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Wife becomes "tai tai" because husband has high income.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Tai tai (太太) is a Chinese colloquial term for a wealthy married woman who does not work. (Source: Wikipedia.)

I don't know if it is surprising to you but I have seen so many such cases over the years. 

There are childless couples who decide to stay childless because they want to concentrate on their careers and have double income. 

DINK. Double income no kids.

The ones I am blogging about now are those who decide to stay childless too but with only one person bringing home the bacon. 

What does the other person do? 

Anything but being gainfully employed.

I have a good friend, several years younger than me, who is a doctor. 

His other half decided to stop working many years ago and when I remarked that it wasn't a wise decision, instead of agreeing, he said, "I make enough money to support both of us."

OK, end of conversation.

I know that my friend is not from a wealthy family and he also had a hefty study loan which he had to repay. 

He had a mortgage on a condo and he also bought a luxury car. 

While my friend has his job, he will have no problem paying for everything. I am sure. 

While he has his job.

His income is earned. 

It is not passive. 

If he had to stop working for any reason, he would very likely be unable to keep up his lifestyle. 

Oops. Sorry, it should be their lifestyle.

The prudent thing to do is for both of them to have earned income. 

They should build wealth and invest in income producing assets. 

Only when they are able to depend on their passive income alone to have the lifestyle they want should the wife stop working. 

This is the wise thing to do.

To love is a fine thing but letting love blind us could be destructive and not just in terms of wealth.

I hope my friend does not regret in future.

"Your husband makes a lot of money. He doesn't have a lot of money. Wake up!" - AK

Related posts:
2. Financial freedom over home ownership.
"Your choices and your relationships are key indicators whether you are going to succeed financially." Dave Ramsey.


la papillion said...

Hi AK,

There's a difference between child-free and child-less :) A couple who FF who is child-free told me about the subtlety :) I'm sure you can deduce the two terms yourself, haha!

So use the right terminology! lol

AK71 said...

Hi mew ge,

Alamak. I blur.

I only know I am a SINK.

No wonder, I have a sinking feeling. -.-"

pf said...

Aiyah uncle...can u stop thinking abt money in relationships? Like that really no fun.

Actually u know what... I met quite a number of guys who wants to provide for their ladies Coz it makes them feel good. If it is within their means, why not?

Don't let your baggage stop u from finding a kind lady to share your life OK? Hee hee... ;)

I'm sure there r ladies out there who has got money on their own and could love you not for you money.

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

Mental note to self.

Never meet-up with AK during CNY.

He very kay-poh.

Friend never ask him for advice or feedback, AK will volunteer his 2 cents anyway!

Wait he sees my "Italy", he'll have a field day on how I'll die from the visceral fats - liver cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, colon cancer, diabetes, and if I can't see my little brother standing up, I'll make a mess in the toilet!

Oh! Merry Christmas and a Super Happy New Year to you in case I forget ;)

Ellaa William said...

hello AK,
How come I feel like your article is asking people like me to wake up, sigh :(


AK71 said...

Alamak. In addition to the SINKing feeling, I am getting a feeling that this topic is more sensitive than I thought. -.-"

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


GOOD! Now you know the "sinking feeling" the other party may feel from your kind intentions ;)

Jokes aside, do be conscious you don't inadvertently 让别人起烦恼。。。

AK71 said...


It is hard for me to behave differently. -.-"

I rather people have a sinking feeling now than really sink later on. To be honest and I think you might agree, many people actually feel invincible and carry on with the status quo. This is why we always have so many tragic stories during recessions and we see long queues to meet the MPs.

I still remember a story about how a man went to see the MP because he was unemployed and could not make ends meet. The MP told him to sell his car, return the maid and possibly downgrade his home. He was actually expecting help from the government. -.-"

Ben said...

It's better to be self-sustainable rather than be dependent on others. No one cares more than we on our own finances.


Singapore Man of Leisure said...


On that note, we are pretty much similar when it comes to our nature ;)

The readership of my blog would be higher if I didn't go round poking my own readers!


Eh, share with you a funny incident.

One of your readers emailed me sometime back to ask me to ask you to reply to his email??? He frustrated you haven't replied him...

