Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Contents

Hot topics in Singapore:
(copy and paste the URL if the direct link is not possible)

(1) Projecting Your CPF Figures

http://jkfund.blogspot.com/2017/08/projecting-cpf-figures-in-future.html

(2) CPF (Central Provident Fund) 

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2014/08/moment-of-truth-cpf-having-good_51.html

(3) How To Plan For Your Baby's Future (My Complete List Versus CPF Article)

http://jkfund.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-plan-for-your-babys-future-my.html

(4) SRS (Supplementary Retirement Scheme) 

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2014/09/retirement-planning-in-singapore-srs.html

(5) HDB De-Coupling:

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2014/06/hdb-decouple-topic-spr-sc-household.html

(6) Investment Linked Plan Insurance (For Baby)

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2012/10/investment-linked-fund-for-infant.html

(7) Whole Life Insurance Plan (For Baby)

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2012/10/buy-life-insurance-as-early-as-possible.html

(8) CPF (Central Provident Fund) For Baby (2 Blogs)

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/05/cpf-versus-whole-life-insurance-for-kids.html

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/03/age-1-baby-has-cpf-account-do-you-know.html

(9) Singapore Insurance Summary (2 Blogs)

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/06/summary-investment-linked-plan.html

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2012/10/classical-example-of-life-insurance.html

(10) Whole Life Insurance

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/06/whole-life-insurance.html

(11) Endowment Plan Insurance

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/06/endowment-plan.html

(12) Investment Linked Plan Insurance (2 Blogs)

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/06/my-investment-linked-plan-ilp-journey.html

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2012/03/lets-talk-about-investment-linked.html

(13) H&S (Hospitalization& amp; Surgical) Insurance

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/03/h-hospitalization-surgical-insurance.html

(14)Travel Insurance

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2016/07/travel-insurance-tokio-marine-tm-xplora.html

(15) Singapore Housing Loan Interest

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2011/10/how-much-interest-you-pay-to-your.html

(16) Singaporean Benefits (2 Blogs)

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2014/07/singapoerean-benefits-private.html

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2012/10/singaporean-benefits.html

(17) Singapore Credit Card (2 Blogs)

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2014/08/i-love-using-credit-cards.html

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2012/05/who-say-credit-card-is-not-good.html

(18) Singtel TV Plan

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2014/09/why-i-love-singtel-my-mio-tv-is.html

(19) Singapore Cars

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/12/good-used-car-honda-civic-brand-new-car.html

(20) Singapore Krisflyer & SQ Business Class Experience

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/03/exclusively-for-sia-krisflyer-member.html

(21) Singapore Stocks (2 Blogs)

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/03/stock-watch-list-cheat-sheet.html

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2012/10/buy-religare-health-trust.html

(22) Singapore Real Estate Guru Notes

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2014/11/my-notes-and-views-after-watching.html

(23) Waterfront @ Faber (Clementi, Singapore)

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2014/05/waterfront-faber.html
 
(23) Singapore Education 

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2016/02/year-2016-tuition-fees-at-local.html 

(24) Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020 (Malaysia)

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2014/10/exclusively-for-malaysian-amanah-saham.html

(24) Sunway Iskandar Malaysia

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2014/10/why-i-bought-first-residential-project.html

(25) Nusaheights Service Apartment, Iskandar Malaysia

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2016/08/nusa-heights-service-apartment-my-first.html

(26) Malaysia i-Flexi Housing Loan

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2014/10/cimb-homeflexi-malaysia-housing-loan.html

(27) Horizon Hills, Iskandar Malaysia (2 Blogs)

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/11/horizon-hills-reap-low-sell-high.html

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2012/05/why-i-give-horizon-hill-miss.html

(28) Pay Yourself First

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2016/09/pay-yourself-first.html

(29) My Exit Strategy On Singapore Real Estates: 99 Years Leasehold & 99 Years Lease

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2016/10/my-strategy-to-exit-on-singapore-real.html

(30) Engineering Change Order (ECO)

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2016/11/engineering-change-order.html

(31) True Living Cost In Singapore

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2016/11/true-living-cost-in-singapore.html

(32) New Chapter Of Life: My Work Life

http://jkfund.blogspot.com/2016/12/new-chapter-of-life-my-work-life.html

(33) My Little Career Stories

http://jkfund.blogspot.com/2016/12/my-little-career-stories.html

(34) I Was Retrenched

http://jkfund.blogspot.com/2016/12/i-was-retrenched.html

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Projecting Your CPF figures (Revision 03)

Revision 03 (last paragraph): updated on August 21, 2017
Revision 02: updated on August 18, 2017
 
Have you projected your CPF figures? It is interesting to find out.
 
