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Old 19-09-2019, 10:05 PM   #1456
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Great Eastern appears to have the best quality DII (in terms of policy terms and conditions), and I like the fact they offer a 6 month waiting period to help keep the premiums more affordable. However, I don't have a strong preference. Shop around.
Will check it out. Thanks

No, what I mean is that AIA's Star Protection Plus has a few variants.
Took plan 2 and option 2 which includes critical illness benefits.


OK, so what's the catastrophic loss associated with HFMD that you cannot reasonably cope with on your own that a money payout would make better?


Covered by the Integrated Shield plan, I think you mean.
Well think about it not really, except pay for some bills maybe.

Yes covered by ISP.


Well, as a "sanity check," look at the variant of that plan that you have and what its maximum possible payout could be if there's a valid claim.
Maximum payout for plan b is 35k with critical illness covered up to 50k.

Been contemplating to cancel this plan due she has no dependent. But premium cost 330 per year only.

Last edited by DOINK1; 19-09-2019 at 10:08 PM..
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Old 21-09-2019, 10:55 PM   #1457
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Good evening.

I am looking for some advice on what are my options for short term instruments (6-12months) that is capital guaranteed and with some interest that is possibly higher than the current FD rates.

The background of my needs are that I have some money that I will be commiting as part of a progressive payment for buying a condo.

As the cash component needs to be fronted at various points of the development, I want something low risk.

In about 5-6 months, I need to commit about 15% as well as Buyer's Stamp Duty.

Thereafter in about a year , the first tranche of 10% after the foundation is done.

What I am familiar with are FDs and these are the possibly the best rates at the moment
Citibank has a 3% pa for 50K deposits for 3 months
CIMB has a 1.85% pa or 12 months.

Are these my best options in view of the fact that these sums of money need to be secure or are there other options out there?

Thank you very much.
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Old 22-09-2019, 05:08 AM   #1458
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Bank deposits in Singapore are SDIC insured up to S$75,000 per depositor, and only when the funds are Singapore dollars. If your deposits are at or below that figure, then the government is fully insuring your principal. (Interest promises are not necessarily kept in the event of a bank failure.)

You've also got Singapore Savings Bonds and T-Bills available, including 6 month T-Bills now. Those savings vehicles are also fully government guaranteed, including promised interest/coupons.
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Old 22-09-2019, 09:30 AM   #1459
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Hi BBCWatcher
Would like to seek your advice on my family’s insurance portfolio.

What are your thoughts on the Aviva Public Officers Group Insurance scheme?
Both my husband and I are in the civil service and are unlikely to leave, unless we are fired🤣
We do not have any term insurance or DII (looking into it).

He has a Prudential ILP (pay $100/month;50k death and CI 100k); a Great Eastern plan ($95/month; till age 65; either death 40k or TPD in 10%,10%,80% installments), and a Prushield A Premiere with no rider.

I have a Tokio Marine whole life (Asia Life Secure with SA $75 with dread disease accelerator; pay till 2020) and an NTUC Advantage with rider.

Both of us have an existing bank loan with DBS for our studio apartment (purchased in year 2012; for rental) with an outstanding loan of $370k. We took the decreasing term mortgage insurance from Aviva My Protector Mortgage (4%, standard run down; policy term 30 years).

Our current condominium which we are staying in is fully paid.

We have a 6 year old Daughter.
Appreciate your advice. thank you!😊
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Old 22-09-2019, 10:17 AM   #1460
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Bank deposits in Singapore are SDIC insured up to S$75,000 per depositor, and only when the funds are Singapore dollars. If your deposits are at or below that figure, then the government is fully insuring your principal. (Interest promises are not necessarily kept in the event of a bank failure.)

You've also got Singapore Savings Bonds and T-Bills available, including 6 month T-Bills now. Those savings vehicles are also fully government guaranteed, including promised interest/coupons.
Dear Sir,

The SSB yields in recent times seems to be lower than the FD rates offered by banks.
And I have read that as such, the take up rates are lower than FD?

I am not familiar with T-bills, but it seems that they offer rates of about 1.85% pa which is close to what the FDs like CIMB is offering, bearing in mind the 75K SDIC insurance.

