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Monday, June 17, 2024


Bumped into an ex-colleague (who is the same age as me) earlier and had an interesting brief catch up chat over coffee.


He and his wife are now divorced. But except that there is nothing wrong with their marriage and they are still living together. The sole purpose of getting the divorce is to be able to buy ANOTHER HDB FLAT (under the singles scheme). So they collectively own two HDB flats as two single individuals.

You see, he was a manager that had recently been displaced by cheaper foreign labour. As all of us know, at our age, there is a real challenge in getting a job that would pay him a decent salary. Yes, there are lots of employers that wants to hire him. He is, afterall, a qualified professional with a wealth of 30 years’ experience behind him. However, these greedy employers are just not willing to pay him his worth and wants to exploit his skills and experience for a mean salary. He refused to prostitute his skills for a low salary. He end up driving a cab that (ironically) pays him more than any of the offers that he had received.

He won’t be getting any of his CPF money next year because he won’t be able to meet his minimum sum. All his past CPF contributions (more than $800K) had already gone into his 5rm HDB flat that they are staying in now.

His wife has some CPF left but she (too) won’t be able to get a single cent out in a few years’ time because she (too) won’t be able to meet the minimum sum as well.


So they planned, got a divorce and bought a second HDB flat just before they could lock away her CPF as the minimum sum in her CPF.

They then moved into the new flat and rented their older flat out legally because he had already and duly met the “Minimum Occupation Period” required for the legal renting out for that flat. And this rental income will serve an additional passive retirement income.

When I asked if he would be flouting any HDB regulations by doing that, he replied,

1) They are legally divorced and they are both legally SINGLE now.

2) He can retain the existing 5rm flat under the singles scheme and his wife is eligible to buy another flat under the singles scheme.


3) There is no law in this land that prohibit two single persons (divorced or not) from living together as a couple regardless if they were previously married or not.

4) At his age, being legally married is just a marital status. It doesn’t stop them living together as man and wife. They both had made their wills.

5) Instead of having the money stuck as a minimum sum in their CPF, they might as well utilise whatever that they can get out of their CPF so as to get an alternative passive income since:-

– – a) they won’t be able to get any of their CPF money anyway

– – b) even when they do get their CPF monthly payouts after the age of 65 yrs old (which is still a long way to go), the amounts will be so miserable that they would hardly be able to do anything decent with it anyway…

– – c) so…. they might as well get a second HDB flat with whatever money that they can siphoned out from their CPF (before the money is being locked away instead under the minimum sum)…. rent it out and (at least), the monthly rental income of $2,500 can help them live a more dignified retirement IMMEDIATELY (right away) rather than waiting till they reach 65 yrs old for that miserable delayed CPF payout that is so insignificant….

Thinking aloud now…. could this be the new norm of retirement in Singapore that Singaporeans will be planning for? Wouldn’t it be so sad that we have to come to this, in order that we can respond to how our hard-earned CPF money is being wilfully and forcefully withheld from us…

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