Stories Of Impact
Why Support Sports with Philanthropy?
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Stories Of Impact

Stories Of Impact

Why Support Sports with Philanthropy?

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While philanthropy traditionally focuses on providing direct aid to those in need, its impact extends far beyond mere charity. Singapore owes much of its early development to philanthropists who made social investments in infrastructure, systems and people. In the case of sports, it can also be a driving force for national bonding and societal progress, nurturing a society where every member can thrive.

Singapore Badminton Players Loh Kean Kew and Yeo Jia Min posing with donor Karim Family Foundation at badminton court
L to R: Martin Andrew (SBA), Loh Kean Yew, Grace Chiong (KFF), Cindy Karim (KFF), Yeo Jia Min, Ashley Chan (CFS), Darrel Lim (CFS), Alan Ow (SBA)

While philanthropy traditionally focuses on providing direct aid to those in need, its impact extends far beyond mere charity. Singapore owes much of its early development to philanthropists who made social investments in infrastructure, systems and people. In the case of sports, it can also be a driving force for national bonding and societal progress, nurturing a society where every member can thrive.

Sports can unite the nation. It goes beyond gender, age and other factors, and brings us together. During COVID-19, Loh Kean Yew won the Badminton World Federation World Championships. That gave Singapore a lift in spirits. It gave everyone something to cheer about while we were cooped up at home.

In addition to fostering a sense of national pride, achieving success at international competitions serves to enhance Singapore’s global reputation. A vibrant competitive sports scene not only offers youths an alternative avenue to success but also yields numerous trickle-down benefits for community sports. These include promoting healthy lifestyles, instilling discipline in young individuals, and inspiring communities to embrace active living.

“Traditionally, sports development might be viewed as a national duty and the responsibility of government bodies,” says Ms Cindy Karim, principal of the Karim Family Foundation, a philanthropic foundation which contributes to sports development, arts & culture, mental health, and education. The family believes that philanthropy paired with government efforts can have a multiplier effect.

Support from the Karim Family Foundation 

In late 2021, the Karim family approached CFS to explore ways to support sports in Singapore. Ms Karim says, “We felt a deep concern for the underrepresentation of Southeast Asian athletes on the global stage.” Together with her father Bachtiar Karim, mother Dewi Sukwanto and brother Chayadi Karim, she established the Karim Family Foundation with the support of CFS.

When Loh Kean Yew won the BWF World Championships in December 2021, the Karim family asked CFS to facilitate a $200,000 contribution to the champion to support him and celebrate his achievements. “It takes much courage and sacrifice to dedicate oneself to pursuing excellence in badminton as a career. We hope that with our support, our national shuttlers won’t have to worry too much about the financial aspect. We hope they can be duly rewarded and celebrated for their achievements and focus all their energy on writing their own success story in time to come,” says Ms Karim.

When asked why she and her family chose to support badminton, Ms Karim says, “Growing up between Indonesia and Singapore, we have always felt a strong affinity to badminton as a sport. It has become a personal passion and mission to make badminton more widely known in professional sports.”

Challenges in Competitive Badminton

The Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) is the governing body for badminton in Singapore. It oversees the development of competitive badminton in Singapore and is dedicated to nurturing talent. Mr Ow, the CEO of SBA explains, “To reach world-class competition standards, players need to train and participate in competitions to develop their skills. Because there is only a small pool of players to compete against in local tournaments, overseas tournaments are essential for exposure to a wide range of high-calibre competitors.” However, overseas competitions require resources. Teams need sports and conditioning coaches and physiotherapists to accompany them. Expenses such as airfares, accommodations and tournament entry fees add to the hefty cost. Aspiring players often have to bear some of these expenses personally, which can be a barrier to realising their full potential.

Training and competition expenses are not the only financial constraints that players have. To succeed, competitive players must put in the hours, which frequently means committing to half a day of training, six days a week. The high training demands mean players end up sacrificing their studies or work, which can add to the financial strain.

