Men marry for money

34
I know a 29-year-old civil servant who said that when he gets married, he wants to buy a HDB-subsidised apartment and finish paying off the loan in full within 10 years. I did a quick calculation in my mind and it didn't sound easy.

Assuming the apartment costs $300,000,
20% down-payment = $60,000
80% loan @3% p.a. payable over 10 years = $2,317
(I used CPF Board's online calculator)

How many people save this amount each month?

Civil servants (except the ones at the top and the scholars) receive modest salaries so I asked him what plans he had to make his target achievable. As the question came out of my mouth, I realised what the answer was: dual income.

Most people are unable to afford the lifestyle that they want. By combining income with a spouse, they are able to buy things that they wouldn't be able to afford on their own like cars, apartments and houses. A female friend shared with me that her husband wanted to purchase an expensive condominium unit instead of a lower-priced HDB-subsidised apartment although they could barely afford it on their combined income.

Dividing that amount by 2 = $1,159

To my knowledge, many graduates in Singapore don't even save $1,000 a month and have trouble paying off their student loans. Forking out $1,159 to service the housing loan might be unattainable for many. Therefore, to achieve his objective this guy must marry a woman who is able to help "subsidise" the housing loan.

I often hear men saying that they do not want women to marry them for money. But isn't money what many men are marrying women for?

Note: To qualify to purchase a HDB-subsidised apartment, applicants must be citizens or permanent residents and be either singles who are at least 35 years old or married couples.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

You missed out an important point...CPF Contribution...Your friend could make use of his CPF contribution each month to pay the HDB loan.

Anonymous said...

Very quickly i can off-the-cuff think of the following. All my wife's must haves:

1) at least a graduate degree leading to a good career and consequently good income
2) already a beautiful woman without make up and a good lover
3) good mother to my kids
4) good daughter-in-law
5) able to cook, sew and good common sense
6) love me and be a good wife to me and her strong points would compensate for my weak points
7) knows the value of money, knows when and what to spend on and how to save
8) not too taken up with branded stuff nor the latest fads.
9) chatty, intelligent, sense of humour and able to interact with my colleagues, boss, friends.
10) pleasant mannered and socially likeable to all....
11) and I'm sure a few more other traits but its sufficient to list the above.

The above not necessarily in order of merit although I must admit the first 2 was the quickest of my mind.

Obstacles there may be in a marriage, but with that awesome combination of qualities of hers, we can achieve whatever we want together in life. Yes it's a dual income union. But it's not a marriage for money alone.

"I...............wife".

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

If a person earns $4500 a month, the CPF contribution from 1 person won't be enough to cover the monthly repayment. Still need to top up with almost $1000 cash monthly unless he marries someone who contributes to the payment.

David said...

Yu-Kym,

An interesting topic. You carefully avoid calling the civil servant even an acquaintance. Some young people have no patience and want gratification by the easiest means possible.

Some men likely try to marry up, trusting that a more educated, and maybe even wealthier bride will make it easier to find a high paying job, or that she will love him even if his career path will never leads to much higher pay. Perhaps such a male hopes for better business contacts from a higher class bride?

CC, you wife, wish list, is quite demanding of any potential candidate for a bride. Can you offer a women similar qualities?

I know my wife is smarter than I am. She more degrees, and being from Asia her world view has always been wider. Over time this has benefited me, as being in a hybrid family I appreciate more about this world than many American's.

David

Know this: though love is weak and hate is strong, Yet hate is short, and love is very long.

-- Kenneth Boulding

Anonymous said...

My advice to aspiring homeowners...yes pls do try find a spouse that will also contribute to homeownership. But it is not the be all and end all. And obviously you dont settle for an incompatible spouse solely for the sake of that additional income. That will also not make for a happy home!

Regardless of the benefits of having one parent staying home to raise the kids, unless one is sufficiently rich, a dual-income family has benefits that outweigh a single-income household. The problems associated with both parents slogging away with their respective careers can be serious but not impossible to overcome if you choose a compatible partner. Whichever path you choose, single or dual, marriage still comes with problems and conflicts sooner or later. It's the degree of severity that also makes a difference to a marriage surviving or perishing.

