As from April 2013 my Journey in Investing is to create Retirement Income for Life till 85 years old in 2041 for two persons over market cycles of Bull and Bear.

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Saturday, 7 November 2020



Real CPF member. Real conversation!

In the financial and investment blogosphere; we always hear Top up CPF to secure our retirement plan, 1M65, 4M65, blah blah!

He is 47 and already fully met FRS in his SA and has no intention to sell or downgrade his residential condo home. He will be taking less talk about which is BRS! 

Both, couple will be taking BRS and pledge their property!

For one simple reason. 

Why let Government control your money and pay you back in monthly instalments from 65? 

My money. Okay! 

They want to have better control over their own money and decide how best to use it for whatever reasons e.g. better health and medical care!


No snake oil so real life and true heart conversation with Uncle8888! We are all different! Ha Ha!

Data point of one? Think it should be more data points out there!

You have fully met FRS and has fully paid up residential property and no intention to sell. FRS or BRS?

No right or wrong! LOL!


  1. Like i said and think, "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush."
    On the other hand, also like to hedge, especially whenever hedging is benecial.
    Especially with zeroing bank's interest rate now.

    That's one of the reason why i closed CPFIS and withdrew all CPF's money that could be withdrawn@55.

  2. CW,


    This couple is definitely not data point of 1!

    We are cat people (Don't need a owner to take care of us).


    It won't be a surprise from my past writings about voluntary contributions into CPF:

    1) I'll pledge my HDB 3 room flat (write property wait give the impression I stay at landed) and choose BRS too.

    2) BRS has the most bang-for-the buck if we going for "freeloading". Its like the utility rebates - HDB 5 room flats get the least, 2 room flats got the most ;)

    3) When CPF is a minority portion of our networth, we don't need to fill in forms, ask permission, or wait till end of the month/year to access our own money :)

    4) Of course to choose this route, we have not buried our "Talents" under the ground all these years - the SAVE MORE path. Why let the slings and arrows pains of the EARN MORE path go to waste just because its "retirement"?

    Taking less or some risks off the table is not quitting ;)

    1. Those savvy cat-investors don't find 4% locked up interests payment that attractive. Who are we as investors?

    2. Hi Smol,

      "BRS has the most bang-for-the buck if we going for 'freeloading'"

      That's if the person has above average money mgmt skills. ;)

      The BRS is also a safety electrified fence for the govt.

      It is constantly adjusted to provide bare bones subsistence living. Not enough for dignified living .... but not desperate enough to cause mass revolution & overthrow of govt. LOL!

    3. Spur,

      That's a given ;)

      During the low volatility of 2017, who would voluntarily put money in CPF when we can "smelly, smelly" get 6% yield from REITs?

      Or juicy 8% from unrated perpetual bonds or corporate junk (aka high yield) bonds?

      Of course that didn't end well when yield hogs discover we can get capital losses from REITs... And horrors of horrors... Bonds can default one!?

      Hence the pendulum swing for some of those who got "burnt" and have now become "born again" CPF evangelists. Hey! 4% is good, better, best!

      Those who are confident they can beat the CPF 4% definitely have above average money management skills ;)

      It shows with the multiple properties they hold, or the number of zeroes behind their stock portfolios at age 55 or 65.

      Life is good when CPF is a minority part of our networth!

      Can anyone and everyone do it?


  3. Hi Uncle8888,

    I will go out on a limb here to say that the majority of sinkies fall into the same category as the above couple, irrespective whether they have reached FRS or not. ;)

    Otherwise there's no need for govt to impose withdrawal restrictions e.g. minimum sum now known as BRS, minimum medisave sum.

    If queues of elderly Sinkies start lining up to DEPOSIT money into CPF, that'll be the day that govt can remove BRS! LOL!

    Too often we stay in our own investing community bubble & think that most people actually like CPF! ūü§£

  4. It is good that everyone is not the same and doesnt think the same. The world is more colourful and interesting this way.

    "We want it all". We want to maximise our CPF savings, maximise our RA / CPF Life (we top up to the prevailing ERS every year), we consistently buy some shares every month, and we continue to hold our investment property for rental income.

    We estimated that if we continue to top up our RA to the prevailing ERS each year till we are 65, our combined RA would amount to near $1M. We coined it RA1M65. And the beauty of RA1M65, just as in 4M65, is that quite a bit of the money actually comes from the interest. For example, if you can hit 4M6 in your combined CPF as a couple, $1M of that money comes from interest from the government! So why not!?

    As for equities, the last few days of market uptick reduced some of my paper losses. I think I "recouped" some $50,000 in the last five days. Dividend wise, it looks very likely the amount will cross $63,000 for this year. In the depth of the lockdown, I was not even confident of collecting $50,000 in dividend.

    For rental, my tenant seems to be holding out well. Two more months till the end of the year. Should be looking at $31,000 in rental income for 2020.

    So yes, we dont mind leaving money in our CPF to "idle" and earning "pocket money" interest from Ah Gong.

    1. mysecretinvestment,

      Its wonderful isn't it?

      When diversity and differences in opinions can be expressed without resorting to childish "I don't friend you", or sending "regards to our mothers"...

      I guess we are adults and intellectuals here :)

      Was that a Freudian slip? We coined it RA1M65???

      Are you Loo Cheng Chuan? LOL!

