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4 Ways to Monetise Your Flat for Retirement

Singapore is facing an aging population issue. As of 2019, it is estimated that 14.4% of the population is aged 65 and above. That number is expected to hit 32% by 2035. With the current economic downturn, many of us would welcome an additional source of income. And as most of us live in HDB flats, we look at 4 ways to monetise our flats for retirement.

1. Rent out rooms

It is safe to assume that if you are aged 65 and above, your children would probably have families of their own and not living under the same roof as you. You can monetise your HDB flat by renting out rooms that are not in use. This provides a stable and regular income that can provide for a basic quality of life.

Typically, if you're staying in a four-room HDB flat, you can rent out two bedrooms that would normally be left vacant whereas you and your spouse will occupy the master bedroom. Each room rental could, on an average fetch about $400/$500 each. That would add up to $9,600/$12,000 a year in additional spending money.

2. Renting out the whole flat

For those who are able to live with their children, you could even rent out the whole flat. Depending on flat size, condition of the flat, furnishings and location, renting out the entire flat could usually earn you at least $1,500 to $3,000 per month.  You can find the latest HDB rental transactions and prices here.

3. HDB Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS)

How this works is that you can sell part of the flat’s lease back to the Housing Board Board in return for proceeds that can be use to top up your CPF Retirement Account (RA). You can then use your CPF to purchase a CPF Life Plan, which will pay you a monthly income for life. 

Do take note that you must have a minimum of 20 years’ lease remaining to sell back to HDB. This scheme allows you to receive a steady stream of income while continuing to live in your existing flat. After topping up your CPF RA, you will also receive a cash bonus of up to $20,000 for a 3-room flat or smaller, $10,000 for a 4-room flat or $5,000 for a 5-room flat.

This scheme does not include HUDC, and Executive Condominium (EC) flat types. For the complete details on the LBS, click here.

4. Right-sizing with Silver Housing Bonus (SHB) Scheme

If you are not staying with your children and you do not wish to rent out rooms, the SHB would be the perfect solution for you. Elderly lower-income households get to unlock equity in their homes to provide them a retirement income by down-sizing. If you currently own a 4-room flat or bigger, you can right-size to a 3-room or smaller flat, which can be bought either from HDB or the resale market.

You are then required to top-up $60,000 from the proceeds of the sale of your flat into your CPF Retirement Account and sign-up for the CPF Life Plan, which, as mentioned, will pay you an income for life. After topping-up your CPF RA account, you will be entitled to a $30,000 cash bonus. This SHB scheme however, comes with certain conditions. Owners must be at least 55 years old, have already met the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), have a monthly gross household income of less than $12,000, and do not own any other properties.

For the complete details on the SHB, click here.

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