Nurturing Talent in a Conducive Environment

CFS works closely with charity partners and donors to identify underserved needs that align with donors’ philanthropic goals. Working closely with the Karim family and the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA), CFS helped structure a funding arrangement that drives impact and excellence for future badminton stars. In May 2023, the Karim Family Foundation (KFF) donated $600,000 to fund the KFF-SBA Players’ Development Programme for three years. “We wish to support SBA’s ambitious efforts to elevate the sport in Singapore and internationally, and to build a strong pipeline of players. Our funding of the Players’ Development Programme is aimed at grooming players and enabling them to have as much exposure as possible by competing at the highest levels internationally,” says Ms Karim. Mr Ow estimates that the grant from KFF supports training and expenses for overseas competitions and training camps for about 40 players. The increased funding is expected to enable players to compete in approximately 50% more tournaments a year.

In addition to funding the development programme, the Karim family also contributed to the local competition scene as title sponsors of the KFF Singapore Badminton Open 2023, which brings world-class players to Singapore. “Through the excitement and hype of the event, we hope it will inspire future players,” says Ms Karim of KFF’s philanthropic strategy.

Championing Philanthropy for Sports

We hope that our work starts a perpetuating cycle of giving and support, and that with more philanthropic organisations coming forward, our national sports can earn its place amongst the reputable, celebrated sports of the world. Enabling players to achieve greater heights on the global stage bolsters Singapore’s standing as a vibrant community with talent and opportunities. We hope that in the long run, this effort will bring more exposure to the emerging talents within Southeast Asian professional sports.

She adds, “The process of setting up a Donor Advised Fund with CFS is simple, and donors can leverage the CFS team’s network, knowledge and expertise to be introduced to the right organisation that aligns with their philanthropic priorities. Having this option helps lower the barriers to entry and makes philanthropy more accessible.”

The competition was organised by City Harvest Community Services Association and received support from FUN! Fund, a Community Impact Fund jointly established by the Community Foundation of Singapore and the Agency for Integrated Care, with the aim of addressing social isolation among the elderly.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of National Development Mr Tan Kiat How attended the event. He encouraged the elderly to stay physically and mentally well, as well as urging them to participate in community activities and enjoy their golden years together.

Learn more about FUN! Fund at https://www.cf.org.sg/fun-fund/.

 

The programme provides the children with a non-threatening platform to connect with peers and have positive conversations. In addition, it exposes them to different people who can assist to broaden their perspectives.

L.S., a volunteer with the Reading Odyssey programme @ Spooner Road

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

现年92岁的胡锦盛是最年长的参赛者。自2017年退休后,他几乎每天都到活跃乐龄中心报到,从此爱上了玩拉密,每次可玩上三个小时,在中心是“常胜将军”。

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The Straits Times – PR gives back by boosting senior welfare

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Mr Govind Bommi posing infront of the camera advocating for giving back to the community with elderly people in the back

After 20 years in this country, which he now calls home and where he was able to start and grow a successful business in water filtration, Mr Govind Bommi thought it was time to give back.

He called his lawyer in 2015, and said he wanted to start his own charity fund.

“My lawyer asked me whether I was ready to put in the time and resources to run my own trust fund,” said the 71-year-old permanent resident originally from Bangalore, India. “He asked me not to rush into it.”

The lawyer asked him to contact the Community Foundation of Singapore instead.

He told the foundation he intended to support eldercare services as he felt an affinity for a sector with growing needs.

“I am also a senior, I feel I can do something.”

Mr Bommi is married to a Singaporean. He came to Singapore more than 20 years ago to work for a multinational and decided to settle down here. He has two children and five grandchildren who are living overseas.

Foundation staff took him around to view nursing homes and rehabilitation centres.

A visit to the Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre in Tampines left an impression. “The centre helps seniors discharged from hospitals get back on their feet. Their work is meaningful,” he said.

