Reinventing retirement: Living life to the fullest
While some people may be looking forward to retirement, there are some who dread the day when they finally stop working, for fear of having nothing to do. Initially, Mdm Fiona Fong had such concerns when she was about to retire from her office administrative role of many years. Thus, she took up a few courses to explore her interests, which included the NSA course “Introduction to Chinese Phonetics - Hanyu Pinyin” by Nanyang Technological University.
Mdm Fong was keen to learn how to input basic Chinese characters on her smartphone to be able to interact with her family and friends. After taking up the course, she was able to pronounce and note the sound of the basic Chinese characters more accurately, allowing her to type simple Chinese characters on her smartphone.
Better relate to the younger generation
Mdm Fong believes it is important for her to take charge of her health and maintain a healthy lifestyle, in order to enjoy her silver years. Thus, she attended the NSA course “Healthy Eating Cooking Workshop (English)”, which taught her how to prepare a few simple yet healthy dishes, and also did her own research on healthy foods that she can eat on a regular basis. After gaining useful cooking tips on preparing healthier dishes, Mdm Fong often prepares such food for herself and her family.
In the latest turn of events, Mdm Fong attended the Coding course by NTUC LearningHub after it was announced that coding classes for primary school students will be rolled out next year. She has also taken computer courses to keep up with Singapore’s transformation to a Smart Nation.
“Learning more about the trendiest topics not only allows me to gain new knowledge, but I am able to communicate better with the others, especially with the younger generation,” Mdm Fong shared.
While Mdm Fong is still on a self-discovery path to her true interest, she is looking forward to take up foreign language and smartphone-related courses. She is also interested to learn how she can play a part in saving the environment.
Leading a fulfilling life
Besides taking the effort to manage a healthy diet, Mdm Fong also visits the gym regularly and does various stretching exercises to build her endurance, strength and balance.
To give back to the society, Mdm Fong has been volunteering as a guide at Ng Teng Fong Hospital for almost a year, guiding visitors and patients around the hospitals and clinics.
“Volunteering makes me feel happier and valued, I feel that I have a greater purpose in life,” she explained.
Recently, Mdm Fong found a part-time job at HDB, working as a household survey officer. “Not only does it keep me busy, I get to earn some income and interact with others,” Mdm Fong shared.
Being a retiree for almost three years now, 65-year-old Mdm Fong realised that she does not have to worry about facing boredom since she has kept herself occupied with various activities. Mdm Fong keeps in touch with her family and friends as much as possible, and they often meet up for lunch. She also encourages her friends to attend courses with her.
“Even though the transition to this new phase of life (retirement) can be challenging, we should try to find things that are truly suitable for ourselves, so as to live a healthy and meaningful retirement,” Mdm Fong concluded.
**Special thanks to Mdm Fiona Fong who accepted our interview, we wish her all the very best in her lifelong learning journey.
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