Kopi Chat Da Bao: Monetising Your Private Properties with AN’s CEO Jonathan Teoh

With the government setting aside more than $8 billion for the Merdeka Generation Package as announced in Budget 2019, it is easy to tell that retirement adequacy is a highly prioritised issue here in Singapore. On 5 Feb, we hosted Jonathan Teoh, CEO of AN, for a Kopi Chat about his product that helps senior citizens monetise their properties without having to let them go. AN, a social startup supported by NUS Enterprise under the Modern Ageing initiative, helps retirees to live meaningfully in their golden years with inclusive platforms centered on financial preparedness.

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Our host, BLOCK71 Community Manager Alvina Fu (left) with CEO of AN, Jonathan Teoh (right)

While Fintech solutions aimed at alleviating the financial problems faced by the silver generation is eagerly sought-after, it is still a largely untapped area for innovation. AN provides a way for retired, private homeowners to monetise their home without having to relocate by purchasing a portion of their property. This approach is a first of its kind in the world, created in Singapore for Singaporeans. We summed up five reasons why Jonathan believe there’s a need to come up with this innovative new strategy for our seniors:

1. Existing Limitations — There are three main ways to monetise a property, which are by renting, downsizing or through reverse-mortgage. These methods all pose problems for elderly owners. For renting, safety and privacy issues are involved. Downsizing would require occupants to move away from their communities. Reverse-mortgage is unstable and can be vulnerable to market fluctuations.

2. Risk-Free Solution — In their silver years, home owners tend to be more risk averse without an active income. They require an approach that will be able to supply them with a steady flow of cash for daily needs without potentially having to lose any existing assets, which means getting to receive money in a safe way while staying in their own homes for the rest of their lives.

3. Prioritise Community Bonds — Through interacting and communicating with older home owners, Jonathan realised that they are reluctant to move away from their current communities, many of them having resided there for decades. Most solutions do not consider this aspect of the problem, making it less attractive for the older demographic.

4. Align to Big Goals — Jonathan believes that startups should align their purpose with what society needs. With an ageing population becoming a uniform trend in many parts of the world, corporations should explore what are the implications and problems that may arise with it.

5. Encourage Positive Ageing — It is important that after working for one’s entire life, a retiree has sufficient financial resources to not only get by, but to live their golden years meaningfully. Therefore, on top of a retiree’s monthly CPF payout, supplementary cash flow will provide our seniors the means to fulfil their wishes, such as travelling or getting a dog.

Watch the full video interview with AN’s CEO Jonathan Teoh here: http://bit.ly/KopiChatLive

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