A Resort-cum-Club Retirement Home

 Hi Silverhairs,

 On security-guard duty since Sept 1st last year at the Singapore Post Building which is next to the Paya Lebar MRT Station, I have come to know two operations-staff whom, together with one of their cousins and plus one of their good friend who has an Indonesian wife(all are Malay-Muslims), in late 2010 bought two properties (each cost less than Three hundred and fifty million rupiahs, 1million rph = $14,300plus) at the Costarina Complex which faces the inlet where daily will pass by the ferry from Harbourfront.  From mid-last year, a ferris-wheel(probably less than half smaller than our Marina Flyer) and a small jetty with a few parked recreational boats were readied for residents.

 These two operations-staff sold their 3-rm flat to HDB for a 30yr-lease stay whilst the cousin downgraded from 4rm to 3rm and the close friend sold outright his 3rm flat.  The close friend is a permanent stayer while the other three make regular bi-monthly two/three day visits and since last year June holidays, six of their Muslim family friends have rented rooms up to one-week stay(was not told and did not enquire the rental rates).

 Perhaps a "Core-group of Absolutely-interested" Silverhairs can copy the above, a Silverhairs’ Resort Home located in JBahru(the Bukit Chagar site next to the Customs Complex is ideal as its higher elevation provide views of the Johor Straits, less than one hundred metres away, and it is also ten mins away to the newly renovated Evon Centre, but alas the buildings are quite dilapidated), the Danga Bay area, or the new Kulaijaya township which is 90mins away north from JBaru.  Kukup, Batu Pahat and Mersing can also be considered, but the latter two towns entail about three hours driving time.

 This concept has to be brainstormed by the Core-group of Absolutely-Interested Silverhairs and my take at least ten members are required to anchor this project and assuming one member foots out one hundred thousand ringgit, the capital base is One mil ringgit sufficiently enough to purchase two properties.


  Abel Tan

18 thoughts on “A Resort-cum-Club Retirement Home

  1. Hi Abel,

    Your idea probably works for some Singaporeans. Yes, I do think it is a good idea to brainstorm on this. Whether it works or not, it depends on individuals and their circumstances. Everybody has their own case.

    I am keen to hear your reasoning why you think it takes 10 persons to anchor such a project. It is difficult to gather 10 persons together. What do you think we should brainstorm?

    Terence Seah

  2. Hi I wld like to share my comments on overseas property just make sure you do your homework, I hve had bad experiences with properties in Malaysia many years ago Malacca already sold, then JB sold one lost money of course and now still stuck with one. A lot of promises when you want to buy but when you want to sell its a problem. Know some frens who bought batam many years ago but never saw sight of the building. For those seriously considering to retire to a safe and cheap place Chiangmai is good, my brother is there don buy just rent a condo one bedroom unit is S$160 a month and a one bedroom house with lounge, kitchen and small garden the rent is S$350 a month so why buy tie up your money and eventually can’t sell. Keep a unit here in Singapore rent it out and with the rental income you can live like duke in Chiangmai. These are only my views for sharing purpose only. Janet Loo

  3. Hi Janet, thanks for sharing the details. Is it possible to see some pictures of the property you mentioned ? Does your
    brother know of any Organic farms nearby ? Are you coming to the 11th Feb ‘meeting ? What can we do there ? we can’t play
    Mahjong/cards or watch TV whole day..please enlighten us.
    Thank you.

  4. Hi, Janet is absolutely correct, Malaysia, Indonesia is not a place to buy any property regardless for any reason. Many of my friends and I mean many have lost money and many other stories about their disastrous experience. I have worked in ChiangMai for 5 years and know of many Singaporeans semi-retired there. Some have bought condos and off course some would prefer to rent, it depends on individuals. ChiangMai / ChiangRai is a much safer and better place to semi-retire. These are also my personal experience and comments. Anyone interseted to know more can contact me: richardsclim48@yahoo.com.sg

  5. I also heard lots of news of overseas properties buying but not everyone does make money out of it as a investment. Some have restrictions for foreigners and have limited time-frame eg.30 yrs, 90 yrs lease. Freehold would be even better but again does not mean cheap is always good. Some properties cannot even sell after buying due to demand and supply. If you are planning to stay for good and die there then it should fit the needs if not forget about it for the long term investment.

