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Sarah Chan

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Sarah Chan

Business Administration at NUS

121Upvotes

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Business Administration at NUS

Sarah Chan

Business Administration at NUS

121Upvotes
  • Answers (40)
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Investments

Savings

Lifestyle

Family

Retirement

Hi anon! Let’s break down your current situation bit by bit and see what you should do moving forward. The first half of this answer tackles your first question on financial planning for your 2 financial goals - family and retirement . The second half of this answer will tackle your other question on what to do with your funds from your savings & investments. ! TL;DR: A simple guide to achieving your financial goals and managing your funds is to: 1. Prepare to set aside approximately $363,156 for your family’s finances and $342,775 for your retirement finances. 2. To achieve these figures, you can follow the 50-20-5-25 income allocation ratio. 3. With your existing funds, you should manage them by: continuously growing them through investments, keeping the liquid funds in a suitable savings account, and ensuring you & your family are on the right insurance policies for protection. #1 How much to save up for your 2 financial goals: Goal 1: Family - kids' future education - Secondary school: At least $184,800 - Tertiary education. Assuming your kids are heading for Junior College, you would need to save approximately $29,842 per child. Assuming your kids are heading for Polytechnic instead, you would need to save approximately $10,500 per child. - University. Assuming your kids are heading for local universities, e.g. NUS, you would need to save approximately $50,236 - $59,336 per child. (P.S. These figures are all calculated on approximation. Do let me know if you’d like to see a break down of the costs I used in this calculation!) Now let’s calculate the maximum amount you would need to save (still an approximation ) for both kids to best prepare yourself for the future. Assuming both of your kids headed for Junior College and took on the costliest degree at NUS, you would need to save up a total of $363,156 for the two of them. Goal 2: Retirement - how to retire comfortably From our Seedly article on how much you need to save in order to retire and meet your basic needs, a married male and female Singaporean that would like to retire at age 64 would have to prepare at least $134,007 and $208,768 respectively (do alter this figure based on your lifestyle, needs and preferences). This means that both of you have to ensure there is a total of $342,775 for your collective retirement. Overall, you would need to save up a total of at least $704,413 in your CPF & savings account in order to achieve both of your financial goals. #2 What should you do to save up for it Here at Seedly, we typically recommend the 50-30-20 income allocation ratio for young adults. But given that you two are parents instead, we suggest tweaking the ratios a little to cater to your needs. You can consider this new ratio instead: 50% expenses, 20% savings for retirement, 5% savings for your children & 25% investments. #3 What to do with the funds from your savings & investments a) Keep growing your finances through investments It’s great that you guys are already investing, but what you should be paying attention to would be the allocation of your investible funds. Based on our Age vs Risk Seedly article, your risk appetite should be slightly lower now compared to your prime investing days. I’d say invest 60% (or less) of your available funds in riskier assets like stocks, with the rest being invested in bonds. b) Safe keep your liquid funds in the right savings account Investments aside, do ensure the rest of your funds (the more liquid ones) are placed in the right savings account that can provide you with advantageous interest rates. I’d highly recommend going with the DBS Multiplier Account. I’m sure at the age of 40, you guys can easily hit the highest (or higher) tiers of interest rates based on your account balance and categories of eligible transactions. So go take advantage of that 3.8% p.a. rate! c) Protect yourself and your family with the right insurance policies For sure you would’ve gotten some insurance policies for yourself and the family but are you on the right plans? Take 30mins of your time to do some planning using our Seedly article breaking down the various types of insurance. At the end of the day, do ensure you’ve gotten health + life insurance for yourself and the family. Personal accident would be a good add-on if your family needs it. That’s my two cents worth of opinion! At the end of the day, you know your finances and financial position best so do adapt the advice accordingly! I suggest doing more research and gathering more advice before making any major decisions. The community here on Seedly is here to help too! #powerofcommunity Do seek the help of a financial planner/advisor as well if you feel that you can’t DIY things on your own or need additional support. I hope this summary provides a rough template for your financial planning. All the best in achieving your financial goals :-)
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General

