Tips to Tide Through COVID-19 and Beyond
Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
- John Lennon
The past few months have been unprecedentedly challenging for everyone globally. With the rest of the world going into lock down, Singapore followed suit with the pseudonym “circuit breaker” which is essentially the same as a lock down. Perhaps this was a wise naming decision by the government to avoid mass panic and fear. None of us could have predicted that the Covid-19 situation would worsen to what it is today. These are extraordinary times and our normal ways of life have been completely disrupted. In Singapore, it seems that no one is really spared from the effects of this pandemic - from the government to businesses, households, workers, the self-employed and part-time workers. None of us can predict when things would revert to what it used to be.
Nevertheless, life goes on even in the middle of this pandemic. Bills need to be paid and food needs to be put on the table even if we are now fetching a lower income/ are on unpaid leave/ have lost our jobs.
Though this may seem like dark times for all, let us not lose hope and stand united in the battle against this mysterious virus. Together we can overcome the pandemic’s adverse effects on the global economy. Read on for tips and resources to tide you over this period and beyond. Best part? These cost nothing. As the adage goes, the best things in life are free. Go ahead and use these to your advantage during these extraordinary times.
Free Medical Tele-Consultation
During this time, many of us are avoiding visits to the clinic when we are ill. This is understandable as with our already weakened immune system, it would not be wise to visit clinics where the risk of exposure to the Covid-19 virus is especially high. The long waits only make us more susceptible to viruses in the shared space in clinics.
That’s where telemedicine will revolutionize our experience with healthcare. Healthcare services can now be provided to you virtually thanks to technological advancements. When you only have a slight cold and need some pills and a day off, you only need to download the respective clinic’s app and arrange for an online doctor consultation. For more serious illnesses that require a doctor to physically assess you, you can also arrange for house calls through such apps.
You can now enjoy 10 free consultations from Whitecoat at the comfort of your home and save on the medical consultation fees (which starts from $25).
That’s where telemedicine will revolutionise our experience with healthcare. Healthcare services can now be provided to you virtually thanks to technological advancements. When you only have a slight cold and need some pills and a day off, you only need to download the respective clinic’s app and arrange for an online doctor consultation. For more serious illnesses that require a doctor to physically assess you, you can also arrange for house calls through such apps.
Simply sign up here and get access to these benefits. No purchase required.
Free Covid-19 Insurance
In times like this where the uncertainty causes us the most worry, some insurance companies are providing free additional insurance cover to all eligible customers with immediate effect. This is to bring greater assurance to you and is their way of standing by their promise of helping you and your loved ones live healthier, longer and better lives, especially when it’s most needed.
Do check for your eligibility for your free insurance.
Deferment of Insurance Premium and Home Loan
Time is tough. And the last thing on your mind will be paying your insurance premium. However please do not make hasty decisions and cancel them.
Insurance companies are stepping in to allow for premium deferments during this difficult period of time. To help customers cope, from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020, eligible customers can apply for a 6-month deferment of premiums from insurance companies.
The economic fallout is also likely to impact a handful of Singaporean homeowners who are servicing their home loan as well. From 6 April, borrowers who face financial strain can approach their bank or finance company to apply for a deferment of their housing loan monthly repayments until 31 December.
There will be no interest charged on the deferred principal amount. And no interest will Neither will interest be charged on the interest portion of the deferred payment.
The government has introduced several schemes during the Resilience Budget to alleviate the financial hardship of Singapore’s workers.
Amongst them is the Temporary Relief Fund and the COVID-19 Support Grant. Both these schemes have been set up to help Singapore residents deal with immediate short-term financial challenges during this period.
Do check out for more information.
Free Entertainment At Home
These are challenging times and prolonged staying at home all day can be arduous.
Fortunately, there are different forms of free entertainment to help us battle cabin fever.
Singtel and Starhub will be providing their customers with free previews of world-class channels from live news, world-class documentaries, Asian dramas, animated series and Tamil hits.
There are also various live streams and virtual events happening.
Remember how excited everyone was back in 2019 when we realized there would be 7 long weekends in 2020? Having this many long weekends were a rarity and many of us had plans to make use of this opportunity to travel.
So, what a bummer when we entered 2020 and also entered… a pandemic that would quash all our wonderful travel plans. Thankfully though, we can still travel virtually from the comfort and safety of our own home, enabled by technology. You will find a list of interesting virtual travel tours here.
Refinancing Your Home Loan
Do you know that you can refinance into a SIBOR(Singapore Interbank Offered Rate) home loan for lower interest rates?
To avoid a drastic economic downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Federal Reserve has lowered their interest rates. This in turn causes the SIBOR-loans in Singapore to become cheaper too.
Hold your horses before you go ahead and try to get a cheaper SIBOR home loan though!
There are a few things you need to consider first:
Assess the different spreads charged by respective banks
Once you switch to a SIBOR home loan, you are unable to make a switch back to HDB loan even if you change your mind - so think through it carefully!
Evaluate and rationalize the refinancing costs
Be fully aware of the drawn-out charges of the new package.
We have partnered with an independent mortgage specialist who has helped many of our clients save thousands of dollars on their home loan.
Are you paying more interest than you should for your home loan?
Act Now or your bank may rise your interest rates again before the next Fed rate hike.
Free Online Courses/Workshop/webinar
The best thing you can invest in is yourself
This Covid-19 pandemic has given us the opportunity to have more time to ourselves. While it is important to keep ourselves entertained during this time, don’t forget to keep your mind active and learn new things.
You can get certified for free by renowned universities. Check out the 115 free courses here.
Bonus: We will be having our online webinar to help you get started in investing in equities because this is an unprecedented low season.
One of the key to increasing wealth and live your dream is to have some investment knowledge to get started. However we understand that there is a lot of noise, fear, etc.
Topics will include the following:
Market and Economy Outlook
The Stocks You Can Buy
The Platforms to Look Out For
How You can Plan Out Your Resources
How to Get Started (Beginners Starting Out Guide)
Book Now to get started.
Here is the wake up call and also the golden opportunity to take stock of what you have, what you need, build on your strengths, and work on your weaknesses.
Whether this turbulent time lasts weeks or months, we need to prepare ourselves for a new normal and step ahead of the curve.