How to do you save as an Expat?

Savings set aside for covering a rainy day is a good idea. Saving on a regular basis is a good way to build a tidy sum for the future. Although a lot of us like the idea of saving, many of us find it hard to actually do that. 

How do I get into the habit of savings?

·         Save on a regular basis. Remove money from your current account and transfer them to a savings account as soon as you get paid.

·         Save a regular amount of money each month even if you do not have a proper goal

·         Keep savings separate from your everyday money

·         Consider having more than one savings account if you want to save for several things. Say one for Christmas and one for a new car.

·         Keep an eye on your savings. See that your money also grows at a good rate.

Savings plans help cultivate a savings habit as you pay in regular premiums into these plans. They also work as a tool to try make our savings grow.


Savings Plans : Two Options: Investment-Linked Life Insurance and Platforms

Investment-Linked Life Insurance

Investment-linked life insurance policies are contractual tax wrappers. They are investment platforms combined with an insurance policy.

Your regular premiums buy units in the selected funds, and the value of these units represents the overall value of your policy at any given time during the policy term. What you get back will depend on the performance of the underlying funds fewer charges, there is no guaranteed value.

The value of your policy will be payable at the maturity date. The value of your policy will also be paid if the life insured dies. The encashment value will be paid if the policy is fully encashed before the maturity date. Early termination of these policies involves high costs and the encashment value payable, if any, maybe less than the total premiums paid.

The term is decided at the outset and the insurance company will offer a ‘bonus allocation’ on your premiums from the start from a defined period. This is called the initial period. The longer the term of the investment the higher the bonus


Platforms allow you to buy and sell investments such as shares and funds and see all your assets in one place. You can also see how your assets are doing at a glance and the total value of them. They are wealth administration tools. You can hold a variety of assets, not just stocks and shares, but also mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

Choosing the right platform for your investments is important because each will charge you for the services it offers in different ways. The charges you pay will eat into the total return that you make on your investment. Finding the best platform for you will depend on the services that you actually want, as well as the type of products you want to buy, hold and sell, and how often you trade.

This graph shows how much the coribtuions would grow if you added 2,000 per month for 5 years at a growth rate of 4% (standard MAS approved growth rate)

This graph shows how much the coribtuions would grow if you added 2,000 per month for 10 years at a growth rate of 4% (standard MAS approved growth rate)

The above two charts assume a fee of 1% pa for the platform and the normal benefit illustration from the providers. Not all charges are represented in the benefit illustrations from the insurance companies


Whilst you cannot control the market movements, you can control how much it costs to enter.

Below is the cost of the insurance-linked investment plans and a platform.

savings plan charges
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