Monday, October 26, 2009

Reality Check - What have I done so far on my personal financial plan?

Recently, there is a lot "talks" on retirement, especially on CPF LIFE, CPF Lifelong Income For Elderly. Briefly, CPF LIFE will provide their members who are Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents an income for life. It is an improvement over the current Minimum Sum Scheme (MSS) where payouts only last about 20 years. Through this new scheme, members will receive a monthly income for as long as they live, the amount depending on the cash savings they have in their Retirement Account (RA). I welcome this initialization and getting Singaporean to enjoy their retirement future is challenging.

Unlike in the past, not too long ago, when I read magazines and come across prospects who think they are going to retire in 15 or 20 years with $250,00 or less in savings. Some even feel that it's not important at all. Wait and see is the most common norm. Whoa! These are something alarming and has to address these issues with immediate action and "care".

To keep things simple, the following questions might be a good pointers on how well you have been working on your personal financial plan.

[1] Can I retire comfortably at age XX?
[2] Will I have sufficient income when I retire?
[3] Will I have to alter my lifestyle when I retire?
[4] Will I have enough income to pay my medical expenses?
[5] Will my death or the death of my spouse affect our income?
[6] Will I be able to financially assist my parents/family members?
[7] Will I be able to help with the education for my children/grandchildren?

These seven questions are important questions that require your thoughtful answers and actions. Too often, as mentioned a numerous times, people brush them aside, thinking it will all work out fine. Putting things in perspective, these important inputs are critical elements to achieved your desired output, i.e. retirement funds that required a black box to process. One function of your black box would be your certified financial planner to ensure money is there when you've arrived.

Isn't it true that the only person who can take care of the older person we will be someday is the younger person we are today? And, whether we get to enjoy in our retirement, or we could retired from our enjoyment... it's a matter of choice.