3 Bullet Points for Lifetime Financial Freedom

  1. Earn enough so you can invest $300 a month into the S&P 500 index comfortably. Do it for 40 years, from 25 to 65. This should grow to $932,000 by the age of 65.

  2. Buy a MediShield Integrated Shield Plan. Buy term insurance for death, for $1 million, with a critical illness rider. Buy disability income insurance if you have the spare cash.

  3. Before the age of 65, put enough funds into your CPF Retirement account (RA) to reach the Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS). Projected ERS at 2050 is $659,000. Cash needed to top up depends on lifetime earnings, but believe most should have about $300,000 – $500,000 in cash left after topping up.

  4. That’s it. Enjoy passive income of $4,000 for the rest of your life. About $2,000 from CPF LIFE and $2,000* from your own investments.

    *Estimated return from mix of stocks and bonds is $400,000 x 6%

Explanatory notes

Most people won’t believe this strategy. It’s too simple, there must be more different positions, gold, bitcoin, etc.

The greatest risk to this strategy is boredom, panic, and itchy fingers.

Everything else not within this strategy is worse. Mutual funds and the STI are worse than the S&P 500 index. Picking your stocks is worse. Other insurance policies, especially investment-linked insurance plans, are worse than term. Private annuity plans are worse than CPF LIFE. Don’t deviate, and you will do better than the vast majority, including the smart money.

All numbers are adjusted for inflation. S&P 500 index inflation-adjusted average returns is about 8%.

The longer you wait to save, the more you have to save. At age 45, you need to save $1,700 per month to reach the same $932,000 at 65 years old, as compared with the 25 year old saving $300 per month. Link to compound interest calculator.

ERS sum at 2050 is estimated based on 3% growth annually from 2020’s number, close to actual historical growth.

I assume that the CPF Ordinary Account (OA) account would be entirely consumed by housing. Funds from MediSave account (MA) are also not counted. It’s more likely that these will contribute even further to the RA figure.

I would delay the CPF LIFE payout for as long as possible. Delaying each year will increase payouts by 7%, which is as good as getting a 7% risk-free return.

Closing Thoughts

Investing isn’t that complicated at all. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently. If they insist that their system is better, its fair to ask for portfolio or stock transaction statements. See if it beats the S&P 500 index return, over at least 5 years.

If you do stick to this three bullet plan over the next 30 – 40 years, do remember to buy me a coffee.

You should be able to afford it.

7 comments

  1. I arrived at the same simple conclusion. Have a stream(s) of income for as long as you can, max your CPF savings as much as allowed, have a term & a medical insurance, own a HDB to stay, and invest in a US index.

  2. The “do it for 40 years” will put 99% to sleep.

    They want freedom, FAST!

    That’s why financial salesmen, trading trainers, property trainers etc can continually do good business generation after generation. Even if they have to close down, lie low for a year or 2, revamp their reputation, & restart another training/selling outfit under another name.

    1. Oh for those impatient types, can go all Nasdaq/tech e.g. QQQ or VGT or XLK or FDN.

      QQQ is more broad than the pure tech etfs & some think that Nasdaq is more representative/responsive of the new economy than S&P500. Although the largest Nasdaq components are already part of the S&P500, those smaller higher-growth Nasdaq companies will need to take some years to become big enough to be included in the S&P500.

      As I don’t like binary, yes-or-no, all or nothing approaches in investing, can always go with combination e.g. 90% S&P500 and 10% Nasdaq … or 90% Nasdaq and 10% S&P500 … or anything in between.

      1. Yeah I think this works too. Might see more ups and downs but overall the growth will be pretty good.

    2. Totally agree. I just can’t get why there are so many of these trainers around, with big classes and lots of outstanding reviews. Something’s off

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