A desire to help Singaporeans retire well

Knowing how to optimise one's CPF funds can boost one's finances for retirement, says writer Lorna Tan (left).
Knowing how to optimise one's CPF funds can boost one's finances for retirement, says writer Lorna Tan (above).ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

11,000 copies sold 36 weeks on the ST bestsellers list


By Lorna Tan

Straits Times Press/Paperback/ 344 pages/$28/Major bookstores

The finer intricacies of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) will confound most people, but Lorna Tan wants to change that.

The 54-year-old helms The Sunday Times' Invest section, helping readers parse the complexities of financial planning in her columns.

Retire Smart, a collection of articles from 2015 to last year, is pitched at lay readers, whether they are seasoned investors or fresh graduates puzzling over their first pay cheques.

"With rising longevity and costs of living, many people are realising that they need to plan to avoid outliving their nest egg," says Tan.

She observes that there is a dearth of reader-friendly information on how the CPF works.

"In the last few years, there were many enhancements made to the CPF system, but most people still find it complex and difficult to understand. Knowing how to optimise your CPF retirement funds can boost your retirement."

Tan, who is married with two children, has spent more than 14 years at Singapore Press Holdings and won numerous awards, including Financial Journalist of the Year in 2007 from the Securities Investors Association of Singapore.

This is her third book and, by far, her most successful. Her first two, Talk Money (2010) and More Talk Money (2013), have together sold about 7,000 copies.

The daughter of a security guard and a housewife, she says she has always been a disciplined saver. "I am my parents' retirement plan."

As a best-selling author, she treasures the opportunities to meet more readers at talks and signing sessions.

They often pepper her with questions about CPF top-ups, withdrawals, nominations, how the national annuity CPF Life scheme works and so on.

"It is my desire that everyone has a financial plan and is able to retire well," she says.

Olivia Ho

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2018, with the headline 'A desire to help Singaporeans retire well'. Print Edition | Subscribe