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Singapore: Your Ideal Retirement Haven Unveiled! Here’s Why

Why is Singapore one of the top choices for 
retirement? Huh? Really? Isn't Singapore one of   the most expensive cities in the world? Hello! 
Sky high property prices and ridiculous car   prices with COE shooting through the roof! So 
why would Singapore be considered one of the   top choices for retirement? As we Singaporeans 
always say Sure boh? Well before I set some context   to today's video, a short introduction.

I'm John, 
one half of the Corporate Breakout Couple. In 2020, my   wife Fran and I retired young in Singapore and 
we love making retirement videos. Okay, let me set some   context. First, I'm addressing Singaporeans and 
Permanent Residents and because this group of   people will have no issues staying in Singapore 
for the long term. For foreigners without PR, I'd   like to share with you some reasons in today's 
videos why you want to make Singapore your Top   Choice as a retirement destination.

And that 
means of course getting a leg into Singapore   first working here, getting your employment pass 
and then getting your PR and then eventually   getting your Singapore citizenship. Allow 
me to share with you the beauties about my   beloved Singapore. For one, we have world-class 
infrastructures and amenities. For example the   transport system. The public transport system is 
amazing from the buses to the MRTs, they're so well   connected and very nicely air conditioned and very 
clean as well. Number two: Safety and Security. That   is something that we should never ever take for 
granted, even though Singapore has a low crime   rate. Remember low crime doesn't mean no crime. 
Number three: Singapore is a cosmopolitan city   and diverse in culture. As a foreigner, you will 
feel right at home here. Number four: Singapore   is a clean and green city, one of the cleanest in 
the world. Look what's going on behind me. People   are cleaning up the beach voluntarily. Number 
five: Racial harmony.

Singapore has many races   and multiple religions and Singapore has 
done a great job to keep everyone living harmoniously. I would like to talk about the cost 
of living in Singapore. In today's times, the   perception of Singapore Incorporated, that's how 
we call it, is that it's a very expensive city   to live in. That may be true from outside looking 
in but for Singaporean and PR who's working and   living here, it's important to have context with 
respect to your earning capacity, your salary, with   respect to your quality of life which is your 
basic needs and your wants, and importantly with   respect to your purchasing power in Sing dollars. 
If you actually dive in into the numbers, you'll   find that there's certain cost categories that's 
pretty affordable such as your public transport   and your Hawker food. If you are Singaporean or PR 
earning $5,000 SGD every month and the cost of a   unlimited bus and MRT ride card cost $128 SGD, 
that's only 2.5% of your total salary.   What about Hawker food? You can find meals going 
for three to four SGD and that's a very   small percentage of the salary.

What about cooking 
at home? Cooking at home can be really economical   as well and you can find everything in Fair 
price and Cold Storage, whatever you need. As much   as Singaporeans don't want to admit it, the cost of 
basic needs is actually not as high, with respect   to the average household income. So is it really 
as expensive as what we are complaining about? Let   me tell you something. What I really believe 
is it's the lifestyle inflation that's causing   all this talk and I'm talking about hipster cafes.. 
can you live without traveling every quarter, half   yearly or every yearly? Can you live without your 
restaurants, your Japanese, your Italian food? That   is the lifestyle inflation that's causing all 
this talk.

What about housing? It's true housing   can be pretty expensive in Singapore, even 
for public housing like HDBs. HDB prices are   no longer starting at $100,000 to $200,000 SGD 
but going for $400,000/ $500,000 SGD. However as   a Singaporean, I know that much of your property 
loan can be serviced by CPF, which you cannot take   out anyway and the government gives a lot of 
subsidies for first timers and not forgetting,   most importantly the prices of property in 
Singapore generally goes up so you're holding an   item of value.

Therefore, your top three expenses 
your transport your groceries and food and your   housing which is mostly serviced by your CPF, they 
are actually pretty low percentage of your total income. In today's video, I actually like to cover 
some technical aspects about Singapore, namely   the financial stability and strength and the 
geographical location and I'm doing comparisons   because I've been traveling around together with
my wife, going around the different places and   looking at different retirement destinations 
and I will still name Singapore as one of the   top choices.

