Friday, May 25, 2018

#Adulting: How to become a Tai Tai.

Hey guys! I know it's been a while but I've been busy with life. Like I've been doing some serious adulting. For instance, we’...

Hey guys!

I know it's been a while but I've been busy with life. Like I've been doing some serious adulting. For instance, we’ve finally gotten an oven, we’ve fixed the faulty extractor fan after more than a year of living here, we celebrated our anniversary, we’re currently hosting James’ dad and wife at our place, and this is also after bringing them on an overseas trip. So yes, very busy with all this adulting stuff. Oh, and we’ve gotten some cats. But you might already be aware of that.
One of the more pertinent adulting things that we have been doing is planning for our future. In particular, James’ retirement and me fulfilling my dream of being a faux-tai tai — meaning that acting rich and sitting around all day, I will be not very rich and act like I’m hardworking while I’m actually doing something mildly frivolous. Like teach yoga or something.
(Via Giphy).

So James and I did a few things to try to secure our future. Some not so wise, and some which we hope are a bit more wise. So I’ll go into the wiser things which we did because I don’t think you’ll approve our grand idea of getting cats to ensure that we have some kind of legacy when we leave the earth.

#1 Make James a Singapore PR.

Okay so James was previously not a resident in Singapore. Which was fine because many of them have some kind of pension/insurance scheme back home. Except that James had been out of the UK for so long that he didn’t even qualify for the UK’s free universal healthcare. This also meant that collectively, we didn’t have enough savings for me to be a faux-tai tai.
(Via Giphy).

So after we got married, James successfully applied to be a PR. And he was extremely pleased for a few reasons — he had an IC number, and he now qualified for the CPF scheme!

You see, James, like me, is very bad at saving for the future. We like to spend money on holidays, expanding our Google Home network and most recently, our cats. James was extremely excited to finally be part of a compulsory saving scheme which gave him good interest and is very excited to top up his CPF.
(Via Giphy).

My husband gets excited about the weirdest things. But he explained that in the UK, you pay into a CPF-like scheme called National Insurance, where you basically never see your money every again. He’s happy that he will be able to see some savings upon reaching 55.
(Via Giphy).

And me too okay. I hope that my CPF will be full of money one day since I emptied most of it to buy our house last year.

#2 Got an SRS account.

I don’t know about you, but for me, the worst statement which arrives by mail is the income tax statement from the IRAS. On one hand, it’s so bloody expensive and you wish you didn’t have to pay so much. On the other, if you didn’t pay this much then you would be earning very little. Life is tough.
(Via Giphy).

So what we decided to do is to apply for the Supplementary Retirement Scheme, or SRS for short. What it is is a voluntary savings scheme which encourages you to set aside money for retirement, on top of your existing CPF funds. If you’re a citizen or PR, you can contribute to a maximum of $15,300 to your SRS yearly, and this amount that you contribute will be tax deductible. And I am all for this tax deduction because I have no money so you know, the less tax I pay the better.
(Via Giphy, although the sound of coins dropping into the drain would be more apt).

How the scheme is different from CPF is that you can withdraw your SRS funds anytime you want. Just that if you so before you turn 62, you’re subject to a 5% penalty. If you withdraw after 62, then only 50% of the funds are taxable! So you still save quite a bit of money. And I am all for this. Anything for my faux yoga classes to come to fruition.

In case you’re wondering, the SRS is offered by three local banks, but we opted for the one which OCBC offered. It’s very quick! We just filled in some details online (link here), and we were good to go! We chose OCBC because, well we have a bank account there so it just made more sense. Also they had very good and clear infographics which explained how you could save money, which I appreciated.
(Via OCBC).

#3 Use your SRS account

The SRS offers interest rates similar to those of an ordinary bank account. So if you’re not content with the existing interest rate offered by the SRS, you also have the option to invest your SRS funds.

It’s quite simple! You can do it online, or via the OCBC OneWealth app. I have not tried using OneWealth, but the millennial Jeremy Clarkson in me is going...
(Via Giphy).

There are a few investment options that you can look into. My understanding of this (which is limited but accurate) is that since the funds are in the SRS for your retirement (ie the long haul), your should not make excessively risky decisions or try to predict the market. The wise investor would choose a diverse portfolio of investments, so that not all your eggs are in one basket, so that future you will have enough money to do that bucket list trip you always wanted to do/be a faux-tai tai.
(Via Giphy).

Personally, James and I are looking into investing in unit trusts or index funds because they promise long-term returns. Also I’ve been told that I’m young and this is a good recommended approach. Time deposits are more for older people who don’t have enough time to reap the benefits of say, unit trusts. Also I am not interested in the endowment insurance plans because they are not really suited to my profile as I already have ensured that I have myself covered.
(Via Giphy).

#4 Get your husband insured.

Speaking of insurance, James is also covered with some insurance plans as well. If you are a tai tai to be looking to make a quick buck, and easy way to get rich quick is to claim insurance after his death. I'm not saying you kill your husband, but you know, having that extra assurance is useful.
OF COURSE, I would rather live a poor soul with James than a rich widowed tai tai. But to make the post comprehensive, I must provide options.

But you have to read the fine print very carefully. You will have to ensure that yourdoes not die within the probation period or you won't be able to claim anything! For our plan, James noted that he was safe for at least a year after signing his insurance forms because the next of kin can't claim in the event of a suicide within a year. Which has since passed. So James is slightly scared now. Which suits me fine. If I don't become a tai tai, my next goal is to rule the world from an arm chair. With my cats.
(Via Giphy).

#5 Work hard.

Well of course another way to be a tai tai is work very hard and excel in what you're doing, climb the corporate ladder and enjoy the view from the top.
(Via Giphy).

HAHAHA. Joke. What I meant to say is to look out for the million dollar TOTO draws, and hope that you strike the jackpot one day. (disclaimer: I don't know how to do that either).

Okay I've come to the end of my post! I hope you found it somewhat useful, and if you have any tips on how I can save more money, how to buy TOTO, or well, how to do yoga, please let me know. It could be your good deed of the day.

And now I will leave you with this apt song.

Ok! I'm off to join James in KL in a bit! TGIF guys!
❤ Jac.

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