So I say to you, these modern days it's not a shame to share a partnership with your spouse in many areas, including buying a home and performing domestic chores together. You are being realistic and wise because finance is one of the critical issues affecting the success of a marriage. Sex and children are the others. If these are not handled properly, you are sowing the seeds to an unhappy union or inevitable divorce.

curious cat

Rock Hard said...

Someone just describe my wife with the 10 pointers.

Boy, I feel so lucky now..

hahahaha

Anonymous said...

both me and my husband work but i only contribute very little to our household financially except for the maid's pay...everything is paid by my husband including car instalments, house loan, groceries etc...btw, ownership of the house is MINE alone but paid by my husband....boy, i also feel lucky!!

Jen from Malaysia

Anonymous said...

David,

Yes they are enormously demanding qualities. I'm afraid I cannot match them - all those 10 pointers or more.

For one, I dont wear make up although a handsome face I may have. lol

2ndly, i also don't sew, and I cook like the fake Martin Yan cooks Singapore char kuay teow, and quite ashamed to say so...will only help with domestic or household chores where necessary and not as a matter of instinctive or dutiful response. I would rather delegate such chores to a maid. I am relatively lazy in certain circumstances where there are alternatives. lol

3rdly, I dont make a good father to children. I can only provide them material wants but I cannot nurture them with the love and attention that other fathers can.

4thly, I don't think I can be totally faithful in a marriage. I have a high sex drive and i don't think one woman can satisfy me through 50 yrs of marriage. I need another good woman on the sides. keke

I may have a few other faults (like my constant wonderings about God's existence..sorry i can't resist ribbing you lol) but I believe mostly not marriage destroying.

Nevertheless, having embarassingly admitted all that, I have sufficient remaining "A" qualities to win this incredible woman's heart. keke

But important too is the fact that her "A" qualities compensate for my deficiency in them. And I believe I would have certain traits that would make up for her shortfalls too.

So that makes us likely very compatible. Don't you think we are a dream couple, David? Lol

But about your partnership, I don't think your being lesser in some areas as compared to your wife takes anything away from you as a worthy man to her. This is a fact reflected in your serenity in life with your Lord your beacon of light; your expressions of happiness and love that you have both achieved. You are both a dream couple in your own way. How many can count themselves in your rarified air?

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Rock Hard,

You extremely lucky bastard you! lol

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Caution to the man wishing to marry a woman more capable than him eg marrying up in education, intelligence or income level. You must be a confident man with your own special qualities and she a unique woman who will treat you with the same love and respect regardless of your insufficiencies. Don't be too sure you can do another David!

For eg a lesser man marrying Yu-Kym would definitely have to pray full time if he wishes to survive the union. And even then, there are good reasons prayers may not help. Sorry again David. lol

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Wah Jen,

where did you hook such an incredibly rich man?

He must have many houses to spare. One for you and one for each of his mistresses. keke just kidding.

Good that you continue to work even when you dont have to. A little income is nothing compared to the benefits of earning and doing your own thing.

Wish you many years of happy marriage and another house to your name soon. hehe

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Curious Cat,

My husband is not those wealthy type, we work for other people...it's just that we did our own savings and investments here and there and finally afford to buy house and cars. well, i think he knows i'm thinking 'your money is my money, my money is my money'....maybe he's being wise not to argue that!! :P

Jen

Anonymous said...

Hey Jen

When you work for other people and yet you can accumulate cash and assets, it speaks volumes of your ability and shrewdness in making money through initial sacrifices, prudent savings and wise investments. Especially your husband because as you said, you contribute relatively little to the household and he pays for almost everything.

Normally only those who are into a successful business of their own can they boast huge wealth and assets. Or born with a silver spoon.

And being in Malaysia helps coz in Singapore ppl in similar situation like you have no hope of achieving what you have at the speed you have.

But having said that, you best hold on tight to a husband who does not argue with "his money is your money"! Your money is your money is not impt because you have little money. lol

curious cat

Anonymous said...

So whats your ideal monthly income of your future partner? Must he pay for everything?

Anonymous said...

