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BBCWatcher 02-07-2018 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kael1n83 (Post 115263523)
BBCW, for non-US citizens, over what length of must one have worked in the US to qualify for social security benefits?

To qualify for U.S. Social Security retirement benefits (and for spousal retirement benefits)(**) there are two ways:

(a) Non-trivial(*) contributions to the U.S. Social Security system within any 10 calendar years. They do not have to be consecutive years, and they do not have to be entire years. Indeed, as few as 10 paychecks could be enough to get the job done.(***)

(b) Alternatively, non-trivial(*) contributions to the U.S. Social Security system within any 2 calendar years, provided you have also made contributions into the social insurance systems of any treaty country(ies) within any 8 other years. As few as 2 U.S. paychecks could be enough to qualify using the treaty "totalization" method.

The amount of the retirement benefit (and associated spousal benefit) is based on lifetime earnings, and with a rather complex formula. The retirement benefit amount probably won't be very much if you just barely clear the hurdle to qualify for some level of benefits, but a few dollars is better than zero, of course.

(*) "Non-trivial" in part (a) means 4 "quarters of coverage" (QoCs) per year. One QoC in the year 2018 is equal to gross earnings of US$1,320. So, in 2018, to get the maximum 4 QoCs you would need at least US$5,280 of gross earnings subject to U.S. payroll tax (Social Security contributions), and of course that payroll tax must be paid. If that happens in a single paycheck, that works. ("Quarter" isn't actually referring to any period of time.) You can only earn a maximum of 4 QoCs per calendar year.

"Non-trivial" in part (b) means 6 QoCs total. They can be split in any way, but since you can only earn a maximum of 4 per calendar year, you need at least 2 calendar years to get to 6.

The amount of earnings required to earn one QoC varies depending on the year since they are adjusted annually for inflation. U.S. Social Security publishes those figures here.

(**) The legal spouses -- same or opposite sex, and in some cases ex-spouses -- of U.S. Social Security retirement benefit recipients are ordinarily eligible for spousal benefits, even if they never worked nor stepped foot in the United States. Spousal benefits are normally equal to one half of the retirement benefit, although spouses can only start receiving spousal benefits based on their own retirement age (minimum age 62 to start). If the primary retirement benefit recipient should predecease the spousal benefit recipient, then the spousal benefits end but the spouse picks up the retirement benefit amount for the rest of his/her life. The surviving spouse is also ordinarily able to receive a small death benefit, currently (2018) US$255. If the spouse qualifies for U.S. Social Security retirement benefits on his/her own merits then, if higher, that amount will prevail. Otherwise, the spousal benefit level will prevail.

(***) Qualifying for retirement benefits based on method (a) also qualifies the recipient for free U.S. Medicare Part A coverage. U.S. Medicare Part A is basic hospitalization coverage within the United States for those age 65 and older. Individuals who qualify for free U.S. Medicare Part A should notify the U.S. Social Security Administration about 3 months before their 65th birthday that they would like to start Part A coverage. Additional Medicare coverage is also available for purchase, but individuals who do not have the right to live in the United States should almost never add the paid Medicare coverage and should just accept the free Part A. For U.S. citizens living outside the United States at age 65+ this particular decision is a bit trickier.

kael1n83 02-07-2018 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BBCWatcher (Post 115263888)
To qualify for U.S. Social Security retirement benefits (and for spousal retirement benefits)(**) there are two ways:...

appreciate the detailed response!

Shiny Things 03-07-2018 02:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tangent314 (Post 115211384)
I believe that, if you are willing to accept the risks, a high yield (aka junk) bond fund can fit into your retirement portfolio. There are a few features that makes it attractive for retirement:

* As a fund, it is safer than picking individual junk bonds that can potentially default
* You are looking at dividend yields of 5-6%
* There is capital volatility (not as high as shares), but you don't particularly care for that since you are mainly looking forward to the dividend payouts, then pass the capital on to your beneficiaries

I don't agree with piling all of a portfolio into junk bonds, even if that's counterbalanced by a CPF Life income stream or some other super-safe source of retirement income. For that matter, I don't think junk bonds are a great investment at all right now.

Two reasons:
1) Buying a junk bond index fund is basically saying "the economy as a whole will not get worse, and these companies' funding situations will not get tighter"óand it's a one-sided bet, with a small upside (higher coupons) and large downside (risk of large correlated losses, like we saw in '08 when HYG dropped from 100 to 65 in the space of about six months).

