Planning for Medical Expenses After Changes In Full-Rider IP Copayment

Planning for Medical Expenses After Changes In Full-Rider IP

It was a tough change. It is no secret that medical inflation is raising in Singapore and is showing no signs of slowing down. Medical inflation is expected to rise to 10.1 per cent in 2020. In the midst of finding fault with greedy doctors, overpaid agents or kiasu parents, I prefer to find a solution to plan for medical expenses after 1st April 2021.

To provide some context to this, the MOH has welcomed insurer’s move adjust terms for full-rider IPs, require co-payment of hospital bills. This would mean that the day will come when there is no longer 100% coverage hospital plan. This will change the way we plan for our retirement and the associated hidden costs.

Planning for Medical Expenses After Changes In Full-Rider IP Copayment

Planning for Medical Expenses After Changes In Full-Rider IP Copayment

 

The Current Situation

Planning for Medical Expenses After Changes In Full-Rider IP Insurance Companies

Planning for Medical Expenses After Changes In Full-Rider IP Insurance Companies

The official news are already in. Majority of the companies are transitioning their customers to the co-payment riders.

Shield Plans Underwriting Profits And Losses Singapore

Shield Plans Underwriting Profits And Losses Singapore

Reviewing the Integrated Shield Plan underwriting losses from Business Times, GE has the greatest underwriting losses in 2019 and it is likely for them to have the incentive to transit their customers to a co-payment plan. AIA has roughly the same underwriting losses with AXA. Although both companies have not officially reported the change (at least to the press), I believe they would have a strong incentive to do so.

For the people like you and me, we have to embrace the Co-Payment nature of the policy moving forward.

 

What is Co-Payment?

A co-payment basically it is out-of-pocket amount paid by an insured. In the context of shield rider in Singapore, there may be other conditions like going to list of panel doctors, pre-authorisation, deductive waiver pass etc. For discussion, we will assumed that those requirements are fulfilled (please check with your financial consultant for those requirements).

5% Co-payment for every bill, up to $3000 per policy year.

Case #1

First Bill is $10,000. No other claims in the policy year.

Client pays $500 (5% of $10,000)

Case #2

First Bill is $100,000. Second Bill is $100,000 in the same policy year.

Client pays $3000 for first bill. (Although 5% of $100,000 is $5,000, there is cap of $3,000 per policy year). Client pays $0 for second bill (max payment per year is $3,000).

Having a copayment will further encourage prudent use of healthcare services as the patient will pay part of the bill. It is worth noting that the maximum a patient will pay per year (assume the requirements are satisfied) is $3000. This should be incorporated into your emergency funds.

 

How to fund co-payment?

There are a couple of ways to pay for co-payment and these are 4 possible ways that you can consider.

#1: Medisave: There is a limit which you can pay using Medisave.

#2: Company Insurance: This is only applicable if you are currently employed.

#3: Accident Plan (Accidental Medical Reimbursements): For hospitalisation arising from accidents, the accidental medical reimbursement helps with the co-payment payment.

#4: Emergency Funds: It is important to set this up as soon as possible.

 

Final thoughts by Wealthdojo

Hopefully, this will be one of the final time that there is such a major change in medical insurance scene. This will definitely affect the way we plan for our retirement and also our emergency funds.

Please note that the terms and conditions for your IP may vary. It is best to talk to me or your preferred financial consultant on the upcoming changes on 1st April 2021 (if any).

 

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Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.

What To Do With Your Children's Hong Bao Money

What To Do With Your Children’s Hong Bao Money?

Happy Lunar New Year! Wishing everyone here good health and may your wealth multiply in the years to come. Hopefully, the last 4 days have been one where you have been giving/receiving or your child has been receiving hongbao. One common question that I go from parents with regards to financial planning is what they should do with the money. Most of them are keeping it for their children as emergency funds. This is a good initiative. That being said, is this an opportunity to share money lessons with your children?

What To Do With Your Children's Hong Bao Money

What To Do With Your Children’s Hong Bao Money (Source)

 

Your intention sets the tone

What do you want your child to learn from receiving the hongbao? Is it gratitude? Is it charity? Is it spending? Is it emergency funds? Your intention sets your child’s tone. By default, people will stick to the easiest thing of all: Not doing anything. This is precisely why most parents are keeping their children’s money as emergency funds. (PS: I’m not saying that emergency funds is a bad thing. It is also important.)

However, as the child do not have much ownership of the funds, they do not really learn from that concept. To them, it is their parents are keeping their money for them.

