   add  some  variety  to  my  workout.  The  cost  is  almost  free  as  you  only  need  to  have  Internet   connection  to  view  the  videos.  While  it  is  convenient  as  you  can  do  the  workout  from  h ome  or   anywhere  if  you  have  a  mobile  phone,  you  might  not  have  the  space  or  all  the  necessary   equipment:  for  example,  you  might  not  have  the  space  at  h ome  to  do  the  yoga  or  do  not  h ave  the   right  weights  to  do  your  strength  training.     As  I  like  vigorous  exercise  and  the  different  terrain,  I  find  following  a  routine  from  video  rather  dull   and  u se  it  on  d ays  when  I  cannot  go  out  because  of  bad  weather  or  when  I’m  travelling.      

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Pedometer App     5  stars  for  convenience,  cost  and   excitement   This  is  my  latest  love.  Ever  since  I  met  a   woman  who  told  me  she  lost  close  to  5  kgs   from  walking  10,000  steps  everyday  for  six   months,  I  was  sold.  The  best  part,  like  the   walk  in  the  park,  it  is  absolutely  free!  You   don’t  n eed  to  b uy  one  as  you  can  just   download  the  App  onto  your  mobile  phone.   The  App  does  more  than  count  your  steps;   it  measures  the  distance  you  travel,  the   time  you  spent  on  workout,  whether  you   were  running  or  walking,  the  calories  burnt   and  even  your  heart  rate!  Your  daily  activity   is  measured  and  recorded  so  that  you  can   monitor  your  own  performance,  which  is   based  on  the  workout  recommended  for   you  based  on  the  bio-­‐data  you  fill  in.     For  my  Samsung  phone  I  d ownloaded  the         S  Health  App  and  you  can  search  for  more   free  apps  for  your  phone  type.   And  what  I  love  most  is  that  it  prompts  me   on  my  lazy  days  and  on  the  days  I  do  well,         I  get  cheery  messages  like  “your  Best  Day   Yet”  or  “Today  you  reached  a  n ew  highest   step  count.  That’s  amazing.”  This  App  is   here  to  stay  on  my  phone  for  a  very  long   time.  I’ve  already  converted  a  few  women   to  join  me  on  this  amazing  journey,  it’s   literally  taking  steps  for  better  health!  

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travel:

the spicy route

Top 5 Tips to Travel Smart in Style With so  many  different  options  available  for  travel,  it’s  h ard  to  imagine  n ot  travelling  once  you  retire.   Here  are  my  top-­‐five  tips  to  travel  in  style  while  not  breaking  the  budget.  

1

Buy travel  insurance  

This is  an  absolute  MUST,  n on-­‐negotiable.  You  never  know  when  you  can  get  injured,  have  an  accident  or   sometimes  even  die  while  on  a  holiday.  The  medical  costs  in  some  countries  can  be  very  high  and  having   travel  insurance  will  help  off-­‐set  costs  should  you  need  medical  attention  while  travelling.  The  cost  of   repatriating  a  deceased  can  range  from  $6,000  to  $20,000  as  you  need  to  factor  is  the  local  costs  of  a   mortuary  space,  the  next  flight  available  and  other  costs  involved.  On  a  trip  to  Boracay  in  two  years  ago,   a  huge  man  shoved  me  and  I  fell  on  my  luggage,  breaking  the  handle  on  my  luggage  and  my  spectacles   and  b ecause  I  had  my  travel  insurance,  I  was  compensated  for  the  damages.  This  is  an  area  that  many   people  neglect  and  I  really  urge  you  to  spend  that  little  bit  more  and  get  the  insurance  as  you  never  know   when  you  might  need  it  as  we  are  more  prone  to  falls  and  injuries  as  we  grow  older.     Enough  of  the  sombre  bits  and  n ow  to  the  exciting  tips  to  plan  your  trips.  

