May 29 2022
Identifying your client’s financial needs for each milestone in their lives
By Samuel Lee
As financial advisors, it is important to identify your client’s financial needs, and deliver policies which best serves them. However, it is equally important to keep a look out for milestones that your clients are hoping to achieve, as they would be incentivized to reach each goal.
They will also have a greater desire to protect the milestones they achieved in life. In fact, the Protection Survey Report by insurance provider Etiqa in 2021, shares that 59% of millennials in Singapore would consider purchasing or increasing their life insurance coverage when entering a new stage in life.
Additionally, you would also be able to build a stronger relationship with your clients in the long run when you are aware of their desired goals, as shared by three-year MDRT member Carol Chin, AFP, ChFC: “Many of my clients have been with me from the start of my career. I have had the privilege to witness many beautiful milestones in their lives. I enjoy our working relationship because they are so willing to share their journey with me and turn to me for financial advice (on their own accord sometimes!) simply because they trust me for my advice, knowing that I watch out for them and will only give advice with their best interests at heart.”
Here are some common milestones in Singapore and how you can identify your clients’ needs for each of them.
After graduation and securing your first full time job is a major milestone as well as one would have gained financial stability of sorts with a regular income. This would be the first upgrade in your client’s lifestyle and with each job promotion that comes with an increased pay cheque, both your client and their family’s lifestyle needs are likely to increase as they acclimatize to their new income. This would be a great opportunity to relook at their insurance coverage to ensure that they are sufficiently insured to continue sustaining this new lifestyle even if something were to happen to your client.
Financial obligations would be lower for an individual before getting married, as clients would only have to consider their parents and/or siblings as dependents. However, after getting married, couples would need to realign their financial goals, and each partner should individually ensure that the significant other is well taken care of financially in the event of physical/permanent disability or death.
On top of that, there will probably be an increase in expenditure as a couple move into a new home together.
Shouldering a mortgage
Purchasing a residential or business property is usually coupled with a large mortgage and property prices in Singapore have has seen a substantial increase since the start of the pandemic. In 2022, purchasing a unit of government subsidized housing of about 1001sqf is forecasted to cost approximately around S$290,000 - S$700,000, which is a pretty hefty sum.
With this new liability, clients would have to start considering the risks associated if anything were to happen to them such as loss of income, permanent disability, life-threatening diseases, or death. Should any of the above happen to the client, they would have to consider these risks and how to protect themself financially to avoid having to place the financial burden on the family.
Bearing new life
The introduction of a child to the family brings increased joy and happiness, and there will also be an increase in expenses and a greater need for financial planning. According to a personal finance resource Seedly, the estimated the cost of raising a child in Singapore from birth to university would come up to be about S$285,000. Parents will want to ensure that the child is well provided for in terms of having the basic necessities, education, medical needs, and ensuring that the children will have enough funds to fend for themselves should misfortune fall upon one or both the parents.
These are some common milestones in Singapore which financial advisors should enquire their clients during the fact-finding process. By asking questions about your clients’ goals and anticipated milestones, financial advisors would understand their clients better and identify which policies would help clients hedge their financial worries. As 19-year MDRT member Jovin Yeo shares, “Clients use logic when you talk to them about facts and statistics. However, a deeper connection is established when clients feel they are truly understood. This makes it easier for them to open up and talk about their concerns. They will share what they care about and talk about what keeps them awake at night. That’s when they will talk to us about their inner dreams and goals.”