HWZ Forums

Login Register FAQ Mark Forums Read

*Official* BBCWatcher club

Like Tree186Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 30-12-2019, 11:10 AM   #1636
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 933
For my future reference and for whoever is interested (so you don't have to search too much...)

Kram's post on GE vs Aviva: https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/118355989-post2.html

And another:
https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/m...6061439-2.html
loackerc likes this.
opt1m4l is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-12-2019, 11:31 PM   #1637
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 23
Hi BBCWatcher,

I've been reading on some of your posts on hospitalisation insurance and realised that for Class A wards, it came down to a few providers, namely: GE, Prudential, AXA, Raffles

I am currently comparing coverage between GE and Prudential (yet to consider AXA, Raffles, or any rider. Based on your reply to other members, the difference is that GE covers 1m policy year limit with 180 post-hospitalsation treatment whereas Prudential covers 600k policy year limit with 365 day post-hospitalisation treatment.

When I was looking at the brochure by GE, GE GREAT SupremeHealth A Plus provides:
ē within 180 days from Hospital discharge
ē within 365 days from Restructured Hospital discharge or Hospital discharge with Certification of Pre-authorisation*
*: Post-hospitalisation follow-up treatments after 180 days must be provided in a Restructured Hospital or prescribed by a Specialist Doctor who is a Panel Provider.
And on MOH website it is:
(i) As Charged
(Up to 180 days)
[for non-panel specialist in a Private Hospital or Panel specialist in a Private Hospital (without certificate of pre-authorisation)]
(ii) As Charged
(up to 365 days)
[for Panel specialist in a Private Hospital (with certificate of pre- authorisation) or Restructured Hospital]

If we are only looking at public hospital treatment scenario, does this mean that, we are entitled for 365 days of post-hospitalisation regardless panel/non-panel? In this case, would GE stand out since it is 365 days in public hospital with 1m coverage as compared to Prudential's same duration but 600k coverage?

Please let me know if I got the concept wrong from the wordings in the document, and any other points that I am missing out or you would consider too. Thanks!
loackerc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2019, 08:09 AM   #1638
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 11,555
Great Eastern improved their Supreme Health A Plus plan since that particular comparison, and it's now more market competitive. I like their improved A Plus plan, and I'm a big fan of their B Plus plan, too, except for non-citizens.

Unless AXA has changed something recently, I don't think they're particularly competitive in this segment. Last I checked, Great Eastern, Prudential, and Raffles Shield are all closely clustered public hospital A ward plan competitors, with AXA just missing the "top 3." I see that AXA has a 365 day waiting period for the insured's (undetected, asymptomatic) congenital abnormalities, and that's slightly interesting perhaps, but otherwise I don't see how they stand out from the crowd. Am I missing something? (It's possible!)
BBCWatcher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2019, 08:55 AM   #1639
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 23
Thanks, it seems that for a non-citizen, the best would either be GE A Plus plan or Raffles Shield (which offers their unique Raffles Hospital Option) at this point of time.

I couldnít find this info - do you know if, say an insurance plan improved, does the new term apply to existing insuree? Or policy remains unchanged as the time it was bought.


Great Eastern improved their Supreme Health A Plus plan since that particular comparison, and it's now more market competitive. I like their improved A Plus plan, and I'm a big fan of their B Plus plan, too, except for non-citizens.

Unless AXA has changed something recently, I don't think they're particularly competitive in this segment. Last I checked, Great Eastern, Prudential, and Raffles Shield are all closely clustered public hospital A ward plan competitors, with AXA just missing the "top 3." I see that AXA has a 365 day waiting period for the insured's (undetected, asymptomatic) congenital abnormalities, and that's slightly interesting perhaps, but otherwise I don't see how they stand out from the crowd. Am I missing something? (It's possible!)
loackerc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-12-2019, 09:10 AM   #1640
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 11,555
Thanks, it seems that for a non-citizen, the best would either be GE A Plus plan or Raffles Shield (which offers their unique Raffles Hospital Option) at this point of time.
NTUC and Aviva both offer reasonable "as charged" public hospital B1 ward Integrated Shield plans for non-citizens. Great Eastern, Prudential, and Raffles Shield all offer fine public hospital A ward Integrated Shield plans for citizens and non-citizens alike.

