Friday, 15 October 2021

Die lah! Your family of 4 don't earn $6500 per month...

Family of four needs $6,426 a month for basic standard of living in S'pore.

Let's round it up to $6,500 per month since I hate "precision" when its not needed.

Which means we can assume the man is making $3,500 and the wife makes $3,000?

(OK, OK. For feminists, we can easily say husband makes $3,000, while wife makes $3,500. There. Happy?)

If husband makes $6,500 per month, to have a better standard of living, the problem is easily "solved" by having wife go back to work. 

I mean their children are not babies right?

My time before maids were popular, when both parents work and children were left at home on their own, they were known at latchkey kids.

Now what happens if a family of 4 only earns $5,500 per month. And both husband and wife works. Die! Below basic standard of living!!!

How to overcome the shortfall of $1,000 per month?

What if I come "selling" the benefits of a dividend portfolio? 

I mean all this couple need is "just" have a $250,000 portfolio of dividend stocks that yield 5% per year. 

Problem solved!

Gee. Thanks!


How do this couple amass the $250,000 capital in the first place?

I mean first they have to increase their income to $6,500 per month, no? 

Unless you tell me the researchers got it "wrong"? $6,500 is not the basic standard of living? Its much lower?

To start saving, its only when their household income is above $6,500 per month before they can afford to save any surplus... Can we agree on this?

To save $1,000 per month, the couple have to increase their household income from $5,500 to $7,500 per month!?

And they would still need 20 years before they can have their hands on that "fabled" $250,000 capital to play the dividend income game!!!

Has anyone spotted the Elephant in the room?

If this couple can increase their earned income by $2,000 per month, is there still the need to wait 20 years for that dividend income!!!???


What if the same couple meet the 1M65 people?

Would the 1M65 people awkwardly shy away from any families that make $6,500 and below per month?

Or would the 1M65 people still encourage voluntary contributions to CPF? 

I mean, man up! 

A little bit of austerity never killed anyone. 

Just take $1,000 from their current $5,500 per month and voluntarily contribute to CPF. The interests will compound and compound until...

Look! You both are already making so little mandatory contributions to CPF due to your low salaries... 


Like that how to survive when you both retire???

No, don't live for today, we must live in the future! 

If we fail to plan, we plan to fail...

"Chotto matte"...

Pray tell how should this family of 4 survive on $4,500 per month again?

Giving advice is easy when the pin don't prick your own skin...

There's another "easy" solution.

Report on minimum income standards not an accurate reflection of basic needs

Well, that was quick!

What if the basic standard level of living income, for a family of 4, according to big daddy's calculation is $4,500 per month?

(Big daddy gives a knowing nod and wink to the 1M65 people. Don't worry. I got your backs)

Problem solved!!!

Invite the researchers for "coffee" for stirring shit?

What do I think?

Well, I know my own feet, I don't need others to tell me what basic standard of living shoes I should wear. 

Who wants "basic" shoes anyway?

I want comfortable shoes. Wink.

There are some ang-moh bloggers who can retire to Phuket or Chiang Mai on $1,500 passive income per month. Tell the whole world they have achieved FIRE before age 35...

Then there are non-HDB heartlanders in our community who would treat any retirement incomes below $10,000 per month as "hardship"...

Its like asking others how much you need to retire?

Now that's a dumb question!

Earn More; Save More.

Do both!

But focus on Earn More if you need to prioritise.

Don't believe?

Show me countries, companies, families, or individuals that achieved prosperity through austerity?


  1. Smol,

    I would say both man & woman earn $3,250 each ... gender equality is the in-thing!

    "Show me any countries, companies, families, individuals that achieved prosperity through austerity?"


    In both absolute & percentage terms, the dollar amount per capita spent by S'pore govt is among the lowest for developed countries.

    Lawry Wong himself said today that S'pore govt "very lean". Nevermind just his 1 salary can buy 4 US Presidents lol!