But in all honesty, should we be worried that banks default in this day and age?
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Old 22-09-2019, 07:43 PM   #1461
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What are your thoughts on the Aviva Public Officers Group Insurance scheme?
Both my husband and I are in the civil service and are unlikely to leave, unless we are fired��
We do not have any term insurance or DII (looking into it).
Aviva's POGIS is perfectly fine term life insurance. However, unfortunately, there's no Disability Income Insurance (DII) available through that particular program. AIA, Aviva, and Great Eastern offer standalone DII policies.

He has a Prudential ILP (pay $100/month;50k death and CI 100k); a Great Eastern plan ($95/month; till age 65; either death 40k or TPD in 10%,10%,80% installments), and a Prushield A Premiere with no rider.
Right, so basically S$90K of (likely expensive) term life insurance coverage.

I have a Tokio Marine whole life (Asia Life Secure with SA $75 with dread disease accelerator; pay till 2020) and an NTUC Advantage with rider.
OK. I'm not a big fan of whole life policies and ILPs, as you probably know.

Both of us have an existing bank loan with DBS for our studio apartment (purchased in year 2012; for rental) with an outstanding loan of $370k. We took the decreasing term mortgage insurance from Aviva My Protector Mortgage (4%, standard run down; policy term 30 years).
OK. I prefer general term life insurance coverage rather than mortgage-specific coverage, simply because term life is pretty cheap and also gives the survivor more flexibility (and liquidity). Let me guess: DBS pushed that particular product?

Our current condominium which we are staying in is fully paid.
OK. Interesting question: does anybody need life insurance now? (Or need much?) DII, sure, that almost always makes sense.

We have a 6 year old Daughter.
Does she have an Integrated Shield plan? I think a public hospital A ward plan with a rider that caps annual costs for covered services is a reasonable coverage level for a child. Great Eastern, Prudential, and Raffles Shield are current the best carriers in this particular segment, in my view.

The SSB yields in recent times seems to be lower than the FD rates offered by banks.
And I have read that as such, the take up rates are lower than FD?
Yes, but Singapore Savings Bonds operate differently. Specifically, you can let them run partially or fully to maturity if you wish, and all promised, accrued interest is paid. That protects you against decreases in market interest rates and still pays you some interest with premature withdrawals. The $500 minimum increment is also quite attractive. And, as mentioned, they're 100% backed by the full faith and credit of the Government of Singapore.

I am not familiar with T-bills, but it seems that they offer rates of about 1.85% pa which is close to what the FDs like CIMB is offering, bearing in mind the 75K SDIC insurance.
There are 6 month and 12 month T-Bills available.

But in all honesty, should we be worried that banks default in this day and age?
You asked for a capital guarantee. Guaranteed by whom?

I happen to think the probability of a bank failure is low, but it's not zero.

Another possible option if you used dollars from your CPF Ordinary Account for housing is to repay some or all of those dollars, earn 2.5% interest on all whole months those dollars are on deposit, then use those dollars again for housing.

Last edited by BBCWatcher; 22-09-2019 at 07:49 PM..
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Old 25-09-2019, 01:14 AM   #1462
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Hello BBCW,
My parents had bought for me the NTUC IncomeShield plan which had already expired and I am not sure if I should continue using another NTUC plan, or switch to another company?

Would you say that you still recommend the Prudential PruShield Plus if I am looking to stay in A wards?

Thank you!
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Old 27-09-2019, 09:54 AM   #1463
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My parents had bought for me the NTUC IncomeShield plan which had already expired and I am not sure if I should continue using another NTUC plan, or switch to another company?

Would you say that you still recommend the Prudential PruShield Plus if I am looking to stay in A wards?
If you/your parents failed to renew your NTUC IncomeShield plan, then presumably you're now covered under MediShield Life alone. Any pre-existing conditions you have will be covered up to MediShield Life limits. Thus there's no particular reason to go back to NTUC specifically, and I don't think you should since their Integrated Shield plans aren't competitive at present.

Among public hospital A ward plans I like (in alphabetical order) Great Eastern, Prudential, and Raffles Shield.
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Old 27-09-2019, 02:29 PM   #1464
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Aviva's POGIS is perfectly fine term life insurance. However, unfortunately, there's no Disability Income Insurance (DII) available through that particular program. AIA, Aviva, and Great Eastern offer standalone DII policies.


Right, so basically S$90K of (likely expensive) term life insurance coverage.


OK. I'm not a big fan of whole life policies and ILPs, as you probably know.


OK. I prefer general term life insurance coverage rather than mortgage-specific coverage, simply because term life is pretty cheap and also gives the survivor more flexibility (and liquidity). Let me guess: DBS pushed that particular product?


