Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A WILL - Do You Need One?

Most people would not think about writing a will. Probably because they are not planning to leave this world that fast. But, accidents do happened. A WILL will ensure your assets to be distributed the way you want it to be. Without a will, your dependents might face a lot of issues and difficulties to claim your assets. And the process might takes years, even as long as 8years.

Our neighbour is a lawyer firm. On and off, we saw groups of people, mostly siblings going to or coming out from the lawyer office with sour and bitter face. For those who are willing to share, they said mostly because their parents passed away without a will or arrangement. So, these siblings is fighting for the free money, the assets from their late father. Other than fighting for the money, these siblings also need to pay a huge sum of money as lawyer fees. It's sad to see this situation.

I don't really have much assets, yet :p But, I am thinking to have a will. I believe it's important to have a will especially for married couples and with dependents. Don't you think so?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional - PTPTN

It is now local university and private college registration time. For some parents which might not be able to provide full financial support to their university-going son or daughter, they might not be able to sleep well. But, not too worry, especially for those students who are offered to local university. Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN) provides financial support for Malaysian to further their study. With PTPTN, students will get study loan which cover their course fee, accommodation and other expenses. In short, it is enough for a student to get his diploma or degree. Upon graduation, students will need to pay back the study loan on monthly basis at a low interest rate.

PTPTN is an excellent way to solve financial burden for both parents and students. For more information, please visit PTPTN website.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Registration of Marriage in Kuching

Dave and me just completed our registration of marriage on last Wednesday, 10 June 2009 at Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara, Kuching Branch. In case you are planning to get married and no idea where and how to register your marriage, the notes below might be helpful:

1) Prepare a passport size for both applicants. Preferably with blue background.
2) Prepare a photostate copy of your IC and birth certificate for both applicants.
3) Bring the above with the original IC and birth certificate and go to the nearest Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN). For us, our nearest JPN is at Satok, just above Merry Brown.
4) Both applicants will need to complete JPNKC02 form. Don't worry, the officer will assist you throughout the whole process.
5) Upon completion, the officer will ask you whether you choose to complete the marriage registration at JPN or at church or Chinese association. For us, we choose to complete the marriage registration at JPN.
6) The officer informed us our application will be displayed for 21 days on a medium size notice board, located at the first staircase of Kuching JPN.
7) The officer printed a letter to us, informing us on the marriage registration date and time and also the attire for the marriage registration. You can adjust the date if you can't make it on the date fixed by the officer.
8) On the marriage registration day, go to the same office, bring a long 2 witnesses All must wear formal and for man, must wear necktie. All 4 must bring along their IC as well.
9) Upon arrival, present all documents to the officer. She'll prepare the marriage certificates. There will be a lot of couples. It is based on first come first serve basis.
10) Make payment of RM30.00.
11) Wait for your turn. An officer will call for the applicants name. She will read marriage vows and advice to all 4. Then the groom and bride take turn to read a readily prepare wedding vows.
12) Then all 4 will sign on marriage certificates. The bride and groom will each have a copy of the certificate. You can choose to exchange your wedding rings here as well.
13) And you're married now.

For more information, you can log in to Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara website. For those from Kuching, you may contact these phone numbers which belong to JPN Satok Office: 082-241550 or 082-427877. For those from other area, you may check this website.

Even though the marriage certificates only cost RM30 but these certificates are important part of a married couple. These certificates protect the couple's right.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Do You Have A Spending Plan For Your Wedding?

Recently I had been quite busy preparing for my wedding in Oct 2009. There are so many things to do and so many preparations to make. To name a few, register for marriage, booking for wedding reception, booking for wedding photography, purchasing bedroom set, bedroom renovations, purchasing wedding bands, honeymoon package and so many more. And needless to say a lot of $$$ involved too.

