SINGAPORE – The phrase “appearances can be deceptive” doesn’t come close to capturing the case of a Singaporean man in his 80s who lived what seemed to be a hand-to-mouth existence in a one-room rental flat, when in fact he has $1 million in his bank account and other financial products.
He dressed simply and lived mostly on food bought from nearby markets and hawker centres – not unlike other retirees in the neighbourhood.
Few would have guessed that he was actually cash-rich and with a well-devised retirement plan.
Apart from a whopping savings account, he receives a decent amount of deposits every month from retirement money in his Central Provident Fund as well as four private annuities.
Private annuities do not come cheap; each one can cost a few hundred thousand dollars to set up, if not more. So the bank and CPF savings suggest this man has access to $1 million or more in cash if he surrenders his policies. While it is not known why he chose to rent a small Housing Board flat, he was certainly meticulous with his expenses: he never fell behind on rent even as his health deteriorated.