Do you like to get some free cash of up to $30,000 from the Singapore government?
It is called the Silver Housing Bonus — in short, SHB.
We have to admit, when we first read about it, we got a little confused about what seniors can gain out of it. In fact, we posted the news to our Facebook group and one reader even agreed that it is confusing. So we decided to do a little research and break it down into simpler terms for you!
Briefly, here is how it works.
Downgrade your HDB unit to a 3-room flat or smaller. After you sell your bigger unit, buy the smaller unit, pay off the resale levy and refund to your CPF account. You will have some cash left.
Put some cash into your CPF retirement account. For every $2 you contribute, you earn $1 SHB cash bonus. You can top up $60,000 to earn a maximum SHB of $30,000.
Clear so far? Let’s go a little deeper into the details.
Let’s see if you are eligible.
You are eligible if you are 55+, a Singaporean, with a combined household income of $14,000 or less. Your new property must be 3-room or smaller. You cannot concurrently own a second property.
You can buy the new property from HDB or from the resale market.
The top-ups to your CPF Retirement Account has to come from the sale of your existing home.
How Can SHB Benefit You?
This scheme is beneficial to you if you are a senior citizen who owns a large HDB flat that is underutilised and you need some extra cash for your retirement.
Having a larger unit means more cleaning and maintenance. It means more work. When your children leaves your home to set up their own nest, you will have empty rooms.
You could either rent out the rooms to tenants to earn monthly cash, or downgrade your flat for cash. But not everybody like the idea of strangers living in their house. They like to have their own privacy.
By topping up your CPF Retirement Account, you will have more money in your account. Your monthly lifelong payout will also increase. That means you will have more money to spend.
In addition, you will have Silver Housing Bonus of up to $30,000 in cash.
Does this sound like a good idea? Talk to your family about it. See if they are supportive of the idea.
For more information on the Silver Housing Bonus scheme, check out their official website here.