Would You Retire Overseas?

We always talk about retirement in Singapore and the projected expenses that we need to reach financial freedom. I set out on my journey with a target of having a passive income of S$3000 per month by the time I am 40 to cope with the rising cost of living in Singapore and possible inflation of my standard of living.

Now that I am 28 officially, my goals still stand with similar projections.

All I need is S$616,930.67 with a 6.5% annual yield to reach my goal.

Sounds easy? Of course not. That 600-odd thousand amount is the amount of money I have to have in my investment instruments ALONE. All the money I have in my CPF or emergency funds, or even war chest to be specific enough should not count in that amount.

Based on those numbers, I also have to pump in S$30,000 of fresh funds per year. That is not a small amount at all, and barely leaving me any other money for additional savings or other purposes.

But recently, I was introduced to another solution to reach retirement much faster. How fast you say? Continue reading “Would You Retire Overseas?”

Women Are Better Prepared for Retirement

Image Source: https://www.cnbc.com

I was randomly scrolling through the CPF website yesterday and found something very interesting. They have recently performed a Trend Analysis of CPF members’ Balances based on Gender, and they did a comparison between the CPF balances of males and females and how the workforce has changed since 2006 till 2016.

If you look at modern society right now, it is not uncommon to find a dual-income household. Gone were the days of stereotypes when the man is assumed to be the sole breadwinner of the family and the woman has to cook and clean. Continue reading “Women Are Better Prepared for Retirement”

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”

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?”

Medisave Account is also a Special Account

In the CPF, there are three accounts, namely the Ordinary Account (OA), Medisave Account (MA) and the Special Account (SA). Annual interest rates of the OA, MA and SA are 2.5%, 4% and 4% respectively. Today’s post would be focused on the Medisave Account.

Don’t get misled by the title. There really are three accounts, and the Medisave Account isn’t going to be combined with the Special Account anytime soon.

However, I would like to highlight a feature of the Medisave Account which makes it special. In fact, more special than the Special Account if you have not hit your FRS (Full Retirement Sum).

Did you know that the Medisave Account has a ceiling of $52,000 as of today? Ah ha! I bet you didn’t! It is the only account out of the three that has a ceiling. This ceiling is known as the Basic Healthcare Sum (BHS). It increases annually due to inflation and rising healthcare costs. BHS is useful for us to create wealth using the CPF.

Hear this – Once your MA has reached the BHS, the magic happens. Continue reading “Medisave Account is also a Special Account”

Understanding the CPF (complicated) system

BF and I were having a Whatsapp conversation one day.

Me: BB, I read that got people transfer their funds from OA to SA, maybe we should do it leh! Got higher returns.

BF: Huh is it? Never hear before leh. Then transfer already can transfer back anot?

Me: Er, don’t think so leh.

BF: Then next time want to buy house how?

Me: Er….

BF: Better check first. Then decide what we want to do.

Me: Okok, I read more…

We continued discussing even further and eventually we decided that there was too much to discuss. After gathering all the information I have found online, I have arrived at a few conclusions.

1) The CPF website is super chapalang (disorganized).

In order to get a specific piece of information, I needed to click a few links before reaching my destination. Sometimes even go one big round and then end up at the place where I started. It is like weaving through a maze. Haiyo.

2) Once you master the CPF system, it is hard to forget it.

In fact, it would seem like everything would fall into place. You will automatically know what you need to do in order to use the CPF to your advantage.

3) Do not just limit your knowledge to the CPF website. 

Information about CPF is boundless. Knowledge is power, but applying your knowledge is a different thing entirely. Do your research and see what people are doing with their CPF accounts. And adopt the approach that would work best for you.

That being said, on the same weekend, BF and I sat down in front of the PC to analyze the CPF system. Funny how other couples go for movie dates but ours is to study the CPF. Lol.

I’ve opened a new category in my blog named as “The CPF system”. Subsequent blog posts about the CPF will be placed in this category. So if you want to know more about the CPF and how I utilized this to control my finances, please click here. I hope that it would be able to give you some insight and you’ll be able to find what you need.

Thanks for reading!

Miss Niao xoxo

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.”

How do You want to Retire?

Ah, retirement. Everyone looks at it in a different way and at different points of their lives.

If you’re reading this now, I hope that it did pique your interest. If you haven’t thought about it, I would advice that you do. To retire at 40? Pfft, you look at me skeptically. But what if I told you that it is possible, if you’re currently in your mid to late twenties?

Well the thirties… Don’t worry, you may be a little late in the game, but take a step now! Perhaps retiring at 55? Doesn’t sound too bad either, right?

And those close to the retirement age, do you already have a plan that was executed a few decades ago, reaping your benefits now? I hope you did some planning! Otherwise, it still isn’t too late. There are still steps you can take to reach there.

Of course, the very first thought that comes to mind should be how you define retirement. All those Instagram photos, and how our society paints pictures about it. Yeah sure, it would be lovely to lie on the beach (be it Sentosa or Hawaii) with a cocktail in your hand and your life partner beside you. Perhaps a yacht that you own, floating across the sea horizon in front of you? That’s a good life ain’t it?

For the average working class, it is still possible to achieve that. But if you seek the answers here, I suggest that you read another blog instead. As far as dreams can take us, it is good to face reality sometimes. What my blog can offer (at most) is something feasible and pragmatic enough for average people like me to utilize and take the next step in their financial well being. If you’re on the same path, then I really hope you stay tuned, because we could probably help one another to achieve our goals to financial freedom.

Thank you for reading!

Miss Niao xoxo