There are some important figures below and assumptions (of course).
 
(1) I have to emphasize that S$6,000 monthly income and S$30,000 monthly income, both the CPF contributions are all the same. With 13th month bonus included, you will contribute at least S$28,860 into the CPF account every year. If you have more bonuses, your CPF figures will be more than the below figures. This calculation takes 13 months contribution only.
 
 
(2) To simplify the presentation, this is what happen. Always transfer OA to SA, hence, OA account is S$0 balance at all times.

(3) No further S$7,000 SA top up in the table below, yearly contribution of S$28,860 go straight into the column of (SA+MA).

(4) Why 4.3% interest? SA and MA interest are 4% but the first S$60,000 will attract additional 1% interest, which is 5% interest in total. With my magic formula, you just calculate the total sum as 4.3% interest will be close to (the first S$60,000 sum enjoying 5% interest, remaining balance 4% interest).

(5) Steady increase of FRS by S$5,000 per year.

(6) Steady increase of 4% in BHS per year.

(7) By the age of 55, the full retirement sum will be S$256,000 and basic healthcare sum will be S$105,342. Total (FRS + BHS) of S$361,342 will be locked at age 55.

(8) FRS of S$256,000 will yield monthly pension of S$2,081 from age 65 until death.

(9) If you die earlier, they will calculate the total monthly pension you have received, then minus from ( the FRS sum of S$256,000 + interest earned for the 10 years , while you are age 55 to age 65 and beyond), the proceed will be given to your spouse and children.

(10) The table below shows that you stop working at age 55, which is quite unlikely for me. I would love to continue to work even up to age 65 if my health allows. So, the table below would be dramatically different as you will have monthly contribution yet again.

(11) Even if you don't work at age 55, you will still see a cool S$1.028 million cash by the age of 58 and you have all the absolute right to withdraw that cash from the CPF. Why withdraw? Just leave it for the fat compound interest. Let it rolls, baby! CPF is the best retirement scheme in the world. Trust me.

This section is for workaholic. Some may not want to retire at age 55, they want to work until age 65 or even age 70. Assuming the monthly income is still at least S$6,000, you will see:
 
(a) S$1.047 million cash in the CPF account at the age of 57.
 
(b) S$1.747 million cash at the age of 65.
 
(c) S$2.321 million cash at the age of 70.
 
With that figures in the CPF account, please don't work anymore.
Give chance to the younger generation.
 
 
 
Updated on August 18, 2017
=====================
 
Reality check. Hitting the first milestone, (SA+MA), S$200,000 mark broken.
 
Re-cap, my age 55 (SA+MA) requirement shall be: S$361,342.
 
 
 
Additionally, I have utilized OA account of S$103,552.04 for HDB flat, accrued interest is S$15,088.48 as for today, total : S$118,640.52 shall be in OA account IF I DO NOT USE IT for housing loan. If I sell the flat TODAY, the sales proceed of S$118,640.52 will be returned to CPF OA account first, then remaining balance of sales proceed goes into my bank account.
 
I also have small portion of investment in CPF OA amount to S$1,668.10 (too small figures, negligible).
 
If I never use CPF OA money for housing loan and investment, the balance of OA account will be S$120,308.62, after transfer all OA balance to SA account, the total (SA+MA) will be S$322,345.66.  The yearly interest (~=4.3+%) is S$13,860 ! 
 

 
 
Updated on August 21, 2017
=====================
 
I made a phone call to CPF hotline today and realized I made a BIG MISTAKE on the calculation above.
 
Once your CPF SA account reaches Full Retirement Sum, e.g. S$166,000 (year 2017), you are NOT able to do CPF OA transfer to SA. Please take note.
 
