Thursday, 9 July 2020

Others Can; We Can't - Not So Bad After All!

I was fooling around as usual at CW's blog, then something interesting popped-out from the bantering...

What if there's a "lobang" that others can access, but we can't?

You'll be upset right?

So unfair!

It was about this voluntary cash refunds for CPF savings used for property purchases. 

There's some still grey areas that I'm not crystal - and I thought my england quite powderful!

Anyways, I won't talk too much about it.

I'm not a fan of voluntarily shoving money back into CPF; but tell me how we can get money out from CPF I'll be all ears!


Yup, I don't feel like giving you ideas for something that I wouldn't do myself.

What I can do is share something similar. 

With interest rates probably going down again, I believe property owners with outstanding housing loans are very much looking into refinancing their loans once again? 

1/2 percent saved here, 1 percent saved there. 

Can save a few thousands every year!

I can't join in the fun.


From the very day I bought my HDB 3 room resale flat, my outstanding housing loan was below $100K.

Banks not interested to do refinancing if the outstanding loan is below $100K.... No meat.

Should you be upset if you were in my shoes?

For those who don't get it, I shall be a bit clearer.

You mean those who got a $300K outstanding housing loan after buying a HDB 3 room resale flat be happier?


Yes, I do "lose out" by not being eligible to save on the small interest rate differentials through refinancing...

But the thought of "saving" $200K is perhaps compensation enough?

How's that for not sweating the small stuffs?

Like paying for life and medical insurance policies, we win when we lose; and we lose when we win?

Moral of story?

Don't get too upset when others can; we can't!


  1. Read? How 10D9N In Taiwan Unexpectedly Became 10D9N + 1N Free Stay At 5 Stars Hotel With 2 Free Meals (2)

    Like claiming travel insurance due to flight delay; it greatly depended on which way we are travelling. Going there or coming home? Need to extend annual leave or plenty of free time to spare.

    Others unhappy. We happy or can turn to be Others happy. We sad!

    In life, cannot be everyone is same and having equal treatment or outcome. Never!

    1. CW,

      Yes, when going to important business meeting, flight delays upset like woman scorned... (That's why I always travel 1 day ahead and don't play the just-in-time game).

      But coming back home from successful business meeting I good mood and super easy.

      Delays? No problem. Just call office that I can only come to office the day after ;)

      What? Me upset with more bonus time off from office? Never!


  2. Ahh yes! A month or two ago, my wife was having flu-like symptoms and I accompanied her to the GP only to realize that all expenses were reimbursed and we didn't have to pay for a single cent for consultation or medication.

    Pretty sure it didn't cross my mind that it was such a good deal. No lamenting the fact that I couldn't take advantage of this opportunity LOL :D


    1. Kevin,

      Really? I didn't know that.

      Makes sense.

      Big daddy encouraging all those got flu-like symptoms to come forward to be tested.

      Yup, even if its "free", who wants to get sick to enjoy this "privilege" in the first place?

      But then, if we look around, there will be those chronic whiners who not happy others got, they don't have!

      Life can't be fun if we always see things as glass half-empty...

  3. Just cast our votes and came home to have a lazy late breakfast and of course to enjoy reading blogs :-)

    SMOL, you asked how does one get money out from CPF. Well, the one way I am familiar with is to buy property with your CPF money and rent it out. The rental income comes to you in cash!

    When we were "climbing up the mountain" (unabashedly borrowing the phrase you and CW used), we were thinking of ways to use our CPF money and property investment was one way we could think of where the rental income came to us in cash rather go back into our CPF. Here is our "accidental" property investment journey.

    We forfeited our chance of a bite of the HDB cherry. When we got engaged, we registered for an HDB exec flat and was put on a 2 year queue. After 2 unsuccessful balloting, we decided to look for a resale exec flat but instead fell in love with a FH 2 bedroom apartment. The price of that FH apartment was the same as a resale exec flat then. Then when the children came along, it was clear we needed a bigger place. We next bought an HUDC flat (~1,800sqft), intending to off load the FH apartment to help pay for this HUDC, only to have the AFC struck. We didnt want to offload at a loss so we held on to both, and in the process became an unintended landlord. At that time, my CPF OA was all of $7,000. My wife has slightly more. It was stressful times.

    Things got better over time, (with MRT stations announced in the vicinity) and in early 2008, we managed to sell off both at reasonable prices and with the sales proceeds bought our current home, a 4 bedroom condo with full facilities, and paid off in full with cash and CPF money. Then in 2010, with insanely low home loan rates (like 1.03% pa) and with itchy hands, we committed to buy our 4th property a few feet away from an MRT station. This one TOP-ed in 2014 and generating rental income since then.

    Now that we are "going down the mountain", we had returned all the money we took out from the CPF for the property purchases back to our CPF OA.

    It has been quite a ride.

    1. mysecretinvestment,

      Thanks for sharing your journey!

      Yes, a rental property is one excellent way to get our CPF money out :)

      I see you didn't voluntarily shove money into CPF when you were going up the mountain ;)

      It was all OUTFLOWS to the extent of reducing CPF OA to $7K??? You very the "garang"!

      CPF pauper; cash and asset rich outside.

      Yup, now it makes sense to put money back into CPF when you are strolling down the mountain :)

      In short, your journey is one of EARN MORE, then SAVE MORE.

      we have another "Tarzan" at this watering hole!


  4. Hi SMOl

    Remind me of 施比受有福。

    Sigh... I do hear of laments of whey they miss the various Covid support scheme.

    Isn't that a good thing?

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      Happiness is a decision, isn't it?

      I choose happiness :)

      Imagine not happy that HDB 2-3 roomers got more in terms of utilities save from big daddy? "Buay song" HDB 5 room so little...

      All things being equal, at age 35, I would have been thrilled if big daddy says I don't qualify for public housing; and I can kiss the 2 bites of the cherry fantasy goodbye!

      What to do?

      1st, cannot study.

      2nd, spent more than a decade in the corporate "wilderness" before blur, blur, lucky, lucky found an employer that allowed me to "fly" under water :)

      Career started late. Investing/trading also started late.

      But hey! Better late than never!!!


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