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2

Travel Off  peak  

This makes  sense,  doesn’t  it?  Since  you  are  retired,  there  is  no  need  for  you  to  travel  during  the   peak  seasons  like  school  holidays  or  festive  seasons.  It’s  cheaper  if  you  go  during  the  end  of  a   season  as  most  of  the  revellers  would  have  had  their  fill  during  the  peak,  paying  all  the  high  prices   and  the  business-­‐owners  would  have  made  their  nice  profits  and  will  be  a  little  more  willing  to   give  you  a  bargain  for  being  the  “last  kid  on  the  block.”  One  trip  to  Phuket,  I  went  at  the  end  of   the  rainy  season,  a  good  3  weeks  before  the  h igh  season  started  and  I  p aid  h alf  prices  for  almost   everything.  Yes,  I  didn’t  get  to  snorkel  much  as  the  waters  were  still  choppy  in  some  areas  so  we   spent  less  time  on  the  sea  and  more  time  getting  massages  and  eating  and  drinking.  You’d  be   amazed  that  you  can  save  at  least  40%  on  flights,  hotels  and  sightseeing  when  you  travel  off-­‐peak.    

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Book 4-­‐6  months  in  advance  

Again, since  you’re  retired  and  d on’t  have  work  to  worry  about,  you  can  always  plan  your   holidays  way  in  advance.  Flights  and  hotels  are  cheaper  and  sometimes  you  can  get  the   premium  deals  for  less  than  the  premium  price.  On  a  recent  multi-­‐city  trip  to  India,                             I  booked  my  airfare  4  months  before  my  trip  and  was  quoted  $1000  for  a  return  trip  ticket   and  was  told  that  if  I  topped  up  just  $400,  I  could  get  to  the  Business  class!  That  was  a  no-­‐ brainer.  So  Mum  and  I  travelled  in  comfort,  had  access  to  all  the  airport  lounge  facilities   and  also  extra  10kg  check-­‐in  luggage  allowance  which  meant  I  didn’t  have  to  lug  a  cabin   bag  around!  My  84-­‐year  old  Mum  gave  this  trip  a  thumbs-­‐up  as  she  could  stretch  her  legs   and  h ave  a  lie-­‐down  d uring  the  flight  and  best  of  all,  she  had  a  room  with  a  single  bed   where  she  had  a  short  nap  while  we  were  in  transit  at  Delhi  airport.  Hotels  and  especially   smaller  chains  or  family  run  motels  are  also  h appy  to  accommodate  early  bookings  that   are  paid  upfront  and  are  happy  to  give  you  a  discount.  Sometimes  you  just  need  to  give   them  a  call  to  negotiate  with  the  owner.  

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Travel  with  another  couple  

Four is  a  good  number  for  travelling  for  p urely  mathematical  reasons  as  you  save  money  on  sightseeing   and  food.  If  you  hire  a  car  for  sightseeing  or  hop-­‐on  to  a  taxi,  the  vehicle  will  always  take  a  maximum  of   four  passengers  and  you  are  charged  for  the  use  of  the  vehicle  regardless  of  the  number  of  people.  So   the  cost  of  the  taxi  or  car  is  spread  across  four  people.  As  you  grow  older,  you  would  also  notice  that   you  can  no  longer  eat  as  much  as  you  could  when  you’re  younger  and  you  want  to  try  the  different   variety  but  you’re  limited  by  what  you  can  stomach.  As  a  group  of  four,  you  can  easily  choose  a  three   different  meals  and  share  it  –  not  only  do  you  save  costs,  but  you  each  get  to  try  out  three  different   types  of  food  at  every  meal.  

