3 Ways Your Parents Can Grow Their Retirement Funds

Money is an emotional topic in Heartland Boy’s family, and often, also the root of all problems in the household. This can all be traced to the diverse perspectives on money held by his family members. As age catches up, Heartland Boy’s parents find it increasingly tiring to stand behind the wok for long hours to serve up a good bowl of fish soup. What is even more worrisome is that his parents … [Read more...]

My financial goals to make the most out of 2017

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It’s a new year again. How has 2016 been for you? As we begin the new year, it is time to reflect on my goals for 2016. Here are some goals I set for 2016: Advancing in my career  In 2016, I wanted to advance in my career after being in the same job for the past 6 years. I figured that if I continued to stay on, there wouldn’t be much progression. I also wanted to go into another industry … [Read more...]

A tale of two HDB flats by Darles Chickens.

Chinese New Year is a time of family bonding, catching up with friends and also gossiping. What? Gossiping is not a Chinese New Year tradition? Alamak.  Oh, it is something we do daily? OK lor. Since this is the Year of the Chicken (What? Not Chicken? Is Rooster? Rooster is not a Chicken meh?), I present to you "A tale of two HDB flats" by Darles Chickens. Gossip Tale … [Read more...]

We don’t have to be smart to be rich!

Recently, I had a blog on three attributes of a wealthy peasant. Prudence. Pragmatism. Patience. We don't have to be smart and we don't have to make a lot of money to become wealthier. However, we should be prudent, pragmatic and patient if we want to become wealthier. (See related post #1 at the end of this blog.) Charlie Munger certainly thinks it is a no-brainer and so do … [Read more...]

$3K salary a month but saving $16K this year!

Hello AK, How are you? One year ago i've start following your blog and chatting with you via FB as well. I got so much things to share and update you. After completed my private degree, i have changed a job and income increased from 2.4k to 3k.  Some of my friends are still earning more than me. i was so stressful to keep up with the market and expenses. But thanks to AK's Blog, everything … [Read more...]

Family is financially healthier after retrenchment.

I won't be wrong to say that many workers live in fear of retrenchment because they are not financially prepared. Many are wage slaves and are utterly dependent on their earned income for daily expenses. The problem is that many are not even aware of this. I have shared stories from readers who have been retrenched before. Retrenchment is a terrible thing if we are not prepared for it and … [Read more...]

Choosing A Longer HDB Loan

A comment by Andy from Tacomob in a previous post on HDB loans led to this post. I was sufficiently intrigued to try and dig out my calculations from 5 years ago. Unfortunately, they are nowhere to be found. Heck, so I made new ones! This time, I cheated by using a financial calculator app, though. Sidetrack a little for now – I saw this post yesterday on buying a first home and the … [Read more...]

What an unemployed 53 year old can do with $20K?

Dear AK, I am 53 and I have been jobless for more than a year. I have given up on job search. Fortunately, I am a saver and have almost 200k in savings. Jobless 10 years too soon, I need to make my savings last longer. My sister told me about a 5 years endowment plan from _____Life. Minimum required is $20,000. 2.25% p.a. is more than fixed deposits. (Email truncated.) Hi JK, 5 years is … [Read more...]

Should I transfer money from OA to SA account?

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One of the key aspect to achieving early Financial Independence is to optimise the returns of your wealth. However, many people focuses primarily on building up their cash bags and neglect the other bulk of their savings, the CPF. Although our CPF savings cannot be withdrawn before the age of 55, it is important to start acting early, to take advantage of the risk-free interest rate on our CPF … [Read more...]

CPF Money That Keeps Growing (2017)

Not so long ago, my brother-in-law applied for the latest HDB launch of flats, and selected a 4-room apartment to ballot for. My brother-in-law had quite a few questions for me, but my memory is failing me as the process happened so long ago. Red Brick has an awesome infographic that answered a lot of his financing questions. Located right beside Woodleigh MRT, the apartment had a decent location … [Read more...]