I couldnít find this info - do you know if, say an insurance plan improved, does the new term apply to existing insuree? Or policy remains unchanged as the time it was bought.
I'm not sure. However, there are some market incentives and possible regulatory limits pushing in the direction of including current policyholders. After all, current policyholders -- most especially the healthiest ones -- can switch carriers.
loackerc likes this.
BBCWatcher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2020, 06:52 PM   #1641
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 11,555
Happy 2020! Notable U.S. Tax Law Changes

In the waning days of 2019 the U.S. Congress and the President came to an agreement on some tweaks to U.S. tax laws, part of the 2019 "SECURE Act." Here are the notable changes (as I see it):

1. Many types of U.S. tax advantaged retirement accounts, such as Traditional IRAs, required withdrawals starting no later than age 70 1/2 -- the so-called "Required Minimum Distributions" (RMDs). This age is now raised to 72 (for those age 70 1/2 on or after January 1, 2020).

2. The age 70 1/2 limit for making Traditional IRA contributions is abolished. You can now make Traditional IRA contributions at any age assuming you otherwise qualify.

3. You can now withdraw up to $5,000 from U.S. tax advantaged retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) or IRA, without penalty upon the birth or adoption of a child. (For traditional retirement accounts you'll still have to pay ordinary income tax on the distribution since contributions are pre-tax.) This early withdrawal option gives new parents a little more financial flexibility and liquidity. You can even roll the $5,000 into a 529 plan for your new little one's benefit, if you wish.

4. Effective January 1, 2019 (i.e. retroactively), you can use 529 plan funds for certain apprenticeship programs and to pay off up to $10,000 of student loan debt per individual.

All of these changes are positive except perhaps to the U.S. Treasury to a small degree. If you have or will have a U.S. tax advantaged retirement savings account (401K, IRA, etc.) and/or U.S. tax advantaged education savings account (a 529 plan), perhaps from an overseas stint working in the United States, you too can benefit from these changes.

The increase to age 72 for RMDs gives you more flexibility to decide how and when you'd like to make withdrawals and/or conversions/rollovers. I personally like this one a lot because it'll give me 18 more months to draw down other, non-tax advantaged assets before tapping a Traditional 401(k), which should result in a little bit more tax savings when the time comes (long from now).

The expansion of 529 plans to cover student loan repayments, up to $10,000 per student, is quite helpful to undergraduates who qualify for Direct Stafford Loans. That type of student loan does not accrue interest and does not require any payments while the student is continuing his/her higher education, all the way through graduate school if there's no substantial break between undergraduate and graduate studies. So 529 plan custodians -- usually parents and other relatives -- can let a portion of those accounts grow tax free even longer and disburse the final $10,000 just before the 6 month grace period ends to help their beneficiaries repay all or most of their Direct Stafford Loans. Other types of student loans are much less attractive, but the combination of a 529 plan with Direct Stafford Loans (for those who qualify) is pretty special.
BBCWatcher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2020, 07:32 PM   #1642
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 11,555
Total Return "Porn" Through December 31, 2019

For some reason some people like to see my personal rate of return data. OK, here are the latest conveniently accessible figures through the end of December, 2019, across the three investment firms that hold the bulk of my household's investable wealth. My last update was through February, 2019, so this update is after most of the 2019 U.S. stock market bull run. These figures represent gross annualized total account returns ("money returns") in nominal U.S. dollars. There will be some capital gains tax or ordinary income tax due upon future sale, please note. After tax dividends have been almost entirely reinvested in full since the accounts were opened. (I say "almost" entirely reinvested because there's one very small, strange exception at Schwab.) Only Vanguard provides an easy way to look up a 10 year number while the others report out to 5 years.

Vanguard

10 Year: 8.1%
5 Year: 7.1%
3 Year: 9.2%
1 Year: 21.1%

Fidelity

5 Year: 7.9%
3 Year: 11.2%
1 Year: 26.4%

Caveat: A little under 10% of my Fidelity holdings are still not reflected in the above figures. This portion only came into existence more recently, and due to an apparent quirk in Fidelity's online system it won't show up in the above figures for some time to come. If it were included in the above figures then my guess is there'd be a slight reduction in the reported 1 Year yield figure, in particular.

