SNACK – Microinsurance

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As I have said, I am a firm believer of insurance but not a firm believer of agents. I am of the mind that there are invested interest. Even the most honest guy needs to earn a living but I have yet to find anyone who is able to pass my test. More often than not, I tend to DIY on my own so most of my plans are generally bought online. The exception is that during the early years, agents used to manage those that I bought.

Why Insurance?

Let’s face it. Everyone needs to transfer their risk and that is a fact. Whether it is term or whole life plans, it is up for a debate but no best answer. You need health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, travel insurance, car insurance and the list goes on. My only grip is that DIY stuff comes cheap but you have to figure out how to to that on your own. Nothing wrong with that but it comes in as a pain when you don’t have time to manage those stuff.

Try Microinsurance

Personally, I feel that it is fine to try out a cheaper alternative of insurance just to get yourself covered at the lowest cost possible. SNACK is by Income and recently introduced this concept of microinsurance. I find it appealing personally coming from someone who understand how these things work. It kind of like supplement what i have existingly.

I think that the Income branding is starting to change and this helps with the brand image. At least they try to speak the millenia language. Next, I find that with such low cost products – There will be less barrier to entry. The difficulty in this solution is to educate people. It is much easier to say that it is complicated than trying to find out what this is all about.

Once you sign up online and register the amount you can commit daily, every document will be sent to you via email or digitally. Quite simply, I would say.

They are 3 ways your can choose to buy insurance from (Choose 1 or whatever you need):

a. Critical Illness

b. Personal Accident

c. Life Insurance.

You can also trigger these daily costs from a few parts:

a.  Redeeming a deal from Burpple or pay for meals using a VISA card.

b. Commuting bus, train or cab and pay for it using a VISA card.

c. Through retailing and purchases using a linked VISA card.

d. Shopping for groceries using a linked VISA card.

e. Through entertainment and paying using a linked VISA card.

f. Topping up petrol and paying using a linked VISA card.

g. Pay your utilities and paying using a linked VISA card.

h. Activate your fitbit app and fulfilling your daily steps.

You may be thinking what happens if you hit every objective. There is a limit to the premiums charged to your credit or debit card depending on the weekly cap you’ve set up. Once you’ve hit this weekly cap, SNACK will no longer charge you premiums when you complete lifestyle triggers and you will not be issued any more policies for that week.

The minimum amount daily you can set is $0.30 and you can add on as many triggers as you wish.

There is also a cap on each insurance segment:

a. For Personal Accident, the cap is at $100,000

b. For Life Insurance, the cap is at $200,000

c. For Critical Illness, the cap is at $200,000

These insurance are known as non-participating policies so the moment you stop paying for these, the coverage will stop. To me it is a stop-gap kind of coverage and at an extremely low cost. If you are looking at the full suite, take time to understand and learn. You will definitely benefit from the knowledge and to suss out your new insurance agent. Whether they are in it for the long term or to hit and run. We will never know unless we experience and have the basic knowledge.

Disclaimer

This is not a sponsored post. This is purely my own opinion after using their service and/or products. If you like what you are seeing, do remember to check they out and do your diligence. There is no one size fits all investment strategy.

If you like what I am sharing or if it resonates with you, do use my referral codes here at https://lifejourney.blog/contact/ for the services.

The pictures were taken from SNACK website for this article. If you need a referral code, please use my referral code “PAU4055” and both of us will be rewarded with additional $500 coverage for personal accident. Visit here https://www.snackbyincome.sg/ to find out more.

CPF (Assisting your Retirement?)

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Whenever we touch on the topic of CPF, also known as Central Provident Fund (Pension Fund – The Europeans and Americans call it), people get kind of edgy and upset. What I do observe is that mostly a certain group of people is really anti CPF. The first group is those who are anti-government, not fueling anything here but just a general consensus. The second group is the retirees or about to retire folks who didn’t have a decent education (At that point in time, it wasn’t necessary to have the paper qualifications) and the last group is the self-proclaimed Warren Buffet who claims to beat the market.

The Central Provident Fund

The CPF in my opinion, is something of a great system. There are certainly flaws to it but in my view it is the perfect, AAA grade, higher yield returns that can supplement all our retirement fund. There are certain risks but There are no investment tool has no risk in reality. I finally conclude that as a result of these 3 group of people, these are the reason why so many people dislike the CPF system.