If you use SA money to buy unit trust/ insurances and the balance of SA account drops below FRS (for example, below S$166,000 this year), you are able to transfer CPF OA to SA as well as CPF SA S$7,000 TOP UP to enjoy tax relief.
 
In other words, CPF strictly looks at the SA account balances only.
 
Same for your MA account, if your MS reaches the BHS and SA reaches FRS, then, your MA contribution will flow to OA, not SA !
 
Key takeaways:
 
(1) SA reaches FRS, you cannot do CPF SA S$7,000 TOP UP to enjoy tax relief. You cannot transfer CPF OA to SA account.
 
(2) If MA reaches BHS and SA reaches FRS, CPF MA contribution will go to OA account.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

How to plan for your baby's future? (My Complete List versus CPF article)

CPF interviewed me and the article was published on Feb 27. 2017.

The link is shown below.

https://www.areyouready.sg/YourInfoHub/Pages/Views-How-to-plan-for-your-babys-future.aspx?utm_source=Outbrain&utm_medium=Article36&utm_term=Retirement&utm_content=Headline2&utm_campaign=CPF_BAU_1701

How to plan for your baby's future?

Some of my points are not published at CPF website. This is the complete version. 


(1)   Do not touch your child CPF MA account (S$4,000 now) that was given by the government.

CPF Medisave account (MA) has 5% interest (cap at the first S$60,000 and 4% thereafter). Use all your CDA account money (S$12,000) as it attracts only max 1.20% interest from the bank, not child CPF.

Note (1):
http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/05/cpf-versus-whole-life-insurance-for-kids.html


(2)   Buy Whole Life Insurance while he/she was 1 day old.


The earlier you purchase, the cheaper it is. The shorter payout period, the cheaper it is.

S$500,000 sum assured whole life insurance with 5 years payout period cost me total S$33,010. Good money spent! My child does not need to purchase whole life insurance when he starts to work. If he wants more coverage, he can buy himself.

Note (2):
http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2012/10/buy-life-insurance-as-early-as-possible.html

(3)   Contribute S$2,000 annually into your child CPF SA account.

CPF Special account (SA) has 5% interest (cap at the first S$60,000 and 4% thereafter). This can be your child’s Chinese New Year red packets. This is to help to build a strong head start for your kid in CPF accumulation. His/Her full retirement sum (FRS) can be easily above S$500,000 in the future. 


For me, it would be S$250,000, 18 years from now (year 2035).

Note (3):

http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2015/03/age-1-baby-has-cpf-account-do-you-know.html

(4) Buy Investment-Linked Plan (ILP)   

Many people do not like whole life insurance, investment-linked plan and endowment plan.


This is something extra I did for my little one. I bought one ILP, monthly payment of $100 (S$1,200 per year) into Singapore Growth Fund and Emerging Market Fund (50% allocations each). As ILP has a 7 years break-even threshold, he has all the time to witness the compound growth of the surrender values. This is one good retirement income for him especially Singapore and emerging countries will do great in the next 20, 50 years.

Note (4):
http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2012/10/investment-linked-fund-for-infant.html

(5) Buy equities (stocks)

I have not done that just yet for the little one but I will do so by Q1 next year :)

In fact, I invested equities for myself for income through SRS account and cash.

For child, we should buy solid blue chip counters only, DBS, OCBC, ST Engineering, SPH, SINGTEL or even REITs, CapitaLand Mall Trust, Cache Logistics Trust, SUNTEC REIT, etc. We buy the shares, frame the stock purchase certificates and hang them nicely at his/her bedroom. I read this idea from magazine. It is a pretty cool thought. :)

We can witness the capital appreciation of the good stocks, at the same time, enjoy the stable fat dividend payouts. Such dividend yield is easily in the range from 3.5% (stocks) to 8% (REITs).

Raising kids in Singapore is fun. It shall never be a burden or pressure for the parents. 
Enjoy the process and be happy. God blessed and good luck!





Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Chapter of Life; my work life

I was retrenched from a bio-technology company and I had to leave the wonderful company on 31 October, 2016. Refer to : http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2016/12/i-was-retrenched.html

I finally received the employment letter from the same industry as well, a Medical Equipment & Device company on 19 December, 2016. The market capitalization is 4 times bigger than my previous company. The headquarter is in Chicago, U.S.A. My past 13 years of careers are with Swiss German company.

