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5 Retirement Expenses Singaporeans Will Definitely Regret Not Planning For

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Joanne Poh

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If you intend to rely entirely on your CPF savings when you retire, you’d better prepare to spend the final years of your life eating plain bread and spending all your spare time staring into space at HDB void decks.

To make matters worse, just because you can save a ton of money now by living with your parents and spending all your spare time watching anime doesn’t mean can keep your expenses just as low when you retire. Here are five expenses to take into consideration when trying to figure out how much you need to stop working.

 

Healthcare costs and medical insurance

Your only healthcare costs at the moment might be MCs those mornings you can’t wake up for work, but unless you’ve been blessed with good genes and are taking care of your health now, you can expect your healthcare costs to go up significantly when you’re older.

As a Singaporean, you already have a 10.53% chance of getting diabetes—and those hawker meals and weekends spent on your back watching Korean dramas aren’t helping. Add to that the fact that the Singapore healthcare system is keeping Singaporeans awake at night thanks to fears of medical bankruptcy, and you’d be stupid to retire without setting aside additional cash to cover healthcare costs.

Of course, only the most daring Singaporeans should roam the island without adequate medical insurance. While you should already have a policy now, your premiums will be way higher when you’re older, so factor that in too.

 

Childcare

If you have kids now, don’t be surprised if you end up looking after their kids when they’re old enough to have them. Most families in Singapore are dual-income, and despite the subsidies, childcare costs in Singapore are still very high.

If the cost of living continues to rise the way it has been doing over the past decade, there’s a high chance the role of taking care of your kids’ offspring is going to devolve upon you, the kindly grandparent.

While many Singaporean parents still expect their kids to offer them financial support when they’re old, that is not something you can take for granted, given the rising cost of living.

You might find yourself wishing you had more money in your retirement fund to feed your grandchildren while their parents are at work, buy them the occasional toy or take them on outings.

 

Transport

Young, able-bodied Singaporeans are already complaining about how uncomfortable taking public transport can be—trying to keep your balance as the bus lurches back and forth and standing cheek-to-jowl with scowling people on the MRT is no joke when you’re already exhausted from work. Having to navigate the same public transport system as an elderly person is 100 times worse.

When just walking down a flight of stairs makes you wheeze, trying to hike through the long tunnels at MRT interchanges can be too much. Unless you’re prepared for that, you’ll want to budget for taxi rides at least some of the time, or even a car.

 

Dental care

You might be the sort of person who visits the dentist once every 8 years, but don’t assume you’ll be able to get away with that when you’re old.  When you’re a senior citizen, a small cavity is the least of your worries. You’re at risk of actually losing teeth and having to get dentures made.

Even if nothing major happens to your teeth, you’ll want to go for regular checkups and cleaning to make sure they stay in your mouth!

 

Home repairs

Your newly-renovated HDB flat might have been your pride and joy when you first moved in, but as wear and tear takes its toll, you can expect to have to fork out money for repairs more and more often.

Appliances like air conditioners, fridges, washing machines and TV sets will have to be serviced or replaced more than once during your lifetime, and as your home ages along with you you might run into plumbing or electrical issues. Although, if Channel 5 and Channel 8 dramas are as bad in 30 years’ time as they are now you can probably just discard your TV.

What other expenses are you taking into account when saving for retirement? Tell us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.