Personal Finance is Really Personal (CPF / Insurance/ Housing /Saving /Investing etc)

Personal finance is an interesting subject which is really“ Personal “ as there are many factors affecting a person or family’s finances – how much to keep as saving vs investing , to buy term or life insurance , to take up HDB loan or from private banks , to buy HBD or Condominium and of course the hottest topic of CPF ( to transfer our OA to SA or do a voluntary cash top up into SA account) … [Read more...]

CPF Talk Review – No General Solutions, Rich Assets vs Good Assets, Opening a CPF SA for your baby, Paying off Home Loans Earlier and Niche Rule of Thumbs

CPF is many things to Singaporeans, and we should be concern about how we can make sense of the CPF, and manage the CPF more efficiently. We conducted our BIGS LIVE on 16 Mar 2017, centering on making sense of your CPF and we have a very healthy turned out. My friends Chris from Tree of Prosperity, Budget Babe and Uncle Createwealth888 provide us with a glimpse of how they live with CPF and we … [Read more...]

You don’t get to hack the CPF, the CPF gets you hack you !

Ok, it is time to summarise yesterday's proceedings. In case you guys are wondering, when we conduct our talks, we don't really do rehearsals so some of us speakers are also there to listen to what other bloggers have to say. So things get interesting if there is a disagreement between us, nothing we ever do is scripted. Here are some comments and things which I learnt from yesterday's session … [Read more...]

AK the born again teacher or a mental blogger?

Reader: I chanced upon your blog half a year ago and been following your every entry since then. In my free time, i try to read up your entries to get a grasp of what we can do to improve our wealth and be financially independent. Articles such as contribution to CPF SA holds dearly to my heart as it means the earlier we transfer from OA (of course living a portion for hdb flat payment) to SA … [Read more...]

How to choose which CPF LIFE retirement plan is best for you

In the past, CPF retirement options were confusing. There used to be 12 different methods of getting your pension which only had subtle differences. This has since been reduced to just two basic options: CPF LIFE Basic, and CPF LIFE Standard. Here’s how to pick between the two. What is CPF LIFE in the first place? It’s actually an acronym for the Central Provident Fund Lifelong Income … [Read more...]

Learn To Optimise Your CPF

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CPF is something close to the hearts of Singaporeans. In fact, it is hard to meet an adult Singaporean without strong views on CPF policies or issues. Be it the inability to withdraw your CPF funds until age 55, interest rates on CPF funds, CPF LIFE or the compulsory Medisave contribution for self-employed (just ask any taxi uncle about this), few would sit on the fence. Much as we dislike some … [Read more...]

Buy a car with 4D winnings or win again?

Reader: I want to thank you... A friend shared your 4d pick at a gathering... I am a gambler and I bought the most... I have never won so much money gambling before...  He told me to top up my CPF but I have been thinking of buying a car... (The above is not the full email.) Remember this? Lucky! AK: Welcome to my blog. I will not tell you not to buy a car if you are one of the … [Read more...]

CPF Retirement Sum Scheme | Can I achieve the CPF retirement sum when I reach 55?

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The CPF Retirement Sum Scheme is one of the CPF schemes for us to utilize the money in our CPF. In fact, in my opinion, it is the most important CPF scheme as it will determine the 'fate' of the savings we painstakingly built up throughout the working life. Unless we are approaching the magic number of age 55 to be eligible for CPF withdrawal (after setting aside the Retirement Sum), chances … [Read more...]

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...]