Recently, I met my 54 year old client at her home in Bedok, to help her do her yearly financial review.

I realised her birthday is just in a few more months time.

I looked at her gleefully, smiled and told her enthusiastically, “Wow Kak…. Your birthday is coming. It must be a relief that finally you are going to draw out some money from your CPF soon. :)”

I added, ” You can finally relax a bit and get ready for your retirement! :)”

She sighed and replied with a subdued, sad voice, ” You don’t understand Helmi. My CPF OA and SA combined is less than the $155,000 Minimum Sum Scheme requirement. I haven’t finished paying for my home mortgage loan. CPF only allows me to draw a token sum of $5000 when I turn 55“.

I nodded my head and proceed with the financial review.

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“Financial planning is like a …