Late bloomers in retirement planning

PLAYING CATCH-UP: Housewife and pastor Joanne Lee - (from left) with son Samuel, husband Francis and daughter Sarah - started planning for retirement at the age of 47.


    Nov 06, 2013

    Late bloomers in retirement planning

    In the last instalment of a six-part series brought to you by Manulife Singapore, we explore the issue of retirement planning at different life stages


    MR AND Mrs Lee have been married for 31 years, and are blessed with two grown-up children.

    A maintenance, repair and operations director of a company in the aerospace industry, Mr Lee's job scope entails managing an overhaul facility for airline-component repair, and he has 25 employees under his charge.

    Mrs Lee is a housewife who serves as a pastor at her church. She also volunteers actively.

    Mr Lee enjoys playing sports such as soccer and golf, while Mrs Lee is involved with the church and prays for the sick. She swims occasionally to keep fit.

    The couple live in a three-bedroom private apartment with their son Samuel, 28, and daughter Sarah, 23.

    What are your financial goals?

    We hope to be financially self-sufficient after retirement.

    How far are you from your goals?

    Mrs Lee: I started planning for retirement very late, at the age of 47, so I had a bit of catching up to do. I've always had insurance, but realised that they were insufficient for comprehensive financial coverage.

    When we were introduced to Manulife, our financial adviser tweaked our insurance plans so that they cater more specifically for retirement. We have also bought more plans to prepare ourselves better for retirement.

    We have some policies with Manulife, including a medical plan for critical-illness protection, a plan that generates an income stream for life, and investment policies as part of our portfolio, as well as CPF Life.

    Francis plans to continue working to earn a stable, consistent income up to the age of 65, to build up on our savings.

    We are not ambitious people, so we do not invest. But Francis dreams to own a stall selling beef noodles, as he loves to cook.

    And your primary concerns now?

    Seeing that our children are independent and established in their careers. But we need not worry much about this as Samuel holds a stable job as a design engineer; he will also be tying the knot next year.

    Sarah has just graduated from Australia's Deakin University with an arts degree, and will be looking for a job soon.

    What have you done as part of your retirement planning?

    We have a basic medical plan and a regular savings plan under the lifetime-income scheme; we have also invested our Central Provident Fund monies.

    But due to Francis' hypertension, we are unable to upgrade the medical plan to a more comprehensive one. So we must take good care of our health, and have more buffers in savings to ensure that medical costs do not eat into the retirement fund.

    Also, some of our plans would have matured, and we would be able to get the payouts by the time we retire, to furnish us with a consistent flow of allowance.

    How would you like to live your life after retirement?

    We hope to live comfortably, without having to worry about our financial needs. I hope to continue serving society through volunteer work, while Francis hopes to continue playing golf to keep fit.