Compared to our parents, we are a generation of spenders. Our parents’ generation began building their retirement nest egg within the first year of marriage by investing in a house.  Only one third of young Singaporeans surveyed by EnjoyCompare.com plan to buy a house. As for the savings of the 20 to 35 year olds surveyed, 25 percent have saved less than $6000 while 36 percent have no savings.

50 percent of Singaporeans reported that they were not prepared to retire comfortably although they were more focused on long-term financial planning than the global average in HSBC’s The Future of Retirement Report.

Small steps taken at different life stages can ensure you have a large nest egg like your parents.

Money Checklist In your 20s

It is easy to feel as if you are not keeping up while the media profiles 13-year-olds with large diversified investment portfolios. If you are reading this article, then you are in the investment planning stage or beyond – congratulations, buy yourself a new financial planning app as a reward. While rent payments and school loans are cutting into your savings, there have never been more creative ways to increase your savings, especially for Singaporean women – 93 percent of whom are earning equal to or more than their male counterparts.

Start with our 10 Budget Hacks for creative ways to save money – from eco savings at home to using social transportation.

Aim to save 10 percent of your salary – If you can get it up to 15 or 20 percent using our and your own creative budget hacks even better. You have many life events ahead of you that will require you to dip into savings, including college, a wedding and the one-year sabbatical you have planned to write your book.

Establish an emergency fund – The standard advice is to have three to six months in savings. Ensure that contributions to present retirement plans, insurance and so forth can be maintained if you have an interruption in income due to a job change or illness.

Money Checklist In your 30s

By your 30s, you should have a structured retirement plan in place. Singaporeans with the highest savings have a financial plan in place and a financial planner. Those in the age group 55-64 benefit the most from financial planning and enjoy the highest savings rate. Consider the extra savings you could realise if you drew up a plan in your 20s or 30s. Women who use retirement plans and financial plans at about two-thirds the rate of men could benefit the most from these two steps.

Develop a retirement savings plan – Evaluate all retirement vehicles – pension schemes, defined benefit plans, tax-free savings – together with other investment options.

Use a certified financial planner – If you do not use a financial planner on a regular basis, plan to consult one while developing your financial plan. Ask, what retirement vehicles and strategies, tax strategies, and insurance and annuity options are available to you.

Supplement your CPF – If you have not already started, you should begin to supplement your Central Provident Fund (CPF) social security plan savings with additional savings. The government encourages all Singaporeans to add to their plan.

Money Checklist In your 40s

People face more life changes in their 40s and 50s than any generation before them. The risk of losing a job is higher than before. More people are self-employed and want to be prepared for another major contraction in the global economy, having managed through the financial crisis in 2008. For these reasons, saving more aggressively not less is advised in your 20s and 30s.

Review your asset allocations and investment approach – In their late 40s, many investors shift into a more conservative investment approach. Depending on your income, debt levels and current assets, you may be able to still enjoy some growth in your portfolio.

Consolidate retirement, rollover and other accounts – Over the years as you have changed jobs and financial advisors, you may have accumulated a diverse portfolio of retirement vehicles and savings plans. Ask a financial planner to help you consolidate and optimise your portfolio.

College funds – Paying for college education may create a few years of higher strain on your finances. You may even pick up overtime or a part-time job to cover the expenses of your two smart kids, both of whom went to top, but expensive schools.

Real estate investments – The children have flown the coop. It is a good time to reassess real estate assets and how they are working for you. You may decide to downsize and increase your savings or upgrade to a new condo with a higher future resale value. The basements or attics of properties you own may be converted into apartments to bring in extra income, or you may to rent out your children’s now-empty rooms to local college students. The summer cottage may be sold and replaced with a timeshare in Bali.

Health and insurance – Health profiles typically change in one’s 40s and 50s. You may have signs of lifestyle diseases, such as high blood pressure, or are monitoring your family’s risk of breast cancer after menopause. Health care and insurance should be re-evaluated at this stage.

How prepared are you for retirement? Singaporeans expect to live for 17 years after retirement but have 9 years of savings, according to HSBC. To enjoy a comfortable retirement, two thirds of your current income level is required.

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).