Many mums are so absorbed with the day-to-day demands of caring for the family, baby and work that they fail to give the same attention to money matters. Whether they have decided to leave the workforce, take on a freelance or part-time position, or stay at home, having a baby often means that the needs of the new addition take precedence.
As a result, the dads assume the responsibility of overseeing family finances. Over time, inadequate planning would render the mums extra vulnerable should the marriage fail or should the spouse get retrenched, as some mums may have little or no savings to fall back on. Bearing in mind that women tend to live longer lives, making the right financial decisions then becomes extremely important.
Save, invest and plan in your personal capacity
Obviously, you should never enter into a marriage thinking it would fail. However, statistics does suggest that divorce is on the rise. If you are not investment-savvy, the least you should have is a personal savings account that is not jointly-held with your husband, to encouraging savings. Needless to say, you’ll need a comprehensive medical insurance. Do not merely focus on your children, and in doing so, totally neglect or downplay the importance of your needs. Take up a policy that offers you long-term protection. And if you have elderly parents to care for, make them the beneficial owners.
While all is well in your marriage, and rightfully so, treat your personal savings as an avenue to purchase little surprises or getaways for anniversaries without alerting your spouse when an expense is made.
Top Up Your CPF Account
For the majority of us, our Central Provident Fund (CPF) is an important source of finances in our golden years. If you are a stay-at-home-mum, consider getting your spouse to top up your CPF account under the Retirement Sum Scheme. You can think of this as a win-win arrangement since tops-ups provide a mean of tax relief for your spouse, and at the same, you’ll get to benefit from the compounding effect of CPF’s higher-than-bank interest rates. For the first $60,000 of combined CPF balances, of which up to $20,000 can be from the Ordinary Account (OA), you’ll earn an extra 1% interest. It is also worthwhile noting that you’ll naturally earn more interest if you top up earlier in the year, as opposed to having the amount stashed in a bank.
If you are a working mum, be it full-time or part-time basis, you can also enjoy tax relief for cash top-ups to your own account. If you have older parents to care for, consider topping up their CPF special accounts if their income does not exceed $4,000 in the year preceding the top-up. Doing so allow you to enjoy tax relief amounting to up to $14,000 per calendar year.
Ensure that Your Spouse has a Will
This is a practical step towards planning for yourself and your dependents. Ensure that wills are written and updated so that every asset is accounted for. This is applicable to both assets in Singapore, as well as overseas, such as residential or commercial properties.
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