Lifestyle

Savings

Hi there anon, Agreed with what Clarence shared! If having a car value adds to your lifestyle (work, family, friends, hobbies .etc) and if it outweighs the high costs incurred in it (getting your license, COE, car's cost, maintenance, petrol .etc), then I think you should get it. I think both public transport and driving your own car have their own perks. I personally wouldn't get a car because I am relatively satisfied with our public transport (compared to some other countries) and other transport alternatives like Grab & Gojek. If you're looking for more information & analysis, here are some helpful Seedly articles about driving in Singapore! 1. How much should you be earning before buying a car in SG: https://blog.seedly.sg/buy-car-how-much-should-be-earning/ 2. Cost of getting a car in SG 2019: https://blog.seedly.sg/factors-cost-car-price-singapore/ 3. Driver's license costs in SG: https://blog.seedly.sg/cost-driving-license-singapore-private-vs-school/ 4. Petrol price comparison in SG: https://blog.seedly.sg/ultimate-comparison-petrol-station-prices-best-credit-card-fuel-promotions-singapore-sinopec-shell-esso-caltex-spc/ 5. Other 'Transportation' articles on Seedly: https://blog.seedly.sg/category/financial-lifestyle/transportation/ Hope they help!! :-)

Credit Card

Fresh Graduates

AMEX Singapore KrisFlyer Card

DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card

Miles

Travel

Hi anon! I’m sure many fresh grads are planning which credit cards they should get and you’ve arrived at the right place! :) Here at Seedly, we’re all about making smarter financial decisions together and that’s what this summary of the top 5 most common miles credit card will do. ! TL;DR: The miles credit card that’s best for: - Grab expenditure: AMEX KrisFlyer - Travelling & overseas miles rate: DBS Altitude - Local miles rate: UOB KrisFlyer - Miles rate with partners: UOB PRIVI - Additional mile rewards: Citi PremierMiles Here’s a summarised table on the 5 miles credit cards (open in a new tab/zoom in to read the details!): ! Now let’s break down your expenditure: - Transport: If most of your transportation expenditure is on Grab then the AMEX KrisFlyer Card would be ideal for you given the 3.3 miles rate. However, if you are likely to spend beyond S$200 each month on Grab then the cap imposed by AMEX KrisFlyer might not make it the best. The UOB KrisFlyer would be better in this case! If most of your transport expenditure is on public transport rides, then the UOB KrisFlyer Card would be ideal for you. The DBS Altitude’s 4 miles rate seems really attractive but bear in mind that it only lasts through the promotional period. Beyond that, these 2 cards would provide better rates. - Dining & online shopping: The UOB KrisFlyer provides the best rates for your meals outside and online shopping. In a nutshell, the UOB KrisFlyer Card seems to be the best based on your monthly expenditure. The AMEX KrisFlyer Card would come to a close second place if majority of your transportation expenditure is on Grab. Of course, if the additional mile rewards is important to you then the Citi PremierMiles Card would come to a close second place too. But based on the fact that the majority of your expenditure is on local spend, the UOB KrisFlyer Card should be your choice. However, do note that the UOB KrisFlyer's 3 miles (local rate) is comprised of 1.2 mpd base rate + bonus 1.8 mpd. This bonus will only be credited 2 months after the card membership year which is quite a bit of a wait. So do take note about this point if you're considering the card despite its pretty good miles rate! At the end of the day, please do your due diligence in researching about the cards and its features before getting one, especially if this is your first card as a fresh grad! Ensure the T&Cs are reasonable to you and matches your spending behaviour. I hope this was helpful for you! :-)
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Investments

