The 5 Things Every Singaporean Should Have By 35

Before you’re 35, most of your life changing decisions are still being made. With your assets still accumulating, any financial evaluation is as imaginary as Donald Trump’s leadership. But there’s no harm in setting goals to shoot for eh? Here’s a speculative list, based on a typically Singaporean way of life. It’s not hard and fast, but keep it in mind:

 

35 years birthday cake

The SCDF complaining about the number of lit candles had NOTHING to do with your age. At all.

 

1. A Time Deposit Close to Maturing

Maybe it’s a fixed deposit, a structured deposit, or just plain old insurance. Whatever the case, you want to receive a nice big pay-out at around 35. Why?

30 – 35 is the age when most people buy their first property. That means at some point, you’ll be faced with the initial 20% down payment on your property. That’s a huge payout, which leaves you vulnerable. Even if you use your CPF to cover it, you’ll be exposed to dangers like sudden medical costs.

 

Fierce looking boss man

Yes, I see what you meant about your money maker. Now stop shaking it and put on some pants.

 

A maturing deposit might not make up for the whole down payment, but it will provide a safety measure. Also, knowing you have a maturing deposit is a big help when property hunting; you can act with greater confidence when choosing a home loan.

You should start by finding a reliable investment scheme in your 20′s. (Read: Not the pyramid scheme that Amway guy showed you at that creepy sales meet). Due to extensive regulation by MAS, fixed deposits are a good place to look.

 

2. A Relevant Degree

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: You’ve already been working for so long, what’s the point of getting a degree now?

Well you’re absolutely right. You’ve been working that job for so long they’d never fire you. And today’s companies make it a norm to keep people on for 20 or 30 years. Also, they’re happy to keep you till retirement age without reducing your pay, or….Gah, my hand! It’s red and itchy because I’m allergic to lies.

 

Graduates

'Grats on your finance degree. Now, about the 19 years you've been working in this bank without one…

 

Look, at 35, it’s possible you’ll be looking for a job at least one more time. Even if that doesn’t happen, aren’t you interested in a senior management position? You probably won’t get there on your O-Levels.

Keep in mind that a degree has become the norm. Back in the 80′s, a degree was like a doctorate; nice, but hardly expected. Then in the 90′s, education became much more accessible. Now we even have a taxi driver with a Phd. In about 10 years, if you don’t have a degree, you’re going to be more outclassed than Ris Low at a Buckingham Palace Gala.

And you could start taking night classes at 35, but I’ll bet it’s easier at 25. So consider starting early.

 

3. A Job With a Health Plan

When you’re young, and you’re running to join revolutionary start-ups or SMEs, a health plan isn’t that big a deal. It’s when you hit 30 that you need to start worrying about one.

Once you reach 30, your body’s organs start to decline (wow, even my third rate body outlasts our MRT). By the time you’re 40, you’ll start needing regular health screenings. Unless your first million is already in the bank, the coming medical costs should probably concern you.

 

Guy running with water tank

At MoneySmart, our health plan involves keeping you so fit you won't need one.

 

Remember: You might be unable to make insurance claims if you’re not hospitalized (ask your insurer). So if you need to see a doctor for tests, you’ll need cash or credit. Oh, and how much can those tests cost? About 783 freaking dollars the last time I saw a cardiologist. (Maybe that’s why I need a cardiologist).

Anyway, at 35, your job should involve more than “X dollars a month”. You want something that covers health and dental screenings. Because pretty soon, everything involving those is going to cost more.

 

4. All Rollover Debts Resolved

Rollover debt is unpaid credit card debt. It’s like snot from a bad flu; it builds up until you choke, and occasionally picking at it won’t help. You need to clear it all out at once.

Now I’m not recommending bankruptcy, but I will say this: You can afford to go bankrupt from credit card debt at 25 or 30, and still recover. At that age, you probably don’t have a family to look after. You have plenty of good years left in you, and you might not have a car or home loans.

 

Cut up credit card

Uh, I cut it up to stop myself wasting money. Here's $50 for a replacement.

 

Going bankrupt at 35+ is another matter. Assuming you take five to 10 years to clear your bankruptcy (an average figure), it means you’re discharged at 40 -45 years of age. From that point, you need to wait another five years before you can get credit again.

Do you know what it’s like trying to get a bank loan at that age? If I had to pick an equivalent activity, it’d be something like eating live porcupine, or hammering nails with your forehead. So even if it means living off rice and bean  curd for a while, do yourself a favour and kill your debt before 35.

 

5. At Least One Form of Side Income

I don’t care if it’s Forex trading, franchise ownership, or just a money making hobby. You need at least one alternative income source, in order to:

  • Provide for retirement
  • Overcome pay cuts or lack of increment

At 35, you’re understandably hesitant to walk off and find a better job. It’s not impossible of course; it’s just a lot easier to rip your pants off and butt-mambo on the boss’s desk (i.e. quit) when you’re younger. By 35 you probably have dependents, so telling your boss to walk off a pier is a lot harder.

 

Street busker

Sure it's viable but…maybe you need ONE more song besides Pumped Up Kicks?

 

Then there’s the issue of retirement, which you should start planning for. CPF provides for necessities, but it won’t maintain your current standard of living. If you want to buy that plasma TV or condo in your golden years, don’t count on CPF handouts.

So look around, experiment, and upgrade yourself. Find that “one extra thing” you can do to boost your income, and be an expert at it by 35.

Image Credits:
Chris Radcliff, Dominic Soon, chelmsfordblue, LachyLeung, 1967bAIM Neutron

Got everything you need already? Or working on it? Comment and let us know!

Get more Personal Finance tips and tricks on www.MoneySmart.sg

Click to Compare Singapore Home Loans, Car Insurance and Credit Cards on our other sites.



More From MoneySmart
Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options