Friday, November 20, 2009

How To Retire in Singapore

When you hear people making the statement "How to retire in Singapore", it is usually not a question but a lament or opinion that it is close to impossible to retire comfortably in Singapore.

Is it really so difficult to retire in Singapore? What must one do to ensure that they can retire comfortably when their working days are over? How much does one need to safely call it a day from having to work?

Think about it..some famous celebrities have actually moved to Singapore. This include Gong Li and Jet Li who have both become Singaporeans now. Of course, I am sure their purpose is not to retire here but it seems that they find Singapore a really nice place to live in.

I believe that most Singaporeans also do like to live in Singapore and retire here. However, they are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the high cost of living and that's when they start to wonder whether they will be able to save up enough for their retirement fund.

Based on the MOH website, it seems that the male and female life expectancy has been increasing slowly over the years and I will not be surprised that for my generation (those in their 20s and 30s) the average life expectancy should be around 85. Considering the retirement age of around 60, that is a good 20 years of time (and money) to be spent during one's golden years.

In a lot of forums, I have found similar concerns amongst many. One comment even states that:

"The rich come to retire in Singapore. The poor go to Malaysia to retire. The neither here nor there aim for Australia" - Milo178 in Channel News Asia forum

I have also been thinking that retiring in Malaysia is a very viable option as the exchange rate will literally double my spending money. In that sense, I will be able to retire much earlier compared to someone who wants to retire in Singapore. I could even rent out my place in Singapore for passive income and convert that money to Ringgit =) That is indeed a very tempting thought.

Some people think that retiring is an impossible dream in today's world. This cannot be the case as I have read of people from other countries who have been able to retire in their 30s!

So i believe that it must be possible for people to retire in Singapore. People whether they are in their 30s, 40s or 50s should be able to hit their retirement goals. It is just how long they take to reach it.

I would like to think that there are a few steps that all can take to better prepare themselves for retiring.

1. Determine how much you need for retirement

2. Start saving towards that goal and make sure that the amount you save will enable you to hit that goal

3. Invest your money for the long term to get better returns

4. Cut down on your expenditure

5. Look for sources of passive income

Besides doing financial planning for yourself, you need to make sure that your children (if any) becomes financially independent from you and do not rely on you for money. You will be surprised that some young adults of ages twenty and above still depend on parents for money.

The CPF website has an excellent calculator to help you do your planning

1 comment:

  1. To me, retirement is a dream come true as it liberates one from the hustle and bustle of hectic worklife allows one to savour other aspects of life, to enjoy life at a slower pace, to smell and appreciate the flowers etc.

    How much should one have before one can really retre? There is no official figure given and it would be good to have a poll or survey to find what the majority thinks as well as some advice by financial planning experts.

    If my spouse and I have $2m from selling a house, would it be sufficient for them to retire given that they have a fully-paid up flat to stay in, a range of regular life and protection, health n hospitalisation policies plus the upcoming CPF Life Annuity plan?

    OUr age is about 50 and 53. I suppose we could retire with a simple lifestyle but if we want a more comfortable lifestyle, it would be better to work another ten years and save up more.
    What do you think?


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