Savings

Insurance

Lifestyle

Career

Bank Account

Hi anon! I’ve most certainly not served the nation but here at Seedly, we’re all about making smarter financial decisions. So let’s break things down together and see how we can grow your finances during your NS years. ! TL;DR: These 3 tools should be able to help you grow your finances over your 2 years in NS: - POSB Save As You Serve (SAYS): 2% p.a. interest on your monthly savings - CIMB FastSaver Account: 1% p.a. interest for balances up to S$50,000 - Investing as a beginner: STI-ETF, SSB, Robo-Advisors For starters, it’s great that you don’t picture yourself spending a lot in your NS days! Do keep up with the good work and discipline over the next 2 years. With whatever savings you have at the moment together with your monthly NS pay, here are 3 different ways you can grow your money: #1 POSB Save As You Serve (SAYS): From as little as S$50 per month, you get to enjoy up to 0.25% p.a. base interest + 2% p.a. additional interest . Also, if you intend to get a debit card to use alongside the account, there’s the SAFRA DBS Debit Card and HomeTeamNS-PAssion POSB Debit Card with pretty reasonable cash rebate deals and additional privileges #2 CIMB FastSaver: A popular savings account among young adults, the CIMB FastSaver is a really attractive savings account due to its 1% p.a. interest rate. - From as little as S$1,000 per month, you get to enjoy 1% p.a. interests for balances up to S$50,000. - Beyond S$50,000 balance, you get to enjoy 1.50% p.a. interests up to S$75,000 balance. - Beyond S$75,000 balance, you’ll only get to enjoy 0.6% p.a. interests . I’m pretty sure you have AND can maintain at least S$1,000 in the account given how disciplined you are. Not sure about you but 1% p.a. interest rate sounds pretty good to me especially when there aren’t multiple conditions to fulfil! There’s no need to hit a minimum spend every month, do salary crediting or meet any online bank transaction quota. By simply depositing a portion of your monthly NS salary into this account, you get that 1% p.a. You can continue using the CIMB FastSaver Account beyond NS too, the account is pretty popular among undergrads and fresh grads saving up for their financial goals! #3 Investing for beginners: Given that you’re ready to do your own research, I take it that you want to start investing but you aren’t too sure where to begin or what to do. I recently answered a similar question for an investing newbie here, do take a read! To sum things up, I would recommend you invest in STI-ETF, SSB and Robo-Advisors since you’re a beginner. Given that you’ll be busy serving the nation, these investment products are great for you too since they’re passive investments over a long term horizon. To learn more about the 3 investment products, here are some useful Seedly articles to help you along the way: STI-ETF: - STI-ETF: A Simple Way To Invest In Singapore’s Top 30 Companies - What Are Your Returns If You Dollar Cost Averaged On The STI-ETF for 8 Years SSB: - Interest Rates & How To Buy SSB - Should You Choose Singapore Savings Bond (SSB) or Fixed Deposits (FD)? Robo-Advisors: - SG Robo-Advisor Comparison - SeedlyTV Ep04: Robo-Wars More importantly, as a beginner of investing who’s also busy serving the nation, I’d recommend you do Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA) through a Regular Shares Savings (RSS) Plan. The idea behind doing DCA is essentially setting aside a sum every month (as low as $100!) to invest. You can do DCA for all 3 investment products by setting aside a sum of your monthly NS pay to invest in them, e.g. $100 in each investment product. I hope this summary on where you can park your savings & NS pay in order to grow them over the next 2 years was helpful! Wishing you all the best serving the nation and achieving your financial goals! :-)

Investments

Savings

Hi anon, I recently answered a similar question here, have a read: https://seedly.sg/questions/where-should-a-part-time-student-park-his-money-at. All the related articles you can read & learn from are linked in that answer! There're plenty of free materials for you to learn about investing, Seedly articles included :) I also agree with Zaine's input! Always do your due diligence researching and learning about the investment product(s) you're putting your money in, don't dive into something that's foreign to you. As a newbie, I'd highly recommend passive investments unless you're ready to commit a great amount of your time into preparing & managing your active investments. Also, do bear in mind that investing is a 1 out of the 5 pillars of Personal Finance. Do ensure you've read up and prepared your other pillars of Personal Finance on top of your investments :) Wishing you all the best in reaching your financial goals!

