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Friday, February 26, 2010

Insurance Planning

for quite a while, our insurance coverage/planning (actually, more so hubbie's) has been bugging me.

and the main reason for that is my perception that his policies are "complicated" with riders etc, which i do not fully understand (in terms of what is covered, how much, and for how long). compared to my plain vanilla policies, his were not to my liking.

much as i am quite into finance, investment etc, i seemed to have a fuzzy idea of his policies and must admit that i also did not put alot of effort into reading the policy documents and trying to figure the maze. i may start, but often times it got too much for me that i give up. plus, i WASN"T ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. :(

his policies were bought, suppossedly from a fren where there's some form of trust so i did not dig very much into it and when i was working, really, this was of a rather low priority ... and i believe we are now paying the price for such an attitude. and it is such a pity that hubbie stood by his fren for so many years, cos now it's obvious that he started off on a bad footing where insurance is of concern. ;(

At the end of the day, an insurance agent is concern about his/her own bottomline and also they are pushing the products on one company isn't it? they have their own interests and no matter what financial advisors say about putting their client interests first etc ..... it's difficult to really find someone who is honest, diligent and competent.

i did try to rectify his insurance situation as early as 8 years ago to "plug the hole". but because his early policies details escape me, i never had a full picture and although we did appraoch 2 other financial advisors to conduct a review of our policies, somehow their summary didn't address my concerns.

plus, i believe i wasn't asking the right questions.......

as we got caught up with our lives, for a long while this issue is put on the back-burner but recent years after i stopped working, and with the birth of the lil' one, there was really a pressing need to plug this once and for all. afterall, he is the sole-bread winner, at least for now.

thank God that recently i finally found a fren who is also an agent who did a wonderful job summarising our insurance coverage and status and it really gave me a much needed clearer picture.

i had wanted to write about this because i think it's important to know where one stands in terms of insurance coverage and if you are not getting the help/info you need, then please find someone to help you.

anywayz, i realise that the following are a few pertinent areas that i should bear in mind with respect my current insurance coverag:

1) to what age am i covered? especially for critical illness

case in point, one of hubbie's early policies bought through his fren, the CI coverage expires at age 55. i suppose when we were young and bought policies, age 55 seems quite old and an expiry at that age may have appeared appropriate. but with life expectancy increasing, i suppose there's a real need for us, as the insured to decide if we want to take any action in this case.

and becos we bought the policy so long ago, really some of these details escape us. but when we did the review with 2 previous insurance agents (one i think in 2003 or something and one in 2008, nobody highlighted this point.) maybe they didn't even know cos they may not have reviewed the documents in detail?? i am not sure.

but i would think that if they are aware, they should have brought it up to our attention -- both as a reminder and also to see if we want to take any action.

2) what is the latest benefit figures for my policy? (a simple email/phone call to your insurance company should provide that)

i think this is helpful to see if there's any shortfall in coverage (afterall, a policy bought 15 years ago with whatever projections that the insurance company gave may not live up to the expectation).

and with this information, whether any further action needs to be taken.

3)term and life (i think that's what it's called. essentially, i mean the non-term insurance)

i am not sure what u think, but i believe there's a place for term insurance which is much cheaper for a good coverage.

4) medical insurance
but of course.

just thought of writing down my thoughts ..... as a reminder to myself :))

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We are back to the cold!

after 2 months of "holiday" in hot hot singapore, we are now back in the land of the cold!

what a stark contrast from 30+ degrees celsius to 2 degrees celsius in a matter of 13 hours .... that's the beauty of modern technology. a 13hours flight brings us so far away from home.

well, the flight was pretty smooth :)) thank God.

initially when we got on, i was worried that kaira will be difficult to manage cos she just wants to play ... with the food tray infront of her, with the television screen and everything near her cos everything is so new and exciting!!!

although i was anxious to get her to sleep, we decided to let her play to her heart's content. we were the first few to board the plane, we were on board it i tink around 1015pm. the plane took off on time @ 1055pm and she continued playing ... until 1215am!! we did ask her a few times if she wants to sleep...... and we got the obvious answer "No."

but suddenly, she turned to us and said that she wants to "nite nite". and that's just what she did, laid her on head on the pillow on my lap and within seconds, she was asleep. no need to carry, pat whatever .... no struggling, no crying, no whining.... she surprised us!! :)

and so she slept for around 8-9 hours. after she woke up, it was only another 3 hours or so before we land -- with breakfast and the cartoons to keep her occupied, it wasn't too difficult. wellzzzz, until the last bit, where for no reason she just wanted to cry and so, we had to deal with a whiny, crying toddler for ard 15 minutes... well, not too bad for a 13 hour flight i suppose ;)

the cold, which greeted us upon arrival, was undescribable cold to me.....hahaha, even though it was above 0degrees! the difference was just very great .... and i needed some time to adjust to it.

the little one, i guess she was also adjusting. in fact, she was quite whiny in the house as we were unpacking etc. guess she's also adjusting to the fact that there isn't grandma, grandpa around to entertain her. and suddenly it's back to Mama, Papa and Kaira only.

