In this week’s conversation, we catch up with Ms. Jeraldine Phneah, a Singaporean who was listed as one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2020 and profiled by Her World magazine as part of their 60th Anniversary. She aims to empower every hardworking Singaporean to achieve their aspirations and lead fulfilling lives.
We chat with Jeraldine to learn more on how she develops content around how we can all cope with the high cost of living, build rewarding careers, strive for the best for our families, as well as lead meaningful lives.
Q. Can you tell us more about yourself, and how you started being a content creator?
Jeraldine: I am Jeraldine Phneah and I care about the challenges and aspirations of our generation. Like many Millennials, I was told since young that as long as we “study hard and go to university” and our adult life will be smooth sailing.
However, when I graduated, I realized that this advice is no longer as relevant. The job market, economy, and the world we live in today are just radically different from that of the previous generation. Jobs were being displaced due to technology, there were cases of discrimination against Singaporeans in our own country; and our starting salaries have not grown as fast as our cost of living.
Through my content, I hope to share my learnings as I navigate these obstacles. My hope is that we can all be inspired, informed and challenged together.
Q. What does success mean to you?
Jeraldine: I believe that it is important for each and every one of us to not only be ambitious for ourselves but also be ambitious for our society – to think of the type of country that we want to live in and strive to create it. To me, it is not enough that I succeed. Others must achieve their dreams too.
To me, it is not enough that I succeed. Others must achieve their dreams too.
Q. What do you do in your free time?
Jeraldine: I volunteer at the Meet-the-people sessions and grassroots work. I also spend a lot of time reading and learning. Growth is really important to me and I prioritize it by dedicating blocks of time each week to learning and self-reflection. I learn through reading self-improvement books and am also currently taking a course on behavioral economics.
Q. What is something about yourself that people don’t usually know?
Jeraldine: My content is written for Millennials. However, the demographic group that has a special place in my heart is the elderly. I grew up with my grandparents and respect for elderly is a strong value I was brought up with. Every senior citizen I meet reminds me of my childhood, home and just how dedicated and caring my grandparents were to me. It warms my heart so much whenever I see elderly couples holding hands.
Q. What kind of advice would you give to Millennials?
Jeraldine: Firstly, we need to unlearn the myths we were brought up with. Like I mentioned earlier, many things we were told since young are probably irrelevant by the time we grow up.
Property isn’t the only type of investment that we should learn to invest in. It may have been a wonderful investment vehicle for our parent’s generation. However, for Millennials, it might not be the case.
There are many other asset classes which help us to accumulate our wealth. They are more liquid and allow us more financial options and flexibility to enjoy our lives. Personally, I invest in equities.
Also, for those who still choose to buy their homes early, I would recommend not to over leverage.
Q. What challenges do you foresee in Singapore’s property market ?
Jeraldine: Real estate analysts have highlighted the possibility that HDB prices may be on a long-term downtrend.
My fear is that as our population ages and the large cohort of baby boomers passes on, the inevitable deaths of ageing homeowners will trigger a supply avalanche in the HDB resale market.
While supply will be booming at the time, demand from Gen Z might not match up due to its much smaller population size. This will exert downward pressure on the prices of HDB resale flats.
Q. Which is your favorite estate in Singapore and why?
Jeraldine: The best thing about living in Singapore is that each estate has their own charm. I grew up in Bukit Ho Swee. It is a quiet and peaceful place, so this estate has a special place in my heart always.