Saturday, February 6, 2010

10 Things to Do with Your CPF

I originally had in mind to title this post: "TEN CRAZY THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR CPF!"

But then I decided against it and thought that the things I were going to pen down were not so crazy afterall.

Singaporeans and Singapore PRs seem to have a love-hate relationship with CPF - the nation wide compulsory savings scheme that is supposed to meet their retirement needs and medical bill needs.

Of course, the number of CPF accounts have increased over the years and the things we can use them for has also increased significantly.

Nevertheless, we are a nation of complainers and we JUST LOVE to COMPLAIN. The key trait when you meet a Singaporean is to find him complaining about something. He is never satisfied. If the government were to abolish CPF this very day, I am sure huge sections of the population will also begin to complain: "Why no CPF???"


Is CPF Good Or Evil?


Almost everyone I seem to know thinks that CPF is evil. They find that their money is stuck and that they can't put full use to it. They feel that they are able to generate better returns compared to the guaranteed returns that CPF provides. Some of them feel that the paltry interest rates provided by CPF is not able to beat inflation rates. (This same people complain about the paltry interest rates provided by the banks).


On the other hand, there must be a reason why CPF was introduced. There surely must be some good to it. It has provided a means whereby Singaporeans and PRs are able to enjoy affordable housing. It forces people to set aside money for their retirement and medical needs. The best brains in the government obviously feel that CPF is a scheme that is both necessary and good for the entire society.


How can CPF possibly be good and evil at the same time? Clearly there must be something good about CPF that some people see in it. Or is CPF really bad and should be abolished altogether?


I LOVE CPF


The above debate is not for me. I love CPF and enjoy the benefits that I get. To me, it is another bank account for me. The only thing is that I cannot touch the money for sometime. Yes, the rules change here and there, but overall, it is still MY MONEY.

I know I am supposed to list 10 things You can do with your CPF...

Okay, here is my no.1 thing you can do with your CPF:

YOU CAN USE IT TO PAY FOR YOUR HOUSING!!

I have never used a single cent to pay for my HDB flat thus far. My CPF settles every single cent of it. That is one amazing thing you can do with your CPF. Use it to pay for your housing!

If I did not have CPF, I am not so sure that I would have been so disciplined to set aside that sum of money. I might very well have spent it all on a trip to Europe, bought a bigger car, or God knows what...

I also enjoy low mortgage interest rates at 2.6% which is the HDB housing loan rate.

Over the course of the next few days, I hope to continue to share on some of the things you can do with your CPF.

3 comments:

  1. 1) You can use it to buy virtual house. A house that is yours but is not really yours (cos it's on leasehold)

    2) You can use it to buy virtual education locally. An education that is real but not really real (because I seriously don't think graduates here are 'educated', more like prepared for work)

    3) You can use it to buy virtual funds. Funds that are real but not too real (because the returns goes back to your virtual fund aka CPF again)

    Wunderbar...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never plan my finances with CPF funds...

    Only look to it for HDB or whenever I can touch it. Any planning for retirement comes from without it.

    Coming from a 27 year old to be.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I guess CPF is a "good to have".

    If you have it, try to maximise what you can do with it. Just because you cannot touch it yet does not mean that it is not YOUR money.

    It is your money at the end of the day. Yes, there are lots of restrictions on how you can use it but I guess it is better to work around those restrictions and use it to do some stuff that you would otherwise have to fork money out with.

    ReplyDelete

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