Is Retiring early in Singapore possible?

You may be surprised by this, but Singapore is a decent place to work towards financial independence and retiring early.

Despite the headlines of being one of the cities with the highest cost of living in the world, it really is quite possible to retire comfortably on an income of $3,000, for a single person. And it is achievable on a $3,000 a month salary.  

Here is the simple math.

  1. Save 10% of your income. Assume its $300 per month, or $3,600 a year.
  2. Invest it in the S&P 500 ETF. Average return of 8% a year
  3. Do this for 30 years
  4. You should have about $407,819 at the end of it

Go ahead and plug in the numbers here: http://www.moneychimp.com/calculator/compound_interest_calculator.htm

This sum can translate to about $37,440 a year, or $1,700 a month, assuming a lower risk 5% annual return. This exceeds the basic monthly income of about $1,400 needed in Singapore for a single elderly person. See here.

And remember, this assumes that your salary is stagnant at $3,000 a month for 30 years. During this whole time, there isn’t any salary or bonus. For most this should be unrealistic.

Most people should be able to increase the monthly savings of $300 illustrated in the above scenario.

I know that I don’t really have real experience in saving that amount over that many years. I got my FIRE money in the worst way.

But this isn’t about me, it’s about you. I reached my FIRE number already. You have to figure out how to reach yours. You have different circumstances from me, and you need to find what works for you. But you will get old, you will need to stop working at some point, and its best that you have something to look forward to.

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