Thursday, September 25, 2014

WHY I LOVE SINGTEL: my MIO TV monthly is FREE :) (Revision 03)

Revision 03 (last paragraph): updated on March 7, 2015
Revision 02: updated on October 6, 2014

This blog is EXCLUSIVELY for Singtel MIO Plan customer. If you are Singtel mio Plan customer, you should pay attention to this blog.

I received the letter from Singtel informing me that mio Plan will no longer be available for re-contract. I had signed up this great Singtel plan since year 2006.

For mio Plan, I pay S$76.47 nett monthly for my home broadband, home phone and mobile phone.

I have two options (Fibre options below are not available for public, only for mio Plan customers):

Option1: COMBO 2 mobile plan + Fibre Home Bundle (100M)

Mio Plan customers are given special price on Fible Home Bundle which is only S$34.95 per month. COMBO 2 mobile plan is the same as public, which is S$42.90 per month.

Option 2: COMBO2 mobile plan + Fibre Entertainment Bundle (100M)

Mio Plan customers again are given special price on Fibre Entertainment Bundle which is only S$59.90 per month. COMBO 2 mobile plan is the same as public, which is $42.90 per month.

It is not difficult for me to decide which option to go, clearly option 2 is the most valuable one and why?

(1) Option 2 can enjoy yearly handset upgrade just like mio Plan but Option 1 can’t.

(2) Option 2 can enjoy mobile multi-line discount of up to 30% for five Singtel Mobile lines but Option 1 can only enjoy 10% discount for 1 line only.

(3) Option 2 can enjoy free waiver of S$235.40 OPENNET installation but Option 1 can’t. It is my bad rejected OPENNET installation last time but now it is a must to have this OPENNET installation. Please take note!

(4) Either Option 1 or Option 2, both plan Singtel is giving me additional S$200 hand phone discount.

A big WOW, I just re-contract my line in March 2014 with a Samsung Galaxy tab for only S$30 and I sold it at for a cool S$280. And now shortly after 7 months, Singtel allows me to do the re-contact yet again! Usually mio Plan customer can re-contract after 12 months. Not only Singtel allows me to do the re-contract after 7 months, they even give me a S$200 hand phone discount! This offer is valid until October 31, 2014. Simply too good to be true.

So, with COMBO 2 plan, iphone 6 costs SGD 508, free SGD 200 discount from Singtel, trade in price of iphone 5 (from Singtel) is SGD 200, I only need to pay SGD 108 for a brand new iphone 6. BUT GUESS WHAT? I managed to trade in my iphone 5 (16GB) for SGD 320 on September 26 at EZY Mobile shop at Holland Village. They paid SGD 120 more than Singtel ! In short, I traded in my iphone 5 with iphone 6 for FREE and yet I gain S$12. Ha ha. That's really cool !

Or stick to your iphone 5, and sell your iphone 6 for S$1,000 or more at hardwarezone again, why not? Then, your 2 years phone bill is completely FREE. :)

How much we are really paying if we opt for Option 1 or Option 2.

If I choose Option 1, my mobile phone can enjoy 10% but my wife mobile line will have 0% discount.

So, two of us, 2 years cost us S$2,213.04

If I choose Option 2, (I had gathered 3 more Singtel mobile line to enjoy 30% ) my mobile and my wife mobile both can enjoy 30% discount. You MUST take this benefits.

So, two of us, 2 years cost us S$1,698.24, that’s instant saving of S$514.80. That is mobile plan.

As for Fibre plan:

If I choose Option 1, Fibre Home Bundle, it is easy, I need to pay S$34.95, 2 years S$838.80.

If I choose Option 2, Fibre Entertainment Bundle, I need to pay S$61.80 per month (take note on the rental box of S$1.90 charges per month), 2 years S$1,483.20.

So, the difference is ONLY S$129.60 EXTRA for the entire 24 months contract by calculating the cost saving of mobile plan, S$514.80. That is ONLY S$5.40 EXTRA PER MONTH for you to watch 55 oversea TV channels, include Bloomberg, National Geographic Channels, Disney channels for your kids, etc.

But WAIT, for me, if I choose option 1, I have to pay OPENNET installation fees of S$235.40. That is just me. I know many of you get this done for free but if you have not done so, please make sure you have this installed else you will face problem in the future.

