What happened to my savings?

I will conclude the HDB topic with this thought that bridges in to CPF and the ideas I will cover after Chinese New Year.

If you go to any insurance agent in Singapore and ask them if I put $200 per month in to a savings plan from age 25 to 65 how much will I have when I retire? Running those numbers, they will give you an answer around $250,000. Try it I have.

As Singaporeans we have the highest mandated savings rate in the world at 37% for most of our careers. They say the average income including CPF is around $4,000 per month but even those earning $1,000 must put $370 in to CPF.

Given those numbers why doesn’t every Singaporean have between $250,000 and $1 million in their CPF at age 65?

The insurance industry is not a charity and it can return that amount so why can’t our government invest our CPF and do the same or better?

Instead of industry standard investment on such a large mandatory amount put in to CPF much of your money is sucked in to the overpriced HDB, more is taken by mandatory insurance schemes that give lower protection than industry standard and the balance left gets such a low investment interest rate that the compounding effect becomes insignificant.

We already know at retirement over 50% of Singaporeans can’t meet the minimum sum, currently $176,000, but why when so much has been “saved”?

Maybe if we all put at least $200 per month in a savings plan by law instead of the HDB/CPF sink hole we would all be far better off?

And the PAP says it is with you, for you, for Singapore?

Seems when it comes to managing our money it certainly is not with us, well other than to find many ways to collect our money and give as little back as possible.

Maybe for the year of the pig we should find somebody better at looking after our piggy banks?


Brad Bowyer



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27 Responses to “What happened to my savings?”

  • NotMyProblem:

    I’ve taken some money from CPF and put in insurance saving, I can get 8%.

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  • Bapak:

    When you have 70% stupid citizens, this is the kind of government we have.

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  • Mismanaging our trust:

    Nasrudin snuck into someone’s garden and began putting vegetable in his sack. The owner saw him and shouted, “What are you doing in my garden?”

    “The wind blew me here,” Nasrudin confidently responded.

    “Well then,” said the other. “Can explain how those vegetables were pulled out from my garden?”

    “Oh, that’s simple,” Nasrudin explained. “I had to grab them to stop myself from being thrown any further by the wind.”

    “Well,” the man continued, “then tell me this–how did the vegetables get in your sack?”

    “You know what,” Nasrudin said, “I was just standing here and wondering that same thing myself!”

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  • Reset Your Money to ZERO:

    Reset your money ~mid-way to Zero Formula ["$0.00"] because HDB price is set and controlled by them the way they planned it.

    Imagine the price of leasing this HDB apartment which is not even your own property to begin with, and with its conditions, limitation and all the inconveniences, is more expensive than Private Landed Property, based on 99 years pro-rating.

    Just how can the f*$&#&*#ucking apartment be compared with the luxury and comfort of a private landed free hold property, I ask you. How on earth can that be???????.
    They are setting the price of HDB SO HIGH, the Reset your money to Zero formula is SO STRETCHED that is F*%&%%*ucking ridiculously Obvious, isn’t it.

    For you means Come For You, come for your $$$$$
    With you means Not You but with your money, they keep.

    You guys should stick out your rod and begin thinking about it.

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  • Where Is The Money?:

    CPF started out with good intentions under the 1G.
    Under later generation of leaders its seems to have evolved into a leegalised scam.
    Dont blame us for thinking so…

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  • oxygen:

    WITH SUCH STRENUOUSLY EFFICIENT EXPLOITATIVE extraction of the peasants’ capital and saving via the nexus of CPF/HDB asset enhancement politics scam, the PAPpys must have long known that most peasants must, at retirement, reduced to poverty struggle.

    CPF invested fund is said to yield on an average 6% plus return on capital since inception BUT CPF MEMBERS were compensated the lower proportion of 50 percentile. It is all along an instrument and sly avenue of PAPpypolitics/PAPpynomics backdoor tax. On such low base, the years of compounding adds meagre to our retirement savings EVEN IF NO ONE IS CONNED INTO PUTTING CPF RETIREMENT money into paying for 99-yr lease rental public housing (which depletes to zero at expiry).

    PAPpys knows this CPF WILL NEVER ENOUGH – looking at the US 10-yrs Treasury bond yield as the proxy benchmark for inflation dating back to early 1980s (when the 10-yr US Treasury was paying close to 15% per annum). How much did CPFB paid its members then? 5% to 6% return???