    1. Spur,

      Don't you turn politically correct or communist on me...

      But I must say youths of today are more "enlightened".

      I see more young men willing to be stay-at-home dads to support their wives' careers.

      And that's good! Why should it always has to be women that have to "sacrifice" their careers for the family?

      Women have career aspirations too!

      I see you enjoy sarcasm and parody too ;)

      Big daddy has cracked open the piggybank to protect jobs during this Wuhan virus times...

      I'm "safe". I reaching old fogey class.

      But if I were a teenager today or young twenty something, I'll watch big daddy like a hawk!

      If all they do is take money out from the piggybank that our founding fathers built, and never top it back up...

      Well, youths better be worried when they reach age 65!!!

      We Oliver Twist citizens have a choice:

      1) Grow our economy and GDP - GST and tax rates no need to increase; tax coffers in dollars will increase nonetheless ;)

      2) GDP "hentak kaki" or go south - so must increasse GST and tax rates; how else to top up the piggybank for the generation that comes after?


  2. By now; thanks to COVID-19 Crash got Sound; many households should know what are their basic living household expenses. No need for academic study or research to find out! Create new temporary jobs called Household survey Ambassadors and send to the ground. LOL!

    1. CW,

      You are right!

      And by not travelling overseas for 2 years, those who formally always complain money not enough maybe pleasantly surprised with their little "cash hoard".

      They can either treat the extra cash as emergency fund for a rainy day, or can't wait to blow it all away in their next holiday abroad!

      Those who lost their jobs or small businesses during this Wuhan virus period will also better appreciate the difference between liquidity and net worth/assets...

  3. Snake oil is fast to propose dividend income portfolio to close income gaps. You must by hook or by crook find your money to invest no matter how tight your family budget is. You must also be patience too. You will one day close any income gap! Don't worry!

    1. CW,

      Why don't they leave people riding the ComfortDelgro busses alone?

      I mean if want to sell passive or dividend income, why don't they target those accredited investors low in testosterone but flushed with cash?

      I would think a family of 4 living below the basic standard of living would need insurance more.

      No, not to profit from misfortune, but if one or both parents gone, the surviving family members can still function.

      Term insurance comes to mind. If still cannot afford, go for dirt cheap accident insurance.

      No need those "good to have" riders like Critical Illnesses or hospital plans.

      And stay away from Wholelife, Endowment, and Invest-linked policies!!!

      First thing first.

      But who am I kidding?

      Term and accident policies pay peanuts...

    2. I like to find prospect that is lazy with loads of cash.

      But it's not easy and doesn't work this way. Hehe

    3. Small Time Investor,

      Of course.

      Lazy accredited investors would go to private bankers with chiffons, tight skirts, and heels. Duh!

      Although I once spotted 2 young insurance ladies coming out from AIA Alexandra dressing exactly like KTV hostesses!?


      The reality its easier to find "bei kambings" riding the ComfortDelgro busses. Sigh.

      Individually, krills are tiny and small. But as a group, they are enough to feed Blue Whales - the biggest mammals on Earth!

      You former insider. You know.

    4. Got eye feast, we just enjoy Hahaha. If eyes contacted, just give a small nod for appreciation acknowledge

    5. Small Time Investor,

      Hey, we got to use every edge we got ;)

      I myself flirt shamelessly with jie-jie customers.

  4. Why wait 20 years to play the fabled 250k capital dividend game.
    haf 20-30k just start playing and accumulate over the years.

    without the dividend income helping to contribute to the overall income and increasing the savings, how to build the warchest faster. and increase morale.

    more taps, warchest fill up faster. only earned income tap, warchest fill slower. if warchest nvr fill up, yur basic standard of living quite atas liao :X

    1. Rokawa,

      Welcome to this watering hole!

      As this is your virgin comment, I'll give chance.

      For some context, in case you did not read "My Story"...

