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This guy has 800K in his CPF. (AK responds to HWZ Forum.)

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52 year old lost $200K and unsure about next 30 years: Discussion continues.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Reader says...
Hi AK,

Thank you so much for responding to my email and providing your thoughts. I have been thinking over it for the past few days.

I am pretty frugal and current monthly personal expenses on myself is about $1k. Another $1k spending on the maid, and $500/mth on insurance.

So roughly $2.5k/month.

The sad thing is I haven't been able to build up any passive income at all, except for the $1.4k monthly rental from the 2 rooms let out.

Friends ask me to move to the condo and rent out the 5-room flat for passive income, but the rental market seem weak with all the property cooling measures and tons of new hdb flats launched.

I do not have any dependents, just myself to take care of.  Would it be a good idea to take up a loan (6% p.a.) from the whole life and continue to let it run vs surrendering the policy?

I popped by the bank and opened a SRS account today and will transfer in the annual max $15,300.  I am at the 14% income tax bracket, so hopefully it will help to bring it down a bit (maybe a few hundreds).

Hope to go into ETFs and REITS for passive income, in your view is it ok to enter at current level or i should wait for market to go down a bit?  I am very worried because i cannot afford to lose too much at my age, and am really clueless which ones to go for..

AK says...

1. Frugality can only help in your wealth building effort. Good on you.

2. Try to build up passive income to improve cash flow but it is easier to improve cash flow by reducing expenses first. You still have room for this.

3. Rental market is expected to remain soft. My stand on the condo remains the same if you are concerned about cash flow. (Readers who are interested, please see related posts below.)

4. If you have no dependents, you don't need life insurance. (Dispense with this expense and have more savings.)

5.1 SRS makes sense for anyone who is paying quite a bit in income tax.

5.2 If you are worried about losing money at your age, obviously you are worried about volatility. If you cannot stomach volatility, staying away from the stock market is not a bad idea. Peace of mind is priceless.

Related posts:
1. 52 year old lost $200K and unsure about next 30 years (Part 1).
2. Should we buy a shoebox condo in NE Singapore?


Les Lim said...

I can understand his predicament. Likewise, I wasn't good at investments and understanding financials. Very often end up losing money in investments in stock market. There are two things that happened in recent years that really helped me.One was AK's blogs which I managed to make some passive money from Reit investments. The other was getting to know Aggregate Asset Management, a no upfront fee, fund house. I have parked some money with them and they have proven to be able to grow my investments. One of their partners is Ms Teh Hooi Ling a well known financial journalist formerly with the SPH which gave me the confidence to invest with them. Nowadays, I can sleep peacefully knowing that the investments are in good hands. I am 60 years old. For the record, I am not related to any of the partners or staff at Aggregate.

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


At first, I felt like kicking you, "See lah! See lah!"

Then I became impressed with your patience and transparency.

You don't have to explain it; but you did.

Let's look at your post on that talk with Jeff Sun:

1) Got state advertorial at the bottom label or not? Check.

2) Jeff is about technical analysis and stock TRADING. Crystal.

3) You are there to share income investing to Jeff's followers. That's not Jeff's thing. Couldn't be more clear. Check again.

The silver lining its only stock trading (I hope). It's not margin trading, binary options, CFDs, spot forex, or futures. It could be a lot worse!

But then again... Your reader got the idea of borrowing from his wholelife policy at 6% to invest for passive income? Now, who planted this idea in him?

From clueless to jumping on to hedge fund's carry trades?

Is he trolling you?

AK71 said...

Hi Les,

Yes, whatever we do, peace of mind is priceless.

I am glad you are able to sleep peacefully.

Our golden years should be enjoyable and not worrisome. :)

AK71 said...


I always believe in doing the right thing and try to always do the right thing.

I must be able to live with my decisions as I want to be able sleep well at night. :)

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