Sunday, May 05, 2019

Why Singapore Women scare Frugal Millenial Guys.

Image result for scary spice

This week I had an interesting chat with some Millenials on their fears.

Some of these guys are familiar with my story and they are aware that when I was much younger, I transferred my CPF-OA to CPF-SA because I was afraid that a future Gen-X spouse would over-leverage and end up with me me getting stuck with a home that is too luxurious for my taste.

All this while, I felt that my fears are those of a bygone era.

I always thought that Gen Y women are less aggressive than their Gen X counterparts who had a lot more to prove in the 1990s and were trailblazers in feminism. Also dating apps like Tinder really gave Gen Y guys a huge advantage in the dating and mating game, the barrier to getting some bedroom action has really come down after these apps were launched. Adding insult to injury is that becoming a BBFA is now a feasible lifestyle choice. If Gen Y guys want to retreat from the marriage game and spend the rest of the life playing the PS4 and watching Netflix, this is something that can result in high levels of personal satisfaction.

So it comes to quite a surprise when some frugal Millenial guys told me that they have a different fear regarding Singaporean women and want to know whether they should follow my lead and marry a Malaysian instead.

The problem they have with Singapore women is that they seem to create the impression that they  love to travel ! These dudes might be right, female influencers may have turned travel from a luxury in life to a necessity. 

Initially I wanted to just argue that travel is de minimus compared to having to pay for a private condominium, but upon closer inspection, travel can be fiscally taxing to a young man. My budget to get my wife and kids to the Gold Coast in June would cost me $8,000. Imagine going to Greece or Spain.

So imagine travelling with your girlfriend to faraway places just to get a few nice Instagram shots. If she likes to do this four times a year, you'd hardly have savings left even if all you did was pay your own way when you accompany her.

Sadly, most of my inventive responses to Gen X women of my time will not work on a younger woman who loves travel since transferring CPF-OA to CPF-SA might not help.

Gen Y guys needs a solution to actually lock down their hard earned cash assets so that nothing can be done to unlock their money to support the travel industry in Europe.

Beyond common sense ideas like limiting travel to Malaysia, here are some ideas :

  • Voluntary Contribution to your own CPF - You can pump more money into your CPF and pay lower taxes at the same time. This ensures that you won't see your money until you are 55 and at least the CPF-SA component will compound at a guaranteed 4%. 
  • Supplementary Retirement Scheme - This is another method to push your taxes lower. Problem arises if your girlfriend wants you to withdraw it early to pay for business class tickets. Pray that she will not be so cruel to make you suffer a 5% penalty when you withdraw early.
  • Illiquid Corporate / Government Bonds - You may need AI status to buy long dated government bonds from, say, Kazahkstan from a private banker.  It might pay handsomely but are not particular liquid.
  • Long Term Endowment plans. These toxic instruments, almost tantamount to pure wealth transfers to your financial advisors, take so long to break even that taking the money out earlier will almost guarantee a painful and debilitating loss. If you find that you want an endowment plan just to avoid travelling with your girlfriend, I suggest that you should just travel with your girlfriend. Heck, if your FA is a hot chick, maybe it's cheaper to travel with her.
I feel that none of these suggestions are as elegant as a CPF-OA to CPF-SA transfer. 

Maybe the solution is to become BBFA after all.


  1. I told my wife when we were dating, if you ask me for a branded handbag, I will break up with you. She is my wife today. And we have a son on the way, out of love, not as a means of trying to save an imaginary crumbling image.

    She said when she asked me if I would buy her a branded handbag, like this what... Lindy from Hermes. She wasn't going to buy it. And I said, if you expect me to fuel the expenses of the the Europeans who have minimum wage, you can find another Robert. I think it's about perspective. The young must crawl out of their well to experience the harsh realities of life. And no, Singapore education does not prepare you for any of that. Neither does our outstanding internet connection.

    P.S. I also married Malaysian chabor!!!

  2. Hi,

    I think that this is the perceived perspective of Singapore Women. I might be right or wrong. It does not really matter. It is better for one to be the individual with the preferred choice. I am not sure whether other will agree with my views.

    I opt to be a BBFA. While I make such choice, I do keep my option. If a perspective candidate with simple lifestyle desire and has the similar views as me, I might change my mind. As it stands currently, BBFA is my desired choice.


  3. As a Gen Y sg female , i felt a little tinge of discomfort reading this post .
    But after some thought, i think it works both ways

    My personal goal is also to achieve FIRE .
    And i don't believe in buying expensive luxury goods which would hold back my personal goals.
    I don't feel envious of other women who own luxury goods.
    If i can retire a little earlier by not buying expensive items.
    Why not ?
    Seeing my money compound slowly over time gives me greater joy.

    If i am dating a guy who likes to spend a lot of his cash on luxury goods and holidays.
    I would not choose to be with him as well.
    So i believe that this concept works both ways .
    But we should not stereotype people based on country of birth .

    Just a note to Gen Y guys , please don't give up on Sg girls .
    Sure , there are the ones who don't manage their money well .
    But there are also some who are on the same track as you .
    Just that you haven't found the right one yet :)

    Enjoy dating with a open mind and you never know what gems you can find :)

  4. I’m from Merdeka Generation. I don’t even know what is BBFA neither do I bother.

    This is my take. I’m happy to know that there are people of my ilk.