Credit Card

Bank Account

DBS

DBS Multiplier

DBS Live Fresh Card

POSB Everyday Card

Hey there anon!! I’m in the midst of planning which DBS/POSB credit card to get and complement my DBS Multiplier account too so here are the findings I got! I will be focusing on the following 3 credit cards that are the most popular among consumers. ! TL;DR: You should pair your DBS Multiplier Account with the POSB Everyday Card because: - There is no minimum monthly spend - There are lesser cashback caps imposed - There is a good variety of merchants to enjoy the cashback from 1. DBS Live Fresh Card ! Details: - This cashback rate is only applicable with a minimum spend of $600/month. - From now till 31 Dec 2019, you’ll get to enjoy an additional 5% cashback on your transport spend for the first 180 days from your card approval date as long as you hit the minimum spend of $600 every month. This cashback is capped at $20/month. - You can connect the DBS Live Fresh Card to SimplyGo, charging all your bus/MRT rides directly to it - This all-in-one card can also be linked to your Multiplier Savings Account and act as your ATM card 2. POSB Everyday Card ! Details: - No minimum spend - Your cash rebates will never expire - You can connect the POSB Everyday Card to SimplyGo too, charging all your bus/MRT rides directly to it - This all-in-one card can also be linked to your Multiplier Savings Account and act as your ATM card 3. DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card - Miles rate (local): $1 = 1.2 miles - Miles rate (overseas): $1 = 2 miles - Miles rate (travel): $1 = 3 miles - 10,000 extra miles with annual fee payment - Additional travel privileges exclusive to cardholders - You can connect the DBS Altitude Card to SimplyGo too, charging all your bus/MRT rides directly to it - The card can also be linked to your Multiplier Savings Account How do I decide which is the most suitable card? 1. Are you focusing on a credit card that rewards you with cashback or miles? 2. What’s your average monthly expenses? This is to ensure you can hit the minimum spend on cards with one. 3. What comprises your monthly expenses? Are they mostly online spending or grocery.etc? This is to ensure you’re milking your card to its potential. Based on the above findings, I would most likely go with the POSB Everyday Card . With no minimum spend imposed, I don’t feel pressurised to spend excessively every month to hit that target. The cashback given for shopping at Sheng Shiong and Watsons are great for me too, but the 20.1% cashback for petrol at SPC is even better for those that drive a lot! The $60 monthly cashback cap imposed on the Live Fresh Card makes it lose out to the POSB Everyday Card. Apparently, the cashback % was at 10% previously AND there were no monthly caps for the Live Fresh Card a year ago. But today’s terms aren’t so favourable anymore so I would really encourage you to get the POSB Everyday Card instead. If you’re looking for a credit card rewarding you with miles instead, the DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card has pretty decent features and can be linked to your DBS Multiplier Account too. Essentially, it boils down to how much your monthly expenditure is - the higher it is, the greater the interests you get to earn from the Multiplier Account. If you would be spending a lot in exchange for a better interest rate, why not milk the cashback from the POSB Everyday Card that doesn't have a monthly cap? I hope this was helpful!
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Investments

Savings

Hi anon, I recently answered a similar question on how a newbie can get started with investing, have a read here: https://seedly.sg/questions/where-should-a-part-time-student-park-his-money-at?aid=17577 There are plenty of free resources available for newbies to get started on investing! In short, you should: 1. Check everything on the investment checklist before getting started 2. Do some financial planning and research 3. Work out a basic portfolio that meets your financial goals. Plan it based on your risk appetite, returns expectation and starting capital. Do your due diligence researching and planning before you dive into things. Also, do note that your investing portfolio isn't static, do adapt them accordingly to your life stages and expectations. Wishing you all the best in your financial goals :-)

