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Nigel Tan

Nigel Tan

Senior Financial Planner (AFC) at Great Eastern Life

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Senior Financial Planner (AFC) at Great Eastern Life

Nigel Tan

Senior Financial Planner (AFC) at Great Eastern Life

  • Answers (19)
  • Questions (0)
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Endowment Policies

Insurance

Education

Financial Planners

Should I continue the endowment plan for my child's university education? I've been getting mixed opinions on it, any advice?
Hi anon, There is a really good reason why endowments are great for children's education planning. Firstly, can those advisors you really guarantee that you'll be able to withdraw the investment without being at a loss when that particular year your child needs to go to school? Imagine if your child was supposed to enter university this year and the markets were down, are you willing to cash your investments out or will you ask your child to take a gap year. Endowments have a guaranteed portion on its returns whereby every year the insurer declares bonuses onto your policy regardless of the perfomrance of the company. There is also the non-guaranteed portion that forms your overall returns. Once the bonuses are declared, they're yours and it adds up over the years. Secondly, there's also this premium waiver function on the policy that could guarantee that the policy will pay for itself when you are no longer able to. Most policies have a early surrender value which usually result in losses in the earlier years. With the waiver rider, you're able to ensure your child is able to fund her education with or without you paying for it.
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Health Insurance

Life Insurance

Critical Illness (CI)

Early Critical Illness (ECI)

Hospitalisation Insurance (H&S)

Whole Life Insurance

Insurance

Hi. I have a whole life insurance and hospital plan (with exclusion for stomach). Recently, I found out that I had a fibroadenoma around my chest area. Is there a need to buy more CI plans?
It really depends on what kind of CI policy you're holding on to. Moreover, "need" to buy also depends on how much coverage you currently have and your outstanding liabilities (inc. family support). Unforutnately, it may be rather challenging to take up more with a medical condition. Getting past the underwriter would be rather difficult. The company may or may not accept you, and if they do it may come with exclusions on certain conditions Or additional premium may be added. Which is why we always encourage people to get it while they're younger and healthier!
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Retirement

Insurance

Lifestyle

Endowment Policies

Are retirement/endowment plans from insurance companies a good way to grow retirement income? Or are there better alternatives?
Definitely! When planning for retirement; there are needs (living expenses, utilities, medical costs) and wants (holiday, hobbies, country clubs). Retirement plans provide a source of GUARANTEED income to you that could ensure that your needs are taken care of. If it was just purely on other types of investment vehicles, you may suddenly lose that source of payout during a bad year. Think of the current climate, if you had invested in eg. hyflux bond / banks, you'd probably be down by alot and wouldn't want to liquidate your investments at a loss. They're not the ONLY plan that can be used to plan for your retirement, but are definitely a place to start. Think of it as having a pay cheque (needs) and a play cheque (wants). Low risk products can help to take care of your pay cheque. Eg. CPF Life, Annuities (retirement plans), Supplmentary retirement scheme (SRS) Higher risk products can help take care of your play cheque (stocks bonds property, REITS, etc.) A comortable retirmenet would usually encompass a mixture of both. At your retiremnt age, it is unlikely that you have another 10-20 years down the road to work and make back the income if your Investments had gone south.
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Insurance

Freelancers

Investment Linked Policies (ILP)

Online Brokerages

COVID-19

Career

I’m a freelancer camera crew, given the current situation with no jobs, should i continue paying my ILP?
If you started january this year, I'm guessing you're paying on a monthly basis. With the premium allocation and insurance charges, it is likely that the investment value is very little for 5 months. The investment value in your policy might not be able to tide you over the premium holiday period. If you can hold on to the policy without it affecting your/ your family's needs (eg. Household living expenses), I'd encourage you to do it. It would be far worse if something bad were to happen during this difficult period. Otherwise, survival is far more important!
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Insurance

Health Insurance

Hospitalisation Insurance (H&S)

AVIVA MyShield

My child aged 17 has been insured under Aviva My Shield Plan 2 Plus Option A for free. Free cover ends age 21 and I am thinking of upgrading her to cover private hospital. Any advice?
Hi anon, while I can't say much about the other companies, GE never used to be the cheapest but recently became "affordable" when all the insurers increased premiums together (including GE). Think about the sustainability of how the hospitalisation premiums are being controlled by each insurer. Panel doctors are a way to help the insurer cost by allowing for more "equitable" claims from private hospitals, and in return benefit the consumer by not raising premiums. Most bills are now capped at 5% co-payment with a maximum of 3k should admission be under private panel or restructured hospitals. There's also letter of guarantees that can be issued before actual treatment by some of the companies for a greater peace of mind. The H&S scene has been largely competitive everytime it comes to renewals, just like how contractors send their tender for bids. Each company tries to copy the other companies benefits which would eventually be more or less similar. What's different however, would be how well each company can sustain the premiums. If i were to be objective, I'd pick the big 3 in Singapore namely AIA/ Pru/ GE. I tend to think their market share and policy holder base would be the largest, so cost is more spread amongst the policy holders.
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SeedlyTV S2E07

