Where should you stay for your final retirement home?

You have worked hard and you have looked forward to this day. Now that work is officially out of your life, you finally have time to enjoy your new retirement lifestyle. Singapore is an expensive city to live in, however, with the right financial planning, you can definitely enjoy your remaining years in comfort.

Our homes are a retirement asset! Especially if you rent out the extra rooms for cashflow, or if you downsize from a larger unit to a small unit, leaving the additional cash for retirement. Depending on your financial capabilities and your needs, there are a few options for your final retirement home.


For those who prefer a simple lifestyle with less area to care and clean for

Seniors with a bigger existing flat, condominium or landed property than what they actually need . Eg. their children have already moved out — can monetize their property by selling it for cash before purchasing a fully-paid smaller unit and keep the sale proceeds for retirement, coupled with CPF LIFE or other annualties to sustain their expenses.

Where should you stay for your final retirement home?_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

SHB Example Source: HDB

Through the Housing Development Board (HDB)’s Silver Housing Bonus (SHB), homeowners aged 55 years old and above who are selling their current HDB flat or private home with annual value not exceeding $13,000 and are buying a 3-room or smaller flat can receive a cash bonus of up to $30,000.

To be eligible, there are a few conditions including the top-up of $60,000 of the sale proceeds into the CPF Retirement Account. This scheme is a good alternative for seniors who prefer to right-size to a smaller apartment that requires less maintenance.

A possible option following the sale of their old flat would be the purchasing of a short-lease 2-room Flexi HDB flat meant for elderly Singaporeans. Under the 2-room Flexi scheme, retirees may apply for a shorter lease period of 15 to 45 years. Note that the chosen lease must be able to last you, your spouse, and all buyers until at least age 95 — to better serve their needs and preferences.

You could even request for the Senior Priority Scheme (SPS) to be prioritized for a Flexi HDB flat by choosing a unit near to your previous flat or your married children’ flats.

The social benefit of living in elderly-friendly studio apartments is abundant. 2-room Flexi units usually offer elderly-friendly features such as grab bars, retraceable clothes-drying racks and lower kitchen counter-tops for wheelchair users.

Elderly residents of these studio apartments have no lack of interaction. As they live in close proximity with fellow retirees of similar ages. The neighborhoods also provide facilities to drive social cohesion such as community farms and community plazas.


For those who prefer more interaction

Where should you stay for your final retirement home?_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

Lease Buyback Scheme Source:HDB

The Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) allow children to buy-over their current house from their parents so that they assume the property debt of their parents — there would then not be any changes to the lifestyle and living environment as everyone would continue to live in the same home.

Moreover, especially in matured estates, there are many grants that enable children to buy-over their parents’ houses. With this arrangement, parents would retire without paying the rest of the mortgage as it would be taken over by their children, and they would also receive the sale proceeds through a top-up to CPF Retirement Account and cash when their children purchase their homes.

Seniors who choose to stay in their current 4 or 5-room HDB flats with empty rooms after all their children have moved out may opt to rent out the unused space for some extra income. Renting is a great way to utilize the empty spaces while gaining interesting new flat-mates to interact with.

Retirees with less-than-sufficient savings in their bank accounts would not need to worry about daily expenses and allowances since renting provides them with a regular passive income. Furthermore, children would be reassured to know that there would be tenants living in the same apartment who could assist their elderly parents with any emergencies — much at ease than if the elderly parents were to live alone. A win-win solution! 

For some elderly Singaporeans, families are a key source of emotional and financial support, and seniors also play an important role as caregivers for their young grandchildren. While the proportion of three-generation resident households in Singapore has decreased over the years, it remains a viable option as a potential retirement living arrangement.

There is definitely no lack of activities — or some might even say chores — when one chooses to live with their grown-up children and their nuclear families.


For those who prefer something more luxurious

Where should you stay for your final retirement home?_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

Seniors who enjoy privacy and space would prefer to stay in a landed property. In a landed property, seniors would have the freedom to make any modifications as they want — including rearing koi fishes in a pond in the backyard or a homegrown vegetable garden!

A landed property with at least a 999-years-leasehold would also serve as a legacy to be passed down through generations. Given the large space in the landed property, elderly Singaporeans would have no shortage of family gatherings to be hosted in their homes.

For seniors who like to keep active, a small studio apartment or a 2-bedroom unit in a condominium would make an attractive retirement home. One example is the 60-years-leasehold The Hillford which was designed as a retirement resort. They offer a full range of facilities and services to cater to the elderly residents such as 24-hour concierge, domestic help and medical care.

Apart from the security of these residences, condominiums provide facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and gyms, which encourage retirees to maintain a regular healthy lifestyle. Elderly residents of condominiums could also easily invite friends and family members for gatherings in the karaoke rooms, function rooms or barbeque pits provided in the complex.

All in all, there are different types of housing arrangement to suit different retirement needs and preferences. It is most important to know you like best before making a plan towards achieving it.


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