It's sort of an intermediate between investment-grade bonds and equities - higher yields than IG bonds, but lower returns than equities. But unlike a broad equity index, or a broad bond index, it's not very diversified, either: HYG, for example, is pretty heavy in healthcare (HCA, Valeant (ick)) and telcos (Sprint (ick), TMo, Altice).

2) They've backed up a bit over the last few months, but junk bond yields still aren't anywhere near enough to adequately pay you for the risk of defaults. Off the top of my head, I think the default rate on USD corporate junk has been about 3.5% over the long term (generally lower, with spikes into the mid-teens during recessions); it's blipped a bit higher in the last couple of weeks, but even now, the excess yield on junk is only about 3.7%. At that point, it's basically a coin flip whether you'll make money on that, after you take defaults into account.

Compare that to the investment-grade bond market; IG USD defaults have traditionally run about zero to 0.2% a year (with a peak at about 0.5% during the depths of 2008 when everything blew up), but they're paying an extra 1.3% over risk-free government bonds right now.

Put another way: the extra yield you get paid each year for buying investment-grade bonds is over twice as much as the highest default rate ever seen in the investment-grade market, but the extra yield you get paid each year for owning junk bonds is about the same as the default rate in one year out of two.

-----

My general position on junk, and this hasn't changed lately, is that only larger portfolios need to think about buying junk bonds; it should only be a small slice of your portfolio (5%-ish); and right now, you don't really want to own it at all. Money where my mouth is, I sold all my junk bonds about six months back (I had about a 3% allocation) and haven't regretted it for a moment.

alocacoc 03-07-2018 06:55 AM

What do you think of global income fund as a source of retirement ?
For example, JPMorgan multi income fund, Schroeder Asian income fund, fidelity global multi asset income fund etc.
They pay out monthly dividend which lessen the need for drawing down from portfolio and also carry lower risk with their bond component.
Assuming no sales charge in the beginning, the only downside is management fee?
Do you think these fund can withstand financial crisis better than equity fund?

BBCWatcher 03-07-2018 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alocacoc (Post 115269986)
Assuming no sales charge in the beginning, the only downside is management fee?

Right, and those fees are ordinarily too big.

There’s another possible disadvantage which is currency. A global income fund presumably invests mostly in a variety of (hopefully high quality) bonds denominated in a variety of currencies, plus a dash of global stocks (probably 20% or 30% stocks). However, if you’re retired in a particular country — in Singapore, let’s suppose — you’re trying to support a lifestyle denominated in Singapore dollars. If the Singapore dollar suddenly strengthens against the aggregate foreign currencies (averaged out by the fund) and stays that way for a while (or longer), that’d be a problem. But that’s rather unlikely given the way Singapore manages its currency, and you can pretty effectively combat that slight risk by just mixing in some Singapore dollar fixed income elements. CPF and SGSes are notable examples. But if you’re going to be mixing anyway.... (See below.)

It’s possible a global income fund could apply currency hedging, but that’s a somewhat complex topic for another day, perhaps.

Quote:

Do you think these fund can withstand financial crisis better than equity fund?
Sure. They take on less portfolio risk. They’ll still be impacted in a financial crisis, but the impact should be less than what a pure or majority equity fund experiences.

However, it’s fairly straightforward and easy to replicate a high cost income fund’s holdings using a couple separate, lower cost funds.

helloworld321 03-07-2018 10:35 PM

Hey BBC since you advocate having a good set of insurance. Would care shield etc affect the type of insurance we need?

Also, my current assets are quite small (was young and foolish).

- IWDA 10k
- Singtel 8k (lost a lot here).
- Sheng Siong 1k.
- SSB - 12.5k
- Cash - 15k.


Debt
- 13k (student loan, interest-free till 2019 December; 5% p.a afterward).

Salary
-1.8k (till 2019 sept)
-6k (2019 September onwards).


Should I focus on hitting the 100k for SSB or focus more on the IWDA and EIMI?

swordsly 03-07-2018 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by helloworld321 (Post 115284627)
Salary
-1.8k (till 2019 sept)
-6k (2019 September onwards).

1.8k jump to 6k?! :eek:

BBCWatcher 03-07-2018 11:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by helloworld321 (Post 115284627)
Hey BBC since you advocate having a good set of insurance. Would care shield etc affect the type of insurance we need?