There were just too many negative news on the media while I was searching for jobs. It was worrying, of course.

It says, "the job growth rate was slow and the job loss was aggravating in Q2 year 2016".

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) says, "Singapore economics will not get significantly better next year (year 2017)".
 

The unemployment rate continue to rise, lay-offs at 7 years high.


The largest hit by lay-offs are PMET (Professionals, Managers, Executives and technicians).

The hottest industry right now and in the future in Singapore are: Software Engineering, Cyber Security, Financial Technology, Compliance and Healthcare.

But sadly enough, even I was from Healthcare industry, I was retrenched.

 Government has good initiative to make the engineering sexy again.

Government offers engineering fresh graduate a starting pay of S$3,800 per month! My generation in year 2004, starting pay was only S$2,750 per month. :(

It also mentioned that banking industry now prefers to hire engineering graduates, which I find it not so true! I didn't get any reply from GIC, UBS, DBS, etc. Perhaps they are looking for software engineers, IT related engineers instead?


An interesting article telling you not to quit your job at the year end.


There are many good articles published to tell you how to prepare for an interview.

Yes, asking questions at interview is extremely important. I always make sure I ask at least 3 questions during the interview. I prepared 5 questions instead and I also know the answers for all the 5 questions from the Internet. It is always important to show you are interested in the company.


"Your job to ask questions at interview too"


Do take note on these questions from the interviewer too!


How to survive in the corporate world?


Needless to say your resume is utmost important to capture the attention of human resource, recruiter, talent acquisition professional and your future reporting boss.


Where are the jobs?



I also had this wonderful book to prepare myself how to do a six-figure salary negotiation. It is a great book.


Best of all, I got the book at S$5 only. Amazing, isn't it?


Just a quick look of the book content for your reference.


 We also need the spiritual food in our daily life. I actively seek wisdom from the "Grace" book.
This was the page I randomly flipped right before I fly to Shanghai, China for my final interview. Work location is in Singapore.



P/S:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

My Little Career Stories

I came to Singapore right after my U.S. graduate studies in December 2003.

I started to search for a job in Singapore in January 2004. I sent out about 30 resumes. My first interview was a bathroom accessories company called RIGEL. The job was a programming related to deal with the light motion sensor. Then, I also had an interview with National Instrument company for application trainer. Basically, you are teaching the Labview software for the potential clients. I also went to Chartered Semiconductor for Turn Key Engineer interview.

At the same time, I got the interview from Leica for Development Engineer position. Leica was the first company offering a firm job so I just took up the job happily in early March 2004. Indeed Leica was a great Swiss/ German company. I learnt a lot on the job, simply because I had a very good mentor, probably the best engineer in the company and he is still with the company today. I was deeply grateful that as a fresh graduate, I was given an important task to do the new production transfer from Germany to Singapore. It was a confocal laser scanning microscope project. I went to MannheimGermany extensively for the first 6 months to understand the complicated product completely and to build it/test it and qualify it all my myself. I then became a Process Engineer. I actually hold multiple jobs, namely, Process Engineer, Test Engineer, Quality Engineer, Troubleshooting/Rework Engineer and Project Engineer. I had to do all these functions and that was how I learnt a lot on the job. I now appreciate the great learning curve. That was the time I learnt how to create BOM (Bill of Materials) on SAP, CK11N cost roll up the BOM with the tooling cost, MMBE to check the stock overview/ goods movements to ensure we had good inventories, etc..

At Leica for 6 years and 10 months, I completed 12 business trips. Total duration of the 12 business trips was close to one year stay. All 12 business trips were at Germany (Mannheim and Wetzlar). Those were the days that Leica gave me winter cloths allowance (S$400 every 2 years) and daily allowance of S$85 at overseas. So, literally, I had extra S$85 (daily allowance) x 365 days =  S$31,025 given for the business trips. Not to forget that my Singapore pay cheque was untouched when I was at overseas. S$0 living cost spent in Singapore when I was away for total 12 months. I saved a lot during my first employment in Singapore. I also became the first batch of engineers going to Germany for the new product transfer (others were sent to Switzerland only in the past). Because of this reason, the HR rewarded me an additional S$3,000. The HR did not know if the Germany living cost was higher than Switzerland (as I was the first one to go to Germany). It actually turned out the other way round. The living cost in Germany was so much cheaper than Switzerland!