In March 2016, Mr Bommi set up a $250,000 fund under the care of the foundation to support the centre.

He has since pledged to increase his donation to $1 million over several years to support programmes run by the centre.

Besides making the donation, he also visits the centre every Thursday morning as a volunteer to keep the seniors company. Having the foundation run his donation fund gives him more time to volunteer at the centre, he said.

“Making a one-time donation is easy, but committing time to volunteering is harder.”

When asked why he volunteers then, he replied with a laugh: “Volunteering is more fun.”

Read more.

Photo: The Straits Times

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The competition was organised by City Harvest Community Services Association and received support from FUN! Fund, a Community Impact Fund jointly established by the Community Foundation of Singapore and the Agency for Integrated Care, with the aim of addressing social isolation among the elderly.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of National Development Mr Tan Kiat How attended the event. He encouraged the elderly to stay physically and mentally well, as well as urging them to participate in community activities and enjoy their golden years together.

Learn more about FUN! Fund at https://www.cf.org.sg/fun-fund/.

 

The programme provides the children with a non-threatening platform to connect with peers and have positive conversations. In addition, it exposes them to different people who can assist to broaden their perspectives.

L.S., a volunteer with the Reading Odyssey programme @ Spooner Road

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

现年92岁的胡锦盛是最年长的参赛者。自2017年退休后,他几乎每天都到活跃乐龄中心报到,从此爱上了玩拉密,每次可玩上三个小时,在中心是“常胜将军”。

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Stories Of Impact

Life after winning the 2020 Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award: Natalie Koh’s pursuit of a career in musical excellence

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a woman playing a violin

Winning the Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award in 2020 was a pleasant surprise for talented violinist Natalie Koh, who was not usually recognised for her solo performances and had to prepare for the Award’s audition just after last year’s circuit breaker without any formal instruction.

“I am deeply honoured to have received the Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award in 2020. Violin playing has always been something that I am very passionate about, although my growth and achievements have not always been a given,” says Natalie. 

“A lot of conscientious and diligent work was put into moulding myself into the musician that I am currently and that I am proud to be.”

Since then, the budding musician has kept herself busy and forged determinedly ahead in her musical career. These included performing in digital concert recordings, teaching the violin at Forte Musicademy as a private violin teacher, and engaging with the special needs community through various community art activities.

Apart from keeping a hectic schedule as a performer, Natalie also spends much time imparting her love of music to the next generation of budding musicians — serving as a Teaching Assistant in her Alma Mater, the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, and as an Assistant Director for classical music concert recordings and productions by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, alongside other local organisations.

The promising young musician was also able to present her solo recital at the Awards, for which she was extremely excited and thankful for, as her graduation recital was put off last year due to the pandemic’s restrictions. “Overall, I would say that my recital was a success, and I hope that I fared well as a representative on behalf of the Award and the music community,” Natalie recalls with pride.

The Award’s prize money has enabled Natalie to realise her dreams of going overseas to attain a Master’s in Violin Performance, which will broaden her horizons as a performing violinist, music educator and community artist. She hopes to take the experience and knowledge gained from the two years abroad and expand her musical practice upon her return to Singapore.

Natalie recognises that living and studying in Chicago will prove to be expensive, but with the $10,000 award money, she will be able to defray some of her living costs. With the reduced financial burden, the young musician will be able to focus on learning to the fullest of her abilities in the States.

The Goh Soon Tioe Award has supported yet another promising young musician in paving her way to a brighter future towards a career in music, and adding another valuable gem to the flourishing music scene in Singapore.

“I am deeply thankful for the recognition and the support from the Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award and the Community Foundation of Singapore. This Award has raised my profile as an emerging musician in Singapore, and I sincerely hope that I can be one to shape and grow the classical music scene in Singapore,” says Natalie.

Read and learn more about Natalie’s first steps into music and how she grew to become the talented musician that she is here.

