If you have been checking out the local news lately, you would have noticed that one of the local bank (starting with O) has just… Read More »The 360 Account Or The Bonus Saving Account If You Have $25,000?
In just a few hours, we will be saying goodbye to Year 2011 and welcoming 2012… how are you, in the financial planning aspects?
Some Questions To Reflect Back In 2011
If you are not too sure of your current state, here’s some general questions that you can ask yourself and it’s also a good reflection of what you need to focus on in the coming 2012…
– Did your savings grow, remain the same or shrink?
– How’s your investment portfolio?
– Do you feel more ready for your Retirement?
– In terms of any unforeseen circumstances – are you prepared?
– With the weather so unpredictable, are your precious assets well protected (or well-insured)?
– In terms of educating yourself in the area of finances, have you done so?
– Your health – is it well maintained?
If you feel that there’s a big shortfall in terms of your planning for any of the above mentioned, I will always say that it’s still not too late – if you sit down, set your mind and draft out some plans to really tackle them in 2012. Likewise, with the financial planning industry gearing up (the recent regulations being that Planners would need to take up more investment credentials to better advise for their clients – it’s a good time to arrange for a discussion with your Financial Planner!
What You May Need To Pay Attention To In 2012
– Unforgiving Economy
Are you crazy about online shopping and thinking of getting a new Tablet to pamper yourself? Have you checked out Circuit City which seems like a good site to buy these new gadgets? And have you checked out Dealio first, where you can get some good Circuit City promo codes to bring down the purchasing price even further?
We Can’t Avoid Online (Or Any Form Of) Shopping…
With the ease of getting onto the Internet and also the ease of buying (almost) anything online, it’s a fact that we cannot avoid online shopping any longer. From the conversation that I have with some of the working clients before, it seems like majority of them will also use shopping as a form of destressing from the daily toll of working life…
And it’s hard for Financial Planners to stop them from doing so because most of them will be guilty of that action as well. As such, what we can usually do are to advise on ways to budget out their spending so that they still have enough to plan on their financial needs. Thus with the excess savings, they can just spend on doing what most like – shopping (in any form)!
The Enticement Of Online Shopping – Discounts
One good reason why online shopping is popular is because of Discounts. Many major brands have created their own online stores and will entice anyone who visits the site to join their newsletter and bombard them with numerous discounts (and they must redeem within a short time frame) through the emails.
Therefore there are times when a Want suddenly becomes a Need because of such enticement and there is a strong urge to get it before anyone else. Should the item they want be sold out, some would just try to get the alternatives through other online stores…
That’s Why We Need Online Services Like Dealio To Help Us Save Further
Have you started to use discounts and coupons sites like Savings.com and GreatDeals.sg to help you in saving more money in your shopping? If not, read on to see why you would need such sites especially if you do online shopping.
Creating More Budget For Your Financial Planning
If you are serious about your Financial Planning, you would know an important factor in doing well, is to have enough Budget.
And to have more Budget than before, a common area is to look into your daily expenses and seeing how to reduce them in a sensible manner, without affecting your inner feelings (the urge to ask yourself if it’s worth doing all this).
For most people’s daily expenses would definitely include some form of shopping – either going online or to the shopping mall. And to enjoy the moments of shopping and yet not hurting your pockets, would be to do it at times when there’s discounts!
So what happen when there’s no discount but you have the urge to do some shopping to enjoy some ‘therapy’?
Though you can’t demand shopping malls to have discounts for you, there’s always the online shopping malls that you can turn to and the Coupons and Discounts Site like, e.g. Savings.com
If you have been doing a lot of online shopping but not been using sites like Savings.com to give you more discounts, it’s never too late to explore such avenue.
So How Do Sites Like Savings.com Work?
In simple terms, Savings.com displays the best deals you can find on those online shopping sites without you going to each of these sites on its own.
For example, if you head over to Savings.com, you will be able to see discounts and coupons like:
Phew! 2009 has been a rough year for many and there are many valuable lessons that one can learn from and apply to in 2010.
And some of these which I personally feel that it’s worthy to keep in mind at all times:
- It’s wise to be more knowledgeable in what you are investing – nothing is safe till you know the risks involved.
- It’s always good to diversify – not just your investment portfolios. Big companies with many years of history may just go bust overnight so do not put all your nest eggs into just one basket. In other words, it’s okay to have the same type of insurance plan with other companies. You need it too!
- Not everybody will tell the truth – learn to listen and ask good questions and to put the feedbacks or answers down in writing (do verify after the writing)
- What “goes down in March” will “come up in August” – this is an investment lesson or experience that I have personally went through. A unit trust that went real down in March 2009 (also the time when many people choose to sell off) climbed back up in August 2009 (and it was higher than the normal times). So do not follow what other average people do, learn to differentiate and understands from within.
- Not all are down during the recession – many stock prices are down but not all and it’s evident in the property market (especially in Singapore) and in the prices of Gold (have you seen how it climb at the last few months of 2009). What this mean to all of us is that we need to understand how the financial market really work – relationship between various investment options like Equities, Commodities, Properties and Cash.
- Take good care of your health. 2009 is the year that many people are concerned about their financial health but they are unable to get the insurance that they need. Common illnesses: Hypertension, High Cholesterol and Diabetes!
So will the new year in place, have you set aside some of your resolutions to start and improve on your financial planning?
If not, how about getting some pointers and guidelines from this blog?
For Newborns And Children Starting School (Kindergarten or Primary School)
Here is my first attempt dedicating a single post (my replies) to the comments that you have posted in this blog. Also big thanks for taking the time to read the posts and spending some time on this site! Hope this blog has helped you in some manner of Financial Planning and most importantly – Make You Want To Plan Today!
Special Thanks To Andre Of Beginning With Finance For The 4 Comments!
Today, I am lucky enough to have Andre Of Beginning With Finance to contribute 4 of his personal comments to some of my posts and in the comments, he actually raised some good questions (this guy is serious about Planning His Finances) which I intend to post my replies through this post.
Meanwhile do click over to his Blog and read up some tips on managing your Finances!
Answering His Comments…
1. My Post: Have You Started Your Retirement Planning? His Comment: Hey Dexter, 2% for Inflation Is Actually Low? Is It Better To Over-State The Inflation Rate While Planning For Retirement?
My Reply: 2% for inflation is seriously low. The actual inflation rate is on the average of 4 – 5%. To over-state the inflation rate while planning for retirement would definitely be better and you would get more realistic results.
But if you have done the calculations yourself (which I have did), I would need to set aside $600/month for the next 37 years in order to achieve a comfortable retirement income of $2000/month. If I have done up a higher inflation rate, it would only mean that I have to set aside a much higher (than $600/month) which may be beyond my means and also that I may not be that committed to do so.
My personal feel is that if you are able to and are actually setting aside more than $600/month as an average Singaporean (earning around $2500/month) despite having to succumb to temptation of life – entertainment, gadgets, good food, holiday trips, handphone bills and parents’ allowances, is actually a remarkable feat in reality!
Therefore there’s nothing wrong to plan with inflation rate of 2%, as long as you know the fact that you need to really save is most important! Also do note that when stuffs are actually becoming more expensive over the years, there are still some lucky breaks e.g. Chicken Rice are mostly selling for $3 per plate (due to inflation) now, there are some outlets that are still willing to sell for $1.50 to $2.50. Lesser Meat but still fills your tummy!
Key Pointers: Do know that there’s inflation in reality. And you need to save no matter what! Be comfortable with your committed and regular savings!