SINGAPORE: Mr Loo, a Singaporean Youtuber who shares financial tips with his followers, recently gave a controversial suggestion on Sunday (Jan 21), stating that parents should not treat their children as “dividend stocks”.

“Parents, stop treating your kids as your dividend stocks,” Mr Loo said. “Your retirement is your responsibility and not your children’s. Your CPF, your savings, your dividend stocks, your growth stocks, all these assets must be enough for your own retirement,” he added.

The skyrocketing property prices, coupled with the expensive daily expenses, according to Mr Loo, have hindered the younger generation from living comfortably nowadays. And so he wanted to speak for the youth in his latest YouTube video, saying to parents that they shouldn’t expect their children to give them an allowance when they retire.

While Mr Loo acknowledged that giving monthly allowances to parents as a sign of gratitude and filial piety has long been a tradition among Singaporeans and people in other Asian countries, he said that this custom should not be applied to children nowadays because of how drastically the economy has changed.

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“I would suggest that for parents please love your children enough to relieve them of this burden, now if they give you something, it’s a bonus right. And I encourage children at least show some appreciation to your parents,” he advised.

Cost of living right now is phenomenally painful

Mr Loo stated that, compared to the previous era, which he described as a “breeze,” the cost of living right now is phenomenally painful.

“The cost of living is very very high, especially on property. There is a lethal blow to the kids’ expenses,” he said.

He also compared the salaries and bonuses the older and younger generations received. For example, he said that although he once had a starting pay of $2,300, the company he worked for still gave him a “fat bonus” of $13,800 (worth six months). So, his average salary would still be $3,450 a month.

He added that his salary was not too different from the starting salary of today’s younger generation, which he surmised would be around $4,000 a month. But the bonuses today were “not so fat anymore” like before, and some were just lucky if they even received a 13-month pay.

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Furthermore, he also shared that his dad never earned more than $3,000 but could still amass a considerable fortune by being frugal and putting his money into dividend stocks.

“So actually the salary didn’t increase that much compared that time and my time but the cost of living went up phenomenally. I remembered I applied for my BTO, was around $200,000 and mine was a five-room flat.

A four-room flat BTO right now would be in the range of $300-400,000, but a half a million BTOs are very very common right now. So, it’s double, or more than double,” he said.

Children can show appreciation to parents in other ways

Near the end of the video, Mr Loo also addressed the children and said they should take care of their parents, even if it’s not through giving allowances.

He encouraged them to repay their sacrifices by taking them out for a meal or a holiday.

“Spend more time with your parents, especially when they are old. Bring your children, which is their grandchildren to see them. These acts are a lot more important than financial contribution,” Mr Loo shared his final thoughts before concluding the video.