See lah! Bleeding heart some more!

Now they expect you and feel entitled you should reply to their emails pronto!

No prizes on how I replied him. He soon found out you not me and I not you ;)

I am no kopi no talk!

AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

That was what I told my sister a long time ago. Better be a financially independent lady and not depend on the husband! Of course, the motivation for telling her that was somewhat different from the topic of this blog post. ;p

AK71 said...


Alamak! Really? A reader sent you a complaint about me? OMG!

Actually, I try to reply to every email but I get so many emails these days. If I didn't reply, I could have missed it. To be honest, however, I am beginning to think I should selectively ignore certain emails. Hmmm...

Share with me how you replied leh? We archers must stick together. ;p

Ben said...

Hi AK 71 & SMOL,

It's nice for both of you to make an effort to reply to the readers. Furthermore, I think that both of you are truly sincere in guiding the readers the route to financial freedom. To be honest, such effort are thankless task and you do not benefit in making the effort count. I believe that more readers will benefit from your insight.

AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

Alamak. Simi guide? I did nothing of that sort. -.-"

I am just talking to myself in my blog. Very bad habit. :(

Tanya said...

Not sure if I'm like the other extreme. I've saved up over the years an emergency fund. My monthly income is quite high but I'm still staying in a HDB bought ages ago.

I'm not really good at investing in stocks. So far I've been paranoid after knowing a lot of people going under during the bad times.

Your blog really enlightened me. Been lurking for awhile now.

Ellaa William said...

Wow ak dont sink, i was only half kidding. Hehe. My situation is half different because me not taitai enough !

AK71 said...

Hi Tanya,

Always happy to see another reader breaking silence. ;)

If we have a high income job which we enjoy and if we are also financially prudent, there is a chance we might not need to invest in anything for passive income at all. Not investing your money and just saving it because you have more than you need in your lifetime is not a bad thing unless you are contemplating leaving a legacy. :)

What you have here is An unbeatable level of certainty in wealth building.

AK71 said...

Hi EW,

My blog is definitely not to make anyone who is a Tai Tai feel bad. I am sure that there are many lucky married women who have husbands with lots of money (and they might or might not make a lot of money). ;)

Anonymous said...

Eh AK71... later u become AKP71 (a kay poh) oh... SMOL already say leow :P

Maybe hor, instead of "should", use "can".

>he also had a hefty study loan which he had to repay.
>He had a mortgage on a condo and he also bought a luxury car.

E.g. hor. advise fren.
You *can* look at the 3 loans, hamtam highest interest 1st,
the car loan 1st, then study, then mortgage? And fixed rates if can hor?

Instead of
>They should build wealth and invest in income producing assets.
You can ensure you are adequately insured, maintain good health.
Ask stay@home wifey to cook more healthier choices for you
(heavens no AK recipe pls!)

"You should" seems like lecturing.
"You can" seems more palatable. Give them choices and the best choices
if they already decided, for whatever reasons.

$ matters, especially coupled with <3, difficult lah to "should" lah, "can" better


Tanya said...

Hi AK,

I didn't really invest in anything (besides the occasional cny lottery draw) other than properties. They are fully paid up and can support my current expenses. This is after 10 years of slogging it out in the corporate world. I think the trick is to save up when you're younger and not spend all that you have earned. For years I've been saving more than 70% of my salary!

I'm still continueing my work as I really don't know what I would be doing if I'm not working. Hopefully I don't get retrenched. My line of work is quite easy to get retrenched.

AK71 said...

Hi FC,

The wife cannot cook to save her life.

They should cook and eat at home instead of eating out but I don't think they can. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi Tanya,

You have cracked the wealth code. ;)

It is not how much we make but how much we save that will determine if we have money. :)

You have a problem if you don't know what you would be doing if not working. It is a problem because if you should lose your job, you might feel aimless.

I know you are not thinking of retiring but you might want to read this:
AK answers 3 questions on early retirement.

Tanya said...

Nice blog post, i didn't manage to catch that article as I think it was written before i stumbled upon your blog.