Singapore is a Global Financial Hub, 
growing from strength to strength. Our pro business   environment, our regulatory system which is very 
effective, our infrastructure that supports all   that and attraction of top talents substantiates 
that. For that reason, we have attracted lots of   high net worth individuals into Singapore. 
For example Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater   Associates, one of the largest hedge funds and 
we have Google co-founder Sergey Brin, they   set up Family Offices here during and after 
the pandemic. And we also have high net worth   individuals who have converted to Singaporeans 
like Eduardo from Facebook, you have Li Xiting,   you have Forrest Li, who are from China. 
We have lots and lots more bringing more money   into Singapore. It's no wonder when the Singapore 
Government released their Securities and Bonds, the   demand is so strong from your MAS bills, your T 
Bills, your Singapore Savings Bond and lots more.   And they are all solid AAA ratings. All that is 
pointing to Singapore being a safe haven for your money. One of the important aspects of this video 
that I would like to cover is the Sing dollar   currency strength and the purchasing power.

This is 
one of the important things for you to recognize as   a retiree in Singapore, holding Sing dollars. You 
know that your dollar will work really hard for   you because of the strength of purchasing power 
that you can buy whether it's for imported goods   or traveling around, so this really supports your 
retirement lifestyle and your means. I'd like to   share with you some charts on the foreign exchange 
between Sing dollars and other currencies like   your US dollar, Japanese Yen, Aussie Dollars, your 
Pounds and how it has performed, to share with you why   our Sing dollars has increased in purchasing power 
over the years. Let's look at Sing dollars versus   Malaysian Ringgit which I'm pretty sure Singaporeans 
and Malaysians are familiar with. This is the last   20 years chart starting from 2003 which the number 
the Sing Dollars to Ringgit, it was at 2.20.

Today, it   has hit a high of 3.50, one of the highest. So you 
can imagine the appreciation that that Sing   Dollars have strengthened against Ringgit just by 20 
years. For those of you who are old enough, you'll   know that Sing to Ringgit was actually at par which 
is one to one in 1980. Here's the Sing Dollars   against Aussie dollars, one of the major currencies 
for the last 20 years. The earlier 10 years from   2003 to 2013, you can see that for Aussie Dollars 
it's stronger than Sing Dollars around 0.8 on   average with the exception of Lehman Brothers, the 
Great Financial crisis period in 2008/ 2009 after   which you can see that from 2013 onwards, there is 
a steady increase. Steady increase of Sing Dollars   appreciation against Aussie Dollars to around 1.1, almost 1.15 today. How about the performance   of Sing Dollars against the other major currencies? 
So for the last 20 years, this is the chart for   Singapore Dollars against British Pounds.

In 2004/ 
2003, it was around 0.31, 0.32 and has gone up to   over 0.6 today, almost double. And what about Sing 
Dollars to Euros? That was around in 2005, around   0.5 now it's around 0.7 against Euros. What about 
another major currency Yen. In Japanese Yen, in 2003   was around $1 SGD to 62 Yen. Now is around $1 SGD to 108 Yen, 109 Yen. So the appreciation for the last 20 years has been   very drastic and major for the strengthening of 
Sing Dollars. What about Sing Dollars against the   Greenback, which is the US Dollars? So in 2003/2004, 
it was around 0.6 and hitting a high of 0.8, 0.82   around 2011, and then normalizing to around 0.7 
to hovering around the range of 0.73, 0.75 for   now. So why has Sing Dollars not appreciated against 
the Greenback as much? Well that's because USD is   currently still the world's Reserve Currency. 
Based on data from IMF as of Q2 2023, they   are at 58.88% market share and what that means is 
countries of the world are holding their foreign   exchange reserves in USD. That's why the US Dollar 
continues to be the dominant currency with Euros at   a distance second at almost 20% and China RMB 
is 2.45%, still miles away from USD.