That's my first 7 years in Singapore.
During my two years of graduate studies in Michigan, U.S.A. (year 2002 and 2003), I was a Teaching Assistant (TA) for sophomore laboratory class, which was Electronic Circuit Analysis (ECE 210 module). The university waived my graduate school course fees completely (FREE studies for 2 years!). They also gave me a good stipend of US$4,500 per semester (one semester duration is 4 months). There are two semesters per year (Fall semester and Winter semester). So, total US$9,000 salaries per year. With this full time teaching assistantship, I was no longer allowed to work on campus. But, I did open a private tuition class on campus. I once had 10 students at my private tuition class and I charged US$20 per hour each person. So, easily, I can earn US$200 in just one hour. It was indeed good earning money especially you were still a student! My private tuition students were mostly from very rich countries like South Africa and Middle East. I should have charged them more!

Before I became a Teaching Assistant in year 2002, I worked various jobs on the campus. I started as a dish washer at the residence dining hall on the campus. I worked 20 hours (maximum allowed hours) per week. The pay was like US$6.50 per hour and you enjoyed free meal after work. It was good deal. I also worked as residence hall receptionist during the summer in year 2000. I remembered I slept at the sofa at the reception! Just imagine there was completely no one coming into the residence hall during the time from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. It was an easy job obviously. I even slept during my work! My jobs were to distribute the mails to the letter boxes (that’s how I know the PLAYBOY magazine was sealed in the special BLACK plastic bag) and to watch/monitor the students coming into the residence hall, that was it!

At my fourth year of undergraduate studies in year 2001, I realized I need to do more value added jobs on campus in order to win the recognition from the professors and subsequently, I needed their recommendation to apply for the university scholarships for the graduate program, which is Teaching Assistantship. So I started as a grading assistant. I graded papers for the professors, e.g. the homework, exam 1 and exam 2 but not the final exam paper. So, in some classes, 70% of the students’ grade falls onto my hands. It was because the final exam was only 30% of the grade. I also became a lab programming assistant at the Visual Basic programming class, answered all kind of programming code problems raised by the students in the lab class.
Thereafter, I knew to get a Teaching Assistantship, I must teach laboratory class.
I happened to have one good summer semester in year 2001 to horn my teaching skills. That was the first time I taught the electric circuit analysis laboratory session in front of a class of 18 students. During my Teaching Assistant career, I had to teach 2 classes of laboratory per semester and the lab contents were all the same every single semesters. Once you knew the materials for the first time, subsequently, the teaching was so damn easy. Just imagine at the end of the day, I had to teach the same class for 10 times. I literally could close my eyes and teach and write on the chalk boards. P-SPICE was the software simulator we used to simulate the electric circuit analysis, to plot the voltage graph, current graph, etc..

I also had the privilege to serve at the President Bush Gala dinner at our campus in year 2001. That was the craziest working day in my life. We started working at 8 A.M. all the way until the following day at 3 A.M. That included a lot of over time. We decorated the dining hall, served the dinner at night and we had to wash all the dishes and put down all the decoration too. By then, I was dragging my feet in the snow, going back home at late night (3.A.M.). That was one day in December 2001. It was a great experience and that one day pay cheque was like US$ 180 (overtime pay was included).
During the summer time each year, I would run around the professor offices and collected the unwanted textbooks at the school corridor. Professors always receive the latest edition of the text books from the publishers and they will throw away the older edition of the text books by just placing them outside the office (it is a kind of recycling). I took back all the books and sold it at www.half.com . I think the website was later acquired by eBay. For me, the inventory was free, obviously and I just need to pay UPS ground shipping cost of US$2.30 to ship the book to the buyers and I always managed to clear off all my inventories.

Those are my working experiences in the United States of America.

To be continued ... .... ( the new chapter of work life)
http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2016/12/new-chapter-of-life-my-work-life.html

Oh ya, out of no where, a consulting firm sent me a message through LinkedIn, asking me to give a phone consultation for Molecular Diagnostic Market in Singapore & APAC.

