The problem with reading investment books – 401(k) plan

 I have a big problem when it comes to reading investment books. More often than not, the books are written by authors from the USA and many of them include the option of using the 401(k) as a tool to improve their finances, as like what a typical Singaporean would do with her CPF system. It is such a pain because I don’t know what are the actual benefits of the 401(k) and the limitations of it. I also can’t relate to the tips that the books are trying to convey no matter how many times I read it, and because of this, the usefulness of the books isn’t 100% brought out.

Thus, the birth of this post. I’m done with this. And since Miss Niao has quite a few readers from the US, I hope that this post would benefit them as well. Continue reading “The problem with reading investment books – 401(k) plan”

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Are interest rates of the CPF accounts sustainable? – Reader’s input

I haven’t been doing a blog entry about the CPF system for some time and thought that it would be a good time to add one now. I have received a comment previously from a reader who invoked an inspiration for this blog entry (thanks Wabi, whoever you are!). He has asked a question on whether the interest rates for the individual accounts for OA, MA and SA would be sustainable.

Hmm, sustainable… Maybe the first question we can ask ourselves would be how sustainability can be defined for the CPF system. For the sake of this article, I assume that the CPF system would be considered sustainable if we can obtain full financial reliance on it while serving its purpose, e.g. at retirement.

Let’s go back to the purpose of CPF according to the CPF website:

  1. Retirement savings to meet your basic living expenses in old age
  2. A property that is fully paid-up when you retire
  3. Sufficient savings for future medical expenses as you grow older

Continue reading “Are interest rates of the CPF accounts sustainable? – Reader’s input”

Should I move my money from OA to SA?

Featured image source: http://www.straitstimes.com/business/invest/1m-in-cpf-by-age-65

I can’t emphasize any further how easy the answer to this question is.

You don’t even have to stay for the entire blog post to know the answer. I’m going to tell you right now.

The answer is “YES”. And I’ll tell you why. I’ll be convincing enough so that you don’t have to hesitate any longer. I’ll show you the numbers if you need them to prove that I’m right.

I’ll start off with two main differences between the OA and the SA. Continue reading “Should I move my money from OA to SA?”

The rich man in my office

Today, I’m going to introduce a new person into my blog. Let me do a short introduction about him.

His name is Richmond (concealed his real name for obvious reasons) and he is 42 this year. Ever since I joined the company, he has been my cubicle mate and it would seem that he will continue to be in the same cubicle as me for the rest of my time here. He has been in my company for about 8 years. He holds a senior position. When I first joined my company, I heard from others that he is single. At that point of time, my eyes gleamed with delight as I had a potential friend who was also single that I could introduce to him! Being the typical matchmaking auntie, I decided to prompt him about it.

I’ll never forget how the conversation went. Continue reading “The rich man in my office”

My personal financial goals

Seeing how hard it is to actually accumulate the amount of wealth needed to retire at 40 as an average working class, I think it is time for me to define my financial goals. Well, in fact, I’ve already defined them earlier this year, but I’ve decided to record them down in my blog so I can use it as future reference.

So here they are! *drumrolls*


  1. At Age 30, achieve a net worth of S$350,000.
  2. At Age 40, achieve a monthly passive income of S$3000.
  3. At Age 45, achieve a retirement portfolio of S$1,000,000. (and probably be able to retire)
  4. At Age 55, have no more financial obligations. And (fully) enjoy retirement!

I’ll refine the list as I go along.

These goals are important. They set a clear direction for me, and will determine if what I have been doing is working for me. I’ll come back to them frequently to track my personal progress.

That being said, I want to explain my goals in detail, and what I have achieved so far. Continue reading “My personal financial goals”

How much do you need to retire at 40?

As an engineer, I am constantly exposed to mathematical equations. Majority of my day job revolves around numbers and how I make sense of them to design and innovate products that we use in our everyday lives.

It is therefore unsurprising for me to perform calculations on almost any topic that can be analyzed. And I mean it. Like literally. I’m almost afraid that it might be an (secret) obsession of mine. Right off the bat, I actually have a couple of Excel spreadsheets that I think might be useful for the content of my blog. After all, numbers always do matter in the financial world, don’t they?

In any case, the spreadsheets have served me well every time I am in doubt, or I have to make a financial decision. The numbers become comforting for me to fall back on. And sometimes, after going through some analysis and thought processes, the numbers aren’t that scary.

I guess it’s the same with having your finances in check. Once you learn how to control or manage your money, it slowly becomes a habit. And then, you realize it isn’t all that difficult after all.

So right, I said numbers. So here they are. Continue reading “How much do you need to retire at 40?”

My definition of Retirement.

In my previous blog post, I mentioned about how everyone defines retirement differently. Here’s how Google defines it:

The action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work.

If we strictly follow this definition, it just means that once you quit your job and you decide to never work again in your life, you can be considered a retiree! All of a sudden, retiring doesn’t sound that difficult… Or it still is?

Well, here goes. This is my definition of retirement. And I’m gonna try to define it in a single sentence. Continue reading “My definition of Retirement.”