    INFLATION NEVER WALKS BACK in economic realities. So most peasants, to PAPpys full awareness, were long left behind in this CPF backdoor tax.

    And there was no catch up of this shortfall – PAPpys just DIAM DIAM DIAM and screwed peasants harder by its contraption of asset enhancement politics scam – sucking peasants’ capital and retirement savings into funding diminishing value housing (actually a liability) which is clearly beyond financial affordability.

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  • MikeB:

    Very true but 70% still don’t get it or rather are selfish…

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  • PC Ong:

    Please lah, you know why people not enough CPF for retirement? Is because they use too much CPF for housing. But our HDB is affordable, so why people still use so much CPF? Because lack of discipline and use cash savings for buy car, go holiday, eat expensive restaurant etc. So it is true our CPF is a good form of savings. The problem is people lack discipline on how to use it.

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  • a PG:

    Without citizens permission or consultations, they just come out with many changes and schemes to keep our hard-earned money meant for our retirement. Hence, we die die cannot retire !

    Also, without consultations with us, they increase their salaries to $$$millions (highest in the universe), and some of them claim their salaries are still not enough. They are unstoppable. They say with are one of richest countries in the world. You can ask Sinkies “richest” here refer to who ?

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  • need to plug the gigantic hole:

    As Singaporeans we have the highest mandated savings rate in the world at 37% for most of our careers. They say the average income including CPF is around $4,000 per month but even those earning $1,000 must put $370 in to CPF.

    Given those numbers why doesn’t every Singaporean have between $250,000 and $1 million in their CPF at age 65?

    The insurance industry is not a charity and it can return that amount so why can’t our government invest our CPF and do the same or better?

    A huge part of that shortchanged shortfall can be explained by the insatiable need to plug the gigantic hole in our reserves as a result of their reckless gambling addiction using our sovereign funds.

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  • HarderTruths:

    No- we have no savings – all CPF belongs to gahmen. They said so.

    Also bank deposits are loans to banks – this is not the depositor’s either. You get a bunch of numbers showing what is ‘yours’.

    What is your net worth? What you have in your pocket. The rest is in the $G Temasek-GIC casino.

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  • Alas in SG, what do we get?:

    As Singaporeans we have the highest mandated savings rate in the world at 37% for most of our careers. They say the average income including CPF is around $4,000 per month but even those earning $1,000 must put $370 in to CPF.

    Given those numbers why doesn’t every Singaporean have between $250,000 and $1 million in their CPF at age 65?

    Singapore is simply badly run and Singaporeans are getting a very bad deal from the PAP.

    With that kind of compulsory State sanctioned savings in other First World countries, not only will you get free Universal healthcare, unemployment benefits and old-age pensions in return, the government will have so much surplus in their coffers to spare to enable them to dish out even more goodies to you.

    Alas in Singapore, what do we get? Leaders who pay themselves multiillion-dollar salaries and ridiculous bonuses with our money.

    On top of that, with far less than what we pay for our HDB flats, those in other countries will end up with a properties that not only do not depreciate to zero value like ours do, but actually have values that have appreciated many times the value of their original purchase price.

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  • LIONS:


    The day the PAP stops sucking your money,the sky will drop.

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  • CPF n HDB don't mix:

    The biggest mistakes was allowing CPF (retirement) money to be put into HDB flats. Why? Because retirement money needs to get a positive return but HDB is basically a depreciating asset because of the 99-year lease. This depreciation was masked by an unsustainable property bubble. Without the latter CPF money tied up in an HDB flat loses value at 1 percent per year.

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  • Maha Dee:

    Thanks to Bowyer for using a insurance example to illustrate to us how much savings have been forced into our cpf bank.
    Yes, something is wrong .
    Clearly, many still think that it’s a great idea that garment delayed our corporate withdrawal again and again. But these are the brainwashed. They are not wise. Lacking independent thinking. They take in the propaganda.

    Again it tells us Singaporeans study a lot but they have no wisdom.
    A scholar system guarantees the best talent is not hired.

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  • KNN:

    February 4, 2019 at 4:54 pm
    CPF started out with good intentions under the 1G.

    CPF WAS ok under the British.

    CPF became bastardised under PAP 1G from 1986 onwards.

