Can I still withdraw Cash from CPF Ordinary Account when I turn 65?

Some people were of the opinion that when a person reaches 65 years old, his money in his Ordinary Account (OA) will all be transferred to his Retirement Account. From then on, he would not be able to withdraw lump sum cash from the Retirement Account except to receive monthly payouts as stipulated by CPF retirement schemes.

This really puzzled me and I did not hear of this before. So I set about reading information from CPF website. I also posed the query to CPF Customer Contact Centre. Their reply was below:

“You can submit the application form to withdraw your OA anytime (bold and underlined font). If you have previously withdrawn your CPF savings, you can submit a withdrawal application at any time if you have CPF monies that may be withdrawn, and CPF Board will assess the withdrawal application.”

Whether you have reached 55 years old or when you have turned 65 years old, member can apply to withdraw OA money anytime so long as the member has CPF monies that may be withdrawn.

To answer the question at the title to this blog post, the short answer is Yes.

If one has sufficient cash in the Ordinary Account for withdrawal, one needs not withdraw everything from OA on reaching 65 years old. Money in OA continues to earn interest income at the interest rate of at least 2.5% per year. (applicable now)

“An extra 1% interest paid on the first $60,000 of a member”s combined balances (with up to $20,000 from the OA).”

Disclaimer: This is based on my understanding.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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“Sleeping Murder” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is another Miss Marple Mystery published in 1976.

When Gwenda Reed was three years old, she witnessed a man strangling a woman in the hall of a house she lived in briefly. Eighteen years later, she was back to this same house by pure coincidence. Something kept in Gwenda’s subconscious for so long came to the surface as she lived in this house once again with her husband, Giles Reed.

Was there a murder back then? Did her father killed her stepmother, Helen Kennedy and then went mental as a result?

Both Gwenda and Giles decided to get to the bottom of this mystery so as to lay the ghosts of the past to rest. Miss Jane Marple was on hand to lend support to this couple. Initially, Miss Marple suggested that the past be left alone and let sleeping murder rests. The investigation might uncover unpleasant truth about Gwenda’s father.

Going about searching for events and people involved many years back made for a good reading. A good read and Agatha Christie was clever in coming up with the story.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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When your cupboard/wardrobe was packed …

When we found that we had cupboards full of our clothing, what we did six months ago was to impose a moratorium to buying some more clothes. Six months moratorium ended last month (June).

When we used to browse Uniqlo or Muji for bargains in the past, we stopped all that for six months. We would not frequent these shops and ignored sales advertisements in the papers. We made do with what we already had in our cupboards.

Now that the moratorium is over, we did not feel that it was all that bad. The urge to shop is not there anymore. From now on, it would be selective buying on needs basis or when special occasions call for.

We are advocating less wastage. Use what is available and buy only when really necessary. It is eco-friendly and at the same time it saves us money.

Try it and issue a challenge of a moratorium to curb spending.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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“Walking on Sunshine” by Rachel Kelly – A Book Review

One great thing about living within walking distance from the public library is that you can pick up any book you fancy. I read less of self-help or inspirational books in recent times. This book Walking on Sunshine – 52 Small Steps to Happiness by Rachel Kelly caught my attention. It is a handy book with 52 ways to achieve personal happiness as practised by Rachel Kelly. It is structured into 52 weeks of four seasons set in UK.

What made this title appealing to me was that the author went through a period of depression and therefore I was interested in how she copes with her life to achieve happiness for herself. It is intimate and she has the courage to share her journey in this stressful work and family environment we all live in.

The coping strategies are ways I could identify with. Stay grounded in the present and when the going gets tough, do some breathing exercises, meditate or go for a walk in the park or nature reserve, amongst other ways. Get your mind off these stressful situations for a while!

I heard a recent talk and this was what I gather:

Human nature is such that we like to take out a past problem into the Present Table and then look at it, study it and dwell into it constantly. We can get into a loop without knowing how to extract ourselves out of it. We lost the present!