I heard this situation far too many times from my girl-friends. Their hubbies always expect them to pay for the house too.. I think not. if the wifey wants to help. sure, but if not then leave the man to it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Right or wrong, this is my view. Because I aspire to have the best housing for me and my family and would stretch my savings to the limit, I expect the woman I marry to have the same goals. If the wifey doesnt want to help she wont be my wifey.

I am not a businessman. I am just a salaried employee although high income but not even half a million a year. Private housing is such a huge investment in Singapore that I alone cannot afford the kind of housing i desire, with high cash downpayment and monthly instalments stretching 20 to 30 yrs. So my wifey has to play her part if she wants to enjoy similar luxury. Of course, i still foot the major part of the expenditure.

If she is not keen to contribute, she best choose someone else to marry. But unless she gets extremely lucky like Jen, I dont think with another man, she can attain the kind of lifestyle which together with me she can enjoy. keke

curious cat

Anonymous said...

curious cat,

how do you know i have little money? i contribute little to the household does not mean i have little money... :P like anon above said, 'if the wifey wants to help, sure, but if not then leave the man to it'. my husband never expects me to contribute, he thinks this is the 'husband' job... :P

jen

Anonymous said...

Oh my apologies Jen.

I noticed the error immediately after I posted my comment when i re-read your post more carefully. I was initially skimming through your remarks on 1st reading and only realised later that you didnt mean that you have little money. Just that you contributed little to the household. lol

My sincere apologies again. But sheepishly, I must admit, if you didnt spot it, I had chose not to point out my error. hehe

Good for you Jen! And your husband is a great guy! Hold on to him tight! You know how to right? keke

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you posted:

"So whats your ideal monthly income of your future partner? Must he pay for everything?"

Are you addressing the qn to me, Jen or somebody else?

curious cat

Anonymous said...

are all sporean men like that?? i tend to think so cos my malaysian gf married a sporean man and complained to me that her husband expects her to contribute financially including their wedding costs!! maybe i was brought up to think that all wedding costs should be borne by the husband and goes the same for buying a house...i'm not saying the husband must pay for everything, if the wife is understanding enough, she should voluntarily contribute to other things in the household (provided that she's earning her own money and husband not filthy rich).. :P

jen

Anonymous said...

Jen

Wedding costs? the man asks the woman to pay too? Tell the man go fly kite lah. You want to marry me, you pay! If not, there are plenty more other men who can foot all the wedding costs. lol

I am referring to housing in Singapore lah Jen. It's beyond most of us to handle by ourselves unless we want the minimum public housing. Even then for the average individual, the 4 and 5 roomers HDB flats are also getting expensive for one person to handle unless you want to stretch your loans to the maximum years, 35, 40 yrs or more? Pay till the end of your life?

But going private and landed properties is something else. Malaysia has the land to make such investments relatively cheaper, but not this island nation dear.

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Addressing the qs to everyone in general.. :P

"So whats your ideal monthly income of your future partner? Must he pay for everything?"

David said...

Anon,

The question regarding an ideal monthly income for ones future partner, is a shallow question.

Anyone who chooses a spouse based on an expected income should not be looking for a spouse.

Most young couples start out with lower income than they will have compared with 5 years later or 10 years later.

Income tends to rise with time. Saving during the first years of marriage is a wise method for young couples to learn how to work together towards a common goal. Money matters, along with fidelity and other issues are prime drivers for young couples divorcing.

Just some food for thought above.
Tag, your turn...

David

If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.

-- Nikka, age 6

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I dont know how to answer your 1st qn.

It's up to the man whether he is able or wants to pay for everything or not. If he can afford it, why not? If he can afford it and he still nick pick, then I'm sorry you married the wrong man.

If there is a need to share in certain expenditures and the wifey is earning a reasonable income, why not come to a compromise. If the wifey has just sufficient income to sustain herself, how can she contribute? The man should foot everything or else he is unfit to call himself a man.

There are certain things that the man should bear fully like wedding costs. Hopefully it's a one-time thing. lol If he wants to marry again, he should be able to foot everything again. lol

curious cat

Anonymous said...

David,

In Singapore, a typical non-graduate young couple starting out with an average single income or relatively lower combined income cannot normally hope to achieve private housing or even a reasonably good class public housing within 5 to 10 years or more unless something extraordinary gives their income a good boost. Even a graduate qualification is not a guarantee.