Holistic approach to a secure financial future.

(Decide how much income you will get from anasset and pay a fair price for that.) I am always happiest reading happy stories. I mean who wouldn't be? OK, if you need a reason, well, they are easier for me to reply to compared to sad stories. LOL. It is true that happy stories are easier to reply to and that makes me happy but I am happiest with happy stories because they are an affirmation of … [Read more...]

Tea with LS: Withdraw CPF MSTU and interest at 55?

Very well researched and put together. Hats off to LS who originally placed this in the comments section. Hi AK, I guess this withdrawal regarding top-up money and its interest is causing a lot of confusion. This is due to the frequent changes in CPF policies/withdrawal rules. What is making it worse is that some of our CPF officers are also not as well-versed and providing wrong information … [Read more...]

Do online contribution to Medisave and get $88 Ang Bao.

The Basic Healthcare Sum (BHS) which was known as the Medisave Contribution Ceiling (MCC) in the past has been raised from $49,800 to $52,000 in 2017. This means that we can voluntarily contribute $2,200 now. Of course, for those who are gainfully employed, this contribution will enjoy income tax relief. For people like me whose CPF-SA has already hit or exceeded the prevailing Minimum Sum or … [Read more...]

Are you neglecting your wealth: you have more CPF savings than you think

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Let me start this post by the following statement: At least 31% of your wealth are in CPF Rub your eyes, stare at the statement again. <No, this is not a typo> If your only source of income is your full-time employment, then a whooping 31% of your income goes to CPF, and the remaining 69% are the cold hard cash you receive as monthly take-home pay. Are you kidding me? 31%? For … [Read more...]

AK showing off his CPF-OA and MA (2017).

I thought that only my CPF-SA numbers garnered a following but it seems that my CPF-OA numbers have a following too. So, I agreed to share more of my CPF numbers here. Latest CPF numbers, OA, SA and MA: If we add all the three accounts together, the total amount of savings I have in the CPF is: S$723,088.16 At the ripe old age of 45 too. I know this is impressive to many people and … [Read more...]

AK showing off his CPF-SA numbers again?

(4 things you need to know about your new CPF statement.) I hope my blog has not caused too much trouble for the authorities. Just like my passive income numbers, my CPF-SA numbers seem to have garnered a following as readers reminded me on Facebook that it is time. Even Facebook reminded me that it is time. I guess sharing my CPF-SA numbers is inspiring to many readers and it helps them to … [Read more...]

Power to become financially stronger is within us.

Although there were not many comments in my blog when I asked if I should continue talking to myself in 2017, I received many emails and also messages in FB. They are all positive (so far). I am particularly touched by a couple of emails. First, this email from a reader of modest means: Hi AK, As the new start of the year, first thing I want to do is to write this thank you note to … [Read more...]

Simple investment wisdom keeps us afloat.

What AK thinks of the LRIS: "Since I treat my CPF savings as a risk free and volatility free component (i.e. AAA rated sovereign bond) of my investment portfolio, I am unlikely to take part in the proposed Lifetime Retirement Investment Scheme (LRIS). Of course, money in the CPF-OA doubles up as a war chest which could be deployed in the event of a stock market crash for possibly better returns … [Read more...]

Unexpected review of 2016: hitting $200k in net worth

As we countdown to 2017, I was reflecting on my 2016. 2016 was an average year. Nothing exciting to shout about and nothing major happened.... Until I started to browse through my blog and reviewed my financial portfolios. As I browsed through my blog, I looked back at the little things that happened. I got engaged, got a shock from my health screening results which turned out to be nothing bad … [Read more...]

Time to contribute $$ to CPF for tax relief again

It's the time of the year again - time to contribute money to your CPF or your parents' CPF accounts if you are looking for some income tax rebate. Better do it soon too, because there are less than 5 working days to new year (and to qualify)! Another way of getting the tax rebate is to do some good by donating back to society. :) Here is the IRAS link to check out the top-up relief limits:  … [Read more...]