I just chit chatted with the lady on the phone for a good 62 minutes and I was paid US$186 for phone consultation. Damn, US$3 per minute consultation fee is so damn cool ! Please find me more often!

I was retrenched


I was retrenched on the BREXIT day, which was June 24, 2016.

My heart was very peaceful while I read the retrenchment letter. My current role was reallocated to Manchester, U.K.. I was, at the same time, offered an internal job rotation to be a Global Product Specialist (GPS). It is a role to conduct medical instruments training for the Asia Pacific Field Service Engineers and also provide technical support to them through emails/phone calls. I went through a phone interview with the GPS Director and he was able to raise the hiring budget and match my current salary. As I had some interview appointments going on at the same time, I kindly rejected the internal job rotation offer. 

Three months down the road, I realised the job market was tough. There were many applicants fighting for a position. After a careful thought, I decided to write to the GPS Director, telling him that I would like to take up the offer that he had presented to me three months ago. To my surprise, this GPS position was put on hold until further notice. 

Without any choice, I signed the retrenchment letter. The last day of the employment was on 31st October, 2016. I was actually given 4 months plus notice to leave the company. That was very merciful indeed. Some companies even ask you to leave on the same day as the announcement. 

I was rewarded 1 month pay out per 1 year of service. I was with the company for 5 years and 9 months; therefore I was rewarded a cool 5.75 months bonus.

My employment was entitled for 10% bonus of the annual salary. It was due next year March. It comprises of 66% of company financial performance and 34% of my personal KPI achievement. They were kind enough to give full 10% bonus without any pro-rate on duration of employment. To achieve 100% of KPIs on the company financial performance was not possible at all. I did score 100% on my personal KPI achievement in the past few years. With this, I was rewarded another 1.20 month bonus.

I have chalked up 22 days annual leave, unused. Again, they did not pro-rate the annual leave based on my employment duration. I was then rewarded additional 1.00 month bonus (22 working days per month). I still have 2 days of child care leave unused. I should haven taken all the child care leave first and leave 24 days of annual leave instead!

Last but not least, they even gave me extra one-time cheque of a GOOD 5 digits sum to find a new job 

However, my company stock option (total 500 shares), given to me as performance bonus, worth S$20,000 was forfeited. That was the only negative point. If the company stock option was also rewarded, I would have more than a year wages as retrenchment package. I do not have to work for one year and still get paid! How cool is that?

So the total retrenchment package was 5.75 months + 1.20 months + 1.00 month + 5 digits sum (one extra single payment).

Best of all, the retrenchment pay outs are NOT TAXABLE!

Two days after I left the company on October 31st, 2016, they announced even greater restructure. They decided to close down the California office. They will also spin off the Switzerland site and then close it down eventually too. It is a sad change obviously. Nevertheless, I have to say it is still a great company. I love working here especially there is no manufacturing line in Singapore but a contract manufacturing partner at Penang, Malaysia that is handling all the instrument manufacturing. The relationship is just like Apple (technology company) with Fox conn contract manufacturing partner. 

In view of the new US/ Europe restructuring, Singapore HR told me that it actually creates more opportunities in Asia Pacific, e.g. Singapore too. I have yet to know any new vacancies created at Singapore office. I do not mind to return back to the same company should there be any suitable position. The HR had mentioned to me that I am able to return to the company if there is any good position that suits me in the future. I do know some companies have the policy that once you are retrenched, you are no longer able to join back the same company again but that is not the case for me, which is good.

It is because I enjoyed working here. I don’t mind to work here until age 65 with the same pays throughout! I am serious, it is a work life balance job and I can work from home anytime I want. The works are basically attending the phone conference calls and writing emails only. You can do that everywhere, even at Hawaii.

I had worked at this company for 5 years and 9 months. I completed 67 business trips.

1x trip to Washington D.C., U.S.A.
1x trip to San Francisco, U.S.A.
3x trips to Brisbane & Gold Coast, Australia.
10x trips to Zurich, Switzerland. (1x of the trip went to Dusseldorf, Germany as well)
49x trips to Penang, Malaysia. (Penang had become my second home!)
3x trips to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In average, I had one business trip per month.
Those were the good days I enjoyed a lot.
To be continued ... ...

