Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017… I wish you above all love, joy, peace and hope in the new year!  Let’s remember the lessons that we learnt in 2016 and move bravely forward in 2017.

Financial Planning for individuals has always been elusive and will continue to be difficult because of the Singapore as well as the global lifestyle that is engulfing all of us. The pressure of keeping up our lifestyles with inflation eating away the purchasing power of our money in bank makes us uneasy but we carry on the same habits. Habits die hard and they will kill us financially speaking when we don’t face the bad habits directly and get rid of them as soon as possible.

This year’s resolution for me is to be aware of my spending habits as well as increasing my work rate to improve my income, at least to match inflation here in Singapore.

Looking back at the years of raising my children, there was one regret that I wished I had addressed many years ago. Tertiary education funding. This aspect of funding our children’s tertiary education was neglected and now I have to take a bank loan to solve the financial short fall. This would not happen if I had started an education savings plan when my children were born. Many things demanded my financial attention in their growing years and my income was not stable as a real estate agent in the early 1990’s.

My wish for young couples with babies now is that you must set aside at least $500 to $800 a month for the future tertiary education funding. Now it costs about $8,300 a year for tuition fees at National University of Singapore. With education inflation at 5% p.a. the cost of enrolling into NUS will be a whopping $23,124 a year when the child enters University at age 21 for guys! That will be a total of $92,496 for 4 years of University Education.  Not to mention overseas trips to further their education.

The NUS Financial Needs Calculator can be found HERE.

If you are serious about giving the best education for your children, please consider starting a savings plan now. Never leave your money in the bank with an interest rate of less than 1%, it will never help you as inflation (5%) will eat away your purchasing power!

You can meet me to discuss the various savings option available now in the market. Call or text me at 9001-1082. Thank you.

May the New Year bring more opportunities to grow our wealth so that we can take good care of our families.



Singaporeans Are Living Longer, So?

cropped-merlion-e1385822020111.jpgIt is a known fact that we are living longer given the good environment, good food, good medical facilities in Singapore. Our education has also taught us to take better care of ourselves with adequate exercise and proper diet.

Here is the proof from our government statistics as at 2014.

Men = 80.5 years

Women = 84.9 years

Year Life Expectancy at Birth (in years) Life Expectancy at Age 65 years (in years)
Male Female Total Male Female Total
1980 69.8 74.7 72.1 12.6 15.4 14.0
1981 70.1 75.2 72.5 12.7 15.6 14.2
1982 70.2 75.3 72.6 12.8 15.6 14.2
1983 70.5 75.7 73.0 13.0 15.8 14.4
1984 70.9 75.8 73.3 13.2 15.9 14.6
1985 71.5 76.4 73.9 13.6 16.2 14.9
1986 72.1 76.5 74.2 13.9 16.3 15.1
1987 72.5 76.7 74.5 14.1 16.5 15.3
1988 72.6 76.9 74.7 14.1 16.6 15.4
1989 72.8 77.2 74.9 14.3 16.7 15.5
1990 73.1 77.6 75.3 14.5 16.9 15.7
1991 73.5 77.9 75.6 14.6 17.1 15.9
1992 73.8 78.2 75.9 14.7 17.2 15.9
1993 73.9 78.3 76.1 14.6 17.2 15.9
1994 74.1 78.4 76.2 14.6 17.2 15.9
1995 74.1 78.6 76.3 14.6 17.2 16.0
1996 74.4 78.9 76.6 14.7 17.4 16.1
1997 74.8 79.1 76.9 14.9 17.5 16.3
1998 75.3 79.4 77.3 15.2 17.7 16.5
1999 75.6 79.6 77.6 15.3 17.9 16.6
2000 76.0 80.0 78.0 15.6 18.1 16.9
2001 76.3 80.3 78.3 15.9 18.3 17.1
2002 76.6 80.6 78.6 16.1 18.5 17.3
2003 76.6 81.6 79.1 16.2 19.6 18.0
2004 77.1 82.0 79.6 16.5 20.0 18.4
2005 77.6 82.5 80.1 16.9 20.4 18.7
2006 77.8 82.6 80.3 17.1 20.4 18.9
2007 78.1 82.9 80.6 17.2 20.6 19.0
2008 78.4 83.3 80.9 17.5 20.8 19.3
2009 78.9 83.7 81.4 17.8 21.2 19.6
2010 79.2 84.0 81.7 18.0 21.4 19.8
2011 79.5 84.1 81.9 18.1 21.6 20.0
2012 79.8 84.3 82.1 18.4 21.7 20.2
2013 80.1 84.5 82.4 18.6 21.9 20.4
2014 80.5 84.9 82.8 19.0 22.2 20.8
1 – Singapore residents only
Source: Report “Population Trends 2013” on data.gov.sg.
Updated the data for 2013 and 2014 using published info on DOS website:
http://www.singstat.gov.sg/statistics/latest-data#14 (last accessed 16 Jul 2015)

I have just 4 questions for you.

