I’m only 18 years old, why start saving now?

singapore-flagAs a parent of two adult girls, aged 19 and 21, I know that it is very difficult both mentally and physically for them to save money for their future. Their spending habits have been shaped by their peers as well as the parents. The parents’ attitude towards money, how we spend and save, plays an important part too.

Of course, the worst thing about spending money habits is that it has become too easy to shop online for anything from a cosmetic soap to a smart phone. All we need is a credit or debit card from the bank and this is easily available from the banks.

We all know that we need to save for a rainy day, for a large ticket item like a car, a wedding banquet, a family holiday, the down payment for an apartment. But when do we start? Now or later… let me show you the HUGE difference between the “Now” and “Later”…

Lets look at two people, John and Mary both of the same age…

John started to save and invest $1,000 a year for 10 years from age 18 to 28, then he stopped saving when he married Mary as he had to pay for all the family expenses.

Mary did not save any money from young as she needed to invest in her looks and overall image to find a “good” husband. When she got married at age 28, being a responsible wife she decided to save  and invest $1,000 a year for 47 years till she retired at age 65!

John set aside only $10,000 while Mary set aside $47,000 but at age 65, assuming the rate of return was 10% p.a., John would have accumulated $600,000 and Mary would have accumulated $360,000 only!!!There is a HUGE difference of $240,000…Why? It is because of the POWER OF COMPOUNDING INTEREST.

Money takes time to grow, the longer it has, the bigger it becomes!

Now let’s imagine John and Mary as one person, John Mary. If John Mary started saving and investing $1000 a year from age 18 to 65, he would have accumulated $960,000 at age 65. ( assuming 10% p.a. rate of return )

If John Mary procrastinates and delays his savings program a year later, from age 19 to 65, he would receive $870,000 at age 65. There is a big difference of $90,000. He less saved $1,000 but the impact is a NETT LOSS of $90,000 when he reaches age 65. So this clearly tells us not to delay our savings program.

Time is also our asset when we are young. It is never too early to start saving and investing to achieve our lifetime goal of financial security and success.

If you have decided to start saving and investing now, do meet your trusted independent financial adviser or you can contact me for a non obligatory discussion to create a flexible savings plan that will fulfill your financial goals, both short and long term goals.

Have a great day ahead! Cheers!

We are Hiring! Professional Financial Consultant Position

Stephen MOK
Stephen MOK


If you have a diploma or degree and you are looking for a meaningful start to your working career, why not consider a career in the Singapore Financial Advisory Industry. I am not talking about being an insurance agent only, I am talking about being able to give independent and unbiased personalized financial advice to the mass affluent people in Singapore, to help them achieve their financial goals and objectives.

If you start your career as a tied insurance agent in any Life Insurance company, you will lose a lot financially when you decide to leave after a few years because of the recurrent commission which may be payable up to 6 years from the first year commission. So I advise you to ponder and consider seriously how far you intend to go in this exciting career in Singapore where there are more millionaires here than many countries in the world…

Please think through and I hope that you will consider joining me in this booming industry where your pay is determined by your working attitude. Most importantly, you have your client’s interests before yours and I am sure you will succeed and achieve your financial goals with my team in IPP Financial Advisers Pte Ltd.

Contact me for a sure-win interview now!!! Call me at 90011082.

To Retire or Not to Retire, That is a Serious Question.

Save Now!
Save Now!

For many Baby Boomers ( born between 1946 and 1964 ), we are now in our early 50s or 60s. We may or may not be financially independent because when we were in our early 20s, there were no such thing as Financial Planning. We would just buy an endowment savings plan from a friend who worked as an insurance agent, buy a Whole Life insurance plan and keep the rest in our bank account. Some of us would have speculated in stocks and shares, bought private properties while living in an HDB flat, some even bought Malaysian properties and beyond.

It was on a rather adhoc basis that we invested our financial resources, no proper and regular reviews were done and definitely no financial advisers were on hand to help in the 1980s… Some of us were fortunate to see our real assets grow to the millions and were able to liquidate at the right time to enjoy the fruits of our labour. But I also believe many of us are also unable to stop work because we are still paying the mortgage and raising our teenage children.

What does this mean for Baby Boomers who have not reach their financial destinations? Continue to work till we die? Rely on our children in future? Get social welfare assistance? Beg and borrow from friends and relatives?

If you are searching for an answer to your financial problems, hesitate no more. Whatever financial asset that you have, let me help you manage your resources so that it will last as long as you live… not easy but definitely not impossible. You may need to moderate your lifestyle after you retire and I am sure you can also lead a dignified and respectable lifestyle after 65 years old.

I will see you soon… Take care and God bless.

Are You Ready For Retirement Financially?

chequeAccording to a survey conducted recently by an insurance company in Singapore, many youths here are not financially ready for the future. The survey of 1000 students, graduates and young workers aged between 18 and 29 showed that many agreed that savings was a priority and they need to be in control of their financial well being.

However, despite knowing the importance of financial planning, only 18% had a financial plan. Many felt financially unprepared. Many perceived that they needed $1M to retire but will most unlikely to achieve that amount by a large margin.

This survey showed that many Singaporeans will be financially unhealthy when they retire if we do not do anything now.

Read the article here

If you are a young Singaporean and does not want to be financially sick when you retire, please contact me for a non-obligatory discussion to heal yourself now.

You can call me at 90011082 or email me at stephenmok@ippfa.com




Do you need a Disability Income Insurance Plan?

aDisability Income Insurance plan replaces your monthly income in the event you are unable to work due to illnesses or accidental injuries. This plan is particularly useful if the medical condition is a prolonged one and your company can longer keep you under their employment.

Your financial problems will be magnified further if you have not been saving. You should keep 6 months to a year of your monthly expenses in your bank savings account or fixed deposit account in case you lose your job. This will help you to have a buffer of 6 months to a year of expenses before you get re-employed.

A disability income insurance plan will pay you a monthly income till you recover, fully or partially. It can potentially pay you till your selected retirement age. With this in place, you can rest assured that you will be able to support yourself and your family should you be unable to work. When you recover partially and work in a lower paying job, you will still get a pro rated amount from the insurance company.

If you are limited by budget, you may consider a group insurance policy or you could consider upgrading your existing CPF Eldershield plan without using cash. If you are below 40 years old, you can consider the insurance plans from Aviva or AIA.

Do call me at 90011082 to look at your insurance portfolio so that you have a comprehensive plan to cater to all your financial needs.

Have a good week ahead!


Is CPF MediShield Life Enough?

ambulanceBy the end of 2015, every Singaporean will be insured under CPF Medishield Life which is a blessing for those of us who are currently ill and do not have any medical insurance. Medishield Life is an upgraded version of the current CPF Medishield plan which seeks to lower the out of pocket expenses if one is warded in a Singapore Government Restructured Hospital Class B2 Ward and below.

The sub limits for each surgical procedure are still there and the annual deductible and co-insurance elements of the plan are still there but may be reduced. The premiums to pay for the plan can be from your CPF Medisave which our government will top up for many of us. Given the high standard of treatment in our hospitals I am sure we will be well taken care of. With the implementation of Medishield Life which also covers people with existing illnesses ( they pay 30% more for their premiums ) I believe that more people will come forward to seek medical treatment and our hospitals could be overwhelmed… but I also believe we will have more hospitals coming up in the future. Long queues and waiting times could still be a major irritation for people who visits the hospitals.

I believe it is even more crucial for fast medical attention for stroke and heart attack patients.

For those of us who are financially better off, it is prudent to plan ahead and continue to be covered with our integrated plans with the private insurers. Having the option to choose between going to a private hospital and a restructured hospital in the case of an emergency may save your life.

Recently, by pure coincidence two of my friends ( both financially well off and with good medical insurance) brought their children to hospital because of high fever on that same night. One went to a private hospital and the other went to a restructured Women & Children hospital. The one who went to the private hospital was treated almost immediately while the other had to wait for 2 hours. High fever in a child is not a trivial matter as the brain can be seriously impacted if the fever is not brought down as soon as possible. Once the brain is “fried”, the child could become mentally retarded. If that happens, the parents will feel very guilty for life.

This example shows that with a good medical insurance, you can be sure of quick and effective medical treatment at a world class medical facility in Singapore. If you need to get one now, please call me at 90011082 for a non-obligatory discussion.

Have a good week ahead.

1 July 2014 – CPF Minimum Sum Raised to $155,000

Will you have enough?
Will you have enough?

Singaporeans turning 55 between July 1 this year and June 30 next year will need to set aside a higher minimum sum of $155,000 ( $148,000 in 2013)  in their Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts.

CPF Minimum Sum is a mandatory amount of savings that we must leave in our CPF accounts so that we can receive a regular income during our retirement years.

The minimum sum was set at $80,000 in 2003 and will be raised every year till it reaches $120,000(in 2003 Dollars) in 2015  to keep up with inflation and expected higher standard of living in Singapore.

What does all this mean to us?

First we need to know how much $155,000 will last for us. CPF Life will provide a monthly income of less than $1000 ( NON GUARANTEED ) for life. Is this enough for us? Given that inflation is at about 3% p.a. in Singapore, we must seriously look at this amount.

$1000 a month will not be enough to live decently in Singapore… if you have been living on $5000 monthly expenses, I am sure you will not be sustain for long. Your bank savings will be depleted very soon before you say goodbye to this world.

Do consult your independent financial adviser to work out a sensible retirement income plan now. There are many plans in the market now and you will need to find one that suits you and not the other way round. Don’t leave your future into the hands of a friend who might not have all your needs taken into consideration.

You may want to know more about CPF Minimum Sum Scheme here

Receive a Monthly Paycheck even during Retirement

Will you retire comfortably?
Will you retire comfortably?

Imagine with me… the day of retirement has arrived, you are all excited and sad at the same time… excited because now you have all the time in the world to do the things that you have been longing for, like travelling overseas, playing golf daily at SICC, deep sea fishing BUT you are very concerned that you will not receive your monthly paychecks and bonuses from then on… Don’t worry anymore…

An insurance company has just launched a new retirement funding product that gives you a monthly cheque from your retirement age for 20 years! On top of that you will receive up to 12 months bonus every year for 20 years PLUS receive a further maturity bonus at the end of 20 years.

Wow, sounds too good to be true?

An example given was :

Jason age 30, wishes to retire at age 65 with a $1000 monthly paycheck.
Jason saves $7,297 annually (approx $600 monthly) for only 15 years.
At age 65, Jason will receive $1000 monthly for next 20 years.
He will also receive $12,000 annual bonuses for next 20 years.
At the end of 20 years, Jason will further receive a maturity benefit $168,000.
In total, Jason saved $109,455 but received $648,000 in return, which is almost 6X of his input!

Retirement can be comfortable and predictable if you start planning today. It is never too early to start and never too late to call me… Financial Planning will ensure you will get a good paycheck every month even after you retire!!!

Don’t worry, be happy for the next 20 years at least…

Why You Must Start Planning For Your Retirement Now.

What does Financial Independence mean to YOU?
What does Financial Independence mean to YOU?

Broadly speaking, our life can be divided into three phases, namely our dependent years (aged 0 to 25) , our prime working years (aged 25 to 55) and our golden years (aged 55 to 85+) and do bear in mind more Singaporeans will living longer due to better healthcare and healthy lifestyles.

DEPENDENT YEARS – When we are dependent on our parents, we have no income except for the occasional part time jobs during school vacations and the Ang Pows collected during Chinese New Year and we do not have much savings in our bank accounts. But we are spending a lot on education and our personal lifestyle.

PRIME WORKING YEARS – We earn the most during this prime period and we spend a lot on our families as well as we have the ability to save. This is the best times of our lives as we are able to acquire whatever we fancy with our wealth and high income. We live an ever increasing lifestyle that commensurate with our increasing incomes. We keep upgrading our cars, our houses, going for holidays further and further away from Singapore. This is also the best years where we can save the most.

SUNSET YEARS – We have left our jobs willingly or unwillingly. No more employment income, no more bonuses but we continue to spend on our lifestyle and healthcare… As we live longer, our medical expenses will increase too. Obviously, we have nothing to save if there is no income. Others may bear with the loss of privacy and rent out their bedrooms for extra income.

Looking at this scenario, do you see a pattern here? Our prime working years is the only time that give us the ability to earn, spend and save for our sunset years. Are you saving enough? What you do now as a young person will determine how that old person will live in the sunset years! Start planning now!

Next, you have to look at the rate of return of your savings and investments. Using the financial Rule of 72, if you save your money in the bank at 2% per annum, you will need 36 years to double your money! Your $100,000 will become $200,000 in 36 years!

If you can invest your money at 8% p.a., you will double your money every 9 years! Your $100,000 will be become $1.6M in 36 years. Just by increasing the rate of return by 6%, you have a staggering difference of $1.4M. Is this amount worth the effort for you to look at it seriously?

If you are, please contact your independent financial adviser representative now or call me at 90011082.

Have a pleasant day!


Wealth Accumulation for Singaporeans

Many Singaporeans are savers and save quite alot, maybe it is because we have been nagged by our parents to save, our government reminds us to save, one of the spouse must be a saver too if the other is a spender. But the BIG question is where do you save your money?

After saving at least 6 months of your monthly expenses, generally speaking, some may prefer more, some prefer less…. what do you do with the rest of your savings?

Many Singaporeans will most likely put their money in the banks but few will think about it after leaving it in the bank until the next major family holiday. After the holiday trip, the bank account will shrink to a low level again…and we wonder where is our savings? How come we just can’t save enough for our retirement?

The answer is pretty straight forward, what you can touch, will disappear readily. How to prevent this?

An example would be our CPF savings. Many of us would have the money in our CPF Ordinary Account to put a down payment for our first HDB flat during our late 20s. Why? Because we cannot withdraw it at will…plus it earns interest up to 5% p.a.

Now if we can save our money in another financial institution, earn up to 4% p.a. instead of the miserable 0.125% p.a. in a bank savings account plus cannot touch the money so easily, do you think you will be able to save for your future? What you set aside now and grow at a faster pace will definitely help you to save faster and more for your future.

Remember this, you will have to stop work one day whether you like it or not. The best part is that you can call it quits anytime when you have accumulated your wealth. You can sack your boss, not the other way! How about that?

Many people grumble and can’t leave their jobs that they hate simply because they have not accumulated their wealth yet. They can leave for another company but that cannot guarantee that the new job will be smooth sailing…As we age, we will not be able to compete with our younger colleagues plus they receive a lower salary than we seniors.

Now do you see the importance of wealth accumulation?

Contact me at 90011082 for a non obligatory discussion on how you can accumulate wealth without taking unnecessary risks or see your trusted indepedent financial adviser rep.