Financial planning can be a scary thing – it’s meant to chart your financial adventure for current and future life stages. This also means you’re more or less committed to this plan for years ahead, barring any changes in your life. Most of the time, the financial plan that a financial adviser provides works out well. However, when it doesn’t, it causes regret and feelings of being lost.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. That’s where fundMyLife comes in, to connect consumers with questions to the right financial advisers to answer them. In this case study, fundMyLife follows user Elsie* as she asked financial adviser of fundMyLife Roshan Belani of AIA for advice. In the previous fundMyLife case study, Roshan encountered a user who was in a similar quandary and helped resolve his troubles as well.
With their permission, fundMyLife presents to you a case study that highlights the importance of needs analysis.
To hold or not to hold?
Elsie is a young working woman who bought an ILP four years ago. However, a year after she bought the ILP, she had to go overseas to work. Despite that, she maintained the policy for the next three years. At that point, she felt that she can longer continue with the plan and came onboard fundMyLife to seek advice. Since she bought an AIA ILP, fundMyLife’s algorithm once again connected her to Roshan, where they corresponded for a while. She mentioned that she wanted someone unbiased, and thus came to fundMyLife’s portal.(Editor note: looks like we’re doing good on that front).
Roshan first started with a bit of fact-finding. More specifically, he asked about the kind of ILP she purchased. He explained to us that there are several kinds of ILPs in the market, and ILPs can either have both protection and investment, or purely investment. Elsie did not want to confront her original adviser to discuss her plan, which led her to use fundMyLife. Fortunately, he also found out that she had access to the AIA eCare portal, where she was able to examine her policies (and cancel them if need be).
If there was a single learning point, Roshan summarized the case study into this: understand your needs for the near and long term. In the case that you are not sure of what your life will be in the future, it is crucial not to commit to long-term plans that take time to mature.
Roshan also stressed the importance of doing a proper needs analysis, as it can help people avoid encountering what Elsie did. If her financial adviser figured out that there was a possibility that she would go overseas for work, she might not have received the recommendation to purchase an ILP. (Editor note: we hope).
He shared that if you’re unable to foresee what your life path is in the near future, he suggests to get a term plan instead. There are 5-year term plans in the market, better suited for those people in transition between locations or life stages.
He also shared that ILPs are more flexible other plans, with stop-gap measures like premium holidays. However, this sort of measure is at best temporary, and should not be used beyond 6 months as it will eat into the value of the policy. Before engaging such plans, it is important to build up enough money to avoid cash-flow problems when paying premiums.
Needs analysis is important, and it goes beyond just calculating the sum assured for the consumer. Call us biased, but online needs analysis tools do not provide the human insights required anticipate possible future events. In needs analysis, uncertainty is as important a factor as certainty.
If you find yourself in the same situation as Elsie, or you’ve questions on financial planning, head on to our main site and ask our curated pool of financial advisers! Alternatively, you can also browse our individual advisers’ pages – just click on their profiles and you can ask them questions directly from their profile pages.
Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.
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*name was altered for privacy