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Finance: Cashing in on retirement

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Finance: Cashing in on retirement | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Generating an income in retirement beyond any pension or government-sponsored retirement plan has become much harder in today’s low-interest-rate environment. The income from defined pensions and even retirement benefits from government-sponsored plans are no longer a sure thing.

However, there are strategies that help to maximize income during retirement:

Dividend-paying stocks or exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

Dividend paying stocks are the best way to generate income in retirement, but picking the right stocks can be tricky. It is ideal to avoid those with the highest yields or any stock with uncertain cash flows or profits. Instead, look for well-managed, profitable companies in stable industries that also have good balance sheets and are seeing at least modest or steady growth.

With that in mind, there should be no shortage of consumer stocks, utilities, real-estate investment trusts (REITs) and master limited partnerships – usually oil or gas pipelines – with reasonable yields from 2% to 5%, but be sure to check payout ratios, as anything over 100% is not going to be sustainable in the long term. If the risk associated with picking and owning individual stocks is a turnoff, then ETFs that invest in sectors where dividends tend to be high can be a good alternative.

Fixed-income investments

Individual bonds held to maturity are a good way to receive a guaranteed stream of income – unless the bond issuer goes bankrupt. For that reason, avoid so-called ‘junk bonds’ with high yields, and be careful about investing in individual municipal bonds as municipalities and cities can, and do go, bankrupt (think Detroit).

Just remember that when interest rates rise, bond values fall, but bond values rise when rates fall.
In addition, and when investing in individual bonds, be sure to ‘ladder’ the maturities: for example – six months, one year, two years, five years, 10 years and so on – so that everything does not come due at once when interest rates are super low, like right now. Also, investing in low-cost bond ETFs can limit the risks associated with owning individual bonds.

Cash in term deposits or money market accounts

Setting aside a couple years worth of cash in CDs or term deposits and money market accounts is always a good idea. While the funds themselves will not generate much interest right now, money can still be drawn to supplement income from other sources as needed, and can be used in case of an emergency or to invest when interest rates start rising again.

As with individual bonds, try to ladder the maturities of CDs/term deposits to avoid all deposits coming due at the same time.


Generally, annuities are a bad idea for most investors and retirees because they often come with unnecessarily high annual expenses that reward Wall Street, and high commissions that reward the financial adviser who sells them to you.

That said, having an annuity generating some guaranteed income to cover fixed expenses during retirement could make sense in some situations – but be sure to read the fine print and fully understand what is being offered.

Limit-investment expenses

A good indirect way to earn additional income in retirement is to limit the investment fees paid in the form of high commissions or annual expenses on fund products by choosing individual stocks, individual bonds and/or ETFs with low expenses and commissions.

Cut back on expenses and debt

Another indirect way to boost retirement income is to simply spend less money during retirement. Also, it is prudent to pay off any debt before entering retirement and to not take on any new debt so that interest payments will not take a bite out of income or savings.

In other words, take a reality check about the life to be lived in retirement and decide what is essential and what is not affordable.

Don Freeman is president of Freeman Capital Management, a Registered Investment Advisor with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), based in Phuket, Thailand. He has more than 15 years experience and provides personal financial planning and wealth management to expatriates. Specializing in UK and US pension transfers. Call 089-970-5795 or email:

— Don Freeman

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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AOT considering joint venture with Thai Airways to keep services running

Maya Taylor



AOT considering joint venture with Thai Airways to keep services running | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

The company that runs 6 of Thailand’s airports says it wants to work with Thai Airways to ensure airport services can continue while the national carrier goes through a “rehabilitation” process and struggles with the loss of business caused by the Covid-19 crisis. Airports of Thailand president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn says the AOT board is in talks about a joint venture with the troubled airline to protect operations such as cargo, maintenance, repairs, and ground services at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

“The running of these three units cannot be disrupted, because that would affect the operations of Suvarnabhumi Airport.”

All Thai Airways flights have been grounded since June, with the ailing national carrier embarking on a rehabilitation process. Nitinai says once that process is complete, AOT is willing to let Thai Airways buy back its shares in airport services. A court hearing on August 17 will determine if the airline’s rehabilitation plan can go ahead without opposition. At that point, both parties can enter joint venture talks.

Nation Thailand reports that Thai Airways owes AOT around 3 billion baht. It’s understood 2 billion of that is owed to technicians at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport and has been an ongoing source of disagreement between both companies. Nitinai says his priority right now is not the recovery of this debt, but rather ensuring airport services can continue to run smoothly.

