One of the big topics discussed during the National Day Rally is how to help elderly monetize their homes. The current lease buyback scheme allows the hdb owner to keep up to 30 years lease and sell the remaining value to HDB for a sum of money.
Studies on Allowing Flexibility In Number of Years Left on Lease
There is a proposal to allow more flexibility of the number of years the owner can keep. So it could be less than 30 years for more money upfront or more than 30 years for less money upfront. The fear of course is that the owners might choose to retain a small number of years lease and then outlive it. Then it becomes a government issue to make sure they do not end up being homeless.
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Further studies need to be done on how to vary the lease range and possibly use ages to impose caps. Another issue though is that these are actually lump sum payments, which are generally not ideal if the idea is to use it for retirement.
Annuity Option For Lease Buyback
Just like CPF Life, ensuring constant retirement income is more important than a lump sum payout. The worst scenario is for the owner to sell the leases and then use up the money while still living. So a possibility would actually be to study if the lease can be used to provide a retirement income over time.
That way, the owner also would not need to guess how many years of lease they should sell to HDB. The lease just reduces over time as the owner draws the retirement income. In this case, the HDB should give the owner an idea of how long the lease can last assuming a certain income per month.