The AAA rating

a. Unfortunately, it is a complex system – You need to read up and understand how it works to appreciate the system

b. Inflation rate is here to stay hence the increase in the minimum sum yearly

c. No one is taking your money away.

d. No. There is no crystal ball. Statistically, it is proven that you can never win 100% of the time. Anyone who have tried or attempted to invest their monies will know that there is no clear strategy out there but a lot of hard work so you will not be able to beat the benchmark all the time.

e. Good quality investments and yields are hard to find these days. Perhaps it is a reality check and time to reflect about strategies as well as accepting facts and the markets

Understanding what CPF is about

When I first explored CPF, it was when I was out of school into my first job. At that time, CPF seems like a Goliath – You think you know but eventually, you slowly find out stuff which you never know before and for a long period of time I put off reading up more about them. It was many years back that I started reading financial blogs and it became like a ritual. I’ll do that almost any other day.

Back in those days, there were less bloggers so you will still need to dig deep to find out how stuff works. Then came Technology advancements, social media and super apps/content apps. I also discovered a few more bloggers who actively shared about CPF. One one those whom I follow really closely is 1M65. His is a well-known blogger for CPF and he developed his own strategies around what the CPF has been doing for many years.

Life Cycle

1M65 is really about having a million in your CPF by 65 years old. Depending on how you look at it, he is preaching a 4M65 these days and base on his concept – I do think that is possible if you start really young. Anyway, his idea about have these sum of money is really to get you thinking about your own retirement early, not just when you are in your mid stage or even late stage of your life cycle.

Everyone is different

Most importantly, everyone is different. There is no need to look at it in the form of a showboat or saying that it is impossible. Being open and understanding how these people are doing do help yourself to be ready for retirement – You are doing your next generation a favour so that they will not fall into the sandwich class or fall in the same cycle again and again. Of course, teaching the value of money to the next generation is something that needs to be worked on as well. It’s not like they were given a sum of money to deal with in life.

Some people actually worked two jobs or even saved excessively so that they can put all their money into retirement. Again, lifejourney preaches about having your own quality of life. If you need to feel like you have to give up everything just to be thrifty (It is a really thin line to term it as miserly), then you would most likely have to re-think your strategy.

The Practical Approach

There are a lot of concepts that you can read about but most of them come from a theory. Personally, I don’t really like to dissect those as they are so technical and heavy. Most importantly, it is extremely boring to put them down in words and executing them is really the best way to practice

Stock market digital graph chart on LED display concept. A large display of daily stock market price and quotation. Indicator financial forex trade education background.

As 1M65 says, you can hate who or whatever but don’t hate free money. Initially, it sounded like a money grubber statement but eventually I came to realise that, it is really free money. If you have no plans to be an entrepreneur, there is a few things you have to take note of in CPF. Yes, I am sorry but everything has to start from the basics.

My View on CPF

a. My biggest take on CPF is to compound the interest. The more you have, the greater the growth. The younger you fill up your CPF account to accumulate interest, the faster and bigger your pension fund will grow.

bi. If you are below 55 years of age – Your first $60k in CPF will gain an extra 1% p.a. (This is capped at S$20k in your OA) The current base Ordinary Account (OA) is 2.5% (3-month average of major local banks’interest rates, whichever is higher)

bii. For most people, the next S$40k will most likely be in your Special Account (SA). For others who are still building your SA, that will be whatever that is in your MediSave Account (MA). The base rate for your SA and MA is at the current floor of 4% p.a. (which is also the 12 month average yield of 10-year Singapore Gov Securities – 10YSGS)

My Tips:

Your CPF interest is computed monthly based on the lowest balance for the month. This means that for interests paid out on your CPF accounts in Year 2020, the interest amount is based on what was captured monthly, compounded and only paid out to you in full before 1st Jan of 2021. (This is subjected to changes if you have transactions every month)

c. As much as possible, you have to try your best to hit the minimum sum as early as you can. (Combined OA and SA)  Once you manage to do that, you do not need to worry about the annual increase in minimum sum that is subjected to inflation.

My Tips:

Don’t lose faith if you have not or still very far from this. Everyone starts from $0. Let the small actions and do up your checklist one by one in order to build the financial confidence. Everyone is different – it is the end goal that matters.

d. Depending on your circumstances, you can choose to invest your CPF OA money after the S$20k accumulation. Similar to cash, have a long term goal and build your portfolio. Good companies and investment ideas doesn’t come easy. You have to make sure what you invest is more calculated risk. There is a risk to everything.

My Tips:

Don’t be affected by market noise. My tip is to buy when there is a price drop if the investment moat for the company still makes sense. (but always do your own diligence) You can also have different pockets of funds so that when there are opportunities or if there is a correction, you can be ready to enter the market. The rule is to always stay invested.

Summary

In Summary, CPF is not the perfect solution but a supplement of your retirement goals. In this aspect, we are responsible for our own money and retirement. No one else will take care of your money as much as you will do.  Only you will know your own financial situation. The question is to ask to meet these financial goals is that if you can cut back on your lavish lifestyle or even saving more to add to your pool of funds. No one can coerce you to do what you do not wish to.