      I left school at 16, started with $500 per month, and took sabbatical from full time work at 44.

      I speak from personal experience.

      1. Why is multiple sources of income better? I mean if day job pays $4K per month, and you have 5 extra sources of income that bring in an additional $800 per month...

      Wouldn't a 25% raise in promotional pay at the day job be better off?

      Can taking on all these side gigs impact our performance in our day job negatively?

      And if its really about hating our day jobs, would it not be "easier" to change careers than to use "FIRE to escape" as cover?

      2. It seems you're an acolyte of dividend income ;)

      Let's ignore that it may take the couple 2 years of scrimping $1,000 per month to raise the initial seed capital of $20-30K.

      Using an initial capital of $30,000, what "realistic" dividend yield would you recommend to this couple to seek?

      And how many years can we shave off from the 20 years based on your recommended dividend yield?

      (Its a gentle way to ask have you done the math?)

      3. Hope I've not frighten you off. Don't worry. We don't take ourselves too seriously here.

      I'm merely talking "male-chicken".

      We all having fun only!

  5. Hi SMOL,

    I didn't read the whole article. But when I see the headline, I am thinking that it is good that our leaders see as a guideline how much it is to lead a "decent" life for a family of 4.

    I have no doubts u can make do with lesser. Sure enough, I soon hear someone else disputing the figures. The funny thing is, those disputing the figures likely earn 3 to 4 times that amount alone.


    We need to shoulder more self-respinsibility, and the higher up, please just ensure a just and fair society.

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      There's always this thug of war between left wing social justice warriors with NO SKIN in the game, and hard-nose capitalists who believed if one is poor, it's their own fault!

      Both I avoid.

      Socialists only have that one Robinhood playbook - rob the rich; give to poor.

      That's until they ran out of other people's money...

      Capitalists who believed they are rich because they studied and worked hard, of course see the poor as lazy, irresponsible souls.

      You better don't be Protestant least they hammer down the Protestant work ethics on you!

      I like Tharman. Too bad he not interested in becoming PM...

      His trampoline analogy is brilliant!

      We help those who want to help themselves.

      Safety nets can backfire when those who fell in them start treating safety nets as hammocks.

      Look! I've achieved LEAN FIRE! The state takes care of me forever and ever πŸ€—

  6. Hi SMOL,

    U avoid both, I believe in both. I think we are not much a difference beyond the debate.

    The trampoline is the justice I am talking about, not safety net. Of course, encourage people to jump on the trampoline, put road signs to tell people there is a trampoline. Lead people there.

    There is never 1 factor that determines success or failure, both capitalism or social justice play a part. Without the big words, u can have the same good or bad teacher, but in a class of 40, everyone gets different results.

    Hell of course the teacher matters, u can like at his track records, his best records the odds of turnarounds, etc. From the teacher perspective, the pupil profile, his support level, all these also come into play.

    We get terribly wrong only when we think it's just that teacher or just that pupil.

    But if we have to do 2 decimal place accuracy or delusion, the pupil matters more than the teacher.

  7. Sillyinvestor,

    You say one hor!

    That's refreshing coming from a teacher. Wink.

    You know my stance. If a person is a glass bead (nature), no matter how we polish (nurture), there's no way it can outshine a polished diamond.

    Sure, a polished glass bead will outsparkle an unpolished diamond though.

    Be careful. If you stop thinking in binary terms, you'll become in touch with your feminine side too.

    Welcome to grey!

  8. Hahah.
    Smol. Dun twist my word. I already say we need both, just that the student matter more.

    A diamond, buried under earth will never see it's true value.

    Btw. Nothing wrong about nature.

    Aseop story about turtle wins the race, I always laugh when it says the morale of the story is slow and steady wins the race.

    It should be complacency kills a race.

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      Lol! Even children story we start to Trust but Verify ;)

      Yup. You have cut through the smoke and mirrors - it's complacency πŸ‘Œ


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