  1. How are you going to live after you retire at age 65?
  2. Why are you going to live such a life style after you retire?
  3. What plans do you have in place to make sure you will live such a lifestyle?
  4. When was the last time you reviewed your plans?

If you have any doubts in achieving your retirement lifestyle, please contact me at 9001 1082 to discuss the plans to implement… Thank you and see you at my office soon.

Why Work With An Independent Financial Adviser Representative?

See The DifferenceI believe many Singaporeans still buy their life insurance policies from their friends who work in the Insurance companies because of friendship and the trust built up over the years. I agree that we do business with people we know and trust. We will buy the plans from our friends just because they say it’s the best plan for us.

But is it really true? Have you compared the proposed insurance plans before you agree to sign on the dotted line committing yourself to 10, 15, 20 or 25 years of premium payments?

Look no further than going to this website called Compare First .

You will be able to compare the premiums payable for the insurance that you are looking for across all the insurance companies. Isn’t that cool? This is the transparency that we have always wanted.

Do not take your friend’s word for it. Try out this website and give yourself true peace of mind. Yes, I’m sure your friend is of good character and he/she will never play you out but if he/she only represents a single insurance company, what do you expect him/her to say? He/she will never say that others are better or cheaper right?

So, having a third party opinion is great isn’t it? The next question is to ask your self: Is that the correct insurance policy to buy? How much should you buy? How long should you be covered? Why are you buying this insurance policy?

Many questions to ask but no answers right?

Fret no more, I am here to help you make an informed, unbiased and valuable decision to all these questions in your head now. Just pick up the phone and text me at 90011082 for a non-obligatory discussion. Use my services only if you think I can do the job. I don’t charge a fee for this discussion.

Meet me at my office so that you can see that we are running a professional advisory business, committing to the long term relationship with our clients.

See you soon.

Comparison of Private Integrated Shield Plans


Liquid Cash

Have you noticed that there is a new player in the Integrated Private Shield plan market recently? Here’s a comparison done by our Ministry of Health – Click HERE

Yes, it’s AXA Life Insurance. One of their strong USP is that they have the longest post-hospitalisation treatment period of 365 days! This means that if you have to keep going back to the hospital or clinic for follow up treatments, you will be able to claim the fees within a year after leaving the hospital.

What this means is that you do not have to worry that you cannot claim for medical treatment after 90, 100 or 180 days which other companies are offering.

You may think it’s not important and believe that you should recover within 3 to 6 months… That may be true in most cases but if you want to be more cautious, this may be a deciding factor.

I am not saying that you must buy from AXA Life Insurance just because of this single benefit. You should look at other benefits too as well as the cost versus benefits…

Talk to your trusted independent financial adviser representative (FAR) today before taking up any health insurance. Look at your overall insurance portfolio together with the FAR to avoid any duplication.

You may also email or call me for a non-obligatory discussion on how to stretch your health insurance dollar even more.


“MediShield Life, Eldershield, What’s That?”

monkeyFirstly, I would like to wish all my Chinese readers a very happy and prosperous Lunar New Year! May all your wishes come true in the Year of the Monkey!!!

During the Chinese New Year gatherings over lunches and dinners, some of my friends asked me many insurance related questions. Surprisingly, many still do not know what CPF MediShield Life and Eldershield are! All Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents have these two CPF insurance policies. They are paying using their CPF Medisave funds but do not know what they are paying for.

I will not repeat what the CPF website has written about them but here are the links ( light blue text) for you. ” CPF Medishield Life, similar to MediShield, is an individual basic universal healthcare insurance scheme which helps to pay for large hospital bills and expensive outpatient treatments, such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer. It targets Class B2/C wards and subsidised treatment in public hospitals.

CPF ElderShield is an affordable severe disability insurance scheme which provides basic financial protection to those who need long-term care. It provides a monthly cash payout to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses up to a maximum period of 72 months. CPF members with Medisave Account (MA) will be offered ElderShield cover when they turn age 40. No registration or medical assessment is needed.

If you were hospitalised or someone you know was hospitalised, you would have been asked “Do you have insurance?” by the staff at the business office of the hospital. That’s where the rubber meets the road. If you had upgraded your Basic CPF Medishield Life with one of the five insurance companies, you are safe. Your hospital bill may be settled in full. I said “may be” because if you did not buy the Rider to pay the annual deductible and co-insurance of the main Shield plan, you will still have to pay them using Medisave and/or cash, depending on how many days you stayed in the hospital. The staff will do an e-filing on a computer to lodge a claim for you. If you also have a company hospitalisation insurance, do tell the staff too. I will not go into the details today.