Disclaimer

This is not a sponsored post. This is purely my own opinion about CPF and retirement. If you like what you are seeing, do remember to check them out and do your diligence. There is no one size fits all investment strategy as usual

Do check out some of my referral codes for other services here at https://lifejourney.blog/contact/ for the services.

The pictures were taken from CPF website for this article.

Singapore Reits or not?

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Singapore Reits is something that many Singaporeans understand and take heart to. Some folks actually build their income/passive income via this source and I can see why.

My take on Reits on SGX

a. First it is based in Singapore – There is this local bias that it can do well given most people like to see for themselves if the malls are working out well in terms of retail quality, crowd, spending and how many shops are still in business.

b. SGD payouts avoids the currency risks. For a retiree or someone drawing on income from dividends, this payouts serve as a source of bill payment.

c. An alternative and cheaper way to enter the real estate market in Singapore is really through the reits/stock exchange. I know that people will argue that it is different but technically in my view, it is the same (And you do not need to pay stamp duties, get a mortgage and pay sales charges)

d. It is more liquid than real estate.

For a long time now, Reits have been growing big and popular within the investing community. Again, all investments comes with risks – Most people have more comfort in dealing with things they can see or get a sense of. For a long time, there have been plenty of wins for reits but as you can also see, the Circuit Breaker period in April through May have affected them in a way or another.

Diversification?

So again diversification is key to investing once more. If you put all your eggs into the Reits for passive income, then with such dividend cuts your bottom line is definitely affected. Currently, it doesn’t seem like this Covid situation is going back down or slow down whatsoever so dividend cuts is going to be prolonged in order to save businesses and jobs. Then again, there are certain sectors who might see a booming business such as Data Centres or even certain suburban reits. Sub-urban malls are definitely crowded but the former shopping aisles in orchard and high end malls are definitely missing the tourist crowd which rakes in the cash and spending. It is no wonder why people are worried about their livelihoods.

It is not all doom and gloom. Sectors will emerge while some will recover. It is definitely time to pick up some if you did not have any. The idea is to really have a long-term goals when you pick a stock and stay disciplined. Once you sell it off, you may never be able to pick back the company at their valuations again.

The Passive or Lazy Choice

If you are lazy, let Robo-advisors do the trick for you. For e.g. Syfe. https://www.syfe.com/ Initially i only took on the Reit+ portfolio some time in April 2020 to test it out so that I do not need to manage the portfolio and incur those trading fees. They have expanded other products such as a Global ARI portfolio (Long term investment into equity,bonds and commodities) and Equity100 portfolio which is 100% into global Equity ETF (US and UK listed ETFs)

Auto-rebalancing

Syfe has invented their ARI (Automated Risk Investing) methodology, which is a risk-based rebalancing strategy, which changes the allocations of your portfolio according to changes in risks in the market in order to limit your losses. In short, once it triggers a certain level, the system will trigger an alert and things start to sell off to re-allocate. It also means that over the longer term, you will naturally see a better performance of the portfolio.

Every rebalancing of course depends on what portfolio you choose from so everyone is different. I personally like the idea of investing into a portfolio of reits instead of picking it on my own. In terms of fees, it depends on your investment amount with them.

In terms of pricing, I think it is cost effective. Do find out more about it here https://www.syfe.com/pricing

a. Management fee per year is at 0.65% p.a. for investment amounts S$0 – S$20k.

b. Management fee per year is at 0.50% p.a. for investment amounts S$20k – S$100k.

c. Management fee per year is at 0.40% p.a. for investment amounts S$100k and above.

Do use my referral code to get some benefits when you sign up a new account with Syfe. Referral Code: SRPTSMQ5J

You will get (Find our more about their referral scheme here https://www.syfe.com/magazine/how-can-i-invite-a-friend-to-join-syfe/) :

a. S$10 bonus if you invest S$500

b. S$50 bonus if you invest S$10,000

c. S$100 bonus if you invest S$20,000

Disclaimer

This is not a sponsored post. This is purely my own opinion after using their service and/or products. If you like what you are seeing, do remember to check they out and do your diligence. There is no one size fits all investment strategy. 

If you like what I am sharing or if it resonates with you, do use my referral codes here at https://lifejourney.blog/contact/ for the services.

The pictures were taken from Syfe website for this article.

The difference between all Chas cards & all Singaporean gets it

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The Chas (Community Health Assist Scheme) card is for all Singaporeans! Yes, that’s freebies for all Citizens but wait, what is the catch? Well, there are different cards for different segments. There are a total of 5 different segments with two other more pronounced as a benefit for the Merdeka and Pioneer Generation. Then comes the Green card which has the lowest subsidy, followed by the Orange card for lower income households and the Blue card to help out the low income households. The criteria also looks at the Annual Value (AV) of the home that you own.

