Retirement. What does 'retirement' mean to you? When I think of the word 'retirement' it brings to my mind this idea, imagine yourself sitting on a beach underneath your favorite palm tree, a cool subtle breeze gently brustles your skin as you sit there watching your grandchildren play in the sand then you sit back and enjoy a sip of your favorite drink with no worries on your mind. You finally have reached what some call 'retirement' then all of a sudden, boom! Reality sets in awoken from your fantasy you realize you have just turned 22. Thus why is there a need to think about retirement at an early age? Retirement can seem like a breeze as you can imagine but is retirement all that easy?

Retirement in Singapore may claim a great prospect of an easy life with no troubles however some grow to realize it can be a harsh reality. So how do you plan for retirement and have the possibility of having a decent lifestyle for the future you? How can you start planning for retirement now?

First of all, at what age do you believe you can retire? 49? or maybe 54? Close, but not quite.

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What is the Age Requirement in Singapore?

What is the Age Requirement in Singapore?

The minimum age requirement for you to retire according to RRA (Retirement and Re-employment Act) and MOM (Ministry of Manpower) is 62 years old. This age requirement is to help manage employers, not workers. But be aware if you happen to be at this age and are currently employed, employers may suggest getting rid of their older employees by implying you could retire early to spend time with your grandchildren this may be called unfair dismissal and you could have a case. Nevertheless, employers can switch the tone and may use words like "restructuring" or "focusing on core competencies", that may make it tougher to win. On the other hand, if you want the government to return your CPF, at age 55 which is another 'retirement age' your retirement funds will be available to you.

Here’s a list of the official retirement ages of Singapore and their implications:

Your age plays a major factor in retiring, but even at an early age what are some steps that could help you plan for the future?

Plan for a Passive Income Stream

Plan for a Passive Income Stream

Plan for a passive income stream

As stated earlier the stereotypical perception of retirement is a life full of ease and no worries including the ability to stop working because you accumulated enough money to spend for the remainder of your life.

Acquiring a passive income stream or two as early on in life can give you a big boost not only can it prove to be a source of retirement funds later on, it can also give you an increase on your income during your working years.

Even more, the benefits to this are that it can help you in the event of unexpected expenses or loss of a job.

If you invest in stocks consider choosing some dividend-yielding stocks, which can be a meaningful source of passive income.

Invest as much of your money!

Most of us hold onto more money then we should. It is not uncommon for Singaporeans who are in their thirties or forties to not have invested a single cent other than buying a home. The more money you invest, the harder you're making it work for you, and the more cash you'll potentially have when you are ready to retire.

Retirement can be a little scary but once you plan out your course of action it will fall into place.

So far we have discussed the age at what you can expect to retire at and some practical steps to start with retirement. But have you examined any 'retirement plans'?

Retirement Plans- What do They Have to Offer?

Retirement Plans- What do They Have to Offer?

Here we will look at 3 retirement plans and examine their key variations and perks to bring you the ideal intention in enhancing your retirement lifestyle.

1. The Best Retirement Plan for Disability Payout – NTUC RevoRetire

Why is NTUC RevoRetire on the list?

Well to start, it gives you choices and who doesn't like the freedom to choose?

You have the choice of a premium term at 5 years or 10 years or up to 5 years before the end of your accumulation period.

You can choose your retirement age by starting to receive your monthly cash benefits after an accumulation period of just 10 or 15 years, or at age 50, 55, 60 or 65.

This plan has the 'Best in Coverage, Disability Benefit' you can waive all future premiums on the basic policy for the remaining premium term. Pay-out of a lump sum benefit, equivalent to six times of the monthly cash benefit is accorded when any of the following occurs during payment period:

  • Loss of use of one limb - Loss of speech - Loss of sight of one eye - Loss of hearing

Of course, this is just a quick glance of some of the benefits this plan has to offer but if it interests you, take time to do more research and choose the best option for you.

2. Best Retirement Plan for Lifelong Annuity & Guaranteed Income - Manulife RetireReady Plus

Why is Manulife RetireReady Plus on the list?

  • This plan guarantees returns up to 2.60% per annum. Total income up to 4.43% over the life of the plan with annual bonus before retirement and cash bonus after your selected retirement age. - It has the best in life long annuity with a choice of payout term – 5,10,15,20 years Payout or Lifetime Payout. - The plan does not require any medical underwriting.

Again, this is just a quick overview of what this plan offers. If you are interested in learning more about the advantages and disadvantages of this plan please feel free to do more research about this plan.

3. Best Retirement Plan for Flexibility & Guaranteed Income - Aviva MyRetirement Choice

Why is Aviva MyRetirement Choice good?

  • This plan has the best in high guaranteed income and Guarantees returns up to 2.63% per annum. - Best in flexibility choice of retirement age – Retire at any age. - Best inflexibility in a choice of pay-out term – from 5 to 35 years. - Death benefit – Death and Terminal illness coverage.

These are just three of the top choices of some retirement plans to inquire about in Singapore although I would highly recommend doing more research on these three retirement plans!

As asserted in the beginning, retirement may seem like a walk on the beach but without a plan, it can turn into a dreadful nightmare. Plan accordingly to help yourself in the future.