    Some friends of mine who have purchased overseas properties regretted it after paying and staying there for a short term. Either they find it difficult to adjust to the environment or have difficulties in selling it. Some even lose money after selling. Some of course, rent them out but the return in the long term does not make profits as they also have to renew the contract after the rental lease expired and might have problems getting new tentants. Not only that, they have to renovate it again when the house runs down – that cost extra $ and after even out here and there, they do not really made money. The only great thing is they tell people they owned properties oversea.

    Do not follow the crowds, do some homework and if you can afford times, stay there to experience the life styles and see you can adjust to it and like the place. Only then when you are very sure that this is “heaven” for you. You can purchase the properties and live in your “heaven”.

    This is just my opinion. Everybody have different views. Free to express and share.

  6. Hi Danny @ #6,

    You have given good advice but human nature is funny, when you tell them don’t, they purposely want to do it to ‘show’ you! Ever had this experience?

    When it is cheap and plentiful, they tell you 101 reasons why it is not a good buy. But when it is ‘scarce’ and supply is ‘short’, they scramble to push up the price!! Why? Because everybody is buying.

    Property is always illiquid, ie hard to find a buyer or a seller. Because it is a big ticket item.

    Much like you only have 1 bullet to shoot, so you have to be very careful to choose the best timing. But timing is difficult to fine-tune, and the experts know that. So when you are deciding to buy or sell, give it your best shot, and learn to live with the decision, good, bad of bestest.

    Most people estimate their gains/losses on property by dividing the gains/losses by the deposit put up. They disregard the loan quantum. The correct answer would be to divide the gains/losses by the cost of the property, ie the total exposure, and to minus off all the peripheral costs like you mentioned, renovations, repairs, vacancies, etc.

    But having said that, most, if not all Singaporeans, make a lot of money on property, or even sitting on the property they live in. This is because of the phenomenal growth we have had these last 40 years. But they fail when they try to replicate this model in the neighbouring countries, because these countries have different growth rates, much more land than land-starved Singapore etc

    Also money is a sensitive and emotive characteristic of human nature. So some cannot think straight, ie they are not objective, and arguments sometimes deteriorate to name-calling and other irrelevant indicators.

    Good luck to you in your next venture.

  7. #7 Charles,

    I do agreed to some of your points and sometime is very sad to see Singaporean/Foreigners spoiling the properties market by buying when prices are still so high. They should stay away from it and let the developers lower the prices when there is no demand after the launch for the sale. Its all depend on Supply & Demand theory. Developers are smart that they know we are greedy buyers and always wanted the best, so the prices also go with the best.

    Foreign lands are different, there are lots of rooms for developments as spaces are vast whereas in Singapore, we have limited space and land is scare for development, so that the reason why we are paying so high a price for such a properties. In such a case, the value of the properties will not be able to fetch a high price for resale and normally people do really buy and sell just to make some small profits out of it. It is more of a home for good than investment. Hope I get the right informations.

  8. Hi Felice my brother had pictures of the place he is staying he was back for the CNY leaving today for Chiangmai.Yes there are organic farms we can make a trip there I hve been to Chiangmai that was more than 40 yrs ago. I can’t attend the mtg on the 11th but if you can come to eastpoint on the 17th will be good to meet up with you.

  9. Hi janet, i am afraid i can not make it to East point..
    the gate is not working well, repairman is coming..
    We could meet up somewhere in orchard rd one day, my
    hp is XXXXXXX. you can SMS cos’ i do not ‘use’ it..really.
    Thank you & looking forward to meet you SOON !

  10. Hi-Richard #5
    I just came back from CM as part of SHC team under Kenneth
    I wrote you an email to know more but it was returned as error.
    Is your email correct? Pls confirm

    Peter Lim

  11. Hi Silverhairs,

    My take is many of us do not aim to retire permanently abroad but due to gradually dwindling income against steadily increasing cots here and a strong Sing dollar, we would wish to spend perhaps up to an aggregate of six months in a year overseas and preferably among friends and familiar surroundings.

    Since we would be making about four or more trips annually and due to age and costs too and frankly due to the bias of a Chinese enviorement(my indicated locations have many Chinese Malaysians), the Danga Bay/Iskandarjaya residential area in my opinion is the most ideal as plus the fact it is a new an up-market locality and the distance is less than ninety minutes away from Changi Point and less than sixty minutes from Clementi town.