We need coping strategies. We need spouses and close friends to be by our sides to get us out of the bind, someone who understands and be a pillar of support. Rachel Kelly shows us how, when even we are alone, we could do something to stay happy and not get sucked into the past and the future.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Half-year mark report card on equities

How can I describe half-year performance for financial markets? Horrible!

After a promising start in January when the Straits Times Index (STI) reached a high of 3,609.24 points (YTD change of 6.1%), the STI is now below last year’s closing. The STI was 3,268.70 after six months, a decline of 3.9% year-to-date.

China holds the honour (or dishonour) of the worst performing stock market. Its Shanghai Composite Index was down 13.9%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Index was not spared. It too went below last year’s close. (-1.8%)

See table for the other stock markets I am tracking.

Stock Indices 29-Dec-17 30-Jun-18 YTD Change
Shanghai Composite  3,307.17  2,847.42 -13.9%
Kospi (Korea)  2,467.49  2,326.13 -5.7%
Germany DAX  12,917.64  12,306.00 -4.7%
STI (Singapore)  3,402.92  3,268.70 -3.9%
Hang Seng (HK)  29,919.15  28,955.11 -3.2%
Nikkei 225 (Japan)  22,764.94  22,304.51 -2.0%
Dow Jones (USA)  24,719.22  24,271.41 -1.8%
FTSE100 (UK)  7,687.77  7,672.94 -0.2%
CAC 40 (France)  5,312.56  5,323.53 0.2%
S&P 500 (USA)  2,673.61  2,718.37 1.7%
Taiwan Weighted  10,642.86  10,836.91 1.8%
Australia All Ordinaries  6,171.00  6,289.70 1.9%
Mumbai BSESN  34,056.83  35,423.48 4.0%
Nasdaq (USA)  6,903.39  7,510.30 8.8%

With the overhang of a trade war between the United States and China and also with the European Union, investors were naturally nervous. The tightening of credits around the world (especially in the US), lends some impetus for investors to look at their financial exposures in various investment classes. This uncertainty would not be settled anytime soon. This is the new normal compared with 2017 when the financial markets had a good run.

Looks like I am going to wait out again. In the meantime, I am looking at safe (and to some people boring) asset classes. One is the Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB). The latest issue (GX18070N, 2 July) was 2.23 times subscribed. Those who applied $12,500 and below were fully allotted subject to individual allotment limits. (For more details visit SSB website).

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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“A Pocket Full of Rye” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is another Miss Marple Mystery published in 1953.

Remember the nursery rhyme we used to grow up with?

Sing a song of sixpence, a pocketful of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie ….

This is a story of a murder by this nursery rhyme. Rex Fortescue made his fortunes by financial investments. He became seriously ill one morning in his office. Who would want to kill him in this manner and then place rye in his jacket pocket?

Miss Marple came into the picture on her own volition and not by invitation of the police detective in charge of this murder. The story was easy to follow but yet difficult to put a handle on the real murderer. I had speculated and got it wrong. This was Agatha Christie’s forte in storytelling. The truth would only come out at the end. An interesting twist at the end that was unexpected.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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“The Murder at the Vicarage” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is the first Miss Marple Mystery published in 1930. I would recommend reading The Murder at the Vicarage first before the other stories in the Miss Marple series. The characters that were present in the village of St. Mary Mead where Miss Jane Marple lived, carried on in subsequent books.

This first book was 285 pages long and when Colonel Protheroe was murdered in the study of the Vicar’s residence, the whole village was investigated in order to catch the murderer. The investigating authority did not know at this point that Miss Marple had an analytical mind and a reputation of solving murder mysteries. Chief Constable Colonel Melchett together with Detective Slack was in charge of the investigation. They kept hitting roadblocks with statements from various people on what they saw and heard and the investigation evidences.

It was a long story with many characters and I was baffled throughout just like the investigating team. The frustrations showed. It was only at the end when Miss Marple gave an explanation of the likely events that led to the killing of Colonel Protheroe, that I know how it was carried out. It was a meticulously planned murder with a consideration of giving an alibi for the murderer.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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