Chas Cards

CHAS cards can be used to see the doctor or dentist at participating GPs and dental clinics. For referrals to specialist outpatient clinics at public hospitals or the National Dental Centre. You will get a subsidy depending on your type of card you are eligible for.

With the new CHAS Green tier, all Singaporeans with certain chronic conditions can now receive subsidies for their treatment costs, regardless of income. Definitely a plus for all Singaporean Citizen.

From the Chas website, you can check your eligibility on their online calculator. Given the current situation, “You can apply online – It is recommended to so do in light of the current situation.”

Application

Apply for CHAS via the online application. Singapore Citizens aged 21 and above can apply for CHAS online on behalf of their household members.

Alternatively, you may download a hardcopy application form here. Once completed, please mail the form (and supporting documents, if any) to

P.O. Box 680, Bukit Merah Central Post Office, Singapore 911536.

Your application will be be processed within 15 working days from the date of receipt of the completed application.

If you have not received the outcome after 15 working days, you can visit the CHAS online application and login using your SingPass or call the CHAS hotline at 1800-275-2427 (1800-ASK-CHAS) to check on your application status.

FAQs

More of Chas FAQs can be found here: https://www.chas.sg/faq_list.aspx?id=626

Disclaimer: These are just solely opinions of mine. Taking care of your own health is also part of being financially free. Taking steps/transferring these risks to avoid those hefty medical bills is also part of financial planning. Being prepared for such events whether it happens to you or someone you know is also a harsh reality which we should be prepared for.

If you like what I am sharing or if it resonates with you, do use my referral codes here for other services at https://lifejourney.blog/contact/

The pictures were taken from the website for this article.

Ways to make some money & Reviews

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This is not a click bait. I have always been interested to find out what is there in the market when I see such headlines but eventually it is usually click baits. One of the many ways to make some money online if you have time is actually through doing online surveys. The best part of it is that you can take your own time to do it.

Though you may miss out on some high value surveys but eventually it is suited to your own timing. I will review some of those, past and present and I have personally used them. Only if the time is worth your effort, you can proceed go sign up or use my referral link. It is totally up to every individual as it may not be worth the effort for some. However, if you have some time on hand – The answer is Why Not?

Make Some Money

I will run by the ones that i find the easiest to use and easy to cashout. Most importantly, you should sign up for a PayPal account if you do not have any. It is really easy to sign up, just visit https://www.paypal.com and there is no referral fee for this. Just for easy survey credits

Milieu Survey (Singapore)

Milieu Survey has a Singapore presence. Once you have chalked up enough points, you can either donate them away or Otherwise, you can choose to cash out via PayPal or PayNow. 

$10 can be redeemed with 9500 point and $20 can be redeemed with 18000 point.

Once you complete 7 surveys, both parties get 500 points each.

Key in the referral Code: DbKjxMP 

Google PlayStore – https://goo.gl/eTHTya

Apple Store – https://apple.co/2MmnprL

YouGov SG

YouGov is based in London but they also have a Singapore presence. Surveys doesn’t come as frequent as Milieu but once you accumulated enough. 5000 points redeem a S$25. There are also alternative but to me cash is always King. There are no referral benefits so click the link to sign up.

https://sg.yougov.com/en-sg/account/login/

Google Opinions

This is rather tricky as it is not for Apple/IOS users. Android Users will be able to download and setup their account. Surveys come at random and you can also set a notification. Once you reply, it varies from S$0.10 – s$1.50 or so. You can’t cash out these but you can use these credits to supplement subscriptions or pay for some paid apps that you wish to buy off. It’s just easy to use, answer and keep. Practically no upkeep. There are no referral benefits so click the link to sign up.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.paidtasks&hl=en_SG

Valued Opinions SG

This requires a little more effort but as for the rewards, I personally find it rewarding with Zalora or Cold Storage vouchers (via Edenred voucher redemption). However, with the recent covid – They seem to be less productive or less efficient. Vouchers redemption seems slower and also seem to be out of stock faster. There are no referral benefits so click the link to sign up.

https://www.valuedopinions.sg/

Rakuten Insight

Rakuten re-branded a few times in the past. Their surveys take longer than most but once your accumulate 150 Epoints or more, you can redeem $10 via PayPal. Redemption starts from 75 Epoints for $5.

https://sg.m.aipsurveys.com/

Disclaimer: These are just solely opinions of mine. You should try them out first to review if they are suitable for you. These works for me as I have tried out more than 20 of these during my free time.

If you like what I am sharing or if it resonates with you, do use my referral codes for other services at https://lifejourney.blog/contact/

The pictures were taken from the respective websites for this article.