    The irony is that M’sia evolved their CPF (EPF) into something better by moving away from the fixed 2.5% interest to long term endowment investment returns.

    That’s why their EPF has been giving the Mats 5%-6% annual returns for many decades already.

    In comparison, profit-driven insurance companies will give you long run 3.5%-4% returns for endowments / savings plans.

    FYI, both CPF & EPF started out under the same colonial British dept in the mid-1950s.

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  • Who is brad ?:

    This guy is he local Singapore citizen or white passing thru.?brad please reply
    In past we had Neil Humphreys I think that was his name in straits times passing witty comments on spore life
    And commenting on Singlish yet in Hong Lim green some stupid sinkie went up to him n pump his hand warmly ;
    What I cannot stand is these are the very guys who come here take our jobs under guise off ft and adopt a very patronising attitude towards us;
    If he is not spore citizen please bugger off ; go to the us uk or AUSTRALIA and see how they treat asians;
    Not more than a century ago they treat asians as chinks and natives or locals
    Robinson’s was a white men shopping paradise if asians shop there the sales girls look at you over the tops of their noses; in raffles hotel the whites look down on asians with a snobbish attitude n make it clear you are not meant to be there while they sip their Stengahs slings and whiskies
    Are yr memories so short; ?i am no lover of the pap but for goodness sake donot think whites are superior;

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  • Corrupt Greedy Evil:

    Your CPF money is Charity to PAP.
    They gambled with your money,
    they keep all the wins but make you bear the losses.

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  • rukidding:

    LKY dont call you a Daft for no reason !

    It worked in the early years….that is how this place became so rich in the early few years……until,until something went “wrong” and Holy Jinx was “called in” to “Guard” the “fortress”..( I use the word Guarrd,..not managed )

    It is “obvious” that something is WRONG !

    I suspect,…ardy “half kosong” !

    How to “suka, suka” return ???

    Thhat is why,…need to “move” Goalpost !

    GD Star Rating
  • oxygen:

    @ CPF n HDB don’t mix:

    BRILLIANT ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK below IN BREVITY but the biting cogency of illumination is not lost.

    CPF n HDB don't mix: The biggest mistakes was allowing CPF (retirement) money to be put into HDB flats. Why? Because retirement money needs to get a positive return but HDB is basically a depreciating asset because of the 99-year lease. This depreciation was masked by an unsustainable property bubble. Without the latter CPF money tied up in an HDB flat loses value at 1 percent per year.

    Most peasants DON’T understand that the HDB value loss of 1% per annum STARTS from a much higher principal amount (lets say $500k) but the CPF return of 2.5% works from a smaller base of accumulated sum (lets say only $100K as CPF contribution to the total housing costs/exposure).

    IT IS STAGGERING LOPSIDED – adversely – weighing much against the loss in capital values compared to CPF returns in absolute $$$ terms) in this CPF-HDB nexus.

    IT IS A LOSS MISADVENTURE FROM THE MOMENT GO in financial mathematics. This is even so if the purchase is NOT make at the top end of the property market cycle. If anyone caught at the peak, he/she risks enduring capital loss of up to 15% of invested costs ON TOP of the depreciating expiring lease over the return available from interest on the CPF sum invested in that property. That entrapment of paper loss could last from anything up to 15 years.

    There is an article read of first hand personal account of someone who regretted his EC purchase in the Online Citizen – despite paying over $600K and having sold that over $900K or thereabout after 15 years wait.

    EC buyer will regret like me


    I can see where he is coming from of regret and it could happen to anyone else.

    PROPERTY IS NOT A SURE WIN BET but a highly risky gamble. Much worst, when is significantly CPF-funded and judgment resting on emotional infatuation got the better of calm rational financial mathematics cold calculations.

    GD Star Rating
  • Perspective:

    It comes down to this: a big chunk of your CPF savings goes into the payment of your flats which are eventually transferred back into the hands of the self-proclaimed aristocratic rulers. The first two generations paid for these public housings with their hard-earned CPF savings. When their leases are up, the button is reset to zero and the flats (structurally sound and with some interior/exterior upgrades) will be leased out again to a new generation of tenants or the land sold to private developers, to bring in more harvests over the next 100 years! LOL!