OK. Interesting question: does anybody need life insurance now? (Or need much?) DII, sure, that almost always makes sense.


Does she have an Integrated Shield plan? I think a public hospital A ward plan with a rider that caps annual costs for covered services is a reasonable coverage level for a child. Great Eastern, Prudential, and Raffles Shield are current the best carriers in this particular segment, in my view.

My daughter has the AIA integrated shield plan (AIA HSG MAX A) with no rider. I am paying for the premium of $170 via medisave. Took this up as the agent said there is no waiting period for congenital diseases. Standard Medishield premium cost another $130.
My daughter does not have any known existing health issues.

And yup, we were told that we had to purchase the Aviva mortage insurance as it was part of the bank loan deal. And after the first 2 years, we did not think of changing it until recently.

With the current 3-room apartment fully paid, and an existing housing loanfor the studio apartment, i am not sure if we should be buying term insurance to top up our (very dismal) coverage for death and CI? DII will definitely be something that we are looking at.
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Old 27-09-2019, 02:36 PM   #1465
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Hi BBCWatcher, do you have suggestions on how to ready a tertiary education fund for local university? Will need it in about 15 years time when my daughter turns 21

Do we also set up a stock and bond portfolio with a 10-15 year horizon?

We have bought an endowment plan for her (before i knew of the finance thread in HWZ). Luckily the amount is not much. Paying $3689.85 per year for 5 years (final premium in year 2020), and the money gets locked up for another 5 years.
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Old 27-09-2019, 04:18 PM   #1466
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Is CPF paid on year-end bonus required by law?

Hi BBC,

I have another question on CPF. Can you please help?

Let's say one earns a monthly salary of 10K SGD and has a year-end bonus of 35K. The CPF for the year-end bonus will be paid on the first 30K, 20% from employee and 17% from employer.

I have below two questions:
- is my understanding above correct?
- if that is correct, is it required by law, i.e is it possible for employers to opt out and avoid paying the 17%?

Thank you!
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Old 27-09-2019, 04:41 PM   #1467
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Hi BBCWatcher, do you have suggestions on how to ready a tertiary education fund for local university? Will need it in about 15 years time when my daughter turns 21

Do we also set up a stock and bond portfolio with a 10-15 year horizon?

We have bought an endowment plan for her (before i knew of the finance thread in HWZ). Luckily the amount is not much. Paying $3689.85 per year for 5 years (final premium in year 2020), and the money gets locked up for another 5 years.
Yup. Endowment plan is generally bad in Singapore.

For the fund, I would do the typical stock-bond portfolio for now, not a seperate one though. I will just put everything into one big portfolio and, depending on your income in 10-15 years, reduce the contribution to the portfolio so that you have the fund without the need to sell your portfolio, which incurs cost.
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Old 27-09-2019, 11:12 PM   #1468
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Hi BBCWatcher, is it necessary to buy DII when I am a office worker and earn less than $3.5k/mth?
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Old 28-09-2019, 05:58 AM   #1469
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My daughter has the AIA integrated shield plan (AIA HSG MAX A) with no rider.
That's probably the single best private hospital Integrated Shield plan. Their rider is $314 additional and caps annual co-pays for covered services at $3,000.

If premiums are a concern, AIA offers public hospital A ward and B1 ward plans (with optional riders, also lower priced). They're not the best such plans -- other carriers have better A and B1 ward plans -- but they're decent and wouldn't involve a pre-existing condition reset.

And yup, we were told that we had to purchase the Aviva mortage insurance as it was part of the bank loan deal.
Well, probably not. Brokers are often aggressive in their sales tactics. However, that's water under the bridge. What you can do now is review your total term life insurance coverage and (probably) get rid of that policy in favor of a particular overall term life insurance coverage level. More on that in a moment.

With the current 3-room apartment fully paid, and an existing housing loan for the studio apartment, i am not sure if we should be buying term insurance to top up our (very dismal) coverage for death and CI?
Basically you just take a look at your genuine dependents, determine what additional amount of money, if any, they would genuinely need to support a reasonable (non-lavish) lifestyle if you were to die tomorrow, and insure to that level. To protect surviving children I like to plan to their 25th birthdays, which should see them mostly finished with some level of university education and onto their own careers. For spouses "it depends." If you're a couple with both spouses/partners working, then it's quite possible both spouses/partners ought to have some term life insurance.

