How Much to Retire in Singapore: A Detailed Guide

How Much to Retire in Singapore? Welcome to our comprehensive guide on retirement in Singapore, one of the world’s most vibrant and expensive cities. Known for its cutting-edge infrastructure, bustling […]

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how much to retire in singapore

How Much to Retire in Singapore? Welcome to our comprehensive guide on retirement in Singapore, one of the world’s most vibrant and expensive cities. Known for its cutting-edge infrastructure, bustling hawker centres, and high standard of living, Singapore offers an enviable lifestyle but comes with a cost. For many, the thought of retiring in the Lion City may seem daunting, given its reputation as one of the most expensive places to live.

The key to overcoming this challenge lies in effective retirement planning. By understanding the cost of living and preparing for the future, you can ensure a comfortable retirement in this beautiful city-state. However, one of the most frequently asked questions is: “How much do I need to retire in Singapore?” It’s a complex question with no one-size-fits-all answer, as the required amount depends on various factors such as lifestyle choices, health considerations, and inflation.

In this post, we aim to demystify Singapore’s retirement planning process. We aim to provide a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with retirement in this city-state, from housing and healthcare to food and leisure activities. By providing you with a clearer picture of these costs, we hope to help you plan your retirement more effectively.

So, this guide is for you whether you’re a local Singaporean considering your future or an expat attracted to the idea of retiring in the city-state. First, let’s explore the essentials of retiring in Singapore and answer that crucial question: How much do you need to retire comfortably in Singapore?

We would like you to stay with us as we delve into the dynamics of retirement planning in the heart of Southeast Asia.

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Understanding Retirement in Singapore

The concept of retirement in Singapore, as in many other places, refers to the stage of life where an individual stops working full-time. However, the specifics of retirement can significantly differ depending on individual circumstances and financial planning.

Traditionally, the legal retirement age in Singapore is 63, but the re-employment age, where employers are required to offer re-employment to eligible employees, is up to 68.

However, these are only statutory guidelines, and many Singaporeans choose to retire later or earlier depending on their financial situation, health condition, and personal choices. Some continue to work part-time or freelance even after ‘official’ retirement, while others might completely disengage from the workforce.

The monetary aspect of retirement in Singapore and anywhere else can’t be understated. A successful retirement is often the result of decades of diligent financial planning. It’s about understanding your income streams after retirement, managing expenses, and making savings work for you.

Financial planning for retirement involves considering several factors. It’s not just about how much you save but also how you save it. Your retirement savings could come from various sources, such as Central Provident Fund (CPF) payouts, personal savings, investments, annuities, etc. It is crucial to understand these different components and how they work together to provide a steady income stream during your retirement years.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the cost of living in Singapore and provide a detailed breakdown of how much you need to retire comfortably in Lion City. This information aims to equip you with a better understanding of retirement in Singapore and facilitate your financial planning journey.

As we dive into this topic, it’s essential to remember this fundamental principle: the sooner you start planning, the better prepared you’ll be for your golden years. The old saying goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

Stay with us as we explore the intricacies of retirement planning in Singapore, addressing the pivotal question, “How much to retire in Singapore?”

Could you tell me what your Retirement needs are?

Retirement needs can differ significantly from person to person. Several factors come into play when calculating the amount you need to retire comfortably in Singapore. Let’s delve into some of these determining factors:

Cost of Living in Singapore

Understanding the cost of living in Singapore is crucial when planning for retirement. As one of the most developed and prosperous nations globally, Singapore offers a high standard of living, but this comes with a corresponding price tag.

  • Housing: Housing tends to be the most substantial monthly expense for most Singaporeans. Whether you plan on owning a home or renting, this will be a significant part of your retirement budget. Consider the type of housing (HDB, private condo, landed property) and its location, as these factors greatly influence costs.
  • Food: Singapore is a food paradise, but dining out regularly, especially at restaurants, can be costly. Also, grocery prices in Singapore are relatively high compared to other countries. Therefore, plan to adjust your food budget according to your dietary habits and preferences.
  • Utilities: These include electricity, water, gas, and internet bills. While these costs might seem minor compared to housing and food, they can add up and form a significant part of your monthly expenses.
  • Healthcare: Singapore offers excellent healthcare facilities, but these services can be expensive, especially for non-routine care and chronic conditions.

Lifestyle Choices

Your lifestyle choices will significantly impact how much you need to retire. Do you envision a retirement filled with luxury travel and high-end dining, or are you content with a simple, laid-back lifestyle? The former will require a larger retirement fund than the latter. Planning for leisure activities, hobbies, and travel should be part of your retirement budgeting process.


Healthcare is a critical consideration in retirement planning. As we age, our healthcare needs and expenses generally increase. In Singapore, while the government provides some healthcare subsidies for older people, out-of-pocket costs can still be high, especially for long-term care or severe conditions. Therefore, having a comprehensive health insurance plan is crucial to avoid draining your retirement savings due to health issues.

Life Expectancy

Singaporeans enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in the world, which is excellent news, but it also means you’ll need a larger retirement fund. The average life expectancy in Singapore is well into the 80s, which means if you retire at 62, your retirement savings will need to last for 20 years or more. So it’s important to factor this into your retirement planning to avoid running out of money in your later years.

Remember, understanding these factors is the first step towards planning your retirement. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into how much you need to retire in Singapore based on different scenarios and strategies to achieve your retirement goals.

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How Much is Needed to Retire in Singapore?