but after 1 night, she's much better today. happy to explore her long-forgotten toys :)

it's forecasted to be a rainy week this week. haizzz, not what i hoped for but at least the temperatures are inching up so that's good!

these next few days will be packing and cleaning days ... then it's time to reconnect with the few friends we have!

see you end of the year SINGAPORE!!! and all our family and frens.
reporting to 爷爷奶奶, 外公外婆 upon arrival in amsterdam


all wrapped up on the train home.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Singapore River Hong Bao 2010

i am not sure how many years the Singapore River Hong Bao has been in existence. I've never been to one ;p

when we were living in singapore (and without any kids) -- i never felt the desire to visit it .... but somehow being away from home for so long, it changes a person ;)

plus, i thought it would be nice for kaira to see the lanterns and be part of the "festive" mood.

in fact, a couple of days before chinese new year, we went to Chinatown too, to soak in the festive mood. but alas, it was quite hot that day and she was tired and she fell soon after we arrived ;p and since it was so hot, it ended up a very short trip.

anywayz, the river hong bao is a yearly carnival held near the singapore river during chinese new year. it's not very large scale -- there's the lantern display, carnival booths, street hawkers etc. somehow, this year's theme is related to 成都 (the chinese city ChengDu), so the eats were mainly from ChengDu. would have preferred a more local taste :0 wonder what's the theme going to be next year?

because we visited the River Hong Bao after chinese new year, the crowd was bearable. and it was a nice walk from the Esplanade down to the River Hong Bao site.

The highlight of the night must be the fireworks. Yup, u guessed it, the RIver HongBao is not that exciting an event ;P hehehe.






Will i visit the River Hong Bao again? Maybe. Maybe not.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Email Scam

What an experience.

Of having someone hacked into my facebook and email accounts and send out emails to my contacts asking for money.

What a scam. What a lesson.

The whole experience really tired me out. trying to recover my accounts therefore my contacts. (not yet!) trying to inform as many people as possible .... although i'd imagine that most people won't respond to such emails .... the thought of a 0.00000001% possibility still burdens me.

A lesson learnt -- not to take for granted internet security. and to be more vigilant where passwords and access are of concern.

Shall write more when i am in the mood.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Year of the Tiger -- Kaira's Perspective


feasting during reunion dinner





First Day of Chinese New Year -- Joint Performance with cousin Sophia ;)



Day 2 of Chinese New Year with Aunties/Uncles/Granduncles/Grandaunties

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Singapore Flyer

We finally found some time to visit the Singapore Flyer this evening.
We have a list of "to-do"s but we can't seem to get round to accomplishing them!! ;( not sure if we will get to visit the zoo and sentosa before we leave for the Netherlands on the 21st Feb!

Time flies. Yes, soon, we will be going back to the cold.

Shall let the pictures do the talking..... (can't seem to upload pix to slide.com, so here they are ....)





Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Red-Faced

i must have written about my face woes before. the redness that doesn't go away.

anywayz, some time back, i came to the conclusion that i am suffering from Rosacea. i always thought rosacea affects the skin only.

today, while once again reading up on the condition, i realised that it affects the eyes as well. and the symptoms described were spot on with what i always experience! i thought i was suffering from dry-eyes syndrome .... so it seems that rosacea contributed to my eye problems as well.

dryness, blurred vision, recurring styes etc.

ah, it's like epiphany! so this is what i have been suffering from. at least now i know. sometimes it does bother me that i do not know why i am perpetually having styes. or that my vision suddenly becomes blurrer. although of course, knowing the cause doesn't necessarily mean that there is a cure -- cos unfortunately, it seems that there's no cure for rosacea.

so i live with having to manage the "situation".

the reason i am writing this entry is because suddenly last nite, i found my vision to be much blurrer than usual. i diligently put my eye drops at least 2 times a day, every day without fail. in the past i always wonder why is it that there are days when my eyes just seem very much dryer and my vision blurrer. after a while it gets better.

ok, now i have a probrable reason -- the onset of a rosacea "attack".

the redness on my faces seems to be perpetual. but at least the "attacks" on my eyes are less frequent these days.

sometimes i wish the doctors i had consulted in the past were able to shed more light on my "sufferings".

many years ago, i saw a skin specialist, dermatologist they are called i think, and all i got was the usual u have sensitive skin etc etc and prescribed with steriod cream!! i have always wanted to seek an alternative opinion but sometimes with specialists/doctors (even if they come recommended), it can be a hit and miss. i wasn't sure i want to waste time and $$$ and get advice that i can maybe find on the internet?? and be prescribed creams/lotions whatever, that may not necessarily address the problems but only the symptoms.

then the last few years, i have seen several eye specialists. one of them, whom i saw in hong kong, was the worst. put me through a series of tests -- with no conclusive results. he really only wanted to earn the $$$. sought the views of 2 other speciailists (1 in hong kong and the other in singapore) and yes, both concluded that i have very dry eyes and need to manage that. guess the money is well spent in that no other problems were diagnosed and it was just a simple case of dry eyes.

i am resigned to the fact that i am perpertually dry-eyed and red-faced. wish something can be done ..... still looking for the miracle answer. in the meantime, long live the red face!!