      While climbing up the mountain, you owned THREE private properties. Now that's EARN MORE, not SAVE MORE ;)

      Even while maxing CPF here, maxing CPF there on your way to RA1M65 Nirvana, you still have dividend from stocks and rental income from your property.

      Your MAXIMISE comes with a healthy dose of diversification :)

      Now contrast this for those who swallowed hook, line, and sinker with RA1M65, but only doing CPF voluntary contributions through SAVE MORE. Now that's ALL IN concentration!!!

      Do as I say, not as I do?

    2. Hi SMOL,

      Some clarification and my thoughts.

      1. I am NOT Loo CC. He is 48, while I am 59. The RA1M65 that I coined was a shameless play on his 1M65 movement. Both targets are couple target, meaning its for the combined amounts in a couple's CPF by age 65. If you have been keeping tabs on the 1M65 movement, Loo have revised the target to 4M65 or more after being told that 1M65 for a couple was a very very low bar. I think RA1M65 is more challenging but yet realisable for a couple.

      2. I have bought four (not three) private properties and sold two. I was an accidental property investor and landlord, and I have shared my property investment journey in your own blog post dated 10 Jul 2020 - on the day of the general election. And yes, I didnt have a love for CPF savings in my "climbing up the mountain" days where at one time in my 40s, I had all of $7,000 in my OA, having used the bulk of it for my properties.

      Now that we are climbing down the mountain, and having been wage slaves all our lives where our salaries are credited into our bank accounts like clockwork every month, we wanted to have same certainty of income in our retirement. And looking at our income generating assets (CPF, equities and rental) the CPF source is the only one capable of giving us that certainty. Thats why we decided to bulk it up after we turned 50. At the very least, we will live within what we can derive from our CPF savings. We are looking at $100,000 annual income comprising interests from our combined OA & SA and the payout from our RA / CPF Life from age 65.

      3. I am not sure if I can be cleanly lumped into the "Earn more" camp as opposed to the "Save more" camp. I see myself as a hybrid. I believe that to grow one's wealth faster, you simply need to have higher income. And if one can also control the outflow of cash, it will really help the "cause". Thus, I see myself as a hybrid of "Earn more & Save more" person.

      How I "saved more" was simply from seeing most of my salary being used to pay down mortgages in my "climbing up the mountain" days. Forced savings if you will.

      Now at 59, I still practise this "habit". Salary incomes are:

      1 Socked up into our CPF through Voluntary Contribution and Topped up into our RA,
      2. Pay down mortgage for our investment property
      3. Buy shares

      We are frugal by nature, reinforced by habit. But we do have an indulgence. My wife and I both have our own cars. That has been the case since 1993, a total of 27 years of owning two cars. We are now driving our number ninth and tenth cars respectively. I estimated that we spent about $1M for that indulgence. No regrets.

      Back to the CPF topic. Yes, I do have some concern for the overzealousness of some young working adults in socking away their CPF money into their SA. With such a long time horizon till they are able to touch that money again, they are in a way taking on a different form of risk.

      We bulked up our CPF because after 55, that savings in our SA & OA are like cash in a bank, albeit with more decent interest.

      And of course, we are NOT telling people to do what we did, but just sharing what we did to prepare for our retirement.

    3. Quote : "If you have been keeping tabs on the 1M65 movement, Loo have revised the target to 4M65 or more after being told that 1M65 for a couple was a very very low bar. I think RA1M65 is more challenging but yet realisable for a couple."

      If the younger ones are thinking harder; compounding through savings AND with slower incremental salary increase or adjustment when one is aging and up to Point X our salary likely to be stagnant.

      It will become very hard to meet the shifting XM65 movement. It is a shifting goal posts like CPF FRS and BRS. We have little choice but to be better long-term investors on top of being good savers before reaching 55. Life is tough. Saving is hard. Investing is even harder!

    4. mysecretinvestment,

      Just teasing!

      Whenever I hear people say "we", I'm always reminded of the biblical "we are legion"...

      Just verifying whether I'm speaking to the devil himself or his minions ;)

      We are pretty much on the same page.

      I fully understand and empathise old fogeys like you who made it big with properties or stocks while climbing up the mountain. Now that you are enjoying the ride down, you would like to have more certainty and less excitement.

      I know. I'm dialling risks down myself too in my trading. Maybe it has to do with male menopause? Lower testosterones level? LOL!

      The difference is I'm treating investing/trading as a craft, not a hobby. Also as a small government guy, I rather own self take care of own self. Hence my aversion to CPF ;)

      My bemusement is when youths don't do silly youths thing age 35 and below. How to collect wisdom without crash got sound real world life experiences?

      Imagine age 55 or 65, flushed with lots of cash through savings over the decades, but with ZERO money management skills...

      Now that's what I call a juicy bei kambing for snake oils!

  5. Of course, CPF or most things favour the Richies.

    Who don't want to top up to the MAX if have too much cash in hand now?

    In fact i think if the G has no limit to top up in CPF, then our society will definitely go hay wire - the poor to average will definitely lose out more and more.

    like America?

  6. I am a CPF hoarder maxing out CPF.

    On the other hand, best friend kept RA at $55,000 while retaining his money in OA and SA. Cos he doesn't trust CPFLIfe payout at 65. He owns 3 condos. Stay in one while renting the other 2 out. Still paying mortgages in this low interest environment.

    1. If we fully meet FRS and pledge property for BRS, there is not much financial difference unless one can beyond 100 to gain those monthly CPF for life payouts.


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