Planning for your retirement may seem like a daunting task, but it’s important to think through factors such as living arrangements, healthcare costs and retirement insurance plans so you can enjoy your golden years with peace of mind! Here, the team at Pacific Prime Singapore discusses some crucial aspects of healthcare costs and insurance that retirees should consider.
How do I become a permanent resident?
There are no retirement visas for expats in Singapore, so you’ll need to apply for permanent residency in order to retire here. There are three main ways to do this:
- Employment Pass: Anyone working in Singapore on an Employment Pass or S Pass can submit an application for permanent residency to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). Permanent residency is valid for five years before renewal is required.
- Global Investor Program: The Singapore Investment Visa or Global Investment Program is a scheme that allows high-net-worth individuals to obtain permanent residence status. They would need to invest a minimum of S$2.5 million.
- Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme: This program allows exceptionally talented international arts professionals to become permanent residents. The applicant must have relevant professional experience in the field(s) of performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, design, and/or media.
What is the estimated cost of living in Singapore?
It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of living here is very high; in fact, Singapore is regularly ranked among the world’s most expensive city for expats. Here are the country-wide averages for certain costs (as of 2 February 2018):
- A three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant: $60
- Milk (one litre): $3.06
- Utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water and garbage) for 85 square-metre apartment: $148.43
- Internet (60 mbps+, unlimited data, cable/ADSL): $47.11
- Rent (one bedroom) in city centre: $3,024.53
- Rent (one bedroom) outside of city centre: $2,000
- The cost (per square metre) to buy an apartment in the city centre: $25,283.41
- The cost (per square metre) to buy an apartment outside of the city centre: $12,876.87
What about the cost of healthcare?
While the amount a retiree spends on healthcare will depend on factors such as age, gender, facility of choice and state of health, having a rough idea of costs can help. One thing to keep in mind is that costs at private hospitals can be high. A knee surgery, for example, costs around $34,650, according to Pacific Prime Singapore’s Private vs Public Healthcare guide. In 2016, the medical inflation rate in Singapore reached an all time high of 15 percent – five-and-a-half times higher than the annual inflation rate of 1.7 percent. It’s expected that those aged 65 and above will spend around $51,000 per year on care by 2030.
What should I take note of?
Offset your future healthcare costs with a robust health insurance that will give you access to the best healthcare available. These are some things you’ll want to bear in mind:
# 1 Age limits
As our later years tend to carry the most medical risk, many insurers impose maximum age limits on their policies to protect themselves from running a loss. The cut-off varies, but in most cases, it ranges between 64 to 69 years old.
#2 Pre-existing conditions
This refers to ongoing ailments that you’ve developed before securing health insurance. As these conditions often require frequent medical care, many insurers will not offer coverage for them, while others will charge a higher premium. So secure your insurance as early as possible, before you develop any more.
#3 The cost of health insurance for retirees
Use a quote comparison tool and find out how premiums vary by age, insurer, level and country of cover. Or see how much different demographics pay for health insurance by reading Pacific Prime Singapore’s latest State of Health Insurance report. According to the report, the average annual cost of international health insurance for a 60-year-old male retiree in 2017 is US$11,868.
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