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 Although our CPF savings cannot be withdrawn before the age of 55, it is important to start acting early, to take advantage of the risk-free interest rate on our CPF … [Read more...]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...]

How To Save On Income Tax In Singapore

As the year draws to a close, one of the tasks on Heartland Boy’s to-do list is to manage his income tax. Indeed, he advocates taking a proactive, rather than a reactive, stance towards managing one’s tax bill. In this article, Heartland Boy focuses on the tasks that must be completed within the current fiscal year in order for one to enjoy tax reliefs during the next tax reporting season. … [Read more...]

Mentally and financially prepared for retrenchment.

This is part of an email a reader wrote to me after reading an updated blog post. (They invested in multiple properties and are now retrenched.) Reader: "Their experience is getting more common. I am in my late 50s and I see many friends and relatives in my age group being asked to go. I am sure it will be my turn soon as the company has not been doing well.  "I have been reading your … [Read more...]

Don’t do silly things and we can retire smart too.

A "special feature" (what I would call an advertorial or sponsored blog postif it were to appear in my blog which it won't) by a fund manager in The EDGE: "Your CPF may prove inadequate upon retirement because of several factors." The fund manager suggests "that both young and middle aged workers can invest in multi asset funds for diversification benefits." Do this and retire … [Read more...]

Thinking of topping up CPF-SA with $130K.

Hi Marcus, Firstly, you are still young! You still have 20 years before you hit 55. Time is still on your side and your own calculation proves it. ;) What you are thinking of doing (i.e. $130K lump sum contribution to you CPF-SA) is called a Minimum Sum Top Up (MSTU). This is meant to help us meet our retirement adequacy. My understanding is that it (together with interest earned) cannot be … [Read more...]

6 affordable ways to invest for the average Singaporean

We get it, not everyone has $100,000 to sink into a well-diversified portfolio. But you have to start somewhere, or you’ll never be in that position. The good news is that you live in one of the world’s biggest financial hubs, and there are products that cater even to those on modest incomes. Here are a few things to look at: 1. Blue chip investment programmes There are two participating banks we … [Read more...]

Why worried metrosexuals seek help from AK?

There are two parts to this blog post. The first part was written a few weeks ago before I decided to take a break from blogging. The second part was written a few days ago. --- FIRST PART --- Readers who have written to AK to ask for a private meeting would know that they are likely to have a reply in the negative. This is mainly because AK is a very private person. Well, it also has to … [Read more...]

A good wife worries about retirement adequacy.

A recent conversation with a reader: Hi AK I have been a silent reader mostly for several years now. And i am ashamed to say that i now feel like i have not learned well from your blog, and am caught in this situation where i just do not know if i should bite the loss of almost 15k, or just continue with the plan i bought from my FA. Hence, I am writing to hear your advice. I am 34 years … [Read more...]