If you would like to contribute towards the arts or support causes that you are passionate about, please visit our website at https://www.cf.org.sg/

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Why billionaires are setting up family offices in Singapore

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a person standing on a boardwalk in front of a glass dome building

Asia’s billionaires are getting ready to hand over to the next generation, and Singapore is benefiting from the rush to set up new or satellite family offices with an increased focus on philanthropy and impact investing.

In recent months, Horizon Ventures, a private investment firm associated with Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing opened an outpost in Singapore.* Oppenheimer Generations, the family office of former De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer, is also in Singapore while Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio and Google co-founder Sergey Brin both set up shop in late 2020.

Singapore’s Economic Development Board is doing everything in its power to reel them in. It has enlisted the private banking sector to help family offices’ interest in philanthropy and impact investing, which seeks to generate a social or environmental impact as well as a financial return.

Two years ago, the Singapore government introduced variable capital companies (VCC), fund management vehicles with tax incentives and other benefits. These are appealing for family offices, particularly those with an interest in changing the world.

“Philanthropy is the new black in Asia,” said one private banker who advises the wealthy. “Singapore prides itself on being a financial hub and to keep that reputation, it needs to set the pace on new trends like green investing and impact investing.”

Asia is behind Europe and the United States, where philanthropy has long been a business that’s expected to generate measurable returns and the likes of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have pioneered impact investing.

This is likely to shift with the looming generational change in wealth, said Peter Golovsky, managing director and head of family office services, Asia Pacific, at Alvarium, a global multi-family office.

“Some 85 per cent of Asia’s billionaires are first-generation wealth creators, founders of family businesses.

“Their average age is 65, so they are looking at succession strategies. Family office allocations in impact investments sit at around 12 per cent, but we expect that to double in the next few years, and it will be driven by the next generation.

“Singapore has attracted a lot of wealth through structures like VCCs and other tax incentives, including residency options and paths to citizenship.

“As global families and entrepreneurs, including philanthropists, think about where they want to set up and run their businesses, and where they want to live, I think there will be another step up,” he said.

One measure of interest in social investing is a sold-out conference on the topic, organised by industry group AVPN, that kicks off next Tuesday in Bali.

Despite this increased interest, impact investing structures have a long way to go, according to Mette Ekeroth, managing director and group head of philanthropy at the North-East Family Office, who will be at the conference.

NEFO was established by the founders of the Pandora jewellery brand, Winnie Liljeborg and Per Algot Enevoldsen, in Denmark in 2013. They opened a Singapore office three years later.

“Regulatory systems all over the world treat philanthropy and investment as very, very separate. Now everyone is realising there is an area between these two categories where a lot of the solutions lie to the problems the world faces,” Ms Ekeroth said.

“I have faith that Singapore is going to be the place that comes up with the structures we need. The authorities are engaging and consulting as they work multiple angles to try and address the gaps. We’ve seen in the past that when Singapore really wants to develop an ecosystem, it does, and it does it at high speed.”

*Clarification: After this story was published, CK Asset Holdings has advised Horizons Ventures is owned by Ms Solina Chau. Mr Li has collaborated with the firm on technology projects.

This article was originally published in The Australian Financial Review here.

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“最后一桶金”规划新现象 别让财富添乱使尽不留遗产

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a person in a wheelchair throwing coins into a bag of money

这些年来越来越多人把部分遗产捐给慈善,甚至出现鼓吹“现在就花掉孩子遗产”的SKIN(Spend Your Kids’ Inheritance Now的缩略语)“使尽”现象。

