Downsizing to retire a delusion?

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By: Leong Sze Hian

I refer to the article “Using home to fund retirement is a delusion, says former minister” (BBC, Jul 15).

Relying on homes for a pension in for shock?

It states that “As many as three million people who are planning to rely on their homes for a pension are in for a shock, he said” (the percentage in Singapore may be higher as more than 80 per cent own their homes and more than 80 per cent live in HDB flats).

Expensive public housing?

Our public housing is one of the most expensive public housing in the world – measured by price to income ratio.

Downsizing to retire – the numbers?

“If someone sold a detached house for the average price of £310,000, and traded down to a semi-detached for £197,000, they would have £113,000 with which to buy a pension, he calculated.

That sum would buy an annuity that pays out £5,700 a year, without annual increases for inflation” (the figures in Singapore may be similar).

More to HDB, less to CPF?

A lot of people use a lot of their CPF for housing that may leave them with not very much CPF for retirement.

Will prices be up when you retire?

“experts have warned that house prices are likely to be volatile” (In Singapore, house prices took about 14 years to recover from 1996 to 2010).

HDB Lease Buyback scheme?

So, is the HDB Lease Buyback scheme a possible solution for most retirees, when they need to retire?