There is a social justice component that the Financial Independence and Retire Early (FIRE) movement may have yet to address systemically – the question of whether an average man of the streets can save enough money to retire on time credibly.

The situation was more glaring when I had the honour of speaking to Secondary Four students of Raffles Institution last week, when I was pointedly asked how much can an average Singapore save?

How much can a Singapore student save?

When you are asked a question from the brightest 16-year-olds in the country, there is a reason to hesitate.

Without national statistics, it may be insensitive just to parrot the response from popular financial planning guides from the US, which recommends a flat 10% as best practice.

Another reason is that before my talk, I did a survey to find out how much pocket money these students received from their parents.