Thursday, 28 February 2019

Leaving HDB flat to your children - awkward pause...

Whenever we hear people say they are leaving their HDB flats to their children, what's our initial reaction?

Awkward pause right?

I mean its totally different if its private properties as in landed (good, better, best!) or condos (no fish prawns also can)...

But HDB flats?

There are several scenarios we feel uncomfortable digging deeper. People sad case already you still want to twist the bayonet?

1.   We know new BTO HDB flats are affordable to 2 young couples who have worked for 5 years. Provided they not choosy or want something they can't afford.

And these young couples don't even have to be graduates. That's how affordable our BTO HDB flats are!

Not many cities in the world can do that. Its something we should not take for granted. 

2.  No. Your children won't want your HDB flat; they prefer to have one of their own. 

You can give yours to them, but in accordance to HDB rules where you can't own 2 HDB flats at the same time, your flat will be sold off in no time!

In case you didn't get the memo, HDB flats will be taken back by big daddy once the 99 year lease is up.

So I don't think they will sell their newer BTO flat to move into yours with less than 50 years lease remaining...

3.  That means you are aware your children have "special needs"; suffer from personal demons like gambling, drug taking; or have financial issues like business failure and/or the inability to hold down a job for more than 3 months...

4.  Are you eyeing your parent's HDB flat right now? 

If yes, life has not gone in accordance to your goals and plans, has it?

P.S.    What is life without some exceptions? 

If you lucky to own those Tiong Bahru walkup apartments or Queenstown landed terrace flats built by SIT (predecessor of HDB), you have struck gold!

Your children would be happy to get your hand-me-down!

These "3 room HDB flats" got money also may not get... Supply so limited and demand very strong amongst the well heeled.

And yes, these buyers don't mind the leases are below 50 years.  Or the fact their properties will expire worthless in several decades later...

Not when you are not pursuing financial freedom. (That means you got it already)

When people are financially secure, a lease is just another word for rent.


  1. hmm? Maybe I am dense, not really getting the point (or the joke)
    So its possible kids will sell it off quick, but that's quite a big of money no?

    1. Goh,

      Well, if I had children, I would have wished they HAVE TO sell it off ASAP ;)

      I mean if children staying in private properties, cannot own HDB flat same time got private right?

      And if they staying in their own HDB flats, you can't own 2 HDB flats at the same time too!

      But if children adult (and married) still staying with you in your current HDB flat, its OK...

      Come, come. I give hug. I mean they are still your children right?

  2. leaving financial prudency is more valuable. depreciating "assets" not so...

    1. .,

      Welcome to this irreverant watering hole!

      First time I got a . here. Talk about minimalistic nick!

      Well, at least I got one person who got the poke ;)

      Thank you!

  3. By default, I am leaving my 4 rm hdb flat.

    Not sure about the awkward pause?

    Hmm.. Any idea how it can happen?

  4. 40-60 yr old HDB flats still got money mah ... anyway these days many families only 1 or 2 kids, so still a good "bonus" kekeke!!! My younger neighbours around me all having only single child.

    Last time can do "fake divorce" and own 2 HDBs. :)

    Having more flats is a good income source.

    During the 2000s, a few of my elderly neighbours moved into their children's new flats & rented out theirs. For those older HDB in central estates, rental yield can be 20%-30% yield-on-cost.

    But when grandkids came along, I've been seing more of the oldies coming back to their old flats --- too crowded in their children's place! They sheepishly tell me they find 6 or 7 (including maid) in a 5-rm HDB flat too much now --- don't ask them how they survived in the 1940s or 50s when 10 people cramped into a 1 or 2-room sized flat!

    1. Spur,

      But we can't, at least legally ;)

      Never underestimate the creativity of ordinary Singaporeans who try to squeese blood from our HDB stone!

      There are definitely more ways than to just rent out our HDB flats to rent in JB with money left over ;)

      If its private properties we leaving behind, our children would definitely much prefer it!

      A lot more options! Can stay in HDB rent out private; or move to private and rent out HDB. Or sell either one.

      But if we leave our HDB flats behind, single child much easier. But more than 1 child...