Maybe I should start a blog and blog about my journey. Try to give advice to high earning folks. Maybe share how I got over the fact that my subordinates drives a much better car than I drive! My parking slot at the office, both sides are German cars. Mine's a Korean!

It's weird to me that there are many of my colleagues when we shared our stories during lunch time that they are in debt of like > S$1million.... Losing their current job would be really really bad for them. Market is very quite for my line of work now, we can go home early but my colleagues most of them stayed back just to "show face" and "look like busy." Very stressful just to observe.

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


I told him to fly "layang-layang".

Just kidding!

I replied him in the polite version of what popular hawkers would tell their customers who complain about the waiting time, "Can wait, wait. Cannot wait, don't wait."


Eh, your reading skill pathetic. Tanya is flirting with you ;)

She only said she not good investing in stocks; she never say she bei kambing ;)

She has properties - that's plural. You know, "banyak" as in more than one?


You want me to set you both up?

Golden door match golden door?

She saves 70% of her pay; you "giam siap gui".


Making money from market not easy. I now freelance as "hong niang". Don't forget my red packet!

AK71 said...

Hi Tanya,

Unfortunately, financial prudence is more the exception than the norm anywhere in the world. Sigh... :(

AK71 said...


You are terrible! Mai luan luan gong hor. -.-"

AK71 said...

"Aiyah, some people like to be pet owners and some like to be pets. You no like pets doesn't mean people shouldn't keep if they like and can afford mah." *Cough*

"Aiyoh, of course, if people can afford to have pets, I won't stop them and if they have to give away the pets when they lose their jobs, OK lor. Can they give away their wives when they lose their jobs?"

Tanya said...


I think AK might be a bit old for me. Not sure exactly how old he is but probably at lease 10 years older? X)

AK71 said...

Hi Tanya,

I was hoping you would ignore SMOL. This is one of his many skills. He is good at embarrassing people. In this case, me.


Tanya said...

Hi AK,

It's ok. Anyway I'm sort of like taken. My bf and I will be marrying soon. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Tanya,

This is not the first time SMOL, the transgender hong niang, tried to hook me up with ladies who are already taken. There are fraudsters in the world of hong niangs too. We can never be too careful. ;p

Congratulations! :)

pf said...

Aiyah... Think uncle ak71 is far from getting hooked if keep thinking having a partner is gg to suck u dry.

Actually having a partner with the same mindset and values can also hv economic benefits what. Economies of scale.

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

It is not as simple as running a factory to gain economies of scale. Don't bluff me never study hor. -.-"

Although it is a chance that many guys choose to take, since marriages are not equal partnerships (with the guy usually losing out especially if there is a divorce and I have seen so many), I would rather not take the chance. ;)

redponza said...

Hi AK,
Maybe you can have a gf but not getting married lor, LOL

Btw, on a serious note, the news service for vezted seems to be down.
Is there any other alternatives out there?


AK71 said...

Hi redponza,

You have hit the nail on the head. ;)

OK, sounds like you might want to give the good people at Vezted a buzz. ;p

AK71 said...

I give up. -.-"

Not easy in Singapore. Everything so expensive. I have to support my wife too.

Your wife not working? Take care of children?

We have no children and she is not working.

Maybe she could find work and lighten your burden.

She is not highly educated and cannot make much money. Anyway, I cannot bear to see her working. 老婆是来疼的


AK71 said...

I know couples who are DINKs.

I also know couples who are SINKs.

Without passive income and with weak balance sheets, SINKs have a higher chance of SINKing than DINKs.

Of course, common sense reasoning only works on people with common sense.

AK71 said...

Chong Kelvin says...
When John first graduated, he had a plan... he wanted passive income asap. He quickly shared it w like minded frds... and one of them became his wife.

Today their passive income allow them not to touch their salary to maintain their lifestyle- with holidays twice a yr (not neighbouring country hor).

They also have zero liabilities w properties n cars fully paid off)

Don't think this can be done w John himself alone.

If given a choice, pls have twin engines to power your jet higher and faster. A single engine will be harder.... probably retire later.

AK says...
Find the right partner and don't believe that divorce rate is on the rise.

Crossing fingers!

Oh, remain DINKs!

Bad AK! Bad AK! :p

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