I donít think so. Iím eager to see what optional, purchasable enhancements will be available atop the base CareShield Life coverage, but Iím not too optimistic about that.

CareShield Life is a definitely step in the right direction, Iíd say, but it still has some big gaps. One is that the minimum age is 30, although those individuals who qualify for payouts before age 30 can at least start those payments right at age 30. Another is the definition of disability, which is very narrow (ď3 out of 6 ADLsĒ).

What Iíd love to see is some sort of coordinated DII supplement or rider to CareShield Life thatís available before age 30 and that adds a work-based definition of disability. But I doubt Iím going to get my wish for Singaporeís insurance market. I hope Iím wrong.

Quote:

Debt
- 13k (student loan, interest-free till 2019 December; 5% p.a afterward).
A ~5% guaranteed rate of return (i.e. paying off this debt in full just before interest starts accruing, and assuming no pre-payment penalty) is really quite attractive, so I suggest planning to do exactly that at the end of 2019. And it looks like youíll be able to do that, so congratulations ó thatís terrific.

Quote:

Should I focus on hitting the 100k for SSB or focus more on the IWDA and EIMI?
OK, here are some suggestions, in no particular order:

* I think Iíd hold the Singtel and Sheng Siong shares until they ďpopĒ somewhat ó reach a new 52 week high, for example, which could take a while ó then sell them and plow the proceeds into whatever your regular savings program is. In absolute terms itís just a minor amount, so you can just wait patiently and see what happens.

* Youíve got a SSB thatís almost exactly what youíll need to repay your student loan, and thatís perfect, really. SSBs are also a great place to put emergency reserve funds that will be available from emergency month 3 onward. $27.5K (your combined cash and SSB) is very roughly equal to $2K/month for 12 months. So if thatís what you think you might need, give or take, to keep you afloat in an emergency such as job loss, great, youíre all set. If you think youíd need a bigger cushion, OK, adjust accordingly. Just build up a bit more in the time between now and your student loan repayment, so you can retire that debt, and youíre all set.

* Beyond that, yes, you can start to accumulate stock positions. Iím actually fine with IWDA as a pure play if youíre OK with that, if that money is aiming for retirement. If you want to mix in a little ES3 (STI stocks), Iím OK with that, too, up to 20% (1/5th) of stock holdings ó I wouldnít go higher than that, personally. (Opinions differ somewhat on this, but with long-term money I donít think itís all that important to stay onshore much at all, as long as youíre well diversified offshore. And IWDA certainly is that; so is VWRD, as another example.)

* On about January 25, 2020, you could consider making your first CPF top-up, and probably to Medisave specifically Iíd suggest. At $6K/month you should have some room below the CPF Annual Limit, and the tax relief is nice, so you might consider that.

* Give some thought to whether and when youíre likely to try to get a HDB unit, the classic ďbigĒ decision in life. And thatíll involve coming up with a down payment. Your expected income is lovely, so if that actually happens you might be in a strong position to slam some (or all?) of your OA funds into SA, in the same months when your OA receives funds, in favor of some cash for the down payment. (SSBs are one possible choice for parking cash youíre expecting to use for a down payment.)

* Iím assuming youíve covered basic insurance essentials (doesnít have to be lavish), as usual. At $1.8K/month the DII you could buy would be quite limited, but you could start to explore that and get some ďkick the tireĒ quotes, maybe even buy a little bit of DII if itís a reasonable enough offer. However the insurers (notably Aviva) tend to offer their best premiums when you can insure at least for $3K/month, which youíre not able to do yet. When $6K/month kicks in then youíre more insurable.

* Itís probably a good idea to start building a credit history, and last I checked ó it still seems to be true ó Maybankís eVibes card is a really fine low credit limit ďstudentĒ card with no pesky annual fee as long as you use it to make a one penny (or more) charge every calendar quarter. Just set it up for automatic monthly full balance GIRO payment (Iíd recommend), donít spend any more just because you have a card, and youíre all set. The credit bureaus will start to get some positive vibes from you (pun intended), and thatís not a bad thing.

Youíre on your way, and thatís exciting.

helloworld321 03-07-2018 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swordsly (Post 115284860)
1.8k jump to 6k?! :eek:

intern 1.8k. full-time 6k.




Quote:

I don’t think so. I’m eager to see what optional, purchasable enhancements will be available atop the base CareShield Life coverage, but I’m not too optimistic about that.

