The numbers 55, 62, 65, 67 are significant numbers to every Singaporean. No, they are not lucky numbers that win you the lottery, but important milestones, nonetheless.
Understanding the significance of these milestones is especially important because there will be a time only after reaching the age where you can have access to the money, and a time where your boss can choose not to re-employ you because of your age.
According to the Ministry of Manpower, the official Singapore retirement age is now 62 years old (it will go up to 63 in 2022, and gradually increase to 65 by 2030). This also means that the goalposts can also be shifted, whether you are ready for it or not.
These are just some reasons to take control of your own Retirement and not be like a little boat subjected to the mercies of a vast ocean.
There are 3 Building Blocks to a sound Retirement Plan.
- Lifelong Income
- Robust Healthcare Plan
- Fully-Paid Property
It is common knowledge that the cost of living in Singapore is high. In fact, the Economist Intelligence Unit reported that Singapore is the Most Expensive City for the 5th year in a row.
During retirement, your cost of living might even increase because with so much time on your hands, you would naturally want to fill it with activities.
There are 2 categories of expenses that you need to provide for:
Essentials (Needs) – 3 square meals a day, Utilities, Transportation…
Discretionary (Wants) – Entertainment, Shopping, Vacations…
A recent survey commissioned by NTUC Income puts the average desired retirement income at $3,314 a month, in today’s dollar-value.
The Retirement income you will need to receive has to be resilient, inflation-hedged and lifelong.
Robust Healthcare Plan
As our bodies age, we require more attention to nutrition and healthcare. We also become more clumsy which causes accidents too.
It is prudent to have a robust healthcare plan that we can rely on when we need medical attention and is more affordable than directly paying for the rising costs of healthcare itself.
Our Government has provided every Singaporean with MediShield Life insurance for inpatient care and our Medisave accounts would go towards supplementing the cash bills for certain approved treatment. It will be prudent for one to consider subscribing to Private Medical Insurance to defray costs should we want to afford better medical attention.
A property is probably the single largest purchase of their lives for most Singaporeans. Few would be able to afford buying one without taking on a mortgage loan; and these loans often stretch across the entirety of our income earning years.
Most Singaporeans use their CPF-OA (Ordinary Account), initially purposed for Retirement to pay for their property. Some go the extent to purchase multiple properties, drawing down on the CPF-OA resources further.
It would be somewhat of a perfect storm if one were made unemployed nearing Retirement, untenanted properties with outstanding mortgage loans and a depleted CPF-OA account.
It would be prudent to look at creating sufficient buffer for emergencies and plan for scenarios stated above, at the same time working towards resolving mortgage loans in a reasonable time.
In my next article, I will be sharing how we can Maximize Government Schemes Available to You.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.