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Thursday, August 27, 2015

These days, very often, when readers ask me questions, I would direct them to my blog's "Search" function found at the top of the blog. 

What? You didn't know there is one?

Alamak, you must be reading my blog using your mobile phone all the time. 

The mobile friendly version of my blog shows the latest 5 blog posts and that's about it.

Apart from the "Search" function, the full web version of my blog also has plenty of useful links in the left and right side bars. 

There are links to recommended blog posts, the latest news and comments, for examples.

Having said this, I would like to share an inspirational email from a new reader who made good use of the full web version of my blog over a short period of two months:

Questions? Use the "Search" function in my blog.

Dear AK,

I was researching on insurance as I only have H&S and HPS plans even after working for 5 years. I moved in to my new HDB flat in January and I began to manage the household finances. 

Suddenly, at the age of 30, I thought that life is vulnerable especially when my husband and I had mortgage loans to pay off. 

I was on sabbatical leave for 2 months as I was pretty burnt out from the previous job. 

Fortunately, our flat was $368k (3-room HDB, 60sqm). We could afford a 4-room flat but decided that we do not want to fork out extra cash top-ups after deducting from our CPFs. 

It was a wonderful 2 months and a good friend of mine recommended your blog. 

It was such an eye-opener! 

First, I started by reading the suggested posts, then by labels. But still, I don't think I have finished reading all the 2000 posts. Some posts, I read it many times over. 

Every day, I'll share an article you have written with my husband. 

I have also read a few other bloggers and think of something which will work for us. 

I'm proud of myself that I learnt something new and not eroding away my husband's money =p

Then we started to think things over, like we should set aside some funds before trying for a baby. 

Both of us agreed on the part where children are wealth destruction *ouch*. If we were to have children, we have to make sure that our war chests are solid.

Because of your blog, I have also helped my parents to review their rubbish insurance policies and streamline it so they don't have to pay so much. 

I even got my mum to contribute to her CPF-RA account on a monthly basis. It's a small amount of $300 per month but better than nothing. 

She's only 55 and have 10 years for the magic of compounding to happen. I also have plans to do cash top-ups for her. 

I drafted our monthly fixed and miscellaneous expenses (eg. $4000). 

We don't own a car. We credit our salary into a joint account. The surplus (eg. $3000) will be transferred to another joint account which we defined as "Savings/Invest/Travel". 

Once we think that this account is solid, we will open another joint account for Emergency Funds. 

Every year, we will do a yearly $7000 top up to our CPF-SA each so that we could also get tax relief. We have not started investing for dividends yet as that's another whole new topic. 

As for insurance, I'm taking my time to review and shortlist the ones that cater to our needs. And yes, my husband and I are now a strong advocates of "Buy Term Invest the Rest" :) 

Whenever when we "eavesdrop" on conversations of insurance agents pushing ILPs to clueless clients at fast food restaurants, painting beautiful picture of the 8% non-guaranteed return, we always roll our eyes and shake our head in disbelief. LOL! 

You mentioned that you have a job which pays slightly less than $10k monthly, which means you are probably in the senior management. I suppose you are a busy man.

First, how do you manage to squeeze out time to write your blog?

Second, may I have your opinion on our strategy to save money? Any way that I can improve on? 

Thank you AK and I look forward to every one of your posts. 


Taken on my recent vacation.

Hi A,

A warm welcome to my blog. :)

These days, I have many more emails from readers and to read one like yours always brightens up my day.

I am happy that talking to myself has helped anyone who would care to eavesdrop. LOL. ;p

As for what you plan to do, I feel that having adequate insurance and, then, having an adequate emergency fund should come first. These are the safety nets.

Even if we were to pluck low hanging fruits, having some kind of cushion in case we should trip and fall is a good idea. ;)

I am really glad that you are helping the elders in your family plan for a more secure retirement and to have healthier cash flow in the present as well, all without sacrificing any necessary insurance coverage. :)

How do I find the time to blog and engage readers? The honest truth? I don't really have a social life, I guess. A close friend told me this quite bluntly before.

As I retire from active employment, I have more time on my hands and I am making an effort to spend more time with friends and family. Of course, I appreciate having more "me" time. ;)

Your story will inspire many more to take affirmative action. :)

Good job!

Best wishes,


Some related posts (yes, only some):
1. Do the right things and transform our lives.
2. Do you know if your parents have H&S coverage?
3. AK is buying a 12 year tenor AAA rated bond.


AK71 said...

Why you buy Accodia? Is it because insider buying and high dividend expected + price is attractive and holding steady now at 0.7 nbv?

Assi AK
Please refer to past blog post on Accordia. ;p

i did sir..must not have been able to find the info. will dig again.
my bad...i did a search with the search feature in the blog and found several blogs related.You must keep getting questions like this. I am very sorry to bother you.

Assi AK
Hey, no problem at all. Once you discover the Search function in my blog, you have basically found the key to ASSI's vault. ;)

Monogatari said...

Can we still make a 7K annual contribution to our SA? I just checked the CPF website there are only 2 options. A VC directly to our medisave and a VC which is allocated accordingly to the SA, OA and MA. Any insights?

AK71 said...

Hi Sharon,

Check under "Minimum Sum Top Up to SA". For the first $7K Top Up each year, you will get income tax relief too. This is a special type of voluntary contribution. :)

AhJohn said...

hi AK, a bit confused. So "Minimum sum top up for SA" is different with VC?
Btw, your previous mentioned that HR may have trouble to refund as you do VC, so will this "Minimum sum top up to SA" with income tax relief need to consider yearly CPF contribution from salary?

AK71 said...

Hi AhJohn,

It is terminology. :)

To me, MS Top Up to the SA is a type of VC. ;)

MS Top Up to SA is not governed by an annual cap. As long as our SA has not hit the prevailing minimum sum (MS), we can do a MS Top Up (up to the prevailing minimum sum). However, anything more than $7K a year will not have income tax relief.

There is an annual contribution cap for Mandatory Contributions (MC) plus Voluntary Contributions (VC). So, if the annual cap is $30,600, for example, and our MC is $20,000, the max VC we can make is $10,600. Such contributions will go into OA, SA and MA, not into SA exclusively.

MS Top Up to SA is not part of this annual contribution cap for MC plus VC. It is something we can do in addition as long as our SA has not hit the prevailing MS.

AK71 said...

Thks for sending me the article. I will read it and review my decision and thought process. U r like Doraemon!

If I am like Doraemon, my blog must be my magic pocket. ;p

Unintelligent Nerd said...

Hi AK,

If you are Doraemon, is your surname Ang? Theme song always "ang ang ang"

keke, just playing with you only :D

AK71 said...

Hi UN,

LOL. So droll. ;)

AK = Ang Gong? ;p

AK71 said...

I wonder how u manage to dig your old post so fast. I use the SEARCH engine n always gave me many ......

LOL. Practice. 😉

AK71 said...

Reader says...
2 years on and I’m still following this crazy fella. Haha.
Thanks for talking to yourself. I learnt much from your self talk. Just like reading people’s memoirs. Enlightening and value-adding.

AK says...
I am very happy my blog has been helpful. Gambatte! 😀

Are you still following this crazy guy? You must be crazy too.

If AK is crazy, so are you! :p

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