If your friend or you were diagnosed with a major stroke and bed ridden for life, you would have activated your CPF ElderShield which pays you $400 per month for 6 years. Hope that will help relieve “some” financial burden with out of hospital expenses… Is $400 a month enough? That’s a stupid question you may say… Of course it’s not enough. You cannot even pay for the medical expenses, taxi fares, a domestic helper with $400 a month! Then your savings will be wiped out very soon and become a financial burden to your family. That’s why upgrading your ElderShield is very important. Don’t even think of opting out! Penny wise and pound foolish is not just a nice sounding idiom, it is for real, many people actually live out this idiom. Such short sightedness is very common in Singapore.

If you have wisdom to look into the future, see that many people are suffering because they do not have proper insurance plans in place… I suggest you talk to an independent financial adviser representative like me as soon as possible. I will help you get financial protection at a cost you can afford.

Please email me at stephenmok@ippfa.com or call me at 90011082.

Thank you and may the Year of the Monkey be a good year for you and your loved ones!

Are you sure CPF LIFE is enough for Retirement? Really?

SG flagMany Singaporeans are still paying for their own properties, the vast majority are still paying for their HDB residential flats, Executive Condominiums (ECs), private condominiums and landed properties and some have even bought commercial properties for investment purposes. Many people use all their CPF Ordinary Account funds to pay their monthly mortgage installments, with nothing much left at the end of the month.

Seriously, do you think you can save up the full retirement sum or basic retirement sum when you reach age 65?

You may not have put in much thought about this because you have been busy working your butt off to pay for all the bills in your family. But do set aside some time now to think about the future and that’s really important because you do not have time to navigate when you are in your late 50s or early 60s!

CPF Full Retirement Sum is for people who turned 55, a table below shows the amount from 1 July 2003 to 2015: It is increasing every year! What about 20 years from now? You can just imagine the huge amount in 20 years time…In 12 years the Full Retirement Sum has DOUBLED from $80,000 to $161,000!!!

55th birthday on or after Full Retirement Sum
1 July 2003 $80,000
1 July 2004 $84,500
1 July 2005 $90,000
1 July 2006 $94,600
1 July 2007 $99,600
1 July 2008 $106,000
1 July 2009 $117,000
1 July 2010 $123,000
1 July 2011 $131,​000
1 July 2012 $139,000
1 July 2013 $148,000
1 July 2014 $155,000
1 July 2015 $161,000

To factor in inflation and rising lifestyle expectations, the Basic Retirement Sum ( you have to pledge your property to CPF Board) is set to increase.

             ​ Basic Retirement Sum​
Age 55 in 2016 $80,500​
Age 55 in 2017​ $83,000
Age 55 in 2018 $85,500​
Age 55 in 2019 $88,000
​Age 55 in 2020 ​$90,500

People who are aged 55 this year and have only $80,500 in their Retirement Account will receive $660 – $770 a month from age 65… Is that enough? Ask yourself this brutal truth, is this enough? Obviously not!  After paying for utility bills, phone bills, groceries, transportation (public), you will have nothing left!!!

Now you have seen what the aged 55 people are going through, please think about the future, your future. Do you want to step into the same shoes as theirs? If not, do something different now!

Wake up from your financial slumber and meet a qualified independent financial adviser representative like me as soon as possible. call me now at 90011082 or if you’re shy please email to me at stephenmok@ippfa.com and I will call you back.

Let’s make 2016 a year that will change your financial future. Make it count… wake up now. Start a savings plan that will keep your head above the rising tide of inflation… That’s about 3% per year!

See you soon!





Colorectal Cancer – Chinese Men Beware!

colonColorectal or Colon Cancer is the most common cancer found in Singapore! Number 1 for men and Number 2 for women. Chinese men are most vulnerable, Malay second and Indians third. Genetics, lack of exercise and our high protein/fat diet with deep frying and BBQ meat plays a part too. There goes my “bak kwa” (bbq sweet pork/chicken sliced)… haha….

This is the information I gathered from a talk given by Dr Ooi, a Consultant Surgeon from Mount Elizabeth Hospital at an insurance company’s training seminar this week.

So… Chinese men aged 40 and above… beware… recommended to screen your colon regularly… Prevention is better than going for surgery. It is less painful and cheaper!

There are many articles in the internet about colorectal cancer just by Googling it so I will not elaborate too much here. But here is a very good article by Mayo Clinic.

The question to ponder here is, are you able to pay for the surgery costs should the unfortunate happens? When you stop work due to this illness will you have enough savings to pay for all the family expenses? How long will it last? 3 months? 6 months or 6 years? Remember this, you have to continue paying the premiums for  your hospitalisation insurance policy even when you have been diagnosed with this illness. There is no waiver of premiums!

