The Covid-19 pandemic has definitely taken a toll on the financial health of Singaporeans. Our ability to pay off our housing loans, monthly credit card bills have been hampered while regular passive income has also been adversely affected. This is evident from the OCBC Financial Wellness Index, a measurement of the state of Singaporeans’ financial wellness, whereby the score had dipped from 63 in 2019 to 61 in 2020. As a result, 3 in 4 Singaporeans feel that they are falling behind their retirement plans. (Source: OCBC Financial Wellness Index 2020)
At this juncture, making the most of your money is now more important than ever. With the launch of SGFinDex (‘Singapore Financial Data Exchange’), there is now a single platform to piece together one’s finances. This provides us with a tool to understand how to maximise our financial wellness. When powered on OCBC Financial OneView on OCBC Digital Banking, we can now view our finances from different sources at a glance, glean insights and establish financial life goals with OCBC Life Goals. OCBC Digital is a holistic tool that enables you to take your personal financial planning to the next level.
What Is SGFinDex?
SGFinDex is a joint initiative by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (‘MAS’) and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (‘SNDGG’), with the support of the Ministry of Manpower (‘MOM’). It is built on SingPass and developed by the public sector in collaboration with The Association of Banks in Singapore and 7 participating banks. (Source: MAS) In addition to agglomerating our finances from the participating banks, our financial data are also retrieved from selected government agencies such as HDB, CPF as well as IRAS. That means that we get to see our savings, credit card expenditure, home mortgage, CPF savings as well tax bills all on a single platform. (See Diagram 1)
Setting Up Your Financial OneView on OCBC Digital Banking
I set up Your Financial OneView (powered by SGFinDex) on the OCBC Mobile Banking app and found the process to be relatively fuss-free and straightforward. As shown in Diagram 2, all it took were 3 simple steps to set up my OCBC Financial OneView!
By the way, I would highly recommend you to enable SingPass Mobile so that you can scan QR code and log in with Face ID. I consider setting up Your Financial OneView a worthwhile one-off effort for a lifetime of convenience, and perhaps better retirement prospects.
Glean Insights on Your Financial Health
After setting up your Financial OneView, you will now be exposed to different tools to enable you to Manage your finances, Protect you and your wealth, Plan for retirement as well as Grow your wealth.
The various money management tools available on the OCBC Mobile Banking app enable you to glean insights to your own financial health as well as learn about some long-term savings and life goals that you can set in your life. For instance, Diagram 3 shows the breakdown on where my expenses went for the month.
This helps me understand my spending and better plan my budget for the next month.
This analysis is something that I have been looking forward to as I am always keen to learn how realistic my target of achieving financial freedom by age 40 is. That is why I am more than happy to utilise these tools (especially OCBC Life Goals to plan my retirement) and a snapshot of the journey I went through is shown in Diagram 5.
For the inputs, I put in an estimate of what I think I would be spending during my retirement years in today’s terms. OCBC Life Goals estimated that I would need around $960K to afford this retirement lifestyle. I then run a simulation of an investment option to see how far that would bring me closer to my retirement goal as shown in Diagram 6.
It never hurts to have an extra pair of robo-eyes to pore through my plans, especially one that is retrieving accurate data to help with my retirement planning. However, I am also acutely aware that I need to supplement this analysis with my own investment portfolio as those were not automatically captured by SGFinDex.
The next analysis that I was keen to perform was the projected cost of a university education for my daughter. I keyed in her details and was surprised to find the various school fees populated for both local and overseas education. Once again, I performed a simulation with an investment portfolio to understand the gap analysis.
Take Action on Financial OneView
Having done the simulation, you can choose to mull them over or take immediate decisive action. Taking concrete action, whether big or small according to your needs, will bring you closer to your life goals. I studied the various options on the app and I am particularly enamoured towards the Blue-Chip Investment Plan. This is because one of the available ETFs to invest in include the recently listed Lion-OCBC Securities Hang Seng Tech ETF. This would give me exposure to the Hang Seng Tech Index which consists of underlying equities such as Tencent, Alibaba and JD.com. This is a country and sector that I think would add diversity to my current investment portfolio via a Dollar-Cost Average approach. The best part is that I can even utilise my idle SRS funds to invest in the Blue-Chip Investment Plan!
Take Your Financial Planning To The Next Level With OCBC Digital Banking
I am pleased to have set up Financial OneView (powered by SGFinDex) on the OCBC Mobile Banking app. The advantages are numerous:
- I get to see all my finances on one platform (Your Financial OneView).
- Every now and then, I also get small nudges to maximise my money (personalised insights).
- A plethora of planning tools are available which allow me to take action anytime to plan for the future (OCBC Life Goals)
With all the financial information in one place, it has become easier for me to make my financial planning simpler, more personalised and holistic.
Disclaimer: This article is written in collaboration with OCBC but the views expressed here are entirely from Heartland Boy.