Savings Accounts for the Elderly

If you have entered the silver years of your life without making plans for your post-retirement life or without substantial savings, life could put you in a predicament. Even as the disposable income of most Singaporeans rise, the same doesn’t always translate into greater savings.

With increased living expenses and higher life expectancy, you may see your savings get depleted at the start of your superannuation. Even though the government encourages people to make contributions to CPF and save for their golden years, managing your wealth and finding a safe sanctuary for it may prove to be a tedious and tricky problem.

This is where a good savings account can become your crutch to support you against most of your financial woes. Not only does a savings account help you protect your money, it also offers you a number of associated facilities to help you stay on top of your finances.

Standard Chartered Bank, for example, has rolled out a savings account specifically for those aged 55 and above. It’s called the MyWay Programme and has been structured keeping the lifestyle needs of the elderly in mind. It not only offers competitive interest rates, depending on the average daily balance in your account, but also offers a range of additional privileges such as wealth management solutions to help you grow your wealth without exposing your savings too much to known and unknown market risks. the account also offers you healthcare assistance through a dedicated medical concierge and medical examinations/screenings conducted by its partners.

Benefits That a Good Savings Account Is Expected to Offer the Elderly

  1. No lock-in period: A crisis can hit you when you least expect it. It is important to be prepared for such eventualities and to have a considerable financial cushion. A lock-in period would mean that you would be forced to keep your savings deposited in an account even if you want to wind it up and use the money somewhere else. Else, a penalty may be imposed for foreclosure. Since the elderly in Singapore want fluidity in cash flow, a good savings account shouldn’t have a lock-in period.
  2. Access to account from anywhere: One of the biggest expectations that the elderly have from their savings accounts is that they’ll enjoy the convenience of having access to their money from anywhere. With an online banking account or a mobile app, you’ll not only be able to view your balance and keep track of your transactions but also be able to conduct transactions like funds transfer to and from your account, paying bills, and making online purchases with your debit card. This also eliminates the need for you to repeatedly visit the bank.
  3. Safety: The Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation covers the deposit accounts of any member bank or insurer, in the event the member fails. Ensure that your bank is protected under the scheme. A good savings account will help your money grow in a protected environment. Since the elderly deposit life savings in a savings account, the bank needs to ensure that they feel safe and enjoy complete peace of mind. The bank also needs to ensure that the online and card transactions are completely safe. One small loophole in the system could mean that the entire life savings of a customer gets wiped out in matter of seconds.
  4. Wealth management solutions: While life expectancy in Singapore is on the rise, people are not free from life risks or diseases. Sedentary lifestyle and stress have been working in tandem to push up healthcare expenses. The protection offered by private insurance providers and CPF-administered Medisave, CPF Life, and ElderShield, are not always enough to cover for the expensive treatments that you may need to battle the many health issues that may bother you in the sunset years of your life. As a result, it is imperative that you continue to grow your money without taking too many risks. With the right savings account, you can not only save aplenty but also use the savings to grow your retirement nest egg. The right investment advice at the right time can help you make the most of the opportunities in the market.
  5. Lifestyle benefits: A good elderly savings account will give you the best lifestyle privileges and offers because the bank knows that after years of working hard, you’re probably looking for some quality time for yourself. While some banks may offer green fees, special golfing rates or discounted golfing lessons, others may offer great spa sessions, special dining offers, and a wealth of healthcare privileges.

Eligibility Criteria

The following are some of the usual eligibility requirements for a savings account for the elderly:

  • You’re a Singaporean citizen/PR or a foreigner.
  • You’re aged 55 or above (However, there could be accounts with a lower minimum age criterion).
  • Foreigners should have any one of the following type of employment passes to be eligible:
    • P1
    • P2
    • Q

Holders of the Q-type pass need to have a minimum of 1-year validity remaining on their passes.

Mandatory Documents

The following are the documents that you would need to furnish at the time of filing your application:

  • Facsimile copies of the front and back of your NRIC, if you’re a Singaporean citizen or PR.
  • If you’re a foreigner, you may have to submit the documents listed below:
    • Passport
    • Employment pass with sufficient validity
    • Any of the following documents-
      • Agreement of tenancy.
      • Proof of address provided by government-issued documents.
      • Copy of a utility bill paid within the last three months.
      • Copy of a telco bill paid within the last three months.
      • Letter from the human resource department from your employer that states your address in Singapore and also a copy of your bank statement within the last three months.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • With the right debit card, you can enjoy special rates and exclusive privileges in healthcare, lifestyle, and travel. Moreover, ensure that you don’t have to pay an annual fee or other maintenance charges for the card.
  • With safe harbour for your money and interest rates without carrying any risk, a savings account can offer one of the safest ways to increase your nest egg for the future.
  • Make sure that the comprehensive wealth generation advisory and guidance doesn’t expose you to market uncertainties and risks.
  • Ensure that money can be withdrawn from the bank or a nearby ATM at your convenience and whenever you want.
  • Keep an eye on the charges. The minimum average daily balance could be higher for savings accounts targeted especially towards the aged. If you fail to maintain the minimum balance, a fall-below fee could be charged. Make sure that the charges don’t cancel out the interest benefits.
  • Have a thorough understanding of how interest will be calculated on your daily balances and when it will be credited to your account.
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