Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Greek mythology, CPF and the Single man.

I just heard that a friend of a friend who takes the cake when it comes to being a pragmatic dude. When asked by my friend if he has a girlfriend or significant other, he replied that he is hesitant to make a solid commitment because the girl is too young and has too little in her CPF to assist him with home payments once he gets married.

Now I have heard of guys who are practical minded but I've rarely heard of man who may actually prefer an older spouse for her CPF monies. While I find his style too extreme ( thank goodness he is not Singaporean ), my wife likes to remind me about the way I gamed my CPF, so I'd like to share this with my readers here as well so that you can judge for yourself who is worse, me or this foreign talent.

When I was in my early twenties and very single, I was very afraid of falling in love with a Singaporean woman. There have been too many horror stories about Singapore women demanding an engagement ring costing 6 months of income to those of Singapore women who will only live in condominiums and wear LV handbags. I never dated seriously before and I was genuinely afraid of falling in love with one who will then proceed to suck all my hard-earned money away.

One of my biggest concerns is that my future wife would not be willing to live with my mum. Another worry is that being Singapoore women, they might want a 5-room flat rather than a 4-room flat.

So I thought of a strategy from Greek Mythology to find ways to prevent this from happening.

The Greek hero Odysseus wanted to listen to the song of the harpy, some kind of half-bird half -woman monster, but is afraid that he will be coerced to drown in the deep sea as this often happens to sailors who fail to resist the siren's song. So instead of donning ear plugs, he instructed his men to tie him up on the mast and told them not to untie him no matter how much he struggled and begged them to. Needless to say Odysseus became one of the few Greek heroes to be able to come back alive after hearing the song of the Harpy.

I figured that the best way to prevent such an occurrence is to game my CPF before I met my soulmate. It's easier to make a decision with your brain rather than your OTHER brain.

So I channeled all my CPF-OA dollars every year into my CPF-SA account. I will make a slight hair-cut profit from an unbeatable 4% interest and, as the process is irreversible, there is nothing my hapless, future girlfriend can do about the status of my own cpf. I've outsmarted my future,unknown girlfriend with one keystroke on my CPF website.

Soon enough, I maxed-out my CPF-SA and the government no longer allows me to contribute to that account. Instead, I was able to accumulate enough interest to match the CPF minimum sum as required by law.

Today, as I have no HDB flat, my CPF returns me about $8,000 a year in interest rate, higher than my tax rate. Some of my OA account investments give me about $1500 in dividends. I consider it a part of my fixed-income portfolio I intend to draw out from at the age of 55.

Well to end my story, I eventually met my wife who is'nt a Singapore woman and, guess what - actually has her own 4-room flat along with her sister. Obviously if her future boyfriend wanted to buy a home with her upon getting married, she would be unable to comply as well.

Clearly, life mirrors one's actions and deeds in interesting ways.


  1. Wow, wonderful!

    But hmm, my wife is Singaporean, does this mean I should be careful? Haha.

  2. No, it means that you married someone right, I guess. Hehe !