One suggestion included in the national airlines’ rehabilitation plan is to separate business units such as mechanics, catering, products and mailing, to invite private investments for each group.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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UK’s Kew Green Hotels launches 7 properties in Bangkok

The Thaiger



UK’s Kew Green Hotels launches 7 properties in Bangkok | The Thaiger

Despite a quickly changing business environment for the world hospitality industry, some companies are accelerating expansion plans in anticipation of the eventual recovery.

Kew Green Hotels, one of the UK’s leading hotel management companies with over 55 hotels in its portfolio, has now announced plans to expand into the south east Asian market through a joint venture with Siamese Asset. The new entity, Siamese and Kew Green Management Company Thailand, are launching 7 properties in Bangkok, 4 under the Wyndham Hotels & Resorts brand. Alongside the launch of these 7 properties, Kew Green Hotels will also be launching a Commercial Hub for south east Asia to support the region, based in Bangkok.

Siamese and Kew Green Management Company Thailand will launch 4 hotel and branded residences in the heart of Bangkok next year…

The Wyndham Queen Convention Centre, Wyndham Garden Sukhumvit 42, Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Sukhumvit 48 and Ramada by Wyndham Sukhumvit 87, with an additional three properties in the pipeline. Guests staying at each of the Wyndham Hotels & Resorts will have access to Wyndham Rewards, the global hotel loyalty rewards program.

Kew Green Hotels set themselves apart by “combining years of experience with innovative ideas to deliver outstanding hotel services and by delivering exceptional returns for hotel owners. Combining market-leading technology with expert talent, the Commercial Hub will integrate proactive and reactive sales, marketing, analytics and revenue management, to support their increasing hotel portfolio in the region, providing a consolidated approach to deliver growth”.

Chris Dexter, CEO of Kew Green Hotels, says they look forward to delivering “world-renowned Thai hospitality in these seven properties, supported by our state-of-the-art commercial hub”.

“As a growing company, this milestone reflects Kew Green Hotels’ broadening expertise in the international hotel market and reputation for operational excellence, strong commercial awareness and industry leading profit delivery.”

The Wyndham Queen Convention Centre Hotel & Residences, with 120 rooms and suites, is conveniently located just 50m from Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre MRT station, yet close to the greenery of Benjakitti and Lumpini parks. The hotel and residences offer panoramic views of the city, the bustling Port of Bangkok and outstanding surroundings. Amenities include rooftop gardens, a sky lounge, infinity pool, restaurant, executive lounge and an expansive fitness room, all with spectacular panoramic cityscape views. The hotel is just five minutes from contemporary shopping centres within the vibrant Central Business District of Bangkok.

Wyndham Garden Sukhumvit 42 sits in the heart of Ekkamai, known for its lively collection of popular cafés, bars and restaurants and just 300m from Ekkamai BTS station and five minutes from the Ramindra-Art-Narong Expressway. The hotel offers 120 rooms with city views, a roof-top garden, a restaurant, a Kafeology coffee bar on the terrace, swimming pool, spa and gym.

Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Sukhumvit 48 offers 100 rooms together with a sky bar, restaurant, bar lounge and spa with far reaching views across the city plus a swimming pool and gardens. The hotel is less than 10 minutes’ walk from Phra Khanong BTS station with easy connectivity to world-class shopping, dining and nightlife.

Ramada by Wyndham Sukhumvit 87 is located between BTS Bang Chak and BTS Onnut at 430m and 550m respectively, with convenient access to shopping malls and entertainment in the Ekkamai area. With 85 rooms, the hotel offers a dedicated yoga room and roof-top gardens, a swimming pool, garden and Kafeology coffee bar.

UK’s Kew Green Hotels launches 7 properties in Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand producing over 4 million face masks a day

Maya Taylor



Thailand producing over 4 million face masks a day | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

An increase in production facilities means Thailand is now producing 4.2 million face masks a day, leading to a growing surplus. A report in Nation Thailand says Internal Trade Director Vichai Pochanakit says producers in China are once again exporting the raw materials needed for mask production.

The Thai government is now looking at ways to manage a daily surplus of more than 1 million face masks. It currently purchases 3 million masks a day from 16 factories. Of these, the Public Health Ministry takes 1.8 million and is now understood to have amassed more than a month’s supply. The Interior Ministry gets 1.2 million masks a day, with officials now in talks to distribute extra masks to organisations that may need them, such as airlines.

Officials have also decided to extend Thailand’s ban on the export of masks until at least February 2021. An exception is being made for certain categories of masks, including those produced under Board of Investment tax incentives specifically for the export market, those that filter out chemical particles, and masks exported to embassies in foreign countries.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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