Its easier to score distinctions in Science and Math subjects as the answers are more binary – you are either right, or wrong. Precision. It’s either black or white. Simple!

But for Arts subjects like Literature, there’s no such thing as right or wrong answers – you are marked according to how well you’ve argued out your case. Its grey, murky, and fuzzy, but we can see all 7 colours of the rainbow!

(History can score distinction that’s because you have memorised the version that’s told by the victor; if you ask the subjugated, they’ll have another version – hence the many revisionist attempts. Its grey.)

If you tell me you are confused when faced with different, alternative, and opposing viewpoints, as a people reader, I can bet you’re not from the Arts stream!

Its very comforting to know big daddy is moving away from the 10 year series rote learning style of education. The earlier children start to think for themselves, the better!

What’s the point of financial literacy if we can’t think for ourselves? (Don’t encourage your child to drop Literature?)

A financially literate parrot is still a parrot…


You OK; I OK

When someone chooses a CPF Life Plan different from us, that does not mean you right, they wrong.

Ask how and why they have made the choice they made. Maybe you’re the one having second thoughts now!

If a person tells you he based his decison making on precision math and logic, and you discovered its based on bad math and poor logic, walk away…  What’s the point right?

There’s such a thing called the Distribution Curve.

I’m frequently turned on by intellectually brilliant and elegant debates, even though we have totally opposite viewpoints. Its definitely not the purpose of this 2 part post to change anyone’s mind. I’m not a bleeding heart, remember? You die your problem!


You are not aligned

In Zen and coaching, we like to use these questioning techniques to help others figure things out for themselves without telling them the solutions or what to do.

Let’s have some fun now!

1.  CPF Life is an annuity plan. Tell me what you know about the Good, the Bad, and Ugly aspects about annuity plans in general?

Eh? You’ve made a decision without knowing what’s an annuity?

2.  You like to parrot, “Buy Term and invest the rest”.  Now, is an annuity plan closer to Term, Wholelife, or Endowment policy in reverse?

3.  The initial introduction of CPF Life Plans only include up to max the Full Retirement Sum (FRS) contribution – which means around $1,400 per month for life from age 65 onwards.

Is your paycheck at age 55 or 65 around $1,400 per month?

Whatever happened to the rule of thumb to retire at 70% of our last drawn paycheck?

Do you think you were the target group for CPF Life?

4.  OK, crash got sound. Thanks to overwhelming “demand”, now we can contribute more to CPF Life through Enhanced Retirement Scheme (ERS) – increase the monthly payouts to around $2,000 per month for life, if we so wishes.

Now tell me. Is this the reason you studied hard (to get to the right schools), and worked hard (to outrun the other hamsters) – so that at age 65 and beyond, you get $2,000 per month for life?

5.  You always try to frighten and shock your love ones they must invest for their retirement early or else! Money shrinks through inflation and rots in the bank! Cannot rely on savings alone! Must invest!

How do you square the circle now that you are OK with receiving the same $2,000 per month for the next 30 years?

I remember 30 years ago, new graduates earn around $1,000 per month. Can you accept no pay raises for the past 30 years?

By the way, what are you investing for again?

6.  Is $100K mickey mouse money to you?

I mean if you 100% sure you’ll live up to 90 and beyond, there’s really not much different between the different CPF Life plans. OK, if you insist to split hairs, the new Escalating Plan will win out.

But if you compare the bequest differences between Basic and Standard Plans on ERS  when you visit the la la land between age 80 and 85 (acturial science betting BIG on you here), that’s a cool $100K plus!

Even if you chose to contribute less to CPF Life under FRS or BRS, its still tens of thousands you are leaving on the table…

All this for that measly $100 to $300 more per month?

Do you hate your children or siblings that much?

Are you a rock?

Are you an island?

You hate math, do you?


I am not you; you not me

Its not a secret. I’ve shared elsewhere that I’ll go for the Basic Plan even though I’m single and childless.

The idea of me subsidising anonymous people I don’t know does not appeal to me.

I rather leave my money to my siblings. (Keep it all in the family, I cheena or what?)

One is richer than me; the other likes to spend a lot.

If they don’t need my money, they can jolly donate it to their favourite charity or church. That’s their decision!

I know. I throw my problem to them. What are siblings for? LOL!

If you ask me today, and since I can’t opt out of CPF Life, I would choose the Basic Retire Sum since that’s the least demage for I never wanted an annuity plan in the first place.

Hello! I’m a full time trader and investor remember?

It makes as much sense otherwise as someone who quits work to invest full time using a low cost passive indexing strategy… Wait. What!?

Having said that, from now till my age 65 is still a good 15 years away…

If I blew up my trading account and my investment account has been decimated by a prolonged bear market that lasted 10 years or more…

I can’t be certain I won’t capitulate….

If I did, I’ll probably choose ERS and swore off investing and trading for good… Chop fingers!

Then I’ll claw back to my cage like a domesticated animal that has been let loose to freedom in the wild, but found freedom on my own too daunting…

I’ll stop pretending to be a cat.

Woof, woof!

I’ll be a good obedient dog.

Look! I’ll even wag my tail for you!

Woof, woof!

Throw me a bone?

Which CPF Life Plans To Choose? Part 1 of 2

Singapore Man of Leisure (welcome to my blog; just google it!)