Despite salary contributions of 20 per cent from employees and 17 per cent from employers, Singapore’s mandatory pension plan was recently deemed inadequate to retire on by Hui Weng Tat, an associate professor of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He said that the Central Provident Fund (CPF) would only provide a sufficient pension for the bottom 30 per cent of wage earners due to increasing life expectancy, inflation, and property costs.
For this reason, it makes sense to explore other investment opportunities to boost your financial position after you have stopped working. So, here are 5 easy ways to save money for your retirement:
1. Play the financial markets
Even though Singapore stocks have witnessed a turbulent start to 2016, there are a number of ways to take advantage of this slide. For instance, now is the time to buy shares with long-term growth potential, as global markets will inevitably pick up again in the near future. Alternatively, you could explore a leveraged product like ‘Contracts for Difference’ or CFD.
This enables you to put down a small deposit for a much larger market exposure, making your investment capital go a lot further. However, you should be aware that CFD trading also requires a high level of risk management.
2. Invest in index funds
The vast majority of financial investments require a lot of time, effort, and expertise to yield an impressive return. But the opposite is true with index funds, which can achieve superb investment performance but help you cut down on any dealing costs.
Take the S&P 500 for example, which was more profitable than about 82 per cent of large-cap stock funds between 2004 and 2014.
3. Shrink your debt
It is a simple equation that too many savers forget about – assets minus liabilities equals total net worth. Therefore, why wouldn’t you try to boost this number by shrinking your debt?
Consider paying off a small credit card balance in full before tackling those with high interest rates, as the sense of satisfaction will encourage you to clear more debt. Also, change your attitude towards credit cards and only use them for emergencies.
4. Rein in your spending
Once you have managed to shift your debt, start thinking of ways to avoid this from happening in the future and come up with a plan to rein in your spending.
As you get older things like car insurance premiums will rise, so shop around or negotiate for a better deal. You don’t necessarily have to cut back on the finer things in life, but the more you manage to save, the more comfortable your retirement will be.
5. Keep working
The prospect of working longer doesn’t bear thinking about for most people. However, if you enjoy your job and are happy to keep working until age 70 or even beyond, this is a fantastic way to add more money to your retirement fund.
What’s more, some workplaces are friendlier to older employees than others and increasing life expectancy rates mean you won’t miss out on many precious retirement years either.