So, with that installtion fees come into calculation, I actually got completely FREE 55+ TV CHANNELS and yet I SAVE S$105.80 if I choose option 2. Furthermore, I can have new handset upgrade every year and I make 3 more friends happy to enjoy 30% discount on their mobile line.

What a great plan from Singtel.

Now, who can tell me what is the good bargain for a nice Ultra High Definition (UHD) LED TV at the current market? :)

Oh ya, by the way, please make sure you pay all the Singtel bills using OCBC 360 credit card, you got the entire bill a further 3% discount. Effectively, your mobile plan is 33% discount per month, like it?

IN SUMMARY (my case):

(1) IF and ONLY IF mio Plan still exist (not possible):
      MIO PLAN + 1 MOBILE LINE (30% discount)
      24 months - S$2,684.40

(2) If I choose only Fibre Home Plan:
      Fibre Home Plan (10% for MOBILE LINE) + 1 MOBILE LINE (No discount given)
      24 months = S$3,287.24

(3) If I choose Fibre Entertainment Plan:
      Fibre Entertainment Plan (30% for MOBILE LINE) + 1 MOBILE LINE (30%)
      24 months = S$3,181.44

Decision made: I have signed up for Fibre Entertainment Plan. Next hunting for a new UHD LED TV. :)

Updated on October 6, 2014
I had purchased a LG 49UB850T model, Ultra High Definition , 49 inch, 4K Cinema 3D Smart TV from Courts at JEM mall on September 28, 2014. The TV delivery and installation was on October 4 and I found out the price difference of S$110 at Best store at IMM mall on October 5 , hence Courts has a policy for their buyer to get a refund of double the price difference, so I got S$220 ! :) There are also many promotion going on right now.

I total paid S$2,198 on the bill. With all the LG promotion, Courts in-house promotion, refund of double the price difference, Standard Chartered Manhattan credit card 3% cash back, etc.

I total received S$520 vouchers (combination of NTUC and Courts vouchers) and cash back of S$96.

Hence, you can say I total pay S$1,582. :)

My TV selection is rather simple. I want a Smart TV, 50 inch preferably. This TV has a refresh rate of 1,000 Hz ! Resolution of 3840 x 2160. The 3D feature just come with it. :)

The TV packaging.

 Courts refund of double the price difference policy.

 My TV at home!

Mio TV installation only took 40 minutes and I am given two wireless network channels to choose from. One is 5G wireless network. :)

Based on the test results, my home 5G wireless network yields download speed of 92 Mbps and upload speed of 114 Mbps. That's close to my 100 Mbps broadband subscription.

 I chose the most basic mio TV channels which has the following 55 channels. :)

Updated on March 7, 2015
This is a typical normal bill of the cheapest SINGTEL MIO TV plan package you can get in Singapore. If you are STARHUB customer, please share your bill too as I am curious to know as well.
MIO TV program + 200 Mbps wireless broadband + MIO Home Voice = S$ 61.80 (including GST)
Cell phone package = S$35.38 (including GST, caller ID and 30% bundle discount)
Payment made by OCBC 365 Credit Card, you enjoy further 3% cash rebate.
In short, I paid S$94.26 on SINGTEL bill every month!
I am a long time happy customer of SINGTEL since year 2004. I should buy their stock too!
Furthermore, SINGTEL recently upgraded my broadband speed from 100 Mbps to 200 Mbps FREE. How crazy is that? Simply love it !


Monday, September 1, 2014

Retirement Planning in Singapore: SRS Account (Revision 04)

Revision 04 (last paragraph): updated on March 4, 2015
Revision 03: updated on October 14, 2014
Revision 02: updated on September 6, 2014

Retirement in Singapore is always a hot topic. Many people are questioning if CPF is indeed enough to retire in Singapore. Nobody can tell you how much you need to retire but I am going to show you what you could/ should do now in order to have good retirement life in Singapore.

SRS (Supplementary Retirement Scheme) Account.

Many people misunderstood SRS account to CPF account. It is totally two different independant accounts. I only opened SRS account last year together with my wife. This is an alternative option for us to save for retirement.