P/S:"My Little Career Stories" : http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2016/12/my-little-career-stories.html
"New Chapter of Life; My Work Life": http://jkfund.blogspot.sg/2016/12/new-chapter-of-life-my-work-life.html

Saturday, November 19, 2016

TRUE Living Cost in Singapore


CNN rated Singapore as the world’s MOST EXPENSIVE city to live in year 2016.
It is even more expensive than Zurich, Switzerland. Are you sure, CNN news?


I have worked and stayed in Singapore since year 2004 and I definitely can tell you the living cost in Singapore is not that bad. In fact, it is much lower than Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Let me share with you my true living cost in Singapore in great details. Here you go!

I break down the cost into few categories as follow:
 
(1) Utilities bill - S$119.

Below shown are my past 13 months of utilities bill (that includes electricity, gas & water). In average for the past 13 months, my utilities bill was S$119 per month only for a family of 3. We switch on the air con every night at 25 degree C, FYI. Government gives quite a fair bit of free rebate in this bill (S$220 per year), if not, the true electricity cost is at S$150 maximum per month for my household.
 
 
 
 
(2) SingTel Internet broadband / house phone line (FREE) / cable TV and mobile phone- S$122.
 
The breakdown is as following:
That comes with Fibre Home Bundle with 300 MB speed at S$46.64.
Cable TV Entertainment Bundle: Family Starter (including CNN / Bloomberg, Disney Kid Channels, etc..) at $34.40. The sub-total is S$81.04.

My mobile phone Combo 2 Plan (with 2 GB local data):$40.09 before 30% discount.

Caller ID is additional S$5.00, mobile phone per month is S$33.06. Above total cost with 7% GST, that’s S$122.09 per month.
 
 
 

 
(3) Foods expenses - S$600

Foods expenses: for our household, we can say it is easily less than S$10 per day (weekday lunch and dinner, can you believe it? ). 

As me and my wife work full time, we decided to engage foods delivery to our home directly at S$214 per month. Well, we surely have no time to cook for ourselves and for the little 4 years old boy and to cook such a portion is not very practical too. I also found out the foods delivery quality is not bad or better than hawker centre as it is less oily and have good varieties too, you don’t have to worry what to eat everyday.

 We usually ordered 3 months services and it comes with S$150 discount! How good can it be?
 
3 month S$214 x 3 (months) = S$642 – S$150 (discount) = S$492 / 3 (person)= S$164 /20 (days)= S$8.20 per day.
 
The food is enough for us and the little one and, that’s like S$8.20 per day for 3 persons. Of course, in certain days, I will buy more food if I see some dishes that I do not like, ha ha. That’s about 1 or 2 times per week, and I can easily just top up some mixed rice items from the hawker centres downstairs. I cook rice myself. It is an easy job.
 
 
 
 
 
There are many hawker centres in Singapore. Just below my home, there are 3x hawker centres within 10 minutes walk. You basically can get all the food you want, from chicken rice to noodles soup and mixed rice. The price range is from S$2.50 to S$5.00. Most of the Singaporean settled their meal at hawker centres as you can have all the varieties, easy to access and it is affordable.  

We spend more at weekend as we usually dine at restaurants on weekend, if not, cook at home (that's very seldom). In average, the bill comes to S$50-70 per meals (be it lunch or dinner). So, average out, one person S$600 maximum per month on foods is surely more than enough.

Below are the restaurants that we visit very often in Singapore. That's me and my boy beloved eatery places. You got to try them all when you visit Singapore!



 

The milk powder consumption is about S$1,000 per year. I got all my milk powder from AEON at Bukit Indah. :)
 
(4) Medical Cost - $0
We have medical and dental cost coverage from our employer up to S$3,000 per year (combined) for the entire family. We never fork out extra for medical cost in Singapore, which is very good.

(5) Transportation Cost - S$100 (if you don't drive)
or S$1,700 (for my case).

Taking public transport is dirt cheap in Singapore. I take a bus from my home to Jurong East MRT station (3 bus stops away) and transit to the MRT train to Raffles Place (CBD), that cost me less than S$1.60 (that's 25 minutes train journey). I used public transport in Singapore until I have kid. I can survive with public transportation too.

