Karen Tang, CFP®: Certified Financial Planner in Singapore


Comprehensive Financial Planning

  1. Holistic financial planning
    You benefit from having Risk Management, Wealth Accumulation, Estate Planning and Mortgage Financing provided under one roof.
  2. Big picture view of your financial program
    You gain a clearer picture of how the individual plans in your financial program fit and work together to meet your life goals.
  3. Needs based Advice
    Your needs drive your solutions and not the other way round. With access to some of the best solution providers in the market, a comprehensive financial planner is able to source for the most appropriate solution for you.
  4. Compare & Select
    You have access to the very best financial solutions from across the market and not only from one product provider. My role as your comprehensive financial advisor is to provide clarity and guide you to the most ideal solutions that best fit your needs. I specialize in comparing and selecting insurance options; not only do I study the fine print (terms and conditions), I also ensure that my clients get the most cost effective option.
  5. Continuous tracking
    Your needs and goals may evolve over time. Through an ongoing relationship, I'll help you to review your plan or strategy on a periodic basis, and make any necessary adjustments to help you stay on track.

Comprehensive financial planning involves the following:

  • Understanding an individual's goals, aspirations and concerns
  • Tabulating cash flow and balance sheet statements
  • Credit management
  • Risk management
  • Education planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Investment Planning
  • Tax planning
  • Estate planning

We would require certain information to kick start the financial planning process. For us to ​calculate and analyse accurately, we need:

  1. A ​copy of your NRIC / Employment Pass
  2. Employer’s name and address (name card will suffice)
  3. Latest pay slip
  4. Full details of existing life assurance, investments, including company benefits: policy documents, latest post sale benefit illustrations and cash value statements from the respective insurers, latest investment statements (e.g. shares, unit trusts, SRS, land banking)
  5. CPF b​alance (print statement from www.cpf.gov.sg)
  6. Existing m​ortgage details: facility letter (show​ing​the tenure, interest rate, installment amount, terms & conditions), latest ​mortgage statement
  7. Existing ​car loan and/or other personal loan details: latest car loan statement, latest personal loan statement
  8. ​Latest ​income ​t​ax statement

Risk Management

For individuals with family and particularly sole bread winners, their family depends on them to provide for their essential needs. Any unforeseen event e.g. a major illness, death, disability could have huge financial implications on the family’s future well being. Such risk, fortunately, can be mitigated. In financial planning terms, managing risk is to transfer the risk to a third party. In this instance, it would mean transferring the risk to an insurer (via an insurance contract) who will take on the risk in return for a premium (cost).

It is not about which insurance product fits you. Rather, it is about what your requirements are and how a product can fulfil that need. Financial planning is not static. As you go through different stages​ of life, different needs could arise and this has to be taken into consideration in your overall financial plan.

Disablity Income is not to be mistaken as Total and Permanent Disability insurance. The definitions mean a world of difference when it comes to claims.

Many folks have mistaken the different enhancements (i.e.riders) to TPD like Enhanced TPD, Deferred TPD for disability income. The riders typically refer to how the benefit will be paid out, for e.g., the number of installments and the number of years payment will spread out. In some cases, it is a lump sum. Insurers have also capped the total aggregate payout for TPD to $X million (so buying in excess is not necessarily a good thing).

Yes, you have TPD coverage and you will be compensated but what are the chances of claiming from TPD?

First, you'll need to understand the difference between TPD and disablity income.

​ ​The definition of Total & Permanent Disability means that one has to lose a pair of limbs (i.e. both arms, both legs or one arm, one leg, or both eyes) to be compensated by the insurer. This is a stringent definition to fulfill.

On the other hand, the definition of Disability in a disability income plan is tied closely to one's occupation. You need not lose an arm or leg or eyes to be compensated. As long as the disability resulting from an illness (including psychological problems) or accident renders you incapable of working to earn an income, you'll be paid the disability income.

Insurers generally do not reveal their claim statistics but one company is transparent. In the month of Dec 2009, the total claim amounted to $9,294,074.00 for life insurance of which $265,138 was paid out due to TPD. This translates to only 2.9%! Shocking but true. Do not be deceived by 'fancy' TPD rider names.

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