世界首富之一比尔·盖茨多次承诺,把1130亿美元(约1595亿新元)财产几乎全捐给慈善,三个孩子各获1000万美元;他坚信留大笔钱给孩子绝对不是好事。

沃伦·巴菲特则宣布,一分也不留给三个孩子,会捐出所有给慈善。

本期《实况报道》请擅长信托和遗产事务的律师、法学教授和老年学学者谈SKIN“使尽”现象,并访问退休人士,了解不准备留太多给孩子的原因。

“不要留太多给孩子”的趋势渐长,有越来越多找律师办理遗嘱或信托事务的人,把部分遗产捐给慈善,或自设信托,以便更好地管理所支持的慈善事业。

两名擅长处理信托和遗产事务的资深律师告诉《联合早报》,积极行善的客户越来越多,一些甚至已定期捐钱给慈善机构,而不是等到过世后才这么做。

王律师事务所(WongPartnership LLP)专业人士及私人客户争议业务组负责人沈木英律师说,不论是用在自己身上、当礼物送给孩子或至爱,或是捐给慈善机构,财富在一个人还活着时是最有价值的。

“有的施予者享受从金钱得到的快乐,比如孩子或慈善机构向他表达感激之情,或通过捐钱做了好事而乐在其中。

“从这个角度,我可以明白为何一些人想在有生之年花光一切。”

她就见过一分钱也不给孩子的父母,有的因为跟孩子的关系恶劣,有的则因孩子挥金如土。相反的,也有继承遗产者积极行善,打算捐出大部分遗产。

福鼎律师事务所(Fortis Law Corporation)创办人陈子佳律师说,把遗产留给孩子是根深蒂固的传统价值观,但“花光”个人财产的做法也有益处。

他指出,父母留遗产给孩子理由很多,比如,在孩子成长期间常“缺席”,所以用遗赠示爱或表达愧疚。

有的因孩子是特需者,就用遗产设立信托,让孩子在他们离世后生活有照应。

“不论什么原因,孩子可能真的需要帮助,而留遗产给孩子的做法本身就能教导孩子施予的价值。”

沈木英说,虽然有客户认为孩子有一半的可能性会乱花遗产,但也有客户认为给孩子一笔钱,将有助于孩子取得成功。

 

设立慈善基金更好掌控财富

她指出,多数客户“守住”财富,是为孩子所需。一旦满足了孩子的需求,他们便会开始捐出行善。

不过,她留意到捐献者更有主动权,“与其直接捐钱给慈善机构,更多客户设立自己的慈善基金,以便更好掌控”。

她的一个客户选择帮某慈善机构设立医疗设施,再给予资助,而不是直接捐钱。

一些则每年把资产或生意赚取的部分收入捐给慈善,另一些把部分资产纳入慈善信托或基金,为慈善机构创造收入。

“还有一些给每个孩子一份财产,也给一份做慈善。也有客户设条件,要孩子先捐出所得遗产的10%,才能继承剩余的90%。”

沈木英指出,微软创办人比尔·盖茨累积的财富是子孙享用不尽的,所以设立慈善基金。但一般打工族以养家育儿为己任,慈善可能不是第一选项。

“事实是,越没钱的人,越要孩子过得比他们好,所以想方设法留下资产,但我认为帮孩子,不该凌驾于自己的需求和生活享受之上。”

陈子佳也认为,必须在SKIN和留遗产之间,取得平衡。

“我已立好遗嘱,也制定了持久授权书(LPA)。我确保自己有足够资源办好三件事:应付医药和退休开销,以及清还所有贷款和债务。”

 

孩子主动要求不要遗产

这些年来,陈子佳看到不少客户定期捐钱给慈善机构,有的甚至把遗产全捐给慈善。有些是因为他们的孩子能自给自足、明理和善良,叫父母留给较不幸者。

“我看到许多孩子,坚持父母不要列他们为受益人,把遗产转给有需要者或其他家庭成员,我就是其中一个。”

陈子佳坦言,他叫母亲把遗产留给兄弟姐妹、侄甥和慈善,“我希望以后我的孩子,也叫我不要列他们为遗产受益人”。

他感激父亲给他最好的教育:“做人要舍得。大舍大得,小舍小得,不舍不得。”

 

个案① :防子女争财产 卖掉大洋房

为了避免留下房子惹“后患”,七旬退休专业人士数年前毅然卖掉住了几十年的大洋房,搬到市区公寓,口袋满满地与老伴安享晚年。

问有三个子女的林大悟(化名),这样做难道不心痛不可惜?难道没想过把洋房留给其中一个孩子?

