How I Plan To Get $5k Month-to-month From My CPF


You’ve seen my plan for build up my retirement earnings (right here), and also you’ve despatched within the questions. On this article, I dive deeper into how I intend to receives a commission $5,000 per thirty days in retirement from my CPF funds alone, in addition to the steps I’m at present taking to get there.

Let’s begin with a fast recap – after we retire, most of us will nonetheless have bills to pay for. I’ve categorised them as follows:

  • Fastened bills (value of residing)
  • Journey bills to abroad international locations
  • Sudden bills (e.g. medical payments, substitute prices for dwelling home equipment as a result of extended use, and many others)

The quantity we’ll want in retirement all boils right down to how a lot our bills add as much as. In case you requested me, the very best resolution includes planning for the anticipated prices of residing (my wants) and journey bills (my needs), whereas I depend on insurance coverage or my emergency funds for the sudden bills.

In securing the funds for my value of residing, I look to my assured retirement pot i.e. my CPF financial savings, which may and will probably be used to primarily cowl my mounted residing bills.

Enjoyable truth: A number of years in the past (in 2017), I did an estimate right here on this weblog about how a lot my desired retirement way of life (as a single in my 20s) might value me once I flip 65, which labored out to be S$1,800 – S$3,000 then.

Issues have modified since then. Inflation has gone up, and so have my spending patterns – I now spend extra when eating out and I’ve additionally elevated my bills on magnificence companies and vainness merchandise.

So listed below are my newest estimates (based mostly on right now’s costs) as a substitute:

ESSENTIAL residing bills (per thirty days): S$2,900

Kinds of Bills Class $ As we speak
Day by day requirements Meals and groceries – family $900
Utilities (electrical energy & water) – family $300
Public transport – self $200
Telco & web – self $200
Self-care Eating out $600
Motion pictures $100
Procuring $300
[New!] Magnificence companies $300

You could have seen that not solely did I enhance the numbers for every merchandise, however I’ve additionally added 1 new class vs. my authentic pre-kids model. For instance:

  • Eating out: Again in 2017, $30 was once adequate for me for a meal and drink at a pleasant café with pals. In my retirement years I’d like to have the ability to proceed the custom of eating out with my youngsters. I additionally don’t need them to really feel obligated to foot the invoice. Factoring the rise in value, I’ve estimated S$600 for this class for now.
  • Magnificence companies: In my 20s, I didn’t care an excessive amount of about skincare or magnificence dietary supplements. Nevertheless, upon coming into my 30s, it takes much more effort for me to take care of my appears and well being! I now take multi-vitamins, collagen dietary supplements, probiotics and fibre commonly.

By the point I’m in my 60s, my youngsters could be of their mid-30s and are more likely to be working for a while so I received’t have to fret about setting apart cash in my retirement for his or her college or tuition charges.

Word: in case you nonetheless must financially assist your youngsters’s schooling in retirement, remember to issue that into your monetary plans!

And naturally, if cash isn’t an issue, I’d additionally like to journey and discover the world in my retirement years. In essentially the most splendid scenario, this might be my journey plans:

IDEAL Leisure bills (per 12 months): ~S$16,000

A 1-week trip in Asia every quarter $1,500 x 4 = $6,000
A 2-week trip out of Asia yearly $10,000

I’m conscious that this plan is sort of “luxurious” and that over time, it is going to value extra. If sooner or later, there’s a must be extra prudent, this would be the class I’ll assessment. 

Including each classes will quantity to $50,800 of bills in a 12 months, or roughly S$4,200 a month.

Primarily based on these estimates, I ought to thus plan to have at the very least S$4,200 / month in retirement if I wish to get pleasure from such a life-style (one that features 5 journeys overseas every year).

That is based mostly on right now’s {dollars}, which implies if I assume a 2% yearly inflation charge between now till I hit age 65, it interprets to at the very least $8,000 a month in retirement.

Hmm, that’s rather a lot.

What if I took journey out of the equation, and used the $2,900 projected determine for my estimated value of residing as a substitute?

With that, the determine now adjustments to $5,500 per thirty days in retirement once I flip 65.

Sounds extra reasonable, so let’s work with that first.

The subsequent query is, can I get to that with my CPF financial savings?

How can I get $5,000 month-to-month from CPF?

To reply this query, I used the CPF planner – retirement earnings (“CPF Planner”) to inform me whether or not I’m on observe.

I keyed in my estimated bills of $2,900 (based mostly on right now’s {dollars}) into the calculator, and with inflation factored, it quantities to $5,580. To attain that payout aim, I used to be knowledgeable that I wanted to work in direction of a financial savings aim of $1,152,000.

Sidenote: In case you’ve no concept how a lot you’ll want, you’ll be able to estimate by clicking on the “retirement earnings information” (see screenshot under). It’ll information you to derive a retirement way of life that you just choose.

I then proceeded to enter my estimated employment earnings (throughout my working years from now till age 65) in order that the calculator can venture whether or not my CPF contributions will probably be adequate to get me to my aim.

