How much money does a 40-year-old person with a wife and 2 kids need to retire safely in Singapore?

This question and answer originally appeared at Quora.

Wife is not working and both kids are around 10 years old. The lifestyle is simple. Just eat to live for the adults and enough for children’s education. No luxury needed. Fully paid property.

Assume the 40-year-old Singaporean has been burnt out by a stressful job and needs to rest indefinitely before his health breaks down.

You’ve already received a lot of answers about the financial side of things, but ultimately the number is unique to each person – calculate how much you personally spend each month, add on 10–20% and then very roughly you can divide the number by 4% (so if you need income of $40,000, you need capital of $1,000,000).

This is very approximate and the amount required is dependent on investment returns, taxes, inflation, fees etc.

In terms of lifestyle, Singapore is one of the costliest places in SE Asia (although safe and clean etc.). As a retiree you could reduce your expenses by spending at least part of the year in other regions (I find both Penang and KL in Malaysia pleasant and interesting) or you could go to places like Thailand and Bali.

You very well may be feeling like doing absolutely nothing – but I expect in a year or so you will be bored of full retirement and will probably end up doing some form of work anyway (whether that is entirely different to your career, part-time, or a small business etc.).

A change is often better than a rest.

You will find the book Twenty Good Summers very helpful.

I hope that helps and good luck.

This answer first appeared here.

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Mark Underdown

Financial Planner, Small Acorn Money


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