    I’m not sure stereotyping each type by Gen X, Y or millennials is the right thing to do. Remember, male or female, both sexes share same taste, it is the culture and values that mound us. I have seen my generation, in our sixties, some still struggle with financially, some retired but depend on adult-children, some retired rich but many still need or want to work. To me, to each his own. Who I’m I to judge?

    As a retiree, I lead an independent life. I’m happily married for almost 40 years and today, I’m a grandpa of two. Thank God, I have more than enough. Yes, I do have challenges, such as running after FD maturity dates to find which banks offer the highest rates or shooing away Financial Advisors, RMs, knocking my doors at wrong time, with dumb or ridiculous proposals etc. I love my life, a lifestyle of a pauper but without worries of financial entrails. Can anyone still stitch tears of their attire? I do. Fred

  5. Wondering if I need to defend my fellow country women? Why Malaysians over Singaporean? Cos when they convert costs of a product or travel to MYR they also don’t feel like travelling? It’s like a Singaporean lady moving to Europe and not wanting to buy anything.

  6. Hi Eunice,

    It's always good to keep the options open. This is the way in which life should be lived as per my perspective. If have, take. If tired, rest. If hungry, eat. Life can be that simple and plain. Simple is good.

    My two cents worth of views.


  7. Seems like a lot of folks are vested in this topic !

    Maybe I should write more articles like this !

  8. Hello, why are you denigrating Singaporean women like this? I'm born and bred here and I am also a FIRE devotee. At work and outside of work, I am surrounded by females who ate high motivated and independent. Why tar everyone with the same brush?

    Guys who complain about meeting women with unreasonable expectations are experiencing the effects of a hypergamic society. It will happen anywhere in the world because hypergamy is human. If you are more comfortable with a woman from a less developed country, it is because her hypergamic expectations are within the "price range" that you are willing and able to pay for, not because she's necessarily more "virtuous".

  9. "The problem they have with Singaporean women..."

    To make it more precise and to partially reply to some of the commentors, its not Singaporean women but Singaporean women who ate chio (or they find chio). So that first 1 or 2 years of "investment"si beh siong lor. But , my millieniel brothers, u dun want take, other ppl willing to put down investment to kio sia, simple as that, then u come kao peh, buay swee la Kind girl (plain Jane) u want bo, u know deep down if u got a choice, u would want ur love story to be with a hot one, "101 proposal" style (God I love Chage and Aska but I have grown to hate that show as I enter my 30s). End of the days, the hot and rich (apply to both gender) got more choices, if cannot kio tio, kp how much also no use. And also, make love and the babies will come.its quite sad when u do it the other way round. Esp when u look for someone more than 10 yrs younger to do that. (I know a few talented engineers who go that route)

  10. Hi,

    I think that this is up to the individuals' preference and views. What is like gold to A might not be the same as B. It's all in the eye of the beholder. There is no right or wrong views. it's perception of different individuals as per different background.


  11. despite living on other side of globe i really feel the topic.
    better be safe than sorry.
    but it really shouldn't be that complicated with shady financial instruments.
    i would advise some simple steps.

    1. try to get FIRE girl.
    2. go for developing countries girl. while there are some disadvantages, the advantages overweight. for example such girl is more easily reeducated into your FIRE lifestyle.
    3. don't tell how much exactly you have or earn, its too much information. it would suffice to say you manage to get by and paying the bills
    4. maintain 3 bank accounts: 1 for guy, 1 for girl, 1 joint account for family expenses.
    5. make financial marriage contract completely separating all monies and assets before and during marriage. girl which refuses to sign it clearly indicates that she is in the business mainly for your money and not for you as a person.
    6. before 2 years i would advise to have some bitcoin in cold wallet. there is no way an evil (ex) spouse could forcibly extort it from you even involving third parties. today i don't know, maybe some stable coin like tether.

    should also:
    7. show SOME generosity (not necessarily financial) especially on earlier stages of relationship
    8. show that you carry about her and help solve her problems

  12. This is sound, practical advice !

    Thanks, someguy !

  13. Let me get this straight. You are suggesting to voluntarily contributing to CPF. In essence, this means, save maybe 2-3% tax, a 4% gain via CPF by giving up 100% of liquidity? Further to that, the CPF rules keep changing that makes it increasingly difficult to withdraw. You got to be drunk, high or very close to retirement for one to voluntarily contribute to CPF,

  14. Actually I am high, drunk and retired at age 39.

    You're welcome !

    1. Me too, except I'm 3 yrs older lol.

  15. I think sometimes guys make the mistake of setting the bar too high up at the start of the relationship, and later feel unnecessarily stressed about keeping up the lofty standards they set for themselves right at the beginning.

    Transparency is important in a relationship. Even at the budding stage of the relationship, be clear about where your red lines are, and what you expect from a future spouse.

    If she cannot accept your red lines, she will leave and you are probably better off for it. If she accepts your OB markers, then best of luck and work on strengthening the relationship, even if it means being flexible every now and then on your own OB markers. Because then, it would be your choice, and not an expectation imposed on you.

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