    GD Star Rating
  • oxygen:

    WHAT HAPPENED TO MY SAVINGS? I have compelling apprehension that the public mind will think the “ASSET ENHANCEMENT” politics is FAKE NEWS. It should be correctly propagated as “ASSET DEPLETION” politics of gnawing away the peasants’ capital (read cash savings) and his/her CPF (read retirement subsistence) to the eventually of zero asset and debt liability albatross (CPF return with accumulated interest to the State) hanging on the neck of the peasants.

    Who is moving my cheese, they ask?

    The answer is this and continuing – the PAPpy mosey-rats are engaged in silent “bracket creeping” of illegal shifting access of retirement CPF from 55, then to 60, then onward to 65 and even now while in the concealment cover of leaving the retirement age remaining at 65, pushing withdraw access of CPF to 70 by deception of default opt-in (a misnomer of law and fact – if you didn’t consent, how did you fall into someone’s else pretension of your agreement of allowing this to happen????)

    The finality actuality of outcome – legal or illegal of that consequential damage – if that mortality will deprive more and more of the retiree’s access to his/her retirement subsistence.

    So in sum totality, the GENUINE NEWS is that the ASSET ENHANCEMENT needs to be “proudly” championed as PAPpys “ASSET DEPLETION” scam. It is STILL HAPPENING of ghostly removal of peasants’ retirement cheese AFTER their capital (savings) have been long depleted prior by public housing property bubble of “selling land” in transacted purchase consideration paid for by peasants but not ownership of land title transfer.

    Or is it still not?

    Anyone wants to agree or disagree?

    GD Star Rating
  • Lee Kan Seng:

    The SAF regular on Aloysius Pang said nsmen are not Forced to Serve. But ns is mandatory.

    I wonder will he say mandatory cpf is not forced savings?

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  • Perspective`j:

    The myth of “Asset Enhancement” has been de-mythologized! AE is true only for those millionaire ministers and the wealthy classes of society who can afford ‘real’ estates. The value of their assets are enhanced by pushing up HDB prices and minting new citizens and PRs to add to the property frenzy. For the large majority of the population who live in HDB, AE has turned out to be myth like the “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow.

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  • Lost and groggy simpleton!:

    Land Acquisition Act takes over land at low costs.
    Public housing built on acquired land.
    You need money (taxes) to build public housing and surrounding infrastructures.
    You need to set a price for the flats to recover costs with some profits to maintain the housing estate.
    Occupant takes a loan and pay interests.
    Occupant pays conservancy charges.
    Occupant using car pays for the car park space.
    A 3 room flat in the 70s was $15K now around $300K.
    A 5 room flat in the 70s was $30K now around $500K.
    Almost everything has gone upwards since the 70s.
    Those with family wealth or drawing big salaries grow richer mostly indulging in the property market casino with good easy access to their rich developer and banker friends for advice.
    This elitist groups and circles are living super comfortably here.
    This place is a magnet for the rich (at comfortable entry level for the rich) from the surrounding areas and overseas to lock park their monies and stay here and keep a joint or two, and indulge in the property market and businesses and grow.
    Big businesses employ cheaper foreign workers thus sidelined locals.
    Their participation kept the property market buoyant and floatable and kept the property market alive and moving to the delight of the participants and developers and bankers and all connected.
    The vast majority are wage earners and small time businessmen religiously and grumpily pay their taxes and whatever charges imposed without much questioning.
    The increases are non-discussable.
    There is no culture of townhall open discussions over here to find better workable solutions.
    Are the increases necessary and realistic in keeping with the economic cycles in the neighborhood and the world or are they man made.
    Is there a better way to handle all this to help reduce the anxieties.
    They know best?
    That’s the situation.

    GD Star Rating
  • Why suffered in silence:

    I feel that all citizens above age 55 have been taken for a ride.If you put $200000 at bank fixed deposit for a year at 2% interest,you will get $333.33 a month.At end of one year you will collect not only your interest but also take back your principal $200000.For CPF you get only interest monthly but you do not get back your principal? Is this a scam?

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  • WakeupSG:

    From CPF website:
    What is the Retirement Sum Scheme?
    The Retirement Sum Scheme provides CPF members a monthly income to support a basic standard of living during retirement.

    Can someone help me understand what is a monthly payout “to support a basic standard of living” in 2019?

    GD Star Rating
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