All right, car in Singapore is the most expensive in the world, Malaysia is the second most expensive country to own a car too. A brand new Toyota Corolla Altis costs you S$110,000 for 10 years, then, you will take back S$10,000 after you scrap your car after 10 years. So, I pay monthly car loan of S$1,200, new HDB monthly car park would be S$120, and car patrol, $200 , with all the car insurance and road tax, in average, I am paying S$1,700 for my car to ferry around my family. I do not need to pay ERP as I don't have to pass through those ERP gates. :)

If you want to save costs in Singapore, obviously you can cut the expenses here by taking the public transport and taxi services. Don't complain!

(6) Domestic helper - S$0

I do not have domestic helper. I love doing housework myself. I have all the time to do it myself too. It is a form of exercise for me and my expectation of cleanliness is very high. I rather to do it myself. If you hire one domestic helper, it shall be around S$900 per month (to include additional expenses you need to pay for them)

(7) Childcare - S$750
 
For those who have kid, unless your wife is not working, else, you will surely either to have a domestic helper to look after your kid or sending him/her to full day childcare. I love the childcare concept here. It opens from 7 am to 7 pm. I usually send him to the school at 7.30 am and pick him up at 6.10 pm. You can send your 2 months infant until age 6 (K2) to the childcare. The kid will learn massively in the childcare and they will also build up immune system. S$750 per month for full day childcare is good money spent. I would not complain about this cost.

Of course, there are also additional cost for the excursion or enrichment class if you sign up. For example, the swimming class, gym class, drama & speech class, excursion trip to play centre, etc. The fees can be ranging from S$30 to S$70 per trip.

We bring our 4 years old boy to art class as he has talents in drawing. He has the skills from his mum and maybe he can become an architect too. :) The art class is S$30 per session.

We also expose him to keyboard class (piano class). It is about S$25 per session. He does not show interest in music class so we will stop the course after the 12 sessions are completed.

 

 
 
 
 

 
(8) Housing loan - S$0
 
We are lucky to pay off our HDB housing loan 3 years ago. It has the market valuation price of S$460,000. To buy a 4 rooms flat at good location (Toh Guan, Jurong East), it was S$355,000. With 80% loan, 30 years of tenure, and interest rate of 2%, the monthly mortgage is only S$1,049. You can easily pay this amount off by using the CPF. You do not need to fork out any cash.
 
In fact, if you like, you can rent out your room at S$750 per month, 2 rooms will give you extra S$1,500 cash per month even! How crazy is that? S$1,500 can fully pay all your monthly expenses in Singapore!
 
 
(9) HDB town council fees - S$46.25
 
Jurong East monthly town council fees is S$55.50. Government has consistently waived 2 months of charges every single year. So, the monthly commitment now is S$46.25.
 
 
 
Having say all these, do you really think the living cost in Singapore is the highest in the world?
 
Surely NOT. That is for the foreign expats who stay in Singapore la ! They love to rent the expensive private property, go fine dining , pub drinking and a lot of entertainment costs too.

Few words for Malaysians
====================

I am a Malaysian too. I was born in year 1980. My friends in Malaysia always converting the expenses in Singapore from SGD to RM. If you want to do that, make sure you do not forget to convert the income too!

As a fresh graduate in Singapore in year 2004 (during my time), it was S$2,500 per month, comparably it was RM 2,500 in Malaysia too. Vice versa, assuming after 12 years of work, you are now earning S$8,000 per month in Singapore, that also means you are earning RM8,000 in Malaysia too. I told them, by then, if I minus off all my Singapore expenses, the balance I have in SGD, if I covert them back to Ringgit, it will be surely more than the gross income earned in Malaysia! (It actually means, for a monthly income of S$8,000minus the expenses in Singapore say, S$5,000 a month, you will have a balance of S$3,000 which is RM9,000 a month. That is still more than the monthly gross income of RM8,000 in Malaysia)  Not to mention, the personal income tax in Singapore is so much lower than Malaysia as well.

Last but not least, the SGD had appreciated almost 200% towards RM since year 1986. It could touch RM4.0 by year 2026. Who knows?