Kickstart your Retirement plan nw with your own tailored retirement cash flow excel spreadsheet here

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Retirement (planning) is a huge never ending project that one embarks on since the start of one's work life. It is like building a house as the entire retirement planning process is made up of many different blocks. The more solid your planning is, the stronger is the house that you get to live in, in your golden years (and the big bad wolf cannot huff and puff down your house). Below is a little house that I have drawn to help to visualize this:




This "Retirement article" should not be the first that you have came across to. I too, have read millions of such articles, especially where these days most of us are financial savvy and information gets fed to our mobile devices every second from all sources.


Having said that, for many years, I have never gotten down to crystallizing the amount of monthly cash flow that I will truly require (and will receive) when I reach my golden years. I believe that there are many people out there, like me, who struggle to start working on the ideas they have came across, into the actual planning work.


IMO, actually having an actual set of numbers to refer to is important (not because I am an accountant, but because we often need a guide/benchmark) because we are often too optimistic about what we can achieve in our mind. Also we cannot pin down the amount of shortfall that we will face when the time actually comes.


Firstly, the entire retirement planning process is made up of many different blocks (refer to the pic above):

  1. The building block of your retirement funds - CPF Retirement Account (RA) (which is converted from your CPF SA once you reach 55) - I am leaving out the "OA/SA balances" because I am assuming most people will have most of their OA used up for housing during their lifetime (and will continue to live in their house for the rest of their life and balances in SA are mostly transferred to RA)

  2. "Third party" Annuity plans (any other annuity plan that is not CPF LIFE)

  3. Dividends / Bonds coupon income

  4. Drawdown of investments

I have adopted this concept for my own Retirement planning and I am hoping this can also help you to achieve your goal by building your own tailored plan with the simple spreadsheet. Please edit the file according to your own retirement plans.


First of all, the spreadsheet that i have created can be downloaded by clicking here.


Next on how to use the spreadsheet. Let's go through one by one, shall we?


*Please update only cells that are highlighted in yellow.

  1. CPF Retirement Account


The first section is CPF RA - which is the "Annuity" plan that almost every Singaporean will have. Firstly, to project the amount of cash flow that you will receive at age 65, you need to project your estimated RA balance by age 55 (and 65). You may use the calculator on the CPF website: https://www.cpf.gov.sg/eSvc/Web/Schemes/LifeEstimator/LifeEstimator to generate the expected monthly cash flow.


Ie. If you are born in year 1965 with $200,000 in your RA balance at age 56 (NOT age 65), you would receive an estimated $1,120 at age 65. Funds in your RA balance will continue to accrue interest from 56 to 65.

If you are below age 55, you may use the formula in my spreadsheet to forecast your ending CPF balance:


Note that there is a capping on the maximum amount of Special Account balance for the CPF calculator at S$300,000. You may input up to $300,000 for the purpose of this exercise with CPF LIFE calculator. All these numbers are just the best estimation we could use as the actual cash flow from CPF LIFE will also vary.


With the amount calculated by CPF LIFE calculator, input the expected monthly cash flow from Age 65 (Column AA onwards) into the highlighted yellow cells. You will notice that before age 65, all the cells are marked "N.A". This is because CPF LIFE payout starts from Age 65.



2. Next, enter the expected monthly cash flow from other annuity plans. This can start from age 45 onwards. If you do not have any other annuities, you may leave this blank.



3. Enter the annual dividend yield in Column D and the principal invested in REITS in Column F. The monthly cash flow will be automatically populated. In reality, dividends are paid quarterly/half yearly/yearly. For the purpose of this planning exercise, dividend cash flows are divided by 12 months.



4. Repeat the same steps for Bonds investments. Enter the annual coupon rate in Column D and the principal invested in Bonds Column F. The monthly cash flow will be automatically populated. In reality, bonds coupons are paid quarterly/half yearly/yearly. For the purpose of this planning exercise, dividend cash flows are divided by 12 months.


5. Lastly, if you are planning to draw down on your investments, please add in the expected cash flows in the years that you are planning to make withdrawals. This file is "monthly cash flow" so please remember to divide your withdrawal by 12 months for the monthly cash flow.



6. Enter your targeted monthly cash flow during your retirement. "Shortfall" is automatically populated.


Once you are done, you may see your masterpiece in the tab "Mthly CF chart". The red portion represents the shortfall in your future monthly cash flow during your retirement. Perhaps time to take some action? It's never too late!


This is not a financial advice. Please do your own due diligence for all investment/financial decisions.


Lastly, if you like the spreadsheet/concept, you may leave me your contact details under "Contact" this site so that you can stay updated with more new posts in future :)


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