Keeping active and productive even after retirement
Retired software engineer Mr Sng Aik Pong, 65, finds himself living a more fulfilling life after retirement, and had signed up for a variety of courses, which enabled him to gain new learning experiences.
Having worked in the field of computer technology for many years, Mr Sng had to upgrade and improve his skillset constantly. Entering retirement in 2018, Mr Sng showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, he went on to sign up for courses that he was interested in.
“After retirement, I found out that I had more time to expose myself to new sets of knowledge that was completely unrelated to my job. Being able to set my foot in a field that I was previously not familiar with, I got to learn new and different things,” Mr Sng shared.
Mr Sng found out about National Silver Academy (NSA) through the website of Council for Third Age (C3A), which is the administrator of NSA. From there, he discovered that there were many courses specially curated for seniors, conducted by post-secondary education institutions and community-based organisations, which caught his interest.
Under NSA, there is a wide range of learning opportunities, such as IT, health and wellness, and many more. Seniors get to enjoy subsidies for these courses, which makes it attractive for Mr Sng to pursue his interests.
Made his first online sale
Mr Sng enrolled himself in the NSA Course "Home Business - Selling Online" offered by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), which taught him how to use apps and online platforms to sell his items.
“Despite coming from a working background in computer technology, I am still not familiar with some online platforms. If I do try to navigate the website by myself, it shouldn’t be a problem. However, it will be better if there is someone to guide us, because it is more systematic. I was also able to understand how different platforms operate, and I gained lots of valuable tips that only those professionals will know,” Mr Sng recounted.
Other than learning how to register for an account on the e-commerce platform, Mr Sng also shared that he has benefitted from the course such that he is now able to take good product images and create captions that can help his product to stand out from the rest to attract potential customers.
“After the course, I tried to sell a product online and I sold a tablet in less than a week. Currently, I am trying to sell old stuff that I have kept on the e-commerce platform, such as pagers and circuit boards. I hope that I will be able to sell these things successfully,” Mr Sng added.
Expanding new areas of interest
Since 2017, Mr Sng has been attending various NSA courses to expand his areas of interest, particularly in the areas of health and wellness, such as “TCM Acupressure Massage” and “Introduction to Aromatherapy & its Benefits” by Family Central, as well as “Mindfulness Foundation Course” by Brahm Centre, exploring different ways of meditation and living in the present moment.
Mr Sng said that some of the more interesting NSA courses that he had attended included “Handyman: Electrical Appliance Repair” by Sustainable Living Lab and “65岁以上乐龄财务规划” (Financial Planning for Seniors over 65) by Family Central and even “3D Printing” by ITE.
“It’s interesting and practical to learn how to change a light bulb and do some simple repairs to electrical appliances like rice cooker and electric fan. Now, I am able to replace the light bulb with an LED energy-saving bulb and certain simple electrical repairs," he expressed.
From the financial planning course, Mr Sng also learned how to manage and plan his finances. He understood more about subsidies, plans and assistance schemes that are available to seniors in the community. “These knowledge come in very handy and practical for retired seniors like myself,” said Mr Sng.
Mr Sng felt that the pace of these courses was just right for seniors and the subsidised course fees made it very worthwhile.
“For example, I had only paid $35 for the 8-hour handyman course, which is pretty reasonable,” Mr Sng remarked.
“The most important thing is, one is never too old to learn. Through these courses, I get to gain new knowledge and keep my mind active. At the same time, I have the opportunity to broaden my horizons in new areas of interest, living a fulfilling and enriching life,” Mr Sng concluded.
**Special thanks to Mr Sng Aik Pong who accepted our interview, we wish him all the very best in his lifelong learning journey.
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