I suggest you take a good look at what you have with a qualified expert rather than ask your colleague or a close friend. Please don’t get them involved because if they say its okay but you end up in financial trouble, who are you going to blame? Yourself…

To review your insurance policies, please contact your trusted independent financial adviser representative or call me at 90011082 for a review now.

I will be able to meet you before Chinese New Year (CNY) so be quick to pick up your phone and call me. I still have a few slots available before CNY… Otherwise, wait till the CNY festive week is over. Cheers and stay healthy!

Have a good week ahead.


Can You Afford Your Favourite Prawn Mee in 20 Years?

Prawn NoodleMany Singaporeans enjoy a hot bowl of delicious prawn noodles, I know because I see long queues at prawn noodle stores everywhere I go.  With gravy soup or dry, you name it we have it in Singapore. What does financial planning got to do with prawn noodles? The prices keep going up!!!

20 years ago a bowl of prawn noodles cost $1.50, now the cheapest I can find costs $3… so 20 years from now it will probably cost $6. Nowadays a bowl easily costs $4 to $5 and even $10 for large prawns in your bowl. If you are a die hard prawn noodle fan you will pay for it even if it cost $20 a bowl.

During the festive seasons, prices of raw prawns skyrocket to $40/kg or more from the usual $12 to $15/kg so I won’t be surprised to pay $20 for a bowl of delicious prawn noodles.

What I am talking about is PRICE INFLATION of goods in Singapore. Everything will cost more in 20 years. Even a 4 room HDB flat costs $320,000 or more compared to $160,000 20 years ago… That’s doubling in 20 years. That’s inflation compounding at 3.6% p.a.

Can you afford the same lifestyle in 20 years? Can you afford the same bowl of prawn noodles after you retired? What plans have you made to ensure that you will succeed in your retirement planning? Are you sure you will definitely achieve your financial goals at age 65?

Even if you meet the CPF Life sum of $139,000 you will only receive $868 to $948 a month for the rest of your life from age 65. Do you really think this amount will help you live comfortably? Will you be dependent on your children, that’s if you have children? Many couples choose to be childless nowadays. Enjoy now, worry later… how sad.

One day, you WILL have to retire. That’s 100%. Even if you want to continue working, who will employ you at age 65? Any employer will prefer a younger adult with less salary than an older employee with a much higher salary. That’s the reality of life here. So don’t take for granted that your job is here to stay. One day, even your company will move to other countries to lower their operating costs.

Still want to eat your delicious bowl of prawn noodles?

Wake up and start saving wisely. You have to talk to a professional financial adviser who will guide you and help you achieve financial success at age 65. Don’t take any chances by leaving all your money in the bank earning less than 1% p.a. compared to the inflation rate of 3.6% p.a.  Your money will rot away its financial strength in the bank!

Contact an independent financial adviser representative now! You can also call me at 90011082 for a appointment next week. I have three slots left, first come first served. Sorry I don’t work on weekends.


Financial Planning 2016









So what is new for 2016 you may ask?

Well many people in Singapore are not prepared for retirement, at least 40% according to a recent survey done by DBS-ManuLife Retirement Wellness Study   http://www.straitstimes.com/business/invest/survey-finds-two-in-five-adults-not-confident-about-retiring

Are you one of them?

If you think you are not prepared for retirement then you must talk to an independent financial adviser representative as soon as possible. The longer you delay, the harder it will take for you to reach your retirement goals.

There are many retirement planning websites available and one of them is here  so I am not going to tell you all about retirement.

If you say you cannot retire, that will come true but do you really mean it?  You are not getting any younger and your strength will reduce as you age. Can you continue working in the same capacity when you reach 65?

Prepare now for that day for it will surely come.

Call me at 90011082 and discuss how you may work towards a happy retirement fund that will not break your bank account now.

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!








Dear Friends,

2015 has been a great year for me and I am grateful to all who contacted me through this website. Whether you used my services or not, I am still happy to have helped you in any small way. I would like to end this year 2015 with a short HAPPY note.

H – HEALTH is more important than wealth – Sleep 7 to 8 hours a day, eat / drink everything in moderation, walk 10,000 steps a day and you will be fine.

A – ATTITUDE will determine the altitude that you will fly at – Keep up the good works, be resilient and persevere.

P – PATIENCE is more important than speed, taking shortcuts never lead to long term success.

P – PERSEVERANCE is never giving up when the waves are coming at you, stand your ground and maintain your focus on your financial goals.

Y – YOU are worth it so keep investing in your self to improve the areas that you think you can do better.

So with a HAPPY word of advice, I end the year with this short note.


“May the Force be with you” in 2016 and beyond….. Happy New Year and move on to greater heights in life.