Can you afford to retire?

Can you afford to retire?

Madam Florence Khoo may be getting the keys to her new four-room HDB flat in three months, but she is not worrying so much about the cost of renovation works.

Instead, the front office executive is fretting over whether this means it'll be a long time before she or her husband, a logistics manager, can consider retirement.

"It's really no joke," insists Madam Khoo, 30, who is also expecting her first baby in August.

She tells this columnist: "Well, we are happy that things are coming along nicely, but we also worry whether there's enough money for us to live comfortably."

If you do the sums, she says, it means "we'll have to slog it out for the rest of our lives".

"It's simple. We spent about $40,000 on our wedding and that was more than half our savings," she shares.

With the new flat and the baby, there aren't going to be any savings left.

She says in a sober tone: "We'd be lucky if we could set aside money for a rainy day, much less dream of retirement."

I approached Madam Khoo and several others on their thoughts of retirement after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's annual May Day Rally speech last week.

Mr Lee said that we should take a practical approach towards re-employing older workers "so that as many as possible can continue working for as long as possible".

The PM also said that many workers want to stay in their jobs even after they turn 65, and that the Government encourages this.

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