他语重心长说道,屋子太旧了,修理或重建都得花钱,租出去的话,租户不一定会爱惜房子,有问题也会来烦你。

“留的话,留给哪一个孩子?大家一定有不同意见。继承的人也未必喜欢屋子和地点,还是卖了干脆。我虽然知道房价以后会涨,但留下也有后患,除非你只有一个孩子。”

林大悟说,把财富传给下一代的传统观念是时候该调整了,但也不是改变一切,一分钱都不给儿孙。

他认为,给孩子的最佳礼物就是按他们的能力,让他们接受最好的教育,在有生之年尽可能帮助孩子,使他们可以自立、自组家庭,过安定的日子。

“给他们过多遗产,他们不会知道那些是你一辈子省吃俭用积攒而来的。钱到了他们手上变成零用钱,一下子就花光了,有时还嫌不够。”

“老年人必须确保能经济自立。钱在你口袋,总比在别人口袋好。你的辛苦钱一天不用,不花在自己身上,都还不是你的。但这么说也不是鼓励你挥霍乱花。”

他也说,儿女在事业和家庭起步阶段都须要帮助,但每个的情况不同,不要顾虑分配公平与否。

“最好孩子不需要你帮太久。他们有本事的话,其实不需要你,没本事,你即使有大把钱,也会惹争端。”

他感叹,有的父母尚在,手足之间就为了争夺资产而闹上公堂。“沒教好啊。父母尚未去世已经如此,不敢想象两老不在后,会搞出什么乱象。”

他眼看一些已故名人的孩子对簿公堂,“家家有本难念的经啊!身居高位的他们已是如此,平民百姓如我更不用说了。”

他指出,自己的孩子即使多好多孝顺,他们的伴侶却是未知数,“许多纷争都由此而起,因为他们对你这个长辈以及其他家庭成员的感情不同,到头来是利字当道。”

林大悟已立了遗嘱并制订LPA。“遗嘱和LPA直接了当,我俩其中一个有事,动产与不动产全交给还在的那一个,不会牵涉下一代。”

他说:“新加坡应该有中高档次、包伙食和提供医疗等服务的退休村,让付得起的老人有私人的服务式住所。”

林大悟的许多海外老年朋友就是这样卖了大房子,把钱用在退休村,有尊严地享受剩余岁月。

林大悟最后再三提醒,每个家庭的情况都不同,关键是老年人要有经济自由。

“不要太早分家产,也不要让他们知道将得到什么。如果孩子一直要钱,不断争吵,就索性捐给可以信任的慈善机构。”

 

个案② :多年沟通与磨合 父母终于安心“花钱”享乐

多年打拼后累积可观财富,年长父母想为儿女规划财产安排未来,但儿女更希望父母专注当下享受生活。两代人为彼此着想却一度引起不愉快,但如今达成共识,老两口放心“花钱”,晚年活出精彩和意义。

陈丽丝(化名,29岁,项目经理)的父母40多年前顶下红山一家小店铺,从小买卖一步步发展。随着公司规模越来越大,陈家的经济条件越来越好,21年前搬入了荷兰村一带的独立式洋房。

“父母特别疼爱我们四个孩子,花钱毫不吝啬。但我们从小目睹父母打拼的精神,也立志像他们一样,努力自力更生。”

陈丽丝说,大哥10年前结婚时打头阵,对想要为新人买房的父母说,以后都不会拿爸妈的钱。兄妹四人借机向父母提出,希望他们能够提早退休,去享受晚年生活。

“记得当时父母的反应很激烈,还问是不是觉得他们老了没能力赚钱养家,让我们哭笑不得。”