Endowment Policies

Insurance

Savings

I have a 20 year endowment that my parents bought for me since I was young. Should I continue on holding to it if I want to invest instead?
You should definitely hold it! most endowment policies breakeven only near the end of the policy term. If you parents had been paying it for you; it means your ROI is much higher than you would've already done it yourself. that's even better returns than jumping into the market if you have no knowledge an experience as yet since its more or less guaranteed.
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Investments

Savings

Insurance

CPF

Whole Life Insurance

CPF SA

When you want to calculate your net worth, should you include cash value in your whole life insurance policies and monies in your CPF accounts (all accounts OA, SA, MA)?
Definitely, there are quite a number of things you could fund using your CPF. Although you can't really withdraw it till you're much older, your home is an asset that is funded heavily with your CPF OA funds. Additionally, you may use part of it to invest in it for potentially better returns. I've heard of someone who invested his CPF money and it fully paid off his $400k HDB flat. Investing it at higher returns can also allow you to stagger payments by selling off your investments back into the CPF account to pay for your monthly mortgage (eg. In the event you or your wife had just given birth and are not actively working during that period; assuming both parents previously working) Whole life insurance policies cash value can also be utilised for many purposes. You may loan from the policy cash value anytime you want for unexpected life events or emergency needs (eg. Family member hospitalised / retrenched). Or the cash value can also form part of your retirement should you feel you no longer need the coverage. Do remember to make your CPF nominations as well as they're not included in your will. Your networth should include all of your assets less outstanding liabilites. The value of the house you live in, your car. Anything that can be liquidated into cash can form part of your networth as long as it has value (even if you sell it at a loss). Some people put art pieces, luxury bags or watches in it as well since there's a market for all these goods.
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SeedlyTV S2E07

Savings

Savings Accounts

Are there any downsides of having a savings plan? If yes, what are they and what are some considerations I need to take note of before having one?
There's a downside to every investment! if you're expecting astronomical returns, this definitely isn't for you. if you have issues with putting aside money for the future for at least 10 years, this may not be suitable for you either! if you have something you're saving towards, eg. Your child's university education fund, make sure it pays out when you need it to. things to note: make sure your plan works for you. some provide liquidity with a cashback feature at the cost of lower returns some have an open ended feature that can be withdrawn after a lock-in period eg. 15 years some only pay out at that particular year and you have to take it out regardless of whether you need it or not some Have a limited pay feature (pay for 5 years but withdraw at 15th year) which % wise, have slightly better yield than the full term of paying (Paying 20 years and withdrawing at 20 years)
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Insurance

Investment Linked Policies (ILP)

Savings

SeedlyTV S2E07

Endowment Policies

Savings Accounts

Are investment-linked policies the same as insurance savings plans?
They are completely different types of products. ILPs investment value is based on the price & number of units of the fund at different periods that could fluctuate based on the market. It's considered higher risk in comparison to "savings plans". However, unlike savings plans, you're able to choose your funds which you think would give you better returns in the long term versus the savings option. Also, most ILPs are lumped together with insurance which would incur an insurance charge. Think of it as a buy term invest the rest with the premium that you put in, except that the cost of term insurance increases as you get older. Savings plans however, are lower risk in nature and often depend on the insurer's performance. The returns usually range from between 2-4% give or take, and are meant to keep pace with inflation rather than outperform it dramatically. The premiums placed with the insurer are usually invested in lower risk products (majority fixed income) as they generally handle a large pool of money with many policy holders Known as the participating fund. Savings plans have a guaranteed & non guaranteed return portion, whereby the guaranteed pays out regardless and the non-guaranteed portion depends on the overall performance of the fund over time. It has the feature of smoothing of bonuses, such that when there are good years (fund makes excess returns) not all of it is paid out and some are kept for rainy days / bad years (fund makes losses or not as great returns). The best plans are typically the kind that work for you. Every person has different needs at different points in life. As long as the plan pays out when you need it the most to fulfill a certain financial objective (eg. kids education, house upgrade, retirement, car, business capital), I would certainly say thats a great plan. Personally, I love the type of savings where there is no maturity date and the cash value grows indefinitely. I can stagger and withdraw partially and fully whenever I need it, allowing me to have more options Later on. I also wont have the problem of being "forced" to withdraw my money when I may not necessarily need it at a certain point and end up potentially buying another savings later on, incuring the cost of buying a policy twice (one at the beginning, one at the maturity date).
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Insurance

Personal Accident Insurance

I'm quite prone to injuries during exercise and wanted to get a personal accident insurance to cover physio costs. How does the claim process work? Do I need to prove the accident?
The criteria for accidents include 1) Sudden 2) Unforeseen 3) Involuntary 4) External Yes it is difficult to prove so thats why theres usually a limit on how much you can claim based on your PA reimbursement. Basically you pay for physio upfront and seek reimbursement or claims from the insurer through your agent. The claims form is mostly based on personal declaration basis so its quite difficult to the injury was not due to an accident. Required documents would be: 1) Original receipt for your physio claims 2) Completed claims forms which has your declaration and description of injury What you should be aware of - No drugs, alcohol, breaking the law during the accident
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