CareShield Life is a definitely step in the right direction, I’d say, but it still has some big gaps. One is that the minimum age is 30, although those individuals who qualify for payouts before age 30 can at least start those payments right at age 30. Another is the definition of disability, which is very narrow (“3 out of 6 ADLs”).


What I’d love to see is some sort of coordinated DII supplement or rider to CareShield Life that’s available before age 30 and that adds a work-based definition of disability. But I doubt I’m going to get my wish for Singapore’s insurance market. I hope I’m wrong.
- I'm currently 24, so careshield still have a while to go.As you mention, i really hope they would spend the next few years refining it. For now, I guess I can maintain my current insurance for now.

- Yup, planning to pay off the student loan next year.

- I really doubt Singtel is gonna hit new height (Sinking ship), hindsight is 20-20.

Quote:

Just build up a bit more in the time between now and your student loan repayment, so you can retire that debt, and you’re all set.
Yes, I'm left with 16k cash and planning to dump into SSB. Although I'm heading for exchange in Jan 2019. I thought of withdrawing in December while earning a small sum of interest rate.


Quote:

* Beyond that, yes, you can start to accumulate stock positions. I’m actually fine with IWDA as a pure play if you’re OK with that, if that money is aiming for retirement. If you want to mix in a little ES3 (STI stocks), I’m OK with that, too, up to 20% (1/5th) of stock holdings — I wouldn’t go higher than that, personally. (Opinions differ somewhat on this, but with long-term money I don’t think it’s all that important to stay onshore much at all, as long as you’re well diversified offshore. And IWDA certainly is that; so is VWRD, as another example.)
Thanks for this. I'll build it up accordingly

Quote:

* It’s probably a good idea to start building a credit history, and last I checked — it still seems to be true — Maybank’s eVibes card is a really fine low credit limit “student” card with no pesky annual fee as long as you use it to make a one penny (or more) charge every calendar quarter. Just set it up for automatic monthly full balance GIRO payment (I’d recommend), don’t spend any more just because you have a card, and you’re all set. The credit bureaus will start to get some positive vibes from you (pun intended), and that’s not a bad thing.
I do have a few credit card - DBS Altitude and OCBC Titanium (got it when i was earning more). But my spending is quite...huge.. Although i do not have any card debt.

Quote:

You’re on your way, and that’s exciting.
Thank you. I'm excited as well. Thanks for the advice. Yes, i'm also thinking about the HDB. But juding by it, my combined income with my SO would means exceeding the income ceiling of 12k.

Shiny Things 04-07-2018 07:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alocacoc (Post 115269986)
They pay out monthly dividend which lessen the need for drawing down from portfolio and also carry lower risk with their bond component.

One thing I'd add, on top of what BBCW said about why these things aren't great, is that they often advertise a high monthly yield... but under the hood, they're drawing down from the portfolio to subsidise that implausibly high yield.

There's no magic route to a high yield. You either have to take a lot of risk; or you have to draw down on your capital. (And drawing down on your capital is the right thing to do! If you take on extra risk to avoid drawing down your capital, you're eventually going to lose out, and you'll lose that capital anyway.)

cheongmanz 04-07-2018 09:28 AM

Hi BBCW,

I'm currently considering buying ETF. Am looking at either ES3 or G3B. Purpose is to try to get dividend payout that is either in par and more than CPF OA 2.5% interest. Am looking at ETF instead of equity is mainly to minimize the risk of losing the capital. Unlikely to apply DCA when buying ETF. Not looking at capital appreciation although it will be a bonus.

Is this approach advisable?

I understand that ETF has management fees to be paid. Does the investors need to pay the management fees?

Please don't advise me to top up CPF SA to get 4% interest because I do not want my cash to be locked up by CPF.

BBCWatcher 04-07-2018 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cheongmanz (Post 115290187)
I'm currently considering buying ETF. Am looking at either ES3 or G3B.

ES3 is the better of the two due to its slightly lower management fee, other things being equal.

Quote:

Purpose is to try to get dividend payout that is either in par and more than CPF OA 2.5% interest.
These ETFs have been doing that fairly reliably, although principal is not guaranteed.

Quote:

Am looking at ETF instead of equity is mainly to minimize the risk of losing the capital.
You still have some principal risk. A basket of 30 stocks should have less volatility than a single stock or a few stocks, but it’ll still have some. In 2015 the STI fell 4.3% in a single day, which is more than the current dividend yield.

