Saving and investing for old age
In this last instalment of a six-part series brought to you by Manulife Singapore, we explore the topic of preparing for retirement at different stages of your life
ROHANA ANANG, MID-50s
GROWING up, Madam Rohana has learnt to live with less.
Back in the 1970s after she completed her O levels, she worked as a student-nurse to help ease her parents' financial burden. Her father was unemployed and her mother was a housewife.
As the second of six children, she had to help pay for her younger siblings' school fees.
"It was tough. I remember wanting things very badly but not being able to afford them. They are simple things like food and clothes, not luxury items.
"So I would tell myself, I must buy this or eat this when I have the money," said Madam Rohana, who works in the health-care industry.
Her humble beginnings helped to inculcate in her a habit of saving money, and she learnt how important it was to set aside something for a rainy day.
Her thriftiness has helped her to pay for one of her two children's education overseas, without taking a loan.
She has a daughter, Juliana, 33, and a son, Iswady, 30, who work as a digital marketing director and an exercise scientist respectively.
Her husband, Iskandar Abdullah, 63, is an operations coordinator in the offshore industry. The family of four live in a three-room condominium in the northern part of Singapore.
WHAT ARE YOUR RETIREMENT GOALS?
I hope to set aside a comfortable nest egg in 10 years' time, when I retire. I hope to save enough to go on a yearly pilgrimage, to travel every year, and to live life comfortably, without having to worry about money. I have family members in Australia and Britain and I would want to visit them.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN PLANNING FOR RETIREMENT?
In my line of work, I see elderly patients who have no retirement plans and that makes me more conscious about saving up.
Every month, I would save at least half of my salary, and 20 per cent goes into my investment policies. I have five policies with Manulife - a monthly investment-linked policy, a lump-sum investment-linked policy, a 10-year term insurance plan and home-mortgage insurance policies.
HOW HAVE YOUR POLICIES HELPED YOU?
The monthly investment-linked policy will yield a higher-than-average return - between 2 and 4 per cent - compared to average bank and fixed-deposit interest rates, which are much lower.
The home-mortgage insurance policies are like a safety net. If anything happens to me, my family will receive a lump sum which can be used to offset the outstanding mortgage on the condo.
WHAT KIND OF LIFESTYLE DO YOU WANT FOR THE FUTURE?
My condo serves as an investment. My husband and I plan to move to a smaller apartment when my children get married and have a place of their own.
I hope we will have about $4,000 to $5,000 to spend a month after retirement, for 15 years.