Our humble central provident funds cop a lot of flack. But the fact is, these mandatory savings have come through for us more than we care to admit. Here are real life stories of how CPF has helped.
Using Medisave for Dad
“When my father was ill it took us by surprise. He had nothing left in his CPF and we didn’t have cash lying around to pay the $7,000 hospital bills. Luckily, there was enough in my MediSave to pay his bills. I didn’t even know it could be used for that, but I’m so grateful it was. The last thing we needed at that difficult time was to worry about money,” – Ying, 38, marketing manager.
“I’m single and below 35 so I can’t apply for a flat. But together with my financial planner I carefully invested my CPF by putting it in a special account. I wasn’t extremely aggressive, just trusted my instincts. My policy of buying in crisis (eg buying American blue chips during the sub-prime crash) paid off though. Over five years I made a 10% profit on my $30,000 invested. I’d never have made that in a bank or in a risky insurance scheme,” Nur Sara, 29, teacher.
Buying a house
“I’ve been working for over 6 years and the funds accumulated in CPF really did help with the purchase of my first house. Not just mine, but also my husband’s… the combined amount came up to be about $108,000. If we were left to manage our own money, I don’t think we would be as disciplined to put aside this money ” Samantha Voong, 28, marketing manager.
“My dad fell ill with stroke when he was 45. Money would have been hard to come by and I appealed with my Member of Parliament to have it released to my dad at an early age. I thought it was impossible, but they granted this. ” Ryan Teo, 34, executive
More money for low waged workers
“My mom was a cleaner earning about $900 and didn’t have to contribute to CPF then. Recently she had a pay increase to $1400 and will now have to contribute. Maths aside, she now receives more from WorkFare and will have a stronger MediSave account to buffer in times of need” Yvonne, 42
Forced savings is good
“…forced savings is the way to go. I can’t trust myself to save my money on my own. I’d spend every cent I can get my hands on, rather than take a risk with investments. In another few more years, I’d be able to use the money and still have some locked away for medical emergencies” C. Leong, 46
Do you have any more stories of how CPF has helped you? Send us your emails at: [email protected]