I’ve used $5,000 as a benchmark, which was how a lot I used to be drawing in my final job. Though I’ve by no means obtained a bonus in my total working life (sure, no 13th month bonus both), I’ll assume that my fortunate stars will assist me discover a future boss who will give me a S$3,000 yearly bonus every year…in any other case, I’ll merely have to search out different means to get this for myself (reminiscent of by a facet hustle, and many others).

I’ve projected a 2% annual increment in keeping with historic inflation charges, though to be trustworthy, the one occasions I’ve gotten a wage increment was once I switched to a different firm.

Fortunately, the CPF planner projected that I ought to be capable of meet my payout aim – based mostly on my present CPF financial savings. For these of you who’re questioning, my Particular Account at present has >90% of right now’s Full Retirement Sum (2023).

Okay, however what about if I have been to account for my desired journey way of life bills on this calculation too?

Utilizing S$4,200 a month (in right now’s {dollars}), the calculator knowledgeable that my CPF financial savings could be inadequate in assembly my desired retirement way of life.

So, what’s going to it take for me to satisfy my dream retirement targets?

Nicely, that is the place the CPF planner can simulate situations ought to we resolve to take energetic steps to work in direction of it, for instance, if we have been to switch our Strange Account (OA) funds to our Particular Account (SA), or if we have been to make a money top-up through the Retirement Sum Topping Up (RSTU) scheme.

Sidenote: I’ve already been periodically transferring my OA funds into my SA since my mid-20s, so there are little or no funds in my OA (the quantity I’ve saved in there may be largely for liquidity functions i.e. adequate solely to pay for 12 months of our housing mortgage). For me, transferring all the funds out won’t make a lot of a distinction to my retirement plan, so I’ll must do a money top-up as a substitute.

Do you know that you could receive tax reliefs if you select to prime up your CPF? The sum has since elevated in 2022, from S$7,000 to S$8,000. 

See my projection under:

Do notice that the topping up projections are topic to prevailing top-up limits. In case you are incomes a better earnings and/or near the present FRS (like me), even a $8,000 voluntary money top-up yearly might not undergo in full every year.

Thus, even when I have been to proceed my present follow of topping up S$8,000 yearly, it won’t get me nearer to financing my 5x yearly journey aspirations. I might want to both modify my expectations or fund my travels from different sources of retirement earnings.

Therefore, the CPF planner makes it clear that whereas my present CPF financial savings are adequate to finance my fundamental retirement wants, it won’t be sufficient to totally finance the extent of my journey aspirations in retirement – I might want to fund that from one thing aside from my CPF as properly. 

Which is why I’m working arduous on build up extra sources of retirement earnings – keep tuned to my weblog for extra particulars on how.


Utilizing the CPF planner, I can chill out, figuring out that my CPF financial savings will probably be adequate to pay for my mounted bills in my retirement years.

But when I have been to hope for my CPF funds to pay for my 5 journey journeys a 12 months, that will probably be an excessive amount of. With that extent of journey, my present CPF financial savings received’t be sufficient to fund my desired journey way of life in my retirement years. Even when I have been to make a voluntary money top-up of S$8,000 yearly with out fail, it is going to nonetheless be inadequate.

The instrument then goes on to advocate that I additionally use my non-public financial savings as a part of a balanced retirement portfolio, which I totally agree with.

After all, there are a number of limitations to this instrument, together with:

  • A 2% inflation charge is utilized to the preliminary retirement earnings aim that you just enter (in right now’s {dollars}) to compute your payout aim at age 65.
  • In case you didn’t enter your personal quantity for that web page, however used the projected quantity based mostly on the retirement earnings information as a substitute, you must notice that the retirement way of life decisions offered are based mostly on expenditure from the Family Expenditure Survey 2017/18. This may occasionally or will not be an correct reflection of your personal spending ranges and habits.
  • Since projections are based mostly on the salary-related particulars you offered, the instrument assumes that you just stay employed all through the projection interval. Within the occasion of any extended unemployment, your finish outcomes might differ from the preliminary estimations that you just obtained from the planner. For the self-employed or gig staff, or anybody whose wage fluctuates significantly, the accuracy of the estimated projection might differ over a chronic time period.

In time to come back, I hope to see the instrument being refreshed with choices for us to mess around with inflation charges – particularly now that inflation has remained far above the two% charge for nearly 2 years now.

In spite of everything, as a salaried Singaporean employee, your CPF is probably going going to be your first, if not your largest, retirement pot. It’ll be worthwhile to be sure to optimise your CPF for the best returns (reminiscent of making voluntary money top-ups and transferring your Strange Account funds into your Particular Account) and to work in direction of your most well-liked payout to satisfy your retirement targets.

Click on right here to examine whether or not your CPF is on observe!

Disclosure: This text is written in collaboration with CPF Board, who has a nifty CPF planner – retirement earnings instrument to assist Singaporeans visualise and plan for his or her retirement.


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