Even though, future husband, Dave and me not planning for a huge and grand wedding, we find that we are spending quite a lot for our wedding. Lucky that we have a spending plan for our wedding. We listed down all expenses for our wedding. We found out, from time to time, there will be new item added to the list. For each item, we have a estimated budget. When we go for wedding shopping, at least we have a budget in mind. Still, some of the item are slightly
more than our estimated budget. So, what we practised is we will weight the importance of the item and the quality as well. If the item is important and with good quality, we'll increase our budget and purchase that item.

So far, our actual expenses is slightly more than our budgeted expenses. We'll try not to be over our budget by 10%. And I am grateful that Dave is s financially wise guy. It makes the whole process much smoother.

So, do you have a spending plan for your wedding? Do share some of your wedding spending plan with me.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Living A Financially Balanced Life

Recently a friend shared a story where her father who is 70+ admitted to hospital due to some serious liver matter. Since her father didn't has much savings, she has to help to pay for the medical expenses which is about RM20K. I can see from her eyes that it's quite painful for her to see her RM20k just fly away from her within such a short period of time. But, I know she loves her father and her love for her father overcame the painful feeling of losing the RM20k.

And I remember an ex-colleague ever shared with me that her uncle had really working very hard throughout his whole life. He would try to save every cents. He would not allow himself to simply spend the hard earned money. He never travel out of his own hometown. Never treat himself life luxuries. And yes, he managed to save a lot of money. By the time he thinks that he should stop saving so hard and it's time to start to enjoy life, he was diagnosed with serious illness. At the end, he didn't even get to enjoy the money he had saved throughout his whole life.

Both stories has sad ending. For the first story, the father didn't have enough saving for his retirement. And thus he had to trouble his daughter for the medical expenses. He's lucky because his daughter is willing to pay for the expensive medical fees. But, nowadays  most son or daughter had barely enough to cover their own expenses. How to expect them to be able to support us in our old years? 

For the second story, the guy had taken financial saving too seriously and thus ended up didn't managed to enjoy his life even though he has saved a lot of $$$.

Thus, I am reminding myself from time to time, to have a proper saving plan and at the same time enjoy little things in life. Best would be include a fun saving fund in my financial planning so that I can enjoy some life luxuries and knowing that I am not burning a hole in my saving fund. That's what I called a financially balance life.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

EPF @ KWSP - Have You Updated Your Nominations?

In my previous post in Mar09, I encouraged EPF @ KWSP accounts holder to nominate their beneficiary in case the member passes away. For this post, I would like to encourage EPF @ KWSP members who had made their nominations to update their nominees from time to time. Perhaps when you first made your nominations, you're still single. And now you're married and maybe with kids. So, it's important for you to update your nominees from time to time.  This is to ensure that the EPF @ KWSP saving goes to the right party. 

Even if you're not planning to amend your beneficiaries, at least pay a visit to EPF counter and check whether your nominations is still there. You never know, sometimes data can be missing from complex system or database.

I am sure you'll not want to be the victim by the missing database or corrupted system. Make it an effort to check your nominations once a year.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Retirement Planning - Will Our EPF @ KWSP Savings Be Enough?

For all workers in Malaysia, every month we have about 23% from our monthly income credited to our EPF @ KWSP accounts. From this 23%, 12% were contributed by employer and 11% contributed by employee. It's about 1/5 of our monthly salary. It sounds like a lot of money isn't it?

Have you actually sit down and have a serious thought about your retirement planning Whether your EPF @ KWSP savings will be enough to cushion you throughout the golden years? If you've started working at 25 years old, never disturb @ withdraw your EPF @ KWSP savings, and save all the ways til you reached 55 years old, maybe your EPF @ KWSP savings can support your retirement years. But, if you've withdrew some of your EPF @ KWSP savings for housing loan, education loan, medical expense and other approved withdrawal, you will have to start planning to save additional $$$ other than your EPF @ KWSP savings. Because the minimum savings in your EPF @ KWSP accounts cannot assure a peaceful and healthy retirement. It's not enough.

Of course the best would be not to disturb your EPF @ KWSP savings and at the same time have other savings or investment to ensure a less financial worries retirement years. I know it's not easy. But, do keep in mind, it's terrible to be old and broke!