Investments

Stocks Discussion

Savings

Hi anon, To begin, good job on saving this much by the age of 23 while studying! As a fellow newbie in the personal finance and investing world, I found the following steps really helpful as I dived into things. ! TL;DR: As a newbie in the investing world, you should: - Check everything in the investment checklist, do your financial planning and work out the most ideal portfolio based on it - Park the rest of your savings in an account that will reward you with decent interest rates based on how much savings you have and your spending behaviour - Begin with an SSB, STI ETFs and Robo-Advisors portfolio as they are passive investments with low to moderate risks. Here are 3 simple steps to help prepare you before you begin your investment journey: #1 Start off by ensuring you’re ready to begin investing. Do give our Ultimate Investment Guide a read! It summarizes everything a newbie in the investing world should know before they commence their investing journey. For starters, use this investment checklist to determine whether you’re ready to begin investing: 1. Have no debt on hand 2. Have spare cash (i.e. up to 6 months worth of emergency funds) 3. Possess investing knowledge, or else do your research first 4. Be ready to do your due diligence #2 Do your financial planning You can either DIY this on your own or get a financial advisor/planner if you require further guidance along the way. This Seedly article should be able to help you through your financial planning. Remember to answer the following questions during this stage too: 1. What’s your risk appetite? 2. What are your return expectations? 3. What’s your starting capital? 4. What are your financial goals for the future? #3 Work out a financial portfolio Now that you’ve done all the prep work, let’s move on to selecting the investment product(s) of your choice to build a well-diversified financial portfolio. Your portfolio should be built based on your answers to the 4 questions above in #2. Here are some really useful Seedly articles that can help you pick the investment product of choice: - Ultimate Investment Guide to Investing in Singapore - Cheatsheet: Investment Products at a Glance - Investment Products That Require Less Than $1,000 to Invest - Easiest Ways to Invest Monthly Sums as a Beginner Now that I’ve introduced investing in 3 straight forward steps, let’s analyse your specific scenario and see where you can park your money to grow it. $40k savings till date For starters, I cannot stress how important it is to place your savings in an account that will help grow it at a decent interest rate as you focus on growing the rest of your money through investments. Here are our Ultimate Savings Account Guide and 3 Best Bank Account for Undergraduates articles that would be really helpful in deciding which savings account to get based on how much you have and your spending behaviour. Still not convinced? Did you know that parking $10k savings in the DBS Multiplier account can earn you over $2k of interests after 10 years (which is sufficient to fly you to & fro Iceland!) compared to leaving it in your POSB Kids account, which would only earn you a measly sum of $50. Read more in this article of ours! Investing your $40k savings till date + $3-5k savings every month Savings account aside, let’s talk about growing the rest of your money through investments. As a beginner, I’d recommend investing your money in: - Bonds. SSB is a good start! - ETFs. STI ETFs is a good start! - Robo-Advisors. E.g. Stashaway, MoneyOwl. You get to adjust your risk level when investing with Robo-Advisors. These investment products generally have low to moderate risks which would be great for investing beginners. They’re also passive investments which would be great for you since you’re still part-time schooling. The above articles I shared with you provide a great summary of these 3 investment products but please do your due diligence learning about them too! Making a lump sum investment would be appropriate with the remaining $40k savings after you’ve set aside your emergency funds and cleared any outstanding debt. On top of that, you can also do dollar cost averaging (DCA) with a regular shares savings (RSS) plan using your monthly $3-5k savings. I hope this little guide was helpful and succinct. Once again, good job on making it this far and all the best for your future financial goals! :-)
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Investments

Savings

Retirement

Hi Linda, Great question! I'm sure there are plenty of fellow Singaporeans with dreams and plans to retire a millionaire or get that pot of gold ASAP. My only tip for you is: be patient & let the art of compounding do the trick for you. Compounding can take place over these 2 verticals of Personal Finance: Investments & Savings. We've got plenty of Seedly articles breaking compounding down and summarizing the 2 named verticals of Personal Finance. Here are the top few I would recommend you to do a quick read on! - Compound Interest: A Ridiculously Easy Way to Get Rich - The Ultimate Guide to Investing in Singapore - Cheat Sheet: Investment Products at a Glance - Investment Products That Require Less Than $1,000 for Working Adults to Invest - Cheatsheet: Best Savings Account for Working Adults Do sit down with a financial advicer/planner (or DIY it yourself) to sort out your financial goals and plans for the future. Question your risk appetite & how much capital you're willing to fork out. I hope this helps and all the best! :-)