    Silverhairs Group can consider setting up a Co-operative Society to oversee this project. The problem with buying Malaysian & Indonesian properties during the Nineties is at least two-thirds of the property-developers are “fly-by-nite” operators and possibly half of these are in cahoots with govt. officials to cheat buyers. During 1994/5/6, instigated by a prominent politicain, Malaysians were afraid that Sporeans will “buy-over” Malaysia with the Ringgit, then weakening steadily over 1.50 Rgt to the Sing dollar.

    But some Sporeans experienced “loss of money” due to the experience of one cousin who with a close friend and the latter’s Malaysian colleague, in 1996 bought the top-end Makhota Residence, Melaka. The property was sold in 2010 and my cousin and his close friend each profited not more than two thousand Sing dollars simply because they lost slightly more than fifty percent in the foreign exchange rate of 1.55/56(1996) to 2.39/40(2010). A few Sporeans may have bought “cheap” USA properties in 2009 when the exchange rate was one US$ = 1.47/48 Sing against now one US$ = 1.25/26 Sing, thus an exchange loss of fifteen%.


    Abel Tan

  12. Hi Terence

    Sorry, overlooked your enquiry #2 but now returned to the library again to internet because I was told a unit at the Danga Bay/Iskandaraya area costs MORE than Sing dollars Three Hundred Thousand.

    My suggestion is some very-close-friends Silverhairs can gang-up and purchased one unit and leased it out, not neccessarily the whole unit but as per bedroom and with consent to use the living-hall/balcony/kitchen, etc. just like a hotel. Bookings will have to be made in advance and the lessors must take turns to be hotelkeepers.

    Perhaps visits-for-the-day between 9am to 7pm can be allowed at charges of Thirty Ringgit per person. Additionally, limited variety of non-alcoholic drinks can be caterred by hotelkeepers. Probably there will be restaurants and a minimart set up in this complex, proposed as resort-living style.


    Abel Tan

  13. Hi Abel #13,

    I would think it would be quite a brave venture for someone with retirement thoughts to buy an overseas property for SGD 300,000. Trcking the discussions here on this forum in the last few years, the more accepted thought would be rental of a property.

    Question: Why do you think Singaporeans over 45 would consider buying an overseas property for SGD 300,000?

    Terence Seah

  14. Hi Terence and Abel

    Both of you have put up some very well thought-out views on retirement living for seniors. As normal in any of such discussions there are different opinions on the location, costs, rent versus owning, pros and cons, etc.

    I think these should not deter us from exploring and considering all choices, without having any pre-conceived idea or conclusion to sway our judgement.

    Let each SHC member contribute his/her views and ideas, and let’s not shoot the idea/s down.

    Terence: You’ve offered your apartment in Bangkok for rental or lease. Would some SHCs combine and take a month’s rental and share the apartment, four could combine and take a week each?

    I personally think that each person thinking of retiring in another place/country should take some time to visit and experience the life there; and not allow any pre-conceptions or opinions of others stop them.

  15. HI Kenneth,

    I cannot agree with you more, especially on this last para.

    “I personally think that each person thinking of retiring in another place/country should take some time to visit and experience the life there; and not allow any pre-conceptions or opinions of others stop them.”

  16. Hi Charles

    Aargh!! I lost my comments again!

    Anyway, thanks for your agreement but this was the earlier view of Danny Lye in #06.

    I came back from Chiang Mai with brochures of two new condo developments: a small two/three bedroom unit costs about Baht 2 million (S$80,000). What I’m trying to say here is that there are possibilities and opportunities in CM.

    But another of my cautions: Don’t buy unless you want to stay there long-term. Do not expect properties to appreciate like in Singapore or Hong Kong where land is scarce; you may not be able to sell later at a higher price as Danny says in #8.

  17. The recent budget seem to suggest that the govt is very concern about the living lifestyle of senior citizens. In today’s ST, an entrepreneur is working on developing retirement villages right here at our doorstep. The RV wd have all amenities, including medical and catering services.

    a friend of mine has decided to downgrade to a HDB studio apatment for about 80K, whhere amenities, mrt, are within walking distance. I think this is a good idea to consider. Its affordable, and we get to live in familiar environment, in safety and medical help is just nearby.

    Some food for thought for some SHCians???

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