The fact you've got a fully paid HDB unit and some equity in a second property means less life insurance (or no life insurance) is required, other things being equal.

Full disclosure: I have dependents, but I don't need life insurance. I'm fortunately able to self-insure. However, I do feel I need disability income insurance since there's a risk worse than death: my disability, i.e. "lingering." And I have some DII. (I also have some life insurance, but that's because it's literally a gift that I don't pay for.)

DII will definitely be something that we are looking at.
Yes, I'm a big fan since it's squarely on point in defending against particular risks that most younger and mid career working adults face, with or without dependents.

Hi BBCWatcher, do you have suggestions on how to ready a tertiary education fund for local university? Will need it in about 15 years time when my daughter turns 21

Do we also set up a stock and bond portfolio with a 10-15 year horizon?
Yes, the first thing you can do (if you haven't already) is to max out every penny of Child Development Account (CDA) matching government funds since that's a heck of a great deal. CDA funds can eventually roll into local university tuition support if you want to hold them that long, but most likely you'd spend them down before that so that you can have that much more other cash available to save. These matching funds are only available when the child is a citizen of Singapore. (The parents' statuses don't matter for these purposes.)

We have bought an endowment plan for her (before i knew of the finance thread in HWZ). Luckily the amount is not much. Paying $3689.85 per year for 5 years (final premium in year 2020), and the money gets locked up for another 5 years.
So you're probably in for the duration on that one, but if you have the latest benefit statement you can ask somebody to review it to decide whether it makes sense to surrender or not.

After the CDA yes, you could certainly look at earmarking a portion of your long-term savings and prudent investing for this medium-term spending need. And really you'd just do the same sensible things you're hopefully doing now for retirement, but that particular portion would be "programmed" slightly differently.

Let's suppose for example that you're planning to retire in 2045, meaning you were born in about 1980 (for example). However, the university bills start in 2032, let's suppose. (Adjust these years to fit your situation, of course.) OK, no problem, just keep doing what you're doing (if it's sensible) for retirement, and earmark a portion of your monthly savings for university. It all goes into the same buckets the same way right now. However, starting in 2025 -- 7 years before 2032 -- you would start to shift a portion of the total pot, the portion earmarked for university costs, gradually and progressively toward a more conservative, Singapore dollar-oriented fund. In this case, that Singapore dollar-oriented target allocation would probably consist mostly of Singapore Savings Bonds with maybe a bit of ES3/G3B and/or MBH. But mostly SSBs.

Let's suppose in 2025 you have the following allocations:

60% IWDA or VWRA
20% ES3 or G3B
20% MBH
0% SSBs

and let's suppose the total portfolio value is S$800,000. You expect you'll need about 10% of that for local university costs, let's suppose, starting in 2032. OK, so you take about S$80,000 of that amount and start rebalancing it so that by the time you reach 2032 you're in 80% SSBs. (I'm going to keep this example simple. Let's just assume 80% SSB as a target, with the other 20% staying in MBH.) So, you take a 2025 "snapshot" of $80K, and you've got 7 years (28 quarters, i.e. 84 months) to shift from a 60/20/20/0 allocation for that portion to a 0/0/20/80 allocation.

Let's make this shift over 25 calendar quarters, just to keep the math a little simpler. So every quarter you drop your IWDA/VWDA by 2.4 percentage points and your ES3/G3B by 0.8 percentage points for this portion. After 25 quarters you've then made your shift, and you're ready to start funding a child's university education mostly from a bucket of SSBs.

You're still saving into this pool of investments, mostly for retirement. But you're just earmarking a portion for a different, earlier glidepath into a more Singapore dollar-oriented/spending-oriented posture, that's all.

Make sense?

Note that university education funding needs sometimes correspond pretty well to a parent's 55th birthday, meaning that CPF could be a source of liquid funds. You can take that factor into account if you wish, if applicable.

I have another question on CPF. Can you please help?

Let's say one earns a monthly salary of 10K SGD and has a year-end bonus of 35K. The CPF for the year-end bonus will be paid on the first 30K, 20% from employee and 17% from employer.

I have below two questions:
- is my understanding above correct?
Yes, that's correct. The contribution rules on variable pay/bonuses/"irregular" earned income are fairly complicated, but in the basic example you've provided that looks correct to me.

