It is commendable that they project their income need to be so low. I would assume that they are living in a HDB flat, no aircon, no car, no health issues and no parents they have to look after. Possibly no mobile phones, no cable TV as well? Else, it's difficult to see how $2,000 is viable.
The couple appear to be risk adverse and have largely socked away savings in fixed income products. Not going to go far with this risk adverse posture. But they don't really have the need to take higher risk given their very low target. Thought they still have time on their side. 23 to 24 years in fact.
My first impression was that $2,000 is easy. If they are both earning a healthy salary and sock up their CPF-SA to the max, they would more than meet that retirement need without requiring further retirement funds. But they would have to tide through the first five years of retirement (age 60 to 64) with another $120,000. Doesn't seem difficult.
I was surprised that the article mentioned $800,000 as the retirement savings goal to fund this retirement. As I mentioned earlier, just max out the CPF-SA (CPF-Life) for both, plus another $120,000, and they would be well on their way. To be on the safe side, add more for an emergency fund. Perhaps they are not Singaporeans?
Even if the retirement is to be funded without the use of CPF-Life payout, I was wondering why $800,000 is needed to meet the $2,000 a month goal? Using the 4% extraction norm, $800,000 would offer $32,000 a year, or $2,667 a month. That's far more than necessary. Alternatively, if we assume $2,000 x 12 months x 30 years, we get $720,000. Again, $800,000 seems excessive. Probably inflation has been factored in, which is reasonable. Otherwise, without factoring for inflation, $600,000 (@4% dividends/income) should do it. Such a later approach carries risk of course if the underlying portfolio value drops.
How would this plan de-rail? My thoughts are:
- Unfunded education expenses for their kids (also mentioned in the article)
- Expensive overseas holidays
- Medical crisis
- Inflation spike (Internet, phone, power/gas/water utilities, food)
- Bought a condo
- Bought a car
- Took silly risks with their retirement portfolio (like oil pods, gold and property scams, etc)
Wish them all the best and a steady route to retirement.
Disclaimer: This is just a personal opinion, I'm not a financial advisor, nor trained in the art.