There are couple of key points you should know about SRS account:

(1) The maximum contribution per year is only S$12,750 for SC and SPR, S$29,750 for foreingers.
(2) Your contribution will reduce your taxable income by S$12,750 max per year for SC and SPR.(The tax savings is great and that's our primary objectives)
(3) Investment gains made using SRS funds are TAX-FREE.
(4) Upon retirement, only 50% of the amount withdrawn will be taxable. (You can and you should spread the withdrawals over 10 years upon retirement, you hardly need to pay a single cent based on the income tax structure today.)
(5) Earn interest of 0.05% p.a. on your cash balances in your SRS account. (This is definitely not the reason you contribute to SRS, for 0.05% interest? Hence, use the money in the SRS account to buy good stocks, ETF, index funds, fix deposits, unit trusts, life insurance, etc.)
(6) You can withdraw the money at any time. However, a 5% penalty for premature withdrawal applies, should the withdrawal be made before the statutory retirement age. (You should keep the money inside, that's for retirement purpose!)

Example 1:

This is to show you the SRS returns based on (6%, 7% & 8%).

Always remember:
Real Gain = (1) Tax Savings + (2) Dividends received + (3) SOLD stocks transactions

I would say 6% is very easy to achieve as you have confirmed good tax savings in the calculation and with good solid blue chips dividends, you can easily hit 4-5% or REITS easily 6-7% dividend yield. Not to mention, you have 30 years horizon to witness the price appreciation of the good quality stocks.

With conservative 6% calculation, your portfolio should yield S$1.228 million by the age of 64. Why age 64? It is because you SHOULD start to withdraw money at the age of 65, spreading 10 years, you have at least S$122,800 per year from age 65 to age 75. This is a great retirement side income, don't you think so?

Example 2:

This is how I keep track my SRS portfolio in yearly basis. I just contributed last year December. So, I only monitor the savings which kicks in this year. So far, I have hit 10.43% in the first year (due to some SOLD stocks transactions).

I set a rather high target myself. I would like to achieve 10% gain every year. With the help of tax saving amount, I would say it is NOT IMPOSSIBLE to achieve, let's see down to the years.

With 10% p.a. returns (stretch goal), the portfolio can yield S$2.82 million by the age of 64. The power of compound interest kicks in!

With CPF account and SRS account, two pillars, rest be assured you can retire comfortably in Singapore.

Updated on September 6, 2014
A correction of the SRS returns per year, 10% is too low. It has to be much  more.

Real Gain = (1) Tax Savings + (2) Dividends received + (3) SOLD stocks transactions

Based on the above calculation, the (1) Tax Savings per year is already >S$1,275.

With yearly maximum contribution of S$12,750, the tax savings itself is already well pass 10%.

With (2) and (3) added into calculation, the percentage has to be more. Of course, your capital will keep increasing each year, your tax saving per year >S$1,275 is " >10% of your contribution of S$12,750 ONLY", you have to work harder with your remaining balance when years go by.

With that calculation, my first year return shall now be 20.9% instead. :)
Or to make the calculation "fair", your tax savings shown in the IRAS statement in year 2015 should be added into the year 2014 Real Gain formula because that is the saving results due to your SRS contribution in year 2014. :)

Updated on October 14, 2014
Under the Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA), the statutory minimum retirement age is still 62, but employers are now required to offer re-employment to eligible employees who turn 62, up to the age of 65.

We can withdraw our SRS monies over 10 years from the date of our first penalty-free withdrawal. Withdrawals are penalty-free only if they take place after the statutory retirement age that was prevailing at the time of our first SRS contribution. The statutory retirement age for all SRS members is currently at 62.

So, I can start to withdraw SRS monies at age 62 until age 71 without penalty. This is good !

Updated on March 4, 2015
It was announced on Budget Day 2015 that the cap of contribution of SRS will be increased by 20%.

The cap of contribution by Singaporean and Singapore PR will be raised from S$12,750 to S$15,300.

It will take effect on January 1st, 2016. The increment is S$2,550. Another good sum for tax relief ! The above table shall be updated based on S$15,300 contribution from year 2016 and onwards.

It will be good if SRS rules can be changed for the following:

(1) Give 1.5 or 2 times of tax relief instead of 1 to 1.

(2) Spread the withdrawal duration from 10 years to 15 years or 20 years. 10 years is too short and we might hit a little tax if our funds in SRS are doing tremendously well.

(3) Give better interest rate in SRS. 2.5% is a good start. :)