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Saying Good Bye To 2008 and Welcoming 2009, How Ready Are You?

2008 is gone and 2009 is just starting, and as a financial planner, how ready are you in terms of your Protection Planning, Medical Insurance Planning, Wealth Accumulation and Retirement Planning?

A handful of insurance terms but very much important to a better future for yourself!

Rumors are in and heavy that the year 2009 ahead would still be taxing to many people financially (lower income due to salary cut and rising unemployment rate) and emotionally (stress in maintaining their current job).

My Personal Feel And Opinion

The current economic condition is here to stay (whether you like it or not or how deeply affected you are now) and even if it’s gone, the similar situation will still happen many years later (could be another 10 to 14 years later). The only way out is getting prepared for it right before it hit you again.

Doing Your Planning And Preparation

Once you have done your planning, you will be glad to know that no matter what unforeseen circumstances may happen, you are always ready for it and you are well-prepared as well.

Worries like Emergency Funds should you be suddenly retrenched, Falling real sick and chalking up a huge medical bills at a bad economic period and having to use up all your life-long savings and depending on many others financially to get over the tough times  – thus affecting your Retirement will no longer be an issue!

How So? (A Look At Some Of My Favorite Posts To Help You Along…)

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Total and Permanent Disability And That Plan Called ElderShield

When you buy any life insurance plan, the basic benefits are that you are covered against Death and Total and Permanent Disability. So do you what does this insurance term – Total and Permanent Disability – mean to you?

The General Definition of Total And Permanent Disability (TPD)

It would practically mean that the loss of a pair of limbs (inclusive of eye sight) and being unable to work continuously for six month and thereafter. This, of course, must be certified by a certified Medical Practitioner. If the definition here differs from what you should know, please do refer to the Product Summary of your life insurance and it’ll be explained there.

The General Exclusion For Total And Permanent Disability

Do you know that, in Singapore, the coverage for TPD will cease the moment you have reached 65 years old whereas the rest of the coverage like Death or against the 30 Critical Illnesses will still continue.

So Is Having The Coverage For TPD Important?

Life is full of uncertainty and you’ll never know when such an unforeseen circumstance like a stroke will hit you to be permanently disabled – you lose your job permanently, loss of income for your family, you are very much alive and there’ll be a definite financial difficulties as long as you are alive.

Therefore, having a coverage for TPD (some insurance companies will pay a lump sum whereas others may pay a certain limit per month or per year) is beneficial in making sure that you have enough financial assistance to take good care of yourself while you are down.

So Why Does Total And Permanent Disability Cease To Continue After Age 65?

This is a very good question that I, myself, do not have an accurate answer. In my personal opinion (I may be wrong) is that, the health risk for people to have Stroke or Alzheimer’s Disease (Total and Permanently Disabled) is tremendously high, which could have a serious financial impact on insurance companies to sustain this risk. Therefore they decide to have this general clause of having it till age 65.

Stroke And Alzheimer’s Disease Are On The Rise, So How Do I Get Myself Covered After Age 65?

The ElderShield Plan

If you are concerned about getting covered after the age of 65, there is an initiative taken by the CPF Board to help take care of Singaporeans in terms of severe disability, that is the Eldershield Plan, which is offered automatically to Singaporeans and PRs who are CPF members and have turned 40 years old.

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Questions To Ponder Whether Are You Ready For Your Retirement?

After seeing so many Clients (both the young and the matured), do you know that most of them have no considerations and are still not prepared for Retirement? This is something alarming and should be brought to your immediate attention!

What Is Retirement?

This is the time period

  • Whereby you should have stopped working (for goodness sake, after working so many years in your life)!
  • Whereby you should enjoy your life to the fullest – see the world, have quality time with your loved ones, enjoy your hobby, enjoy good food (please do not just survive on bread) or anything that has been your wildest dream!
  • Whereby you have not worries for money – you can have built up a Residual Income, or have Ample Savings (money being worked for you all these while)

How Long Can Your Retirement Be?

In today’s context, most Singaporeans would choose to retire at the age of 65 and with life expectancy on the rise, you and I can live to the age of 80 (for men) and to 88 (for women), and that can amount to nearly 20 years of retirement.

How Much Do You Need For Your Retirement?

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Questions To Discuss For Your Survivor’s Needs Planning

Nobody likes to talk about Death or the idea of being Permanent Disabled. But Death will eventually come knocking on your door when you are the least prepared. So are the chances of being Disabled.

You can be single at this moment of reading this post but you may have your dependents like your Parents.

Or you can be just starting your family or you can be already having your two little “monsters” (children) tearing you upside down but nonetheless, seeing them growing up is always a joyous moment.

While so… how prepared are you in terms of your Survivor’s Needs Planning? And what we mean by Survivor’s Needs Planning are as such, when you suddenly forgot to breathe tomorrow but still being able to:

  • (if you are single) Take care of your Parents financially for the rest of their lives
  • (if you just start a family) Take care of your Spouse or the mortgage loans for your new house
  • (if you have children) Take care of your Spouse, your children till they are independent and their university education

all this and even more without affecting their current lifestyle with you still around!

Therefore you need to ask yourself the following questions and see how prepared you are in terms of your Survivor’s Needs Planning.

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Questions To Discuss For Your Critical Illness Protection

In my field of doing financial planning with clients, one of my duties is to have a discussion with me asking questions (on the emotional side) and have the clients realized the importance of doing a financial planning.

One of the area that you need to look into is on your Critical Illness Protection.

Many people may be just relying on their Medisave and Medishield Schemes to pay the costs of their medical treatment (the number #1 killer in Singapore is Cancer). However, you should know that Medisave and Medishield have their daily limits and the available quantum may just be not enough to pay for the cost of prolonged hospital treatment or a major surgery.

If you are curious to know what is Medisave and Medishield all about, here is a list of useful links:

As such, you may need to have other source of funds to help pay for this kind of medical expenses – both for you and your immediate family members.

Another reason is that unlike death, being stricken with a Critical Illness may present to you a long-term financial strain. Think of this, beside being have to endure a significant initial and ongoing costs of treatment, you (as an income earner) will need to have some form of protection against the issue of a loss of income as you will probably by unable to work during this prolonged period of recuperation.

Therefore are you ready to understand more of yourself in terms of Critical Illness Protection, to really see if you need to start planning or to enhance?

Read More »Questions To Discuss For Your Critical Illness Protection