Sep 24, 2015
A couple came to get the spayed dog's stitch removed by Dr Daniel today. The husband has grey hairs and is slim. He had retired from a large multinational company. His wife looked some 10 years younger or had a happy disposition.
"How long has Toa Payoh Vets been in operation?" he asked.
"Since 1982," I said.
"You must have a lot of clients," he stated.
"Many have had left for clinics nearer your home. Proxmity and convenience. There were only 5 clinics when I started but now there are over 70. Where do you stay?"
"We live in Seletar," he said. He agreed that there were a few clinics around his neighbourhood but he had not been to them. He was loyal to a big clinic and only during retirement did he shop around for affordable vet fees.
"The reason I came to your clinic is because of your fees, much lower than the big clinic I used to go. They quoted me over $600 for spaying my Shih Tzu."
"Well, the fees could include blood test to screen the health of the dog before surgery. In case the dog is too sick and likely to die during operation. How much does this clinic charge for blood tests?"
"I don't like to be surprised with a big vet bill after treatment. The blood test is over $250," he had never asked for prices when he was busy working as a regional manager. Now he has to save.
"This clinic has such nice furnishings and it costs more," I said.
"Many people still go there," the retiree said.
"Yes, many people drive Mercedes even when they retire and they are not cheap cars. What car do you drive?"
"A Japanese car."
He was a frugal man as he still had 2 children schooling.
"Best not to send your children to study in Australia or overseas," I said. "If you want to save for retirement. Ask your daughter to get a scholarship or study in the local university. Some married foreigners and don't come home or they prefer to migrate and settle in Australia."
Retirement age in Singapore is 62. The man did not want to continue working as it is exhausting. Yet his 2 children are still schooling and he needs to be counting pennies.