Lure of a comfortable, semi-retired lifestyle at just $1,500 a month

/ EdgeProp Singapore
June 10, 2018 7:30 AM SGT
Boaz Boon believes that living a semi-retired life is not just for the very rich in Singapore. He sees it as something within the reach of most Singaporeans. In fact, based on his estimates, one can live quite comfortably on a monthly income of $1,500 — by stretching the dollar across the Causeway.
“At $1,500 a month, one can barely make ends meet in Singapore,” says Boon. It amounts to just 55% of the median monthly income from work per household member in Singapore, which, according to the Department of Statistics, was $2,699 in 2017. A monthly income of $1,500 in Singapore would mean living in “relative poverty”, as it is less than 60% of the median income, going by the definition of the United Nations Department Programme.
Boon: At $1,500 a month, one can barely make ends meet in Singapore, but one can live comfortably across the Causeway (Credit: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
After spending 15 years with CapitaLand, where his last position was head of research, Boon left and founded Thred in 2016. The firm specialises in real estate and design thinking. Boon is also a director of VestAsia, where he heads the real estate advisory business.
On his decision to give up his corporate job, he says: “After I turned 50, I decided it was time to quit the rat race.”

Second home

Boon spends part of his time in Johor Bahru, in a newly completed semi-detached house on Jalan Bijaksana, an established upper-middle- class housing estate.
The rebuilt semi-detached house in the established estate of Jalan Bijaksana, Johor Bahru, is inspired by the colonial black-andwhite bungalows in Singapore (Credit: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
In Singapore, he and his wife live in a comfortable executive apartment in Choa Chu Kang that they purchased in 1998 and designed to suit the needs of the family. Boon and his wife have two adult sons.
According to Boon, driving time is just 25 to 35 minutes door to door from his home in Singapore to the one in Johor Bahru. He likes the flexibility of taking off to Johor Bahru for a short...