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Personal Finance Articles by Clara Lim

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How a Debt Consolidation Plan Could Get You Out of Debt Faster

In Singapore, debt is pretty much an unavoidable fact of adulthood. After all, most of us have to take loans to pay for big-ticket things like housing, cars or university education. The types of debt mentioned above are socially acceptable and aren’t thought of as shameful. But when it comes to “bad debt” such as outstanding credit card balances or personal loans, it’s a different story. Most people with “bad debt” would rather not think about it — let alone talk about it.

The 3 ‘R’s of Retirement to Help You Retire Right - MoneySmart.sg

This post was written in collaboration with MoneyOwl. While we are financially compensated by them, we nonetheless strive to maintain our editorial integrity and review products with the same objective lens. We are committed to providing the best information in order for you to make personal financial decisions with confidence. You can view our Editorial Guidelines here. When it comes to retirement, most of us seem to revert to a kind of magical thinking. On one hand, we eagerly anticipate the

Refinancing soon? How to prep for interest rate hikes & check your credit score

Between all this talk of GST hikes and wealth taxes, it seems like many Singaporeans have a lot of growing costs to be concerned about. But the most pertinent cost for property owners might just be interest rate hikes, which will affect anyone with a bank mortgage. If you’re currently servicing a bank home loan, you might need to refinance soon. Let us walk you through how to prepare for it.

Wealth tax Singapore: How it could affect the property market

There has been growing debate in different societal circles, including within the government, about the pros and cons of a wealth tax in Singapore. This isn’t unique to us, of course. In other countries such as the US, the UK, and China, wealth taxes have also become a hot button issue. With Covid-19 incurring unprecedented levels of public spending and exacerbating inequality in many counties, people are looking towards the ultra-wealthy to pay their dues.

Play to Win: Singtel Dash Offers Over 1 Million Prizes in Dash Town - MoneySmart.sg

This post was written in collaboration with Singtel Dash. While we are financially compensated by them, we nonetheless strive to maintain our editorial integrity and review products with the same objective lens. We are committed to providing the best information in order for you to make personal financial decisions with confidence. You can view our Editorial Guidelines here. Clearing annual leave and racking your brains for ways to fill up all that free time? Completely understandable. There’s

How to Achieve FIRE by 50, While Still Giving Your Kids the Best

This post was written in collaboration with Syfe. While we are financially compensated by them, we nonetheless strive to maintain our editorial integrity and review products with the same objective lens. We are committed to providing the best information in order for you to make personal financial decisions with confidence. You can view our Editorial Guidelines here. Most Singaporeans wouldn’t even dream of uttering the words “financial independence” in the same breath as “being a parent”.

Retirement Planning in Singapore: A Starter Guide for Confused Millennials

When you think “retirement”, do you imagine travelling the world, cruising on your own yacht, and being surrounded by Playboy bunnies/boy toys? Sorry, but retirement in Singapore isn’t quite as cushy as that, unless you happen to be sitting on a fortune. To me, being time-rich and cash-poor, as many Singapore retirees are, is a horrible combination. I’ve visited the polyclinic and library enough to know that I do not want to spend my golden years sitting there, staring into space.

CPF LIFE Guide: Monthly Payouts, Plans & Minimum Sums

If you’re in your 30s like I am, retiring in Singapore is the stuff of nightmares. By the time our retirement rolls around, the old folks selling cheap hawker food and kopi will be long dead and gone. What will life be like then? And how can we hope to afford it? So it’s really important for us to understand CPF LIFE, which is the default retirement plan for Singaporeans. In fact, it’s probably the only retirement plan for some people.

Integrated Shield Comparison — Best Health Insurance in Singapore

All Singaporeans are covered by MediShield Life for the most basic of medical coverage. But on top of MediShield Life, an estimated two-thirds of Singaporeans are also paying for an integrated shield plan (IP) from one of 7 private insurers: Each insurer offers a few options for their integrated shield plans, which means Singaporeans looking for an IP will have over 25 options to choose from. That sounds daunting, but making your decision is actually easier than it seems.

Merdeka Generation Package Singapore — Who's Eligible & What Top-Ups Do You Get?

Remember the Pioneer Generation package that was rolled out in Budget 2014, to much excitement and debate? 5 years on, there’s finally a sequel: The Merdeka Generation package, announced in 2019. For the uninitiated, the Pioneer Generation package is a suite of healthcare subsidies and benefits for “founding” Singaporeans born before 1950, who are now 70 years old and above.

Corporate Bankruptcy & Insolvency in SG: What Happens to Employees?

These days, it seems like businesses around the world are dropping like flies. Just recently, retailer Forever 21’s and travel agency Thomas Cook’s bankruptcies have been making headlines around the world. Back home, the financial Grim Reaper has come for troubled organisations big and small, from Hyflux to Ofo to Honestbee. And guess what? When companies go bust, their employees are often collateral damage.

Hai Di Lao's Founder is Richest in SG — 5 Secrets to Haidilao's Success

By now, you must have heard the news that the richest person in Singapore in 2019 is Zhang Yong, the founder of Hai Di Lao a.k.a. everyone’s favourite hotpot restaurant. What makes this all the more mind-boggling is that Haidilao’s founder was never the scion of some wealthy cosmopolitan family. According to Wikipedia, Zhang Yong was a rural Sichuanese, and worked in construction and manufacturing before opening a tiny little hotpot eatery.

Singapore Inflation Rate - What Exactly Is It & Why Does It Matter?

OK, confession time. Even though I know that Inflation is Very Bad and I should do all I can to stay ahead of it, I must confess I haven’t a clue what the Singapore inflation rate actually is. The thing is, knowing the inflation rate, even if it’s just a ballpark figure, is crucial for all kinds of personal finance planning. Like knowing what counts as a good return on your investments, or projecting how much money you’ll need to retire.

Is Singapore Going Through a Recession? Wait, What’s a Recession?

Recently, there’s been a small slew of news reports about Singapore’s economy with big, scary words like “economy slowdown”, “ worst performance since 2012” and — most alarming of all — “recession”. But with all these articles swirling around, it’s difficult to get a handle on exactly how badly Singapore’s economy is doing. Some reports say we had 0.1% year-on-year growth in Q2, while other economists predict 0.7% or even 0-1% growth — huh?

GrabPay Singapore - 7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About It

Everyone uses GrabPay to pay for Grab rides, GrabFood orders, and maybe Liho bubble tea once in a while — but Grab really, really wants it to be more than an occasional payment platform. In fact, GrabPay has been pretty aggressively expanding its scope of services in the past year, and even seasoned Grab users might not know about all its developments. Here’s a little PSA so you know what you’re getting into the next time you tap on that green icon.

16 Things That are More Expensive in Singapore Than Other First World Countries

Recently, some genius on r/Singapore posted a chilling question: “What are Singaporeans paying way too much for?” and the answers have been absolutely fascinating. The Reddit thread was full of the usual gripes, of course – like cars, houses, minister salaries – but what I found really interesting were the everyday things that are more expensive in Singapore than they are in other (perceived) expensive, first world countries.
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About Me

Hello! I'm Clara, a freelance writer based in Singapore. With a knack for long-form writing that simplifies complex topics, I love helping people make informed decisions.

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