Ah… Valentine’s Day - the time of the year when everyone seems to be carrying some sort of bouquet, and the colours red and pink are in vogue.
It is also the time when your single friends start complaining about their dating life (or lack of it), while the married ones may start wondering aloud on whether it is time to have kids.
Here are some tips on how to respond to them:
1) "I can’t seem to find the perfect guy/gal…"
Besides offering suggestions to calibrate expectations, you can also get your friends to check out the Social Development Network’s Singles Network. The network will give registered users access to dating services, personal ads, as well as dating and relationship advice. And in case they’re worried about creeps lurking on the network, all users are required to log in with their SingPass accounts, and have to scan their NRIC for verification.
2) "I want to propose on Valentine’s day, but I’m not sure if we can get married because we may not be able to afford a house"
Let your friends know that there are a variety of schemes and grants available to help make getting a home a little easier on the wallet. First-timer applicants could receive CPF Housing Grants of up to S$80,000 to help finance the purchase. For more information on grants and schemes, check out the What’s Your Plan website.
3) "Maybe it’s time to start thinking about having kids…"
Having a baby is a major decision for couples, but there are several schemes and benefits that help make it easier to raise a child in Singapore.
For example, working fathers with children born on or after 1 January 2017 are now eligible for 2 weeks of Government-paid paternity leave. This will make it easier for dads to pull their weight around the house ;-)
Having kids also makes it easier for couples to get their first flat – the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) helps first-timer married couples with children get their flat more quickly.
This brings us to the various schemes that defray the cost of raising a child. All this begins from pre-delivery: the withdrawal limit for pre-delivery expenses has doubled to S$900 for mothers. Parents can also look forward to a “Baby Bonus Plus” of S$2,000, in addition to a Baby Bonus Cash Gift.
To help with the child’s education and healthcare, the Child Development Account (CDA) First Step will provide parents an initial S$3,000 balance for their child’s CDA. All newborns will also have a CPF Medisave account with an S$4,000 Medisave grant.
And that’s that! Don’t forget to remind your friends to thank you when they eventually get together…
For more information on some of the schemes listed here, check out http://heybaby.sg/. If your friends need more convincing, get them to check out https://ilovechildren.sg/ for additional information on family and parenthood.