- if that is correct, is it required by law, i.e is it possible for employers to opt out and avoid paying the 17%?
I don't see how. But why would you want your employer to not contribute $5,100 (17% of $30,000)? That's some serious money that you should want streaming into your CPF accounts. What's the problem with that?

For the fund, I would do the typical stock-bond portfolio for now, not a seperate one though. I will just put everything into one big portfolio and, depending on your income in 10-15 years, reduce the contribution to the portfolio so that you have the fund without the need to sell your portfolio, which incurs cost.
That's right, agreed. And it's not really that complicated. You basically just spend ~7 years gradually shifting a particular portion into SSBs, while everything else keeps happening, including ongoing monthly contributions. Think of it like a "subaccount."

Hi BBCWatcher, is it necessary to buy DII when I am a office worker and earn less than $3.5k/mth?
It could be more necessary than when you're a singer earning $1,000,000 per concert. That highly compensated singer has presumably had the opportunity to salt away a substantial amount of wealth, and may have future publishing royalties already in the pipeline, meaning he/she may be able to self-insure if he/she were to lose his/her voice tomorrow.

DII defends against risks associated with your loss of future income due to disability (inability to work). It's pretty simple: what happens if you were to become disabled tomorrow, unable to work and no longer earning that $3,500/month? If the answer is, "Well, that'd be bad, but we've got plenty of wealth to last till the end of our days even with my potential ongoing care needs, and my spouse/partner would also support me" -- or something like that -- OK, no problem, maybe you don't need DII. If the answer is something like, "Yes, that'd be bad -- in fact, I'd be well and truly f**ked, and so would my loved ones" then you need DII.

Most young and mid-career working adults need DII. In some other countries there's some level of DII (or DII-like coverage) as part of a national social insurance program, but not in Singapore. Singapore is introducing compulsory CareShield Life (CSL) soon, and that's good, but that'll only cover severe disability, only modestly, and won't include older cohorts. Term life insurance includes Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) coverage as a standard feature, but same problem: only for very severe disability, usually not adequate for multi-year/multi-decade loss of income. And there are some countries where the cost of living is quite low, so the cost of self-insurance is also quite low (but incomes are also low, which isn't helpful). Singapore is a high cost of living country. DII plugs a big coverage gap.

Last edited by BBCWatcher; 28-09-2019 at 06:07 AM..
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Old 28-09-2019, 08:21 AM   #1470
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A quick update for those of you who would like to have a U.S. bank or U.S. credit union account for legal, legitimate, worthwhile purposes....

If you happen to be legally married to a person (same or opposite sex) who was issued a U.S. Social Security number, then it may be somewhat easier for you to open a joint U.S. bank or U.S. credit union account even if you're not U.S. residents. I have mixed feelings about joint accounts (versus Payable on Death accounts, which I generally prefer), but in this case it can make sense. The spouse with the U.S. SSN would try to open the account as the "lead" applicant, and then he/she would add his/her spouse as a joint account holder. As long as both individuals pass the financial institution's "Know Your Customer" (KYC) vetting, that's all perfectly fine.

Operationally, you and your spouse can choose to use that joint account however you wish for any legal purposes. If the joint account is effectively solely the non-SSN spouse's account (and always used only legally), that's OK.

As a reminder, U.S. Social Security Numbers (SSNs) are issued for life, regardless of the subsequent U.S. immigration or citizenship status of the individuals. If you or your spouse ever received a U.S. SSN -- and you did if you studied at a U.S. university on a F-1 visa, for example -- hang onto it! If you forgot or misplaced your SSN then you'll have some work to do to recover it (a topic for a separate post if anyone is interested), but first try searching high and low in your personal records and related records for that oh-so-precious number.

Once you have found (or rediscovered) your U.S. SSN -- or your spouse has, as applicable -- it's possible to order a free U.S. credit report using the mail-in paper form available from this U.S. government Web site. Generally speaking you won't succeed in ordering a free credit report online from outside the United States, so I'd steer you to the paper form. The only cost is a postage stamp from Singpost. You'll get back U.S. credit reports from all three of the major U.S. credit bureaus, mailed directly to Singapore (or wherever you live). Those credit reports will often contain some pretty useful information, such as any previous, last known U.S. addresses. They'll typically be pretty threadbare for non-U.S. residents, and it's good to make sure of that since you don't want anybody else trying to steal your U.S. identity even if it's a limited U.S. identity.

Last edited by BBCWatcher; 28-09-2019 at 08:31 AM..
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