Singaporeans spend a lot of time working. At least 10 hours a day, to be exact*. With so much time spent in the office, it comes as no surprise that we encounter a vast array of personalities on the job, each with their own habits and quirks. From the co-worker who never fails to replenish the pantry's snack supply to the health-conscious colleague who eats clean and does daily yoga, these are all people we are familiar with and see in every workplace.
Here are three common types of personalities we see in the office. Try identifying the one you relate to most, and check out the financial tip most relevant to you!
1) The Working Parent
Virtually every office has at least one Working Parent. They are usually in their thirties and identifying them is easy. Just take a quick look at his or her mobile phone wallpaper — it's usually a picture of their kids! There's also a 95% chance of seeing a framed family photo at their desk. The Working Parent is always ready on Mondays with an anecdote about something funny the kids did over the weekend, so you can always count on them for a good laugh.
Are you the Working Parent?
TIP: Work Backwards To Plan Your Retirement
Life is good now — you have a happy home, lovely children and a stable job. But after putting in all those hours for your family as a Working Parent, perhaps it's time to start planning your own future.
Think about your desired retirement lifestyle — does it involve monthly vacations or an annual cruise? Will you be taking up cooking as a hobby or simply relaxing at home with a good book? These different scenarios come with different costs and thinking them through make for a good starting point. If you are still unsure how much you will need, try estimating based on 70% of your last drawn salary. Alternatively, you can use the CPF Retirement Calculator here.
When you turn 55, a Retirement Account (RA) is created for you. The money in your SA and/or OA(up to the Full Retirement Sum) is transferred to your RA to form your retirement sum. This retirement sum can then be used to join CPF LIFE that ensures you monthly income for the rest of your life.
This means that your CPF LIFE payouts depend on how much you have saved in your RA. It's not too late to start growing your retirement sum and achieving your desired monthly payouts by topping up your CPF account. Through the Retirement Sum Topping-Up (RSTU) Scheme, you can top up your SA up to the current Full Retirement Sum (if you are aged below 55) or your RA up to the current Enhanced Retirement Sum (if you are aged 55 and above).
Plus, you get to enjoy tax relief of up to $7,000 per calendar year if you are doing a cash top-up to your own account and an additional tax relief of up to $7,000 per calendar year if you are topping up for your loved ones^. Find out more on the applicable terms and conditions here.
2) The #OOTD Star
It is impossible to miss the #OOTD Star. She is versatile and adventurous when it comes to fashion, and is capable of pulling off every style effortlessly. She's tech-savvy and up-to-date on everything — chances are, she's the one who introduced you to Uber and Deliveroo. She's very active on Instagram, is guilty of the frequent #ootd photo and has a great eye for aesthetics. That makes her the colleague most likely to stop everyone from eating until she's taken a satisfactory flat lay shot of the food.
Are you the #OOTD Star?
TIP: Keep Your Finances On Point!
Trends come and go, but retirement is for life. While it's nice to maintain an enjoyable lifestyle today, don't forget to keep an eye on your long-term goals too.
No need for panic though. You can easily grow your retirement savings in one simple move: transferring your money from your Ordinary Account (OA) to your SA (if you are aged below 55)! Your CPF money in your OA can earn interest of up to 3.5%†. But by doing a simple transfer of funds from your OA to your SA, your money can now grow faster at a more attractive interest rate of up to 5%†. Financial blogger, Heartland Boy, even dedicated an entire article to this! Find out how much additional interest you can earn when you make the transfer with this calculator.
3) The Veteran
We all know and love The Veteran — he is the very epitome of loyalty! Usually in his 50s, he has been with the company for decades and is easily spotted by that Long Service Award sitting by his computer. Like The Working Parent, he's a good source of laughs with his sense of humour, and is generally "chill" and easygoing, since he has seen it all.
Are you the Veteran?
TIP: Plan Your Retirement For Two
You've probably cracked plenty of jokes about your retirement but after all the kidding around, it's time to take the golden years seriously and plan for them with your partner, especially if he/she has been a stay-home spouse, looking after the family. One way to do so is through spousal transfers.
As an extra 1% interest is paid on the first $60,000 of your CPF balance (with up to $20,000 from the Ordinary Account), it may be a mutually beneficial move to help your spouse reach that amount in his/her CPF account if he/she has yet to do so. You can consider doing a transfer through the Retirement Sum Topping-Up Scheme (RSTU) to get the most out of your combined savings as a couple!
You can transfer your balance above the Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) ‡ to your spouse's Special Account (SA) or Retirement Account (RA), depending on his/her age. This way, both of you can enjoy the extra 1% interest on the first $60,000 of your CPF balances!
An icing to the cake - members aged 55 and above will also earn an additional 1% extra interest on the first $30,000 of their combined balances (with up to $20,000 from the OA). As a result, CPF members aged 55 and above will earn up to 6% interest per annum on their retirement balances!
Here's an example to show you how it works:
Figures computed above are accurate as of July
No matter which personality you relate to, there is always something you can do to prepare for retirement. After applying them to your own finances, be a good colleague and share some of these tips with The Working Parents, #OOTD Stars and Veterans at your workplace!
^ Only cash-top ups up to the current Full Retirement Sum is eligible for tax relief.
† Inclusive of an extra 1% interest paid on the first $60,000 of your combined CPF balances, with up to $20,000 from the OA.
‡ Your spouse can receive transfers up to the current Full Retirement Sum if he/she is below 55, or up to the current Enhanced Retirement Sum if he/she is 55 and above.