对陈丽丝和哥哥来说,父母从小的疼爱、付出和栽培才是最宝贵的财富,再多的遗产也不及看到父母在有生之年开心重要。

经过多年的沟通和磨合,如今年近70的父母终于完全理解儿女的立场,也就遗产事宜达成了共识。

父母在疫情暴发时退休,积极投身义工和慈善。随着边境开放,两人开始出国旅行,尝试年轻时没能享受的体验。

“我们告诉父母,他们最好把所有的钱都花完,不留任何遗憾。他们看到我们事业和生活都有足够保障,也就放心让我们自理。”

妥善安排遗产 儿女父母须坦诚沟通

老年学和信托专家认为,遗产或许不是越多越好,但究竟多少才“合适”、剩余的如何安排,还须要父母和儿女坦诚开放的沟通。

新加坡管理大学法学院教授陈汉吾说,多数新加坡人都要留遗产给孩子,希望子孙过得比上一代好。《回教法执行法令》就规定三分之二遗产须留给包括孩子的受益人。

针对SKIN的趋势,他认为,老练、超高净值者认为,留太多钱给孩子不是祝福而是祸害,“要达到目标努力奋斗,太多钱反而成了障碍,也会一直怀疑人们接近他们是为了钱”。

新加坡新跃社科大学副教授(老年学课程)和体验式教育中心高级专家马学嘉博士说,多数普通收入的家长担心留给孩子太少,因此可能省吃俭用,努力存钱给孩子,给他们带来更多金钱保障。

不过,遗产积累越多,越影响父母的生活质量。

她解释,这种心态和行为源自传统的集体主义(collectivism)价值观。不论是几十人的大家庭或是仅有四五人的核心家庭,成员之间都会考虑共同利益,必要时更是准备牺牲自我利益。

随着我国社会的变迁,家庭结构有所改变,有年轻一代选择单身,即使结婚,也可能计划只养“毛孩”(意宠物)、不要儿女。他们的日常开销因此可能更少,不大需要额外的金钱贴补生活。

马学嘉说,与其父母省吃俭用、拮据度日,相信孩子更乐意看到他们安享晚年,“父母和孩子两代人的观念不同,须要坦诚开放地沟通”。

生老病死是人之常情,但人们或因恐惧而忌讳讨论,孩子该如何开口与父母讨论遗产事宜?

马学嘉强调,每个家庭有个别的相处模式,但最重要的是以父母的意愿为中心。

她分享自己做义工的经验说,一些老人家对立遗嘱所需的程序和考量不了解,儿女就说教似地告诉父母该怎么做,附加自己对遗产的设想和要求,没考虑父母想要怎么安排。

“作为儿女,我们应该帮助父母了解过程,并尊重他们的意愿,在需要时帮助他们完成。”

陈汉吾是新加坡社区基金会(The Community Foundation of Singapore)捐献者指示委员会(Donor Advised Committee)成员,也为本地慈善组织提供咨询。

他说,一些富人觉得生活在危机重重、极度不平等的世界,所以希望捐一些遗产,改善贫困甚至气候问题。

“年轻一代对留遗产给慈善事业相当正面。这一代非常热衷于一些事项,例如气候改变。”

但陈汉吾认为,为慈善捐赠财产不仅是有钱人的专利。儿女如果有一定能力,以父母的名义给学校或大学捐钱设立奖项,也很有意义。“用大概5万元设个奖项,可以纪念死者多年。”

他指出,早前的殖民时期,英国政府没提供足够的社会服务,只能靠社群自发提供援助。

本地著名的华人慈善家就有陈笃生、陈嘉庚、陈六使和李光前,陈汉吾说:“从殖民时期,慈善早就成为新加坡DNA的一部分。”

信用:联合早报©新报业媒体有限公司。复制需要许可

This article was originally published in Zaobao here. Source: Zaobao © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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