Now that we understand the key factors determining your retirement needs, let’s examine how much you might need to retire comfortably in Singapore. Remember, these figures are general estimations, and your needs might differ based on your situation and preferences.

Retirement at Various Income Levels

To provide a more accurate picture, let’s examine potential retirement scenarios at different income levels:

  1. S$2,500 per month: At this income level, you can cover necessities like food, housing, utilities, healthcare, and leisure activities. However, there may be little room for unplanned expenses or luxury indulgences.
  2. S$5,000 per month: With this income, you can afford a more comfortable lifestyle with an additional budget for dining out, travel, and other forms of entertainment. It also provides a buffer for unexpected costs.
  3. S$10,000 per month: This higher income level allows for a luxurious lifestyle in retirement. It could cover more effective housing options, frequent dining at high-end restaurants, and regular international travel.

Remember, these are just estimates, and actual needs might differ based on health conditions, housing situations, and personal lifestyle choices.

S$2 Million Enough?

The S$2 million figure often comes up when discussing retirement in Singapore. But is this magic number enough for a comfortable retirement?

If you retire at 62 and live up to the average life expectancy of around 85, your retirement savings must last about 23 years. Divining S$2 million over these 23 years gives a yearly income of approximately S$87,000, or around S$7,200 per month. This should provide a comfortable lifestyle by Singaporean standards, covering all necessary expenses with room for leisure and unplanned costs.

However, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Inflation: The cost of living will likely increase over time. S$7,200 per month might be comfortable today, but this might not happen in 20 or 30 years.
  2. Investments: If your retirement savings are invested wisely, they can generate returns and last longer.
  3. Unexpected Costs: Unforeseen expenses, especially healthcare costs, can drastically impact your retirement savings.

In conclusion, while S$2 million might seem like a hefty sum, it’s important to plan wisely to ensure it’s sufficient to last through your retirement years while maintaining your desired lifestyle.

The following section will explore various strategies to achieve your retirement goals, helping you answer “how much to retire in Singapore?”

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Strategies for Achieving Your Retirement Goals

Knowing how much to retire in Singapore is just the start. The next step is developing strategies to meet your retirement goals. In this section, we’ll explore various strategies that can help you build your retirement nest egg.


Saving is the most fundamental strategy for retirement planning. Here are some tips:

  • Start Early: The sooner you start saving for retirement, the more time your money has to grow. Even small amounts can add up over time due to the magic of compound interest.
  • Set a Budget: Track your income and expenses, and create a realistic budget allowing you to save a portion of your monthly income.
  • Automate Savings: Make saving effortless by setting up automatic monthly transfers to your savings account.
  • Emergency Fund: This is a crucial part of any financial plan. Aim to save enough to cover 6 to 9 months of living expenses in case of unexpected events like job loss or health issues.


Investing is a powerful way to grow your retirement savings:

  • Diversification: Diversify your investment portfolio to spread risk. This typically involves different asset types, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.
  • Long-Term Approach: Investing for retirement is a long-term game. While markets can be volatile in the short term, they have historically increased in value over long periods.
  • Professional Advice: Consider seeking advice from a financial advisor to help you develop an investment strategy that fits your risk tolerance and retirement goals.

Government Schemes and Support

Singapore has several government schemes to support citizens’ retirement:

  • Central Provident Fund (CPF): The CPF is a crucial pillar of Singapore’s retirement strategy. Your CPF account consists of three parts: Ordinary Account (for housing, insurance, and investment), Special Account (for old age and investment in retirement-related financial products), and Medisave Account (for healthcare costs). Upon turning 55, a Retirement Account is created, and savings from your Special and Ordinary Accounts are transferred here to provide a monthly payout during retirement. Shout out to Mr Loo!
  • CPF Life: CPF Life is an annuity scheme that provides Singaporeans with a monthly income for life, starting from their payout eligibility age.
  • Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS): The SRS is a voluntary scheme where Singaporeans and foreigners can contribute varying amounts to a particular account, subject to a cap. These contributions are eligible for tax deductions.

Remember, achieving your retirement goals is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It takes careful planning, disciplined saving, and wise investing. By understanding how much to retire in Singapore and taking active steps towards it, you’re well on your way to a comfortable and fulfilling retirement.

Guide to Deferred Income Assessment


Planning for retirement is crucial, no matter what stage of life you’re at. But, as we’ve explored in this comprehensive guide, determining “how much to retire in Singapore” is a multifaceted question, influenced by many factors like cost of living, lifestyle choices, health considerations, and life expectancy.

We delved into different income scenarios to clarify the required retirement savings at various lifestyle levels. We discovered that while S$2 million could provide a comfortable retirement, it’s essential to factor in inflation and unexpected costs, highlighting the importance of planning and investing wisely.

Retirement planning continues beyond figuring out the magic number. We explored strategies such as saving diligently, investing wisely, and leveraging government schemes like CPF and SRS to build your retirement nest egg. The case studies of Mrs Lim and Mr Tan illustrated how these strategies could be implemented successfully, regardless of income level.

In conclusion, retirement in Singapore can be as comfortable or as luxurious as you plan for it to be. So start early, save regularly, invest wisely, and use available schemes to ensure your golden years are worry-free and fulfilling. Remember, your retirement planning journey is unique to your circumstances and goals. Seek professional advice, and adjust your plan as your situation changes.

Take the first step towards your retirement planning journey today, and set yourself up for a worry-free and fulfilling retirement in Singapore.

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