Schwab

Inception: 13.57%
3 Year: 14.70%
1 Year: 27.00%

Vanguard holds the biggest share of investable assets, followed by Fidelity, and then Schwab. Savings continue to flow every month into Fidelity and Vanguard.

I have absolutely no complaints. None of this stuff is "rocket science." It's just the natural outcome of regular, dogged, monthly savings for many years into a very small number of low cost, well diversified funds.
FrostWurm and loackerc like this.

Last edited by BBCWatcher; 02-01-2020 at 07:42 PM..
BBCWatcher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2020, 08:00 PM   #1643
Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,316
Hi BBCWatcher,

Any good news regarding changes to estate tax laws that will affect Singaporeans who invest in U.S stocks and leave cash in U.S brokerages like Interactive Brokers?
klarklar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2020, 08:15 PM   #1644
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 11,555
Any good news regarding changes to estate tax laws that will affect Singaporeans who invest in U.S stocks and leave cash in U.S brokerages like Interactive Brokers?
No such changes to my knowledge. You still need to become a U.S. citizen or move to a tax jurisdiction that has a favorable tax treaty with the U.S. if you (your dead body, actually) want(s) more favorable U.S. estate tax treatment.
BBCWatcher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2020, 08:42 PM   #1645
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 698
Vanguard holds the biggest share of investable assets, followed by Fidelity, and then Schwab. Savings continue to flow every month into Fidelity and Vanguard.
Nicely done, BBC. Good for you, and wishing you and your family continued good returns in 2020 and beyond.

Could you say which specific 1-2 Fidelity and Vanguard funds have seen the highest proportion of investment?
vegavega25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2020, 10:23 PM   #1646
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 11,555
Could you say which specific 1-2 Fidelity and Vanguard funds have seen the highest proportion of investment?
I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of the low cost "target date" index funds offered in the United States (and appropriate for U.S. persons like me), so I devote a big share of assets to one such fund. It's thus inevitable that long-term yields will eventually be progressively tempered through the automatic operations within the target date fund as it approaches and then passes its target date.

I consider the target date index fund to be "foundational" in character, and then I surround it with a very few other holdings to tweak it a bit. I keep the most aggressive funds inside the U.S. tax advantaged accounts, a classic tax optimization approach. But I'm also happy to pile into CPF with some gusto (even though the interest is U.S. taxable and the Singapore tax relief is U.S. attenuated), which is quite appropriate for PRs who have some catching up to do compared to similarly situated Singaporean citizens.

It's another January, so here's what I'm up to (in no particular order):

1. My spouse and I have already put the wheels in motion to make the maximum U.S. IRA contributions for 2020. (It takes a few steps and some days to do that, mechanically, but I start the process as early as allowed.)

2. We'll make our CPF top ups for tax relief at the end of this month.

3. I'm considering another regular sale of Employee Stock Purchase Program (ESPP) shares, to keep that particular individual stock holding from becoming too big a share of total assets.

4. This month I'll finish closing my least useful financial account, to keep life relatively simple. I'm considering "pruning" a couple others.

5. I'm penciling in two family vacations for 2020, and I'm keeping an eye on airfares.

6. I'm checking my immunizations to see if any boosters are due in 2020. (Tetanus, maybe?)

7. I've done some very early work to get ready for tax filing.

Happy New Year, everybody.
BBCWatcher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2020, 10:59 PM   #1647
Master Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,093
I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of the low cost "target date" index funds offered in the United States (and appropriate for U.S. persons like me), so I devote a big share of assets to one such fund. It's thus inevitable that long-term yields will eventually be progressively tempered through the automatic operations within the target date fund as it approaches and then passes its target date.

I consider the target date index fund to be "foundational" in character, and then I surround it with a very few other holdings to tweak it a bit. I keep the most aggressive funds inside the U.S. tax advantaged accounts, a classic tax optimization approach. But I'm also happy to pile into CPF with some gusto (even though the interest is U.S. taxable and the Singapore tax relief is U.S. attenuated), which is quite appropriate for PRs who have some catching up to do compared to similarly situated Singaporean citizens.

It's another January, so here's what I'm up to (in no particular order):

1. My spouse and I have already put the wheels in motion to make the maximum U.S. IRA contributions for 2020. (It takes a few steps and some days to do that, mechanically, but I start the process as early as allowed.)

