For many HDB flat owners in Singapore, their home is built on a lifetime of savings. With the right planning, this asset can be used to create a financially comfortable retirement.
While there are many possible ways to monetise an HDB flat, here are four methods to consider as you plan for your golden years.
1. Sell remaining lease back to HDB
If you are aged 65 and above, the Lease Buyback Scheme from HDB is a great way to continue living in your flat while monetising it. There is no need to change your lifestyle; the only difference is that you are selling part of your flat’s lease to HDB to receive a cash bonus of up to $20,000.
The scheme allows you to retain up to 35 years of the lease as long as you cover the youngest owner until they are at least 95 years old. In addition, you’ll need to top up your CPF Retirement Account with part of your proceeds. Doing this helps to ensure that your monthly income received from CPF Life will increase.
If you’re not sure whether you’ll outlive the lease of your flat, HDB will make sure to provide a suitable housing arrangement based on your circumstances, taking into consideration your family support, health condition, and financial status.
If the HDB flat owner passes away within the lease period, the lease will be passed to the owner’s spouse or child who is living in the same flat to continue living in the flat for the remaining lease period or return the flat to HDB. If the flat is returned, HDB will reimburse the beneficiaries for the value of the remaining lease based on factors like depreciation.
2. Use the Silver Housing Bonus scheme
The Silver Housing Bonus (SHB) is another scheme from HDB that you can adopt to monetise your HDB flat to financially support your retirement years.
This scheme is for those who prefer to downsize to a smaller flat while putting a specified sum of their cash proceeds, capped at $60,000, from the sale of their existing flat into their CPF Retirement Account (CPF-RA). With this top-up, the scheme would offer a cash bonus of up to $30,000. However, to qualify for this scheme, you’ll need to meet the following criteria.
How do you qualify for the Silver Housing Bonus?
|Age & Citizenship||At least one owner is a Singapore Citizen age 55 or above|
|Income||Gross monthly household income is within $14,000|
|Property You Are Buying||
|Timeframe Between Housing Transactions||Booking of new HDB flat or application to buy resale flat must be:
|Timeframe To Submit Application||Application must be submitted within one year from date of completion of the second housing transaction (sale or purchase)|
3. Rent out the flat
Another way to monetise your flat for retirement is by renting it out to the right tenants. In Singapore, as long as you are a citizen and have fulfilled the five-year minimum occupancy period of your HDB flat, you can rent out the entire flat.
If your flat has at least 3 bedrooms, you can also choose to rent out any spare bedroom(s) while you’re still living in the unit.
Renting out your HDB can be relatively lucrative. According to The Straits Times, HDB rents saw a significant increase of 9.2 per cent compared to 2013. This is a great alternative especially if you have another place that you can call home.
Median rent by flat type – first quarter 2021
|HDB Flat Type||Median Rent|
|3-room flat||$1,650 to $2,200|
|4-room flat||$2,000 to $2,700|
|5-room flat||$2,200 to $2,800|
|Executive apartment||$2,400 to $2,650|
4. Sell your HDB flat for profit
You can easily sell your HDB flat for a profit as long as you purchased a brand new property. Even if you own an HDB resale flat, there is still a chance that you’ll earn a sizable sum if you meet the right market conditions. Based on the current property market trends, HDB resale prices are up 2.8 per cent in the second quarter.
This is a good option to consider if you already have another place to stay, plan to invest in another property, or invest in another type of asset. If you’re risk-averse, you may benefit from opening the right high interest savings account to grow your finances for your golden years.
You may also benefit from trying a robo advisor as an alternative to the traditional wealth management advisor. Regardless of how you save for retirement, remember to set financial goals, do your research, and plan for the years ahead.
ALSO READ: Is 2021 a good time to sell your HDB flat?
This article was first published in ValueChampion.