      Especially if one child life has not treated kindly, and would like to move there to stay rent free... But other children may not agree as one day the lease will expire worthless and they will get nothing...

      Now that's the test of sibling love!

    2. Heheh, fake divorce to own 2 HDBs still legal ... unethical but legal. Although HDB now scrutinise closer ... one party taking ownership of inherited HDB too obvious liao! Kekeke!!

      Ya man, inheritance of 1 property among >1 children can be headache, irrespective that property is freehold landed or HDB...

      Sometimes parents need to understand the psychology makeup of their kids --- may need to put specific instructions in Will e.g. to sell the property & split the proceeds equally.

      Of course if 1 of the kid has access to parliament, then headache may still persist! LOL!!

    3. Spur,

      No, its NOT legal - its conspiracy to defraud.

      Its a criminal offence.

      Better be crystal wait some dumb ass want to monkey see; monkey do!

  5. Hmm...

    Sold and its a lot of money...

    99 years....

    I am sure many still have lease of 50 left and is still worth a bit.

    Why not?

    Dun throw shoes. I say how I think.

    Maybe each sibling getting 30 to 50 k is a joke to u, but its still a lot of money in my opinon.

    Aiya, why u throw at tge face

    1. Sillyinvestor,


      You were so close... But no cigars!

      The poke was about leaving the actual "HDB flat" to our children.

      As you have correctly pointed out, children only see the monetary value... Ouch!

      So "lay cheh"! Must sell first then can access the money!!!

      During property boom never mind. What if its during a property bear market, how?

      And this is only HDB flat.

      Now try leaving behind stocks and bonds!?

      What do the children do with them if they not financially savvy?

      See lah! Kick the can down the road to your children some more!

  6. I think parents need to think twice about children 不劳而获。They won't appreciate. If i have children, they shld only get insurance money if they are still dependent on me.

    1. pf,

      I can bet you didn't depend on your parents as your monetary base for financial freedom ;)

      We just need to look at ourselves.

      Are we here because we can fish for ourselves?

      Or someone gave us fish ;)

      Why deprive that sense of accomplishment from your children?

      Some idiot parents even go to the extent of always reminding their children that if without them as parents, the children would be nothing!

    2. Haha... U r right. My parents helped me by not providing too much. But seriously, parents should bring up children in a manner that they can survive when the parents are not around anymore.

      We just take care of ourselves so that we are not burden to children 就好。

    3. pf,

      Values and life skills ;)

      Reminds me of a conversation Buddha had with one of his fan boys that asked for Buddha's help.

      "Your own karma; your own cultivation. Don't look at me!"

      OK, that's not literally how it went, but the gist is correct.


  7. I will comment from the perspective of a child, not parent. I believe many children will find it somewhat insulting when parents harp on leaving their property wealth to the children.

    The wealth is yours to enjoy. When most of the wealth is trapped in property, please convert those bricks to cash to enjoy your old age. If you have enough cash to spare for the children after you leave this world, thank you very much. If not, it is ok since the money is not mine to begin with.

    When children are defenseless kids, they need parents' financial support to help build up their human capital. However, as adults, further monetary help is insulting, particularly when the parents have already done their duty in raising the children.

    Inherited money is definitely enviable but many find it not respectable. Children don't need your money because they can earn their own as adults.

    1. hyom,

      Now it gets interesting!

      What do parents do when they prefer to focus on pursuing money, aka financial freedom, rather than spending more time with children?

      Compensate with toys and holidays abroad right?

      I guess saying we will bequest it all to our children is a great cover, when we are hoarding wealth until our deathbeds...

      Its like the reverse of children never spend much time with aged parent; parent dies have a super duper grand funeral for all to envy...

      Anything money can buy!

    2. Bequesting wealth to children is something that is expected when the time comes and need not be said at all. There is no need for a parent to say it out loud. Some sensitive children may feel hurt "Do you think I'm a loser who needs your money to get by? Enjoy your own money. I can take care of myself."