And what that   means is when the US Federal Reserve prints money, 
the rest of the world follows along because USD   sets the precedence. How does the dynamics of all 
this currency impact you as an individual, in terms   of inflation and the eroding of your currency? 
Now let's look at this chart. This is the Federal   Reserve debt from the Central Bank of USA and how 
much debt they're holding till date. Starting from   1971 when the gold standard was taken off when 
President Nixon decided that, you know, US Dollars   are going to be backed by the Government, that's 
when fiat currency was born and you can see debt   has started to increase steadily, linear actually, 
until around 2007/2008 and what happened was the   Global Financial crisis, the housing crisis where 
Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman decided   to go heavy into quantitative easing, printing of 
money heavily, you can see from a debt of around 9, 10   trillion, this is trillion not millions, trillion 
all the way for the last 10-15 years till around   32 trillion as of today. And what that means is 
inflation has severely increased because of the   debt incurred and that eroded your purchasing 
power all around the world.

You know, Fran and I   talk a lot about inflation and quantitative easing, 
about money printing and all the different money   dynamics in the world because we feel there's a 
need to raise awareness in this world, in terms of   financial literacy and that's one of the key 
reasons why we started our Breakout Academy.   Talking about finances, talking about breaking free, 
breaking out the rat race and talking about early   retirement because we really like to help people 
to find their feet in this world so that they   can then make powerful choices for themselves. Do 
check out our Breakout Academy. I will advise you   to not look at Singapore as a single retirement 
destination. The world is our oyster. Traveling is   the way how we can gain experience and really open 
up our eyes.

What am I talking about? For example   Singapore is an international hub, a regional hub 
for businesses. For example your Finance industry.   Do the same for your retirement as well. Use 
Singapore as your hub so that you can go around   the region especially Southeast Asia like Malaysia, 
Indonesia, Thailand where you can stay for 6 months,   one year, I mean depending on the visa requirements, 
but use Singapore as a hub so that you can really   explore all the different destinations in your 
retirement life.

That brings me to my next point:   Diversification. When you travel frequently and 
you're exposed to different countries, different   cultures and let's say their stock exchanges, their 
housing market and all that, you will feel more   inclined to want to invest in the different places. 
Why? Because when you diverse across countries, you   diverse across currencies and different assets 
that actually hedges your risk and reduce your   Risk of Ruin. So Singapore is actually in a perfect 
sweet spot position to dance with the rest of   the International Community and the Government 
has done a fantastic job to do that, so that we   stay very up to date, very up to tuned and our Sing 
Dollars holds its currency strength and continue   to strengthen actually, for us to improve and 
increase our purchasing power to stay strong and   relevant.

And as a retire in Singapore, your savings 
and Investments are protected here in Singapore   and you really get to stretch your dollars and 
as the Singapore government is doing a great job to   grow Singapore economically, strength to strength, 
you will continue to enjoy a stronger purchasing power. Many people feel very stressed living in 
Singapore because of the fast-paced environment.   However, you think about it, that is true for 
any metropolitan city that's very competitive.   However if you are retiree or early retirees like 
Fran and I who have Time Freedom, you have plenty   of opportunities to explore different aspects of 
Singapore in a very slow pace, comfortable, taking   public transport everywhere with no rush 
and there's no crowd like East Coast Park today,  at the beach, there's hardly anybody and we 
get to really go to different shopping   malls, enjoy our time to explore Singapore.

What 
about cost? Actually in Singapore, you have lots   of choices. For example coffee. It can be as 
cheap as $1+ Dollar in a local kopitiam   or Hawker Center or you can go to Yakun and Toast 
Box with slightly more expensive about $2 Sing   Dollar or if you really want to splurge for 
specialty coffee, it can go as high as SGD6-7, it's really your choice.

The point I'm driving at is, don't limit yourself. Create your llfe by your own design. Think out of the box. Singapore can be your home base for retirement but you also can have multiple regional bases for you to enjoy other countries as well. And perhaps for those of you with kids, you can retire early as 
well. Think about this.

When you're in your 50s,   your kids would have grown up. You can also enjoy 
your life to the fullest and think out the box   and you don't have to restrict yourself to only 
one locality. Given a choice, would you consider   Singapore as your top retirement destination? 
I'll like to hear from you below in the comments   section. Do comment the reasons why you would or 
would not! We hope you have enjoyed a different   point of view about Singapore today. Do hit 
the Like button and Subscribe to our YouTube   channel to join our YouTube family. See you in 
the next video. If you interested in breaking   out of the corporate 9-5 rat  
race or embark on your early retirement   journey, do check out our Breakout Academy, 
where we'll support you further on your goals.

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