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5

Book  h otels  with  Wifi  &  Breakfast  (possible  Club  room)  

Last week,  my  husband’s  nephew  was  in  town  with  his  girlfriend  and  they  stayed  at  one  of  the  most   talked  about  hotel  in  Singapore.  The  room  was  priced  at  $500  per  night  and  it  did  NOT  come  with   breakfast!!  That  was  an  absolute  shocker  for  all  of  us  and  that  conversation  dominated  the  discussion  at   the  dinner  table.  How  can  a  hotel  charge  you  $500  a  n ight  and  not  give  you  breakfast?  The  two  things               I  always  look  for  when  I  book  a  room  is:  there  must  be  Wifi  in  the  room  and  there  must  be  breakfast.  My   husband  and  have  had  situations  where  Wifi  was  only  available  at  the  lobby;  very  inconvenient.  On  one   trip  to  the  Philippines,  the  Wifi  was  only  available  at  the  Business  Centre,  which  closes  at  6  p.m.  daily  and   I  had  to  sit  outside  the  Business  Centre  every  night  to  send  messages  to  my  husband!  On  another  trip,   the  hotel  we  were  booked  in  was  far  away  from  any  civilisation  and  we  were  pretty  much  stuck  on  the   resort  where  the  meals  were  $90  per  person!  Luckily  for  us,  our  reservation  came  with  free  breakfast  so   we  sat  at  the  breakfast  table  till  11  a.m.,  ate  till  totally  satiated  and  relaxed  in  the  afternoons.  That  way   we  only  spent  on  one  meal.     Sometimes,  for  an  additional  $100  or  $150  you  can  get  a  Club  room  which  I  highly  recommend  if  you  like   to  have  a  drink  or  more.  Club  room  gives  you  a  quiet  place  to  sit  and  read  while  you  have  a  cup  of  tea  in   the  afternoon  and  a  wine  or  beer  in  the  early  evenings.  Most  Club  room  deals  come  with  afternoon  tea   with  a  variety  of  cakes  and  sandwiches,  free  flow  of  alcohol  with  bites  for  two  to  three  hours  in  the   evening  and  free  flow  of  non-­‐alcoholic  beverages  throughout  the  day.  In  one  hotel  we  stayed  last  August,   we  paid  $400  a  night  for  Club  room  and  the  food  at  the  afternoon  tea  and  with  the  evening  drinks  was   equivalent  to  proper  meals,  so  we  didn’t  have  to  spend  on  food  at  all.  And  champagne  at  breakfast  too!     I  find  this  to  be  very,  no  extremely,  practical  because  when  you’re  older,  you  sometimes  want  to  have  an   early  night  and  having  access  to  the  Club  Lounge  gives  you  that  h oliday  feel  as  you  are  taken  care  of  in   the  comfort  and  more  importantly,  safety  of  your  own  hotel.  If  you’ve  had  a  little  too  much  to  drink  (like  I   did  on  2  occasions),  you  just  waddle  off  to  your  room  for  a  snooze.  This  is  also  a  very  good  choice  if   you’re  a  group  of  women  travelling  on  your  own  to  an  unfamiliar  place  and  are  not  sure  if  it’s  safe  to  be   out  at  night  drinking  on  your  own.  

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seeds of inspiration:

where women inspire women

As this  edition  is  about  retirement  and  how  to  retire  happily,  I  want  to  leave  you  with  the  words  one  of   our  past  contributor,  Averil  M aher,  shared  with  us  in  her  article;  something  h er  mother  told  her  the  very   first  time  she  left  home  to  travel  overseas.  And  this  couldn’t  b e  more  true  as  we  age  –  we  need  to  be   smart  about  protecting  our  finances.  

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…I specialise  in  Transitional   Transformation  Coaching  for  women  in   transition;  to  smoothen  the  transition   period,  to  give  clarity  and  equip  you  with   skills  to  move  effortlessly  to  the  next  phase.   My  coaching  philosophy  is  to  take  you  from   being  a  blunt  tool  to  the  sharpest  tool  in  the   shed…     Rachpal  Kaur  Tulsi  

Reigniting Personal Belief; Reclaiming Personal Power Rachpal Kaur Tulsi Small Business Consultant www.oneasiacoach.com

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A dash of spice issue April 2016 Issue 8  
A dash of spice issue April 2016 Issue 8  
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