      I don't see a need for a parent to even mention this kind of topic to outsiders. Suppose the child happens to be down and out at the moment. The child may feel humiliated if he comes to know that his parent told outsiders he is leaving HDB to him. Parent is also slapping his own face because he is implying to outsiders the child is a loser. Maybe parent is using this reason as cover not to sell his own property but have the good sense not to use it when it leads to ownself-slap-ownself.

      If my children suffer bad luck and cannot do well when they grow up as adults, I will make private arrangements to take care of them, hopefully within my ability. No need to say it out loud. I pray when Chinese New Year comes, relatives don't ask awkward poking questions that will make the children feel bad.

    3. hyom,


      1. Even if we never leave behind a will, big daddy's intestate law will take over. Why the need to mention we are leaving our HDB flat behind to our children???

      Of course we know why ;)

      Its the hole-in-the-heart thing again...

      2. And if we worry our children cannot take care of themselves AFTER we die, then we should make preparations NOW, not when we finally go...

      Our HDB flat merely provides a roof over the head. It can't replace genuine concern and love from a guardian.

      But where to find this guardian?

      Too difficult. Let's kick the can down the road...

  8. what nonsense is this! if our children didn't get what we left behind, someone else will have it!

    1. my dad left us with under $2,000 each and i'm greatful to him.

    2. if i remember correctly, muy mom left us more than my dad haha...

    3. one of the most value lesson i learn from my parent is this, when i give allowances to them, they will always reply in the same manner, "i got enough already, leave it to your children", i will never forget it.

    4. coconut,


      OK, I'll squat down ;)

      The poke is not about leaving an inheritance...

      The poke is when people SAY they will leave their HDB flats to their children.

      Oh! Your dad must be popular with his kakis! He's a spender.

      He's not a miser or money hoarder ;)

      Earn and spend; first class friend and customer!

      I am guessing your mom is likely to be housewife.

      When you can't earn, you save ;)

    5. you are righton on both.

      my dad very generious, "love people, not money" he always tell us! well in his latest years he is helping others from our pocket! most of us are quite pissed actually haha...

    6. coconut,


      Your dad's money is his money; he can spend however he likes.

      Just as long he got give your mom the monthly household allowance without fail ;)

      Something has gone terribly wrong in our lives if we start to include mom and dad's money as part of our networth...

    7. If we see the property as a house, there's when we get all the smirks.

      Would you say the same if what left behind is a home?

      My mum already told us that she's leaving behind her HDB for my sis so she can continue to live in our home.

      It's same same yet different.

      Knowing my sis is going to get the HDB flat some years ago, I got her to transfer her OA to SA so next time she'll be able to opt for putting aside the enhanced retirement sum for CPF Life and still have surplus in her OA and SA to draw interest on. Retirement secured! If need more money, she can rent out 2 bedrooms for additional income. Bishan can get good rental rates, some more free of cost!

      Good deal, best deal! A home and a passive income instrument.

    8. Endrene,

      I see the love between a parent and child.

      The love between sisters :)

      During the switch over to digital TV, big daddy would give letters to selected households to get the new digital setup box for free. No need to pay the $100 retail price ;)

      Some customers see other customers no need to pay ask how come they didn't get the letter?

      I replied its a blessing if we didn't get the letter.

      Some ponder for a while and then laughed! (Got brains)

      Some are a little dense so I had to explain the letters were for low income households. Then the sheepish "orh I see" starts...

      Some stay in landed and condo not happy. Before they try to whine this is "unfair"... I already ever so casually walked away...

      I don't serve asses.

    9. That's socialism playing out in my family! :D

      My bro gives my mum the most allowance because he earns the most. I give her a decent allowance and swing by to have breakfast with her on most weekdays and visit on Sunday. She definitely prefers me giving her my time than more money.

      For those folks you talked about, they have a communist mindset when it comes to getting handouts and yet hail capitalism when they are paid wages, expecting a premium for their labour or worse, exploiting the labour of others if they are landowners!

      These are the people whose children fight in court for a 'fair' share of inheritance. Great parenting, I would say.

      We reap what we sow.

  9. Hi all,

    My take is that every one shapes his/her own destiny. It will be better to let the children handle their matter without interference. This will lead to more independance as per my perspective.



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