2. We'll make our CPF top ups for tax relief at the end of this month.

3. I'm considering another regular sale of Employee Stock Purchase Program (ESPP) shares, to keep that particular individual stock holding from becoming too big a share of total assets.

4. This month I'll finish closing my least useful financial account, to keep life relatively simple. I'm considering "pruning" a couple others.

5. I'm penciling in two family vacations for 2020, and I'm keeping an eye on airfares.

6. I'm checking my immunizations to see if any boosters are due in 2020. (Tetanus, maybe?)

7. I've done some very early work to get ready for tax filing.

Happy New Year, everybody.
Curious about 3, how do you decide when to sell your ESPP or do you just DCA sell it on a fixed schedule?
crystalnox is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2020, 06:57 AM   #1648
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 11,555
Curious about 3, how do you decide when to sell your ESPP or do you just DCA sell it on a fixed schedule?
I take a look every January with an inclination to sell a portion in late January, but since it's not an "emergency" I decide if I like the price or not -- and how much I like it (how many shares I want to sell).

That's not particularly scientific, but it's how I've been doing it.

Last edited by BBCWatcher; 03-01-2020 at 07:00 AM..
BBCWatcher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2020, 06:17 PM   #1649
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 309
Thanks for sharing BBC!

I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of the low cost "target date" index funds offered in the United States (and appropriate for U.S. persons like me).
Does this impact flexibility if you want to adjust things? What happens if you want to shift more into municipal bonds in the future for tax reasons? Would you have to sell this fund while in a high tax bracket and pay capital gains tax just to reallocate the bond portion?

I keep the most aggressive funds inside the U.S. tax advantaged accounts, a classic tax optimization approach.
I do this same, about 2/3 US small company and 1/3 Asian emerging markets... my longest term holdings. But interestingly, this strategy could backfire with SRS though! Singapore tax code is unique.

1. My spouse and I have already put the wheels in motion to make the maximum U.S. IRA contributions for 2020. (It takes a few steps and some days to do that, mechanically, but I start the process as early as allowed.)
I’m guessing those extra few steps are for the back-door Roth... same here.

2. We'll make our CPF top ups for tax relief at the end of this month.
Only my spouse alone has CPF, and OA-SA transfers are the only thing I have been able to do. I can’t entice anything else at the moment.

3. I'm considering another regular sale of Employee Stock Purchase Program (ESPP) shares, to keep that particular individual stock holding from becoming too big a share of total assets.
What threshold do you target as a % of all stock holdings? Rule of thumb is 4% per portfolio theory. I’m currently at 5% but have had it over 50% in the past, luckily the risk paid off, but I don’t recommend that.

7. I've done some very early work to get ready for tax filing.
Same here, a few new forms to file this year, downloaded and did a dry run
celtosaxon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2020, 08:04 PM   #1650
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 11,555
Does this impact flexibility if you want to adjust things?
I don't think so. The target date index fund is a relatively big share of the total, but it's less than a third of the total. That's why I've characterized it as "foundational."

What happens if you want to shift more into municipal bonds in the future for tax reasons? Would you have to sell this fund while in a high tax bracket and pay capital gains tax just to reallocate the bond portion?
I wouldn't necessarily have to sell that fund in particular. For example, I have some Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) starting no later than age 72 (up from age 70 1/2 with the tax law change), and some of that RMD cashflow would presumably be available for municipal bond investments if they have merit. Also, one of the advantages of the target date index fund is that the fund managers optimize for tax (as a secondary goal) better than I could on my own.

I have no idea what my future tax rates will be. However, I think it's prudent to plan for broadly, unavoidably higher tax rates in the future.

Only my spouse alone has CPF, and OA-SA transfers are the only thing I have been able to do. I canít entice anything else at the moment.
My spouse didn't know what to make of CPF at first, but the first interest readout was an eye opener.

What threshold do you target as a % of all stock holdings? Rule of thumb is 4% per portfolio theory. Iím currently at 5% but have had it over 50% in the past, luckily the risk paid off, but I donít recommend that.
Yes, I try to keep it below 5%.
BBCWatcher is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply
Important Forum Advisory Note
This forum is moderated by volunteer moderators who will react only to members' feedback on posts. Moderators are not employees or representatives of HWZ. Forum members and moderators are responsible for their own posts.

Please refer to our Terms of Service for more information.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On