So what can you do this year to inspire your children to take charge of their money. This may or may not be applicable and felt by you depending on your relationship with money. Here are some suggestions.

 

Happiness of Spending Money

Wait a minute. A finance blog asking me to spend money? Yes. It came to my attention that “saving money” or “spending money” has became such a pain for people. As our education on money commonly involves parents screaming at us to save money (or that they don’t have money), it has become very hard for some people to spend mentality. Each time you spend, you will feel a pinch when you see your bank balance drop. That’s commonly known as the poverty or scarcity mindset. Eventually, you might grow up with enough money in your bank but feeling miserable that you don’t have enough.

What To Do With Your Children's Hong Bao Money Spend It

What To Do With Your Children’s Hong Bao Money Spend It

As parents, one of the best thing you can do for them is let them buy something that they have already wanted for a long time. Take 20%, $30 or whatever amount (be reasonable) in their hongbao money and bring them to the shopping center. Let them buy whatever they want. Let them feel the happiness of what money can buy. You will be surprised that some children will buy books, stationaries and of course toys. You can take this chance to introduce to them the 4 Quadrants Shopping Guide.

Let them take charge of their finances, the earlier they do, the more responsible they will become.

 

Delayed Gratification

To balance it up with spending, delayed gratification is next. A simple game you can play with your children is called The Marshmallow Test. I won’t explain too much here. Wait this hilarious video on how children wrestle with waiting to eat a marshmallow in hopes of a bigger prize (more marshmallows).

In finance, the timeline would be longer than this test. The intention is to get the children to save their hongbao money for a longer period of time so that they can get back more at a certain age. This could be done by a simple endowment plan or just Singapore Government Bonds that matures after a set period. When they receive the money after xx years, you can calculate with them (do it with them) how much they have put in and compare it to how much they have received. This can be done with your financial advisor.

 

Investing Lessons

This opens up many lessons for young children. You can share with them about volatility, about index (example if you invests in a Country ETF), about companies (example: when apple makes money, you “make” money too), about value or about growth.

One of the easiest way is to invest in companies that they already know. For illustration, my example will be SBS Transits.

Disclaimer: Not a buy/sell recommendation here.

For children, they probably will be familiar with certain products such as the IPhone, Bus services, Netflix etc. When you invest their money (they can only open a brokerage account when they are 18) for them, they get to see if their money grows in terms of capital appreciation or dividends. You can consider investing for them once a year as a dollar cost averaging approach for them to build up their portfolio.

For those of you would like to have something simpler, consider investing into country ETF like the STI Index, China ETF or S&P500. When the particular country does well, they are able to see the value of their investment grow as well. Similarly, do consider a dollar cost averaging approach for your children and invite them to ask questions. This is a great opportunity to for your children to learn about investing either with yourself or your trusted financial advisor.

What To Do With Your Children's Hong Bao Money Investing

What To Do With Your Children’s Hong Bao Money Investing (Source)

Final thoughts by Wealthdojo

I cannot imagine how much of a head start your children will have if they start learn these money lessons as some adults take decades to learn these. Let me know what you guys think in the comments below.

We wish you a Happy Lunar New Year!

 

 

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.

Should You Invest Your Emergency Funds

Should You Invest Your Emergency Funds?

Interest rate in the bank is at the all time low. The time where you are able to get 2% per annum in high interest account is over. With the market at all time high, one question I get is if you should invest your emergency funds?

Should You Invest Your Emergency Funds

Should You Invest Your Emergency Funds

“The interest in the bank is so low. I should use the power of compounding and invest in the stock market”.

This is the current narration in Singapore right now and I don’t blame them. Most of us are literally looking at our money stagnant. If you are like me, you might feel frustrations keeping the money in the banks which is “not doing anything”. Here is a quick introduction of compound interest.

 

Compound Interest

Let’s assume that we have $50,000 that we are keeping as emergency funds. We will be using the following numbers for our illustration.

The S&P500 10 years historical returns: 13.6%

The STI 10 years historical returns: 1.97%

Current OCBC Account EIR (Salary Only): 0.7%

Should You Invest Your Emergency Funds Comparison

Should You Invest Your Emergency Funds Comparison

As you can see on the above future value formulation, the difference is simply ridiculous on a 30 years time horizon. If you have invested the $50,000 in the S&P500, you would have gotten $2.29 million (think about that for a moment). If you invested in the STI, you would have got $89K and if you just leave it in your multiplier account, you would have gotten $61K.