When I choose my spouse, I'd look for at least a girl with a graduate degree. The expectation is for a better combined earning power for a higher standard of living without too long a gestation period.

Graduate or no graduate, why cant a man look for a spouse with this criterion of potential for better income amongst others?

Here, salary increases too are constrained within a certain tight range due to eg national wage policies. Property prices in this island nation escalate exponentially faster than incomes can catch up and aggravates the problem. Savings is almost always never adequate.

Yes, it is because money is such an important issue affecting a marriage that finding a spouse with the potential to earn good money is one less issue to quarrel about. (Not to say that rich couples still dont fight over money lol).

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

It's not enough to talk only about monthly income. Assets, sources of income, spending habits, cash flow, liabilities, financial obligations towards his family, his idea of his future lifestyle, insurance, health are important financial considerations.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely Yu-Kym, so there are lots of issues concerning finance in a marriage huh? Finance, sex, children all critical issues.

So u best marry a man with this must have, amongst others: ability and/or potential to earn good income if he has not already attained this requirement. lol

curious cat

David said...

Greetings All,

From the majority of statements made regarding the problems in SG for a young couple to save for housing, it does appear that Singapore may not have a sustainable economic model for providing affordable housing.

Subsidies are one way of easing the burden, but consider that funds for subsidies come from taxing everyone. In effect everyone who already has saved and purchased housing, has to contribute to younger couples usually new to the work force.

An perplexing problem with no easy answer.

David

You cannot go on being a good egg forever. You must either hatch
or rot.


-- C. S. Lewis

Anonymous said...

David,

Perhaps you may be misled into thinking this way. I may be partly to blame.

Singapore does have a sustainable economic model for affordable housing. The subsidised public housing in Singapore is an effective means to provide every Singaporean a permanent roof over our heads. And with continual economic development, the subsidies will not be a heavy burden for taxpayers partly because of a compulsory citizen's fund called "CPF". But this is another story.

In anycase, the majority of Singaporeans...I dare say 2/3rds or more dont pay income taxes.

That is both good and a problem because when you dont pay income taxes it usually means you are not in the "attractive" income bracket to tax! lol In otherwords, relatively low income! lol

And it's a problem because land is limited in Singapore, the better class public housing and the privately developed ones costs much more and you are priced out of range.

But if one is patient and work hard for a regular dual-income or even a single-income household, affordable subsidised public housing is almost readily available if one is not choosy about type of flat and location. And for first time buyers for new public housing, there is a reasonably generous grant from the govt to help you get a good start. And one may get 2 bites of this "cherry" too in certain circumstances.

I hope the above corrects somewhat the misconception you may have been given.

curious cat

Anonymous said...

If you're male 35, can afford to buy hdb flat with your own cpf (which i doubt with the prices of flats now) and you got married, you are daft.

-gringo

David said...

Yu-Kym,

What type of housing do you call home?

David

Yu-Kym said...

David, a small apartment. Land here is scare so most people live in apartments. All land is owned by the government. Government-subsidised housing just means that the owners do not need to pay any 3rd party developer or monthly management fee. Whatever owners pay goes directly to the government but such ownership comes with more restrictions.

Anonymous said...

David,

I must add that I believe the "restrictions" are relatively minor, not so earth shaking that one's standard of living in govt housing is a disgrace.

In fact many of these newer subsidised housing for the masses looked very much like private condominiums and the older estates are relatively well maintained too considering its age, the human traffic and the multi-nationality occupants.

These public housing has its downsides but on the whole I think Singaporeans can be happy that the government has provided more than adequately for its population. There are even covered walkways from their flats to the bus stops or subway stations. So no sun nor rain! I think we have world class public housing in Singapore. Come see for yourself someday David! hehe

I think now Yu-Kym will be even more suspicious that I am a government servant! One may never know! lol

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

The restrictions are more around rental and re-sale. If I own a piece of private property, I'd rather rent that out and go live in HDB apartment. It's not a disgrace at all to live in HDB apartment. After renovating it can look the same as a private apartment. One thing bad about the design of HDB apartments is the window along the corridor if it is not a corner unit. There's less privacy.