If you’re investing for the medium to long term, you should do OK.

Quote:

Does the investors need to pay the management fees?
The fund managers take their fees out of periodic dividends. There are other likely costs, though, such as CDP fees and broker commissions.

salmonella 05-07-2018 08:42 AM

Just discovered the BBCW fan club - a great idea!

Reading your post on insurance, is your view something like this on Eldershield, Careshield?
- the provided coverage by these actually is important
- however, it is not enough (e.g. only based on 3 of 6 ADL, rather than all included except for ...)
- DII is even more important and both supercedes and is a superset of the Eldershield/Careshield coverage. Therefore having appropriate DII coverage is better.

Does the relevance of DII change as you get older? E.g. I'd passed 40 and opted out of Eldershield previously

Is self-insurance an appropriate strategy? I thought self-insurance was preferable to Eldershield, but I'm not sure about Careshield... and it doesn't seem possible with DII.


Quote:

Originally Posted by BBCWatcher (Post 115141133)
The Vanguard part is terrific, but my understanding is that AutoWealth uses U.S. domiciled Vanguard funds, probably because they really must for several legitimate reasons. Thus there will be a 30% tax on dividends (for the U.S. listed stocks) rather than the 15% dividend tax rate available with Irish domiciled funds, including Vanguard's Irish domiciled funds such as VWRD.

It looks like AutoWealth focuses on a fund that tracks the MSCI World Index of stocks. About 60% of the MSCI World Index consists of U.S. listed stocks. Currently the S&P 500 (a good proxy for the U.S. portion of the MSCI World Index) has a ~1.8%/year gross dividend yield. Taking 15% of that (the tax difference) yields 0.27%/year. Then, 60% of that (the U.S. portion), is ~0.16%/year. So the tax treaty differential is adding roughly 0.16%/year of cost to what AutoWealth is doing versus an Irish domiciled equivalent such as, notably, IWDA -- and assuming my math and information is accurate enough.

That ~0.16%/year of additional tax expense might still be tolerable, but you just have to run the numbers in your particular situation.

AutoWealth (and its competitors) are not really appropriate for U.S. persons.

I'd love for there to be a low-cost, hands-and-brains-off approach to investing. But they seem to be recommending a mix of VTI, VGK, VPL, VWO to me for equities. I think these are all domiciled in the US, so I wouldn't just be hit by 30% dividend withholding tax on the US portion, but on all of them right?

And I have no idea what would happen if I passed on... Above US$60k, estate tax surely would apply too?

So, autowealth does not seem appropriate for US persons (because there are better alternatives), and not appropriate for non-US persons as well.

Any idea what might be the legitimate reasons that these robo-advisors keep using US funds?



On a related note, do those of us who are Singaporeans and have no income etc in US still need to fill in the pesky w-8ben form regularly? If we don't fill it, withholding tax would simply apply as though we are foreign (which we are, so this is the correct outcome), right? Would omitting the form make a difference in these cases?
- savings and current accounts in SG and US banks in Singapore.
- Buy IWDA, EIMI, etc on LSE via IB or Standard Chartered
- Buy ES3, A35, etc on SGX via brokers in Singapore
- Less than $5k in US bank accounts like BOA

BBCWatcher 05-07-2018 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salmonella (Post 115305978)
....- DII is even more important and both supercedes and is a superset of the Eldershield/Careshield coverage. Therefore having appropriate DII coverage is better.

In the hierarchy of insurance needs, DII ranks high, in my view. (And I have some.) Future earning potential is the most important asset most people have, and significant or total loss of that income would be utterly catastrophic.

ElderShield and CareShield Life are forms of Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance. They can be important, but they have a much narrower definition of disability. The debate about CareShield Life will be largely moot for younger adults (and future generations) since it’ll be compulsory. But it’s a different form of insurance anyway.

Quote:

Does the relevance of DII change as you get older? E.g. I'd passed 40 and opted out of Eldershield previously
Yes, absolutely. DII protects against income loss due to disability (partial or full inability to work). As far as I know all of the DII policies sold in Singapore end coverage at age 65, a typical/traditional retirement age. Savings (hopefully wisely invested), CPF LIFE, Medisave, and (if profoundly disabled) ElderShield or its CareShield Life successor, are supposed to carry you onward from there. Saving is more difficult with (up to) 75% income replacement and no salary increments. Having a disability that affects your income earning (and other aspects of your life, for that matter) is no great fun, to say the least. But zero insurance would be even worse.

