Waiting for the right time is the best example of wasting time

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If you are an engineer, you know lean lesson one tells us to remove waiting time in any process.

If you are an investor, you know a dollar today is more than a dollar tomorrow and how compounding effect does magic.

If you remember your national service days,  you know how we rush to wait and wait to rush like time is of no value.

If you have a crush on someone, you know how painful it will be when you are 25 minutes too late.

If you are applying for HDB BTO, you know how frustrating it is to receive lousy ballot outcome for six consequent times.

If you are still waiting for ABSD to be lifted, you could be banging your head to the wall when it becomes the norm.

If you are someone who cannot appreciate and value time because of your firm confirming bias trapping your mind in delusion, maybe it’s time to stop waiting for the right time.

The truth is you will never be totally ready.

Alright, let’s get going!

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Retirement Planning Is Not Just About Saving That Sum

good retirement planning is simply

Not matter how much money you set aside, whether it is in your CPF or other savings, it can be depleted in just a matter of time. However, an income would not. The untold secret about retirement planning is actually about retirement income, not the fund itself.

Retirement lifestyle and retirement fund

You must have heard a lot about setting a realistic lifestyle that is comfortable yet not overly straining on your retirement fund.

So what is your realistic lifestyle?

And have you calculated how fast will your retirement fund last you till?

If you have not, don’t be too surprised if it didn’t last you as long as you expected. It can actually deplete quite fast.

See the following scribble I draw together with a client on how fast can retirement fund deplete after one leave their full-time job.

 

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Retirement fund over time 

 

Retirement income

This is the key to successful and happy retirement, a good sustainable passive income for retirement.

It could be one or two of the following :

  • Dividend payout from stocks, bonds, insurance etc
  • Profit sharings from stakes of companies, partnership or startups
  • Returns from crowdfunding, high-interest deposits
  • Rental income from properties
  • and the list goes on

All the above has certain risk components in it, you have to decide which is the most suitable for your risk appetite and to start building it now.

Whether or not you are in 20s, 30s or 40s, start today to think about what is your retirement income and plan a way to achieve it.

It is never too late when you start today =)

 

 

Living In The Sky (Terrace) @ Dawson

When high-rise residential buildings were first introduced, there were no lifts and most people still preferred to stay at the ground floor like they used to be. Back in the old days, the property price reduces as the level gets higher, but today it is the direct opposite.

Today, people are used to taking lifts and prefer an unblocked view of the horizon from their rooms, hence resulting units at the higher level being sold at a higher price than their neighbours on a lower level.

Just like many others, I was very lucky to get a flat that is high up, above 35th floors.

After staying in the sky, for more than a year now. I will dedicate this post to listing some pros and cons when living on a high floor.

This will be particularly useful if you are considering a high-rise property.

Pros

Beautiful panoramic view, of course.

Furthermore, with the Singapore Botanic Gardens and nature reserve right in front, the lush greenery brings tranquillity into the house. This is especially useful to kick start myself in the morning with positive energy from the greens.

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Very frequent strong wind, that can turn the ceiling fan when it is turned off and wind-dry the laundry overnight. On many occasions, the whistling wind will turn in sudden gust strong enough to slam the windows shut one after another.

Early storm warning, is a plus point especially when we are preparing to head out.

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Sell at a higher price, of course. I do not have to say more on this.

Cons

Long wait for the lift or the long ride with multiple stops is quite frustrating when you are in the rush to appointment or to use the toilet =x

Popping ears or the uncomfortable feeling in the ears when taking the lift due to sudden pressure change.

The air conditioning system has become a white elephant.

 

And the list goes on.

 

Nevertheless, I have fallen in love with this home of mine especially when all the pros outweighs the cons substantially, I’m not sure how am I going to adapt to a landed property in future. Let’s see.

Turning your CPF into an ATM machine

how to turn cpf into atm

The answer is simple.

Via rental.

When you are using CPF to pay for the mortgage of your investment property that is rented out, you will receive cash from rent. In this way, the CPF withdrew has just been converted into cash by renting your property out.

Only use this method when you know how and have a plan for this extra income.

If you do not have plans to earn at least 3% per annum from this extra cash, I would recommend you to leave them in your CPF account for a 2.5% interest.

 

 

My Six Attempts At HDB BTO Balloting And My Advice to Other Couples

my six attempts at hdb bto balloting

If you have tried to apply for HDB during the Build-to-Order (BTO) launches and failed many times, don’t worry. You are not alone.

We were together for 6 years when we first applied for a HDB and we were more than ready to progress with the uniquely Singapore way of marriage proposal – “Shall we apply for HDB flat?”

Most local young people spend most of their life staying with their parents, and the earliest possibility to getting their own home is when they are getting married, hence this is really a moment to look forward to.

However, this moment can be really frustrating when I have to repeat it for 6 times and spent 18 months before luck is on my side for a good enough queue number to select a unit.

Here is the list of BTO we have balloted before:

  1. 2012 March BTO Bukit Batok, Skyline
  2. 2012 July BTO Bukit Merah, Ridgeview
  3. 2012 Nov BTO Queenstown, Ghim Moh Edge
  4. 2013 Jan BTO Ang Mo Kio, Kebun Balu Court
  5. 2013 Mar BTO Bukit Batok, Sky Peak
  6. 2013 May SBF Queenstown, Sky Terrace

Tips for Singaporean couples

Think long term and start planning early.

If you are as lucky as me, you will need to 18 months to get a chance to ballot, 42 months for construction and 60 months of  MOP, a total of 10 years before you are eligible to buy another property or sell this HDB.

 

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Typical HDB BTO timeline

If you are getting married at 30 years old, the typical age where Singaporean couples get married, you will be close to 40 years old before you can start to unlock your first property and grow your real estate portfolio.

Hence, start early.

Another way out to start early – Resale first then BTO

For those who cannot wait 5 years for to get the keys to your new flat, here is a way you can consider.

Buy a HDB resale flat first before balloting for new BTO. Resale first then BTO (RFTB).

Resale First Then BTO (RFTB)

Using this RFTB method, you will be able to move into a house much earlier yet you can still apply for HDB BTO as a first timer later on.

 

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Resale First Then BTO (RFTB) timeline

However, there is a catch – you cannot use any housing subsidies. Only by doing so, you will still be considered as a first timer and receive all subsidies/ priorities when you are applying for a HDB BTO later on.

 

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Source: HDB

 

Of course, there are many other ways to get your matrimonial home earlier, the above is one of it.

Drop me an email or a text if you want to find out or you have another way to help fellow Singaporeans get their home earlier.