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23 Apr 2021
This article was written by Heng Kai Le, a blogger at diaperfinancingfund.blogspot.com, and first appeared on Seedly.sg
I recently signed up to be a volunteer with CPF and announced it to my entire organisation, offering to hold AMA CPF (Ask Me Anything CPF) sessions so that my colleagues could clarify their doubts. I was a bit apprehensive to put myself out there, to be honest, but I soon realised that the questions that my colleagues asked me were quite rudimentary. Questions such as "how much interest does each of the CPF accounts garner?" and "how much money can I top up every year?"
Hence, the impetus for me to write this article so that you can educate yourself about CPF through your preferred learning style.
If you are the kind who finds learning enjoyable through interacting with others, there are communities out there that you can join and seek help from. Actually, a key reason why I signed up to be a CPF volunteer was due to the fact that I firmly believe that one learns best when he has to teach someone else. So, I was looking forward to fielding questions from my colleagues so that I would be motivated to get my facts about CPF. In fact, should you jump on the bandwagon and download the CPF Volunteering (CPFV) mobile app, you will find that the app itself contains a comprehensive range of curated resources that will beef up and accelerate your knowledge of CPF quickly. What's more, the app incorporates gamification, so you get to take part in short quizzes and climb up the leader board. Nothing like friendly old competition to spur you on to learn, right?
If volunteering with CPF does not appeal to you (yet), then have you heard of the 1M65 movement powered by Mr Loo Cheng Chuan (https://blog.seedly.sg/1m65-1-million-by-65-cpf/)? He has a telegram channel called 1M65 Singapore, where you can pose your CPF-related questions and get answers literally a few minutes later. What's noteworthy about this channel is that it is super active and dynamic, with people posing answers and articles and thought pieces. So, the energetic vibes it evokes will surely galvanise you into learning more about CPF.
While the 1M65 Singapore caters to people who are vocal and wish to discuss CPF, it may overwhelm the more introverted peeps among us as the fast and furious exchange of messages can throw you into a state of confusion. If this sounds like you, why not join the telegram channel set up by our very own CPF Board? Join CPF Board and get immediate access to reader-friendly infographics that present vital information about CPF in bite-sized amounts. Nothing too intimidating! Aside from the infographics, CPF Board also showcases links to longer feature articles and how-to guides, should you desire more information.
At this point, I have been extolling the virtues of Telegram channels. However, if you are not on Telegram, fret not. CPF Board's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CPFBoard) brings the same information to interested users as well. Incidentally, Seedly also has useful articles on CPF, one of which can be found here. (https://blog.seedly.sg/about-central-provident-fund-cpf/)
Updated on 11 Feb 2021: Singaporeans' current obsession is getting all Huat pals with Google Pay. Well, if this sounds like you, you are in luck. CPF Board recently announced through its Instagram channel, cpf_board, that we could use Google Pay to top up our CPF SA or RA account and get a cashback plus a Huat pal at the same time. I only came across this news on its Instagram channel, so it seems worthwhile to follow it as a way to obtain exclusive contents!
Never been happier topping up my CPF!
Reading is not your thing. I get it. If you are already listening to podcasts on Spotify and the like, why not then give Let's Talk CPF - CPF's podcast channel - a try? It typically publishes a new podcast every month that spotlights a particular profile (e.g., fresh graduates, self-employed persons, parents) and delivers content customised to the needs to the spotlighted group.
Lasting anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes, these podcasts are easy for you to fit into your hectic schedule and can be listened to (or do I dare say, savoured) during the pockets of free time that pop up during your day. I like to marry listening to its podcast with the undertaking of household chores. Get educated about CPF and feel good about Marie Kondo-ing my house - getting a self-care routine in more ways than one!
Nothing beats doing things yourself, so you may want to head over to the CPF website, where it features several calculators like Calculate CPF Contributions and Calculate CPF Life Payouts. Hence, using these calculators will prod you into thinking (and strategising!) about your financial figures and the role CPF plays in your financial life.
In fact, it has recently launched the CPF Planner (https://www.bereadywithcpf.gov.sg/), which handholds you with your planning of CPF savings by asking you five questions. Answer these questions one by one and the planner will display for you instantly figures that relate to your unique situation and help you attain your financial goals. Financial clarity is a few clicks away!
I hope that by listing all these different avenues in this one-stop article, you will be encouraged to clarify your CPF-related doubts. Similarly, are there any other avenues that I have missed out?