Quote:

Is self-insurance an appropriate strategy? I thought self-insurance was preferable to Eldershield, but I'm not sure about Careshield... and it doesn't seem possible with DII.
The vast majority of people cannot self-insure against this particular risk (significant or total loss of future income due to a work-impactful disability) before and during the early years of their careers. But, over time, yes, they may be able to self-insure against disability and long-term care needs, as savings build up. And you should properly adjust your insurance coverage, if necessary, to account for that reality if your financial situation allows.

In DII, there are at least a few ways you can “automatically” adjust coverage. One way is to choose the longest waiting period (a.k.a. elimination period) before monthly benefits are paid. The longest available in Singapore is 6 months, and that’s fine. Your emergency reserve fund should bridge you at least that long, and if you don’t have an emergency reserve fund that can handle 6 months of income loss then you soon enough will, since that’ll be a priority to solve as you earn income. If the particular insurance carrier doesn’t offer a waiting period that long, and you still otherwise like their policy, so be it, but 6 months really is fine.

Another possibility is to pick a different term, such as age 60 instead of age 65. I’m a little less keen on that idea since you can always drop coverage at age 60 (or even earlier) if you’re able to self-insure. But it is possible to pull back from an age 65 coverage term limit right at the beginning, if you wish. If, for example, you’re expecting a large bequest (and reliably so) that couldn’t possibly be received any later than your age 60, then there you go, that coverage term might make perfect sense right out of the gate.

Quote:

I'd love for there to be a low-cost, hands-and-brains-off approach to investing.
Amen!

Quote:

But they seem to be recommending a mix of VTI, VGK, VPL, VWO to me for equities. I think these are all domiciled in the US, so I wouldn't just be hit by 30% dividend withholding tax on the US portion, but on all of them right?
Some U.S. domiciled funds are still pretty tax friendly, including funds that don’t pay any dividends and most funds that invest in U.S. bonds.

Quote:

And I have no idea what would happen if I passed on... Above US$60k, estate tax surely would apply too?
Your dead body won’t care, but somebody expecting to receive the balance of your estate might.

Quote:

So, autowealth does not seem appropriate for US persons (because there are better alternatives), and not appropriate for non-US persons as well. Any idea what might be the legitimate reasons that these robo-advisors keep using US funds?
They’re not ideal, no. However, they are convenient, and that counts for something. Also, they use U.S. funds probably because they have no choice. The favorable tax treatment available with Irish domiciled funds likely doesn’t pass through to foreign institutions but only to individuals (who are non-U.S. persons).

Quote:

On a related note, do those of us who are Singaporeans and have no income etc in US still need to fill in the pesky w-8ben form regularly? If we don't fill it, withholding tax would simply apply as though we are foreign (which we are, so this is the correct outcome), right? Would omitting the form make a difference in these cases?
W-8BEN only matters with U.S. domiciled assets and/or U.S. financial institutions. But you should still fill it out since it’s typically part of KYC measures and also since there are some uncommon but possible occasions when the broker/institution will be forced to withhold tax simply because that form wasn’t filed. A few days ago I was reading up on that, and apparently there are some weird, arcane corners of the U.S. tax code where that might occasionally happen — where you’d be over-withheld, even if you’re a non-U.S. person living in a non-treaty country (like Singapore) with no particular tax breaks. I think what could happen is that the financial institution would feel compelled to classify you as a U.S. person without a W-9 (analogous form) on file, meaning you’d be subject to withholding both on dividends and capital gains. That wouldn’t be good. (Recoverable eventually, without interest, if you file a U.S. non-resident tax return, but not fun.)

oysterworld 06-07-2018 12:24 AM

I must say that this is a really fantastic thread. Kudos to BBCW for the great pointers.

I have a question about my insurance situation: 36 y old, Singaporean male, earning more than 15K a month, 2 kids both below 5 y olds. I have the full integrated medishield plan (with full riders covering all deductibles and co-insurance, so I don't have to pay anything for hospital bills), and am wondering what other insurance options I should be looking at.

It seems to me that DII and Term does stand out. I am minded to take out DII for a sum of between 4-5K (the reason for the small sum is that I think the likelihood of payout is rather small) until age 55 (I do plan to retire latest by then). Term would be the direct purchase term insurance to cut out agent fees and looking at the maximum 400K until age 65. Would appreciate any suggestions/views.


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