As from April 2013 my Journey in Investing is to create Retirement Income for Life till 80 years old for two over market cycles of Bull and Bear.

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This blog is authored by an old multi-bagger blue chips stock picker uncle from HDB heartland!

"The market is not your mother. It consists of tough men and women who look for ways to take money away from you instead of pouring milk into your mouth." - Dr. Alexander Elder

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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

At 77 He Prepares Burgers Earning in Week His Former Hourly Wage

By Carol Hymowitz - Sep 24, 2013

It seems like another life. At the height of his corporate career, Tom Palome was pulling in a salary in the low six-figures and flying first class on business trips to Europe.

Today, the 77-year-old former vice president of marketing for Oral-B juggles two part-time jobs: one as a $10-an-hour food demonstrator at Sam’s Club, the other flipping burgers and serving drinks at a golf club grill for slightly more than minimum wage.

While Palome worked hard his entire career, paid off his mortgage and put his kids through college, like most Americans he didn’t save enough for retirement. Even many affluent baby boomers who are approaching the end of their careers haven’t come close to saving the 10 to 20 times their annual working income that investment experts say they’ll need to maintain their standard of living in old age.

For middle class households, with incomes ranging from the mid five to low six figures, it’s especially grim. When the 2008 financial crisis hit, what little Palome had saved -- $90,000 -- took a beating and he suddenly found himself in need of cash to maintain his lifestyle. With years if not decades of life ahead of him, Palome took the jobs he could find.


Moral of the Story: Must seriously plan for a good Retirement Income For Life!


  1. nowadays parents spending a lot more on their kids :-

    (1) housing loan; some even buy another house just in case their kids cannot afford

    (2) junior college / university school fees

    (3) tuition fees; very necessary if your kids is just average smart and always getting border line marks for tests and ecams

    (4) 15%-20% down payment for their kids new house as they just started work so not enough to pay on their own

    (5) wedding costs for their kids as they just started work so not enough to pay on their own

    You do not have to worry so much during our parents time some 15-25 years ago. But now very different. You have paid so much for your kids on education and living that you have very little savings for yourself. The above are necessary as these are happening to everyone here in Singapore, you, me, neighbours and all others. But have we forgotten that if we can survive and progress much on our own without or not much support from our parents during our young days so can our kids. Young parents should seriously consider savings for their own old age and let the kids handle their own wedding costs and housing down payment by themselves.

  2. Vice president with 6 figure income can't afford to retire and still need to work at old age? It goes to show it does not matter how much you earn but its how much you can keep that is important.

    Old people can't retire in Singapore? It is fast becoming a fact. Take the train or bus in the very early morning before 7am and you will see a lot of old people going to work.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. CW,

    Inspirational story.

    I see a man who took care of his parents and children FIRST despite the early loss of his wife.

    When time came to take care of himself, he did not whine or complain. Or "expect" his children or govt to take care of him.

    He is proud of his independence.

    No job is "beneath" him.

    Practical and realistic.

    Measured in health and relationships, I wish I should be so lucky as him!

  5. "When your horse dies you just have to walk," says the Chinese.

  6. We should go all out to plan and calculate, calculate, calculate and avoid having our children to bring us a new donkey.


  7. Ha! Ha!
    New donkey?
    We are Asians.
    Most Asian parents think their job of parenting is not done until their children can stand on their two feet.
    i think some Ang Moh parents may be the same.
    What if a child is born "handicap" that can never stand on his own two feet?
    Very sad!

  8. Shocked to read former vice president of marketing for Oral-B not having enough for his retirement.

    Vice president of marketing for Oral B is not your average American worker's job le

    Moral of the Story:

    Whatever we earn can never be enough, there will always be demanding and justification for those expenses.

    Budgeting, saving, and investing are basic financial skills to acquire and improve upon throughout our entire working life.

  9. ..... Studies show that people need to visualize the future impact of their savings, like an athlete who trains hard for Olympic gold. He cites a study by New York University assistant professor Hal Hershfield that shows people make better financial decisions on surveys after being shown digitally altered pictures of themselves at an older age. It's like holding up a mirror for people, Rodgers says.

    Read more?


    Now, visualize yourself doing some jobs somewhere in your 70s or doing something actively somewhere else?

    Are you congratulating yourself now for doing what?


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