Savings

Loans

General

Hi there anon! I’m sure many undergrads & fresh grads are in a very similar position as they begin sorting their personal finance. Here’s my two cents worth of opinion! ! TL;DR: Follow our Seedly Personal Finance Guide & Seedly Salary Allocation Model Achieving financial independence begins with managing your personal finances well, which comprises of the following 5 verticals: 1. Income 2. Expenses/Spending 3. Savings & Debt 4. Insurance 5. Investments. I would touch on all of them in my sharing below but do refer alongside this Seedly Personal Finance Guide for more details :) For starters, I wanted to introduce you to Seedly’s income allocation model. I’ll be using $2,400 (your after-CPF salary) in the following example: - 50% expenses: $1,200 - 30% invest: $720 - 20% savings: $480 1. Expenses/Spending: 50% - Given that $500 goes to your parents every month, that leaves you with $700 for monthly expenses and insurance. I think it’s pretty alright if you have experience living on a budget from your university days but again, it’s dependent on your lifestyle . - Regardless, if $700 is insufficient for you, part of your passive income from giving tuition can be channeled to your monthly expenses! - As I’m unsure how much you earn from these monthly tuition sessions, I’ll still advice you to keep your expenses at bay . - On top of your day to day expenses, you’ve got to factor in your monthly insurance expenses too. Despite your debt situation, I would still encourage you to get health and term insurance at least! Additionally, if you’re thinking of getting a credit card, I would say pick those that will reward you with cashback ! This makes your expenditure feel a little more worth it / hurt a little less. I personally wouldn’t focus on any travel plans until my student debt is cleared, therefore, I wouldn’t suggest getting a miles credit card. Here’s a Seedly article recommending the top cashback credit cards in 2019. 2. Investments: 30% - I think $100 a month is fine right now as you still have debt to clear. - After your student debt has been cleared and you’ve set aside emergency funds (at least 6 months worth of savings), I would recommend you invest a little more and hit that 30% target. - In the meantime as you hustle your way to clear the debt and save your money, you can beef up your investing knowledge . Before embarking on your investing journey, you should do your due diligence at understanding the mechanics and risks associated with the various investment products. - Come up with a financial plan too - what goals do you have, when would you like to accomplish them, what’s your starting capital, what’s your risk appetite? You may read more about investing in our Seedly guide on investing for Singaporeans! 3. Savings (& Debt): 20% You didn’t mention anything about the amount you save every month at the moment besides the fact that you would like to grow it. That said, I’ve got 2 things I wanted to point out: - I acknowledge that the $480 channelled to your savings based on our 20% guideline is clearly insufficient to cover your monthly student debt repayment ($500). Hence, tweak the percentages according to your unique needs. If you choose to stick with our recommended 20%, I believe some of your passive income from giving tuitions can help in this area. - Picking the right savings account helps you in growing your savings too. Read this Seedly article on the best savings accounts with high interest rates that Singaporeans should get. I would personally recommend the DBS Multiplier Account paired with a DBS/POSB credit card. With regards to your question on what should be your benchmark, I would say your peers are definitely not it . Your peers have different jobs, family backgrounds, lifestyles, and investment preferences - it’s impossible to find someone remotely similar to you and your financial position. Therefore, you shouldn’t compare yourself against them and their financial positions, it’s not a fair match. In short, there’s no need to feel discouraged because the comparison shouldn’t even take place. I think you’re doing great because you are: 1. making some serious plans given your debt situation 2. side hustling to further aid your financial position 3. actively seeking advice from the community to improve your personal finance journey. If you REALLY want a benchmark for the betterment of yourself, I would recommend the checklist in our Seedly Personal Finance Guide. Check everything on the guide while living comfortably based on our Seedly income allocation guide and I would say you’ve achieved financial independence :) I hope this helped, all the best and keep up the good work!
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