How is it not tempting to invest your emergency funds?

 

So why not invest and keep it as cash?

In life there are many what ifs, that’s the reason why you buy insurance in the first place. By having an emergency fund, you are preventing your life from being a roller-coaster. There are certain things that are unpredictable and could affect your family drastically.

If you desperately need cash then and if the market is NOT in your favor. That would mean that you will need to take a loss without giving it time to bounce back. Ask yourself, do you want to sell at an unfavorable time?

Should You Invest Your Emergency Funds and Sell Here

Should You Invest Your Emergency Funds and Sell Here

Some reasons to have emergency funds are job loss, medical emergencies (especially with the changes in the hospital plans: Co-payments), your family member’s medical emergencies, car repairs or home repairs.

“You will never know when you need the money”

 

Your emergency fund is not designed to be a wealth builder

Not everything is designed to be a wealth builder. Sometimes you need the liquidity as a “personal insurance policy” for yourself and your family. I know some that uses credit cards (which might be suitable credit card for emergency) to design their emergency funds, but that’s another topic all together.

 

Final Thoughts By Wealthdojo

Your emergency fund is not designed to be a wealth builder. For those that wish to read about how I spend my money, you can read one of my best article: The Ultimate 4 Quadrants Shopping Guide Especially If You Are 28 and Older.

Till next time!

 

For those of you who want to kick start your Wealth Management journey in 2021, why not consider joining my telegram channel?

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.

5 things you need to know about SRS when you are 40 and older

5 things you need to know about SRS when you are 40 and older

During the end of the year, the topic of Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) and Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions will become frequently searched topics for wealth management. This is because for every additional dollar contributed, we might pay lesser in taxes. If you are 40 and older, this article is for you. We are going to talk about taxes, retirement and worse case situations.

5 things you need to know about SRS when you are 40 and older

5 things you need to know about SRS when you are 40 and older

 

#1 Quick Summary of SRS

SRS is a voluntary program started in 2001 to help individual (local and foreigners) to save more money for retirement. You are eligible for tax reliefs by contribution to SRS subjected to the cap of the personal income tax relief (currently $80,000). There is also a maximum that you can contribute to SRS (currently $15,300 for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents; and $35,700 for foreigners).

For example, I earn $100,000. I contribute $15,000 into my SRS. My taxable income will now be $85,000 (assuming I have not hit the cap of the personal income tax relief).

Your returns in the SRS account will be tax-free and 50% of the withdrawals from SRS are taxable at retirement.

Your contributions must be made before the 31 Dec of the year to quality (hence, the interest at the end of the year).

You can make withdrawals on or after the statutory retirement age (currently at 62) for you to enjoy penalty free withdrawals. Withdrawals are made in a 10 years window.

For investments in life annuities, the 10-year withdrawal period does not apply. So long as you continue to receive your annuity streams in perpetuity, 50% of the annual stream will be subject to tax.

A 5% penalty will be imposed for early withdrawals.

For more information about withdrawals, head over to IRAS withdrawals to understand more.

 

#2 The Best Case Scenario

The best case scenario is to have $400,000 in your SRS account at the age of 62 and you are not working by then. We assume that we will be drawing out $40,000 evenly over the next 10 years. Since 50% of the amount withdrawn will be taxable, the taxable income is $20,000 (assuming no other income). At $20,000, there is no income tax payable.

This rigid best case scenario creates a conundrum because it creates a happy problem that you have ALOT MORE than $400,000 due to excellent investment returns AND you still have a well paying job by then.

 

#3 The “Worse Case” Scenario

Suppose you are 30 year old today and contribute the maximum of $15,300 into the SRS account every year until age of 62. If your ROI is 20%, you would have $31 million in your SRS account. You would have to withdraw around $3 million yearly and be subjected to the highest income bracket.

If we manage our expectations and have a reasonable ROI of 5%, you would have $1.2 million in your SRS account. In this case, you would have to withdraw roughly $120,000 yearly. If you are still working and at the peak of your career getting a good income, you will be possibly subjected to a highest income bracket.

The “worse case” is to have really good investment skills and still be working by then. However, I feel this as a “happy” problem to have.

 

#4 What if I’m just a normal human being?

$1.2 million sounds big and you might not even be sure you will still have a job then at 62. Most of my client ask me what if they are a normal human being, how does SRS still make sense to a layman?

Firstly, we have to start with the question of contribution. How much should you make a year before SRS contributions make sense?

5 things you need to know about SRS when you