Don't let rules be obstacles for retirees

New data shows that ageist attitudes are widespread, especially in richer countries ("Fear of ageing may shorten your life: WHO"; last Saturday).

Today, my cohort is educated, experienced and better able to compete, compared with earlier generations of older people.

But many old laws and attitudes have not changed.

For example, I am asset-rich but cash-poor, so I monetised my home for retirement income by taking a loan against my house.

When my loan was fully redeemed this year, I wanted to extend it, but was told by the bank that it cannot grant such a loan to anyone above the age of 65. From what I gather, it is a Monetary Authority of Singapore ruling.

Even though I am asking for less than half of the valuation of my home, I still face difficulty in securing the loan due to my "retiree" status.

I consider myself to be a very low-risk borrower, and am, in fact, more concerned than the bank over a possible loan default because if I default on payment, I would lose my retirement income and the roof over my head.

I hope the authorities will do more to help seniors monetise their fixed assets.

Geoffrey Kung Kuo-Woo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2016, with the headline 'Don't let rules be obstacles for retirees'. Print Edition | Subscribe