Goal: No money worries when I retire
In the third instalment of a six-part series brought to you by Manulife Singapore, we explore the issue of preparing for retirement at different stages of your life.
MS KOON LILI, 42, SINGLE
AS A seminar manager, Ms Koon's job scope entails coordinating and organising real-estate and Central Provident Fund planning seminars for multinational enterprises and individuals.
In her leisure time, Ms Koon, who is divorced and has no children, enjoys watching movies and travelling overseas when she can afford it. But, most importantly, she likes to spend quality time with her loved ones.
Ms Koon lives with her boyfriend of six years and his parents in a four-room Housing Board flat.
Her main concern is her capacity to achieve her financial goals independently to ensure a comfortable life for herself after retirement.
What are your financial goals?
I hope to have enough money to meet my daily needs and (the necessary discipline to) sustain my commitment to saving up for insurance and medical needs.
Building a nest egg for retirement is also very important, as I'm a divorcee and I have to be financially independent. It would be good to have some surplus funds for emergency use or perhaps a short vacation once a year.
How far do you think you are away from your goals?
I've done financial planning with an estate practitioner (to facilitate the attainment of my financial goals). A review is done once every two years to further enhance my retirement plan.
Changes to the plan will be made consistently, depending on my current lifestyle and comfort level.
I think I would need more savings, as well as an enhanced medical plan, to take care of potential medical bills as I grow older.
If my gross salary becomes significantly lower than (that offered in) my previous job, I would also need to adjust my lifestyle accordingly. I need to constantly upgrade my work skills and take more responsibility to grow my salary.
The most difficult part is having very tight financial constraints and I must be prepared to stay home to avoid incurring...unnecessary expenses.
What are your primary concerns at this point of your life?
To have a stable income, so that I have a roof over my head.
What is your focus at this life stage?
My main focus now is to continue working to earn a constant income, in order to achieve my goals for retirement, as well as ensuring sufficient medical coverage during old age.
As a divorcee, proper and good financial planning is very important, so that I will not burden my family if I'm unable to work (and earn an income) due to old age or a medical condition.
What have you done as part of retirement planning?
I had help from an expert to go through my estate planning and ensure I'm heading towards a comprehensive coverage in my areas of concern, such as taking care of my insurance, medical, hospital and critical-illness coverage.
Due to the (constantly increasing) inflation rate, I must make sure my hard-earned money is put into the right investment plans for better returns.
How would you like to live after retirement?
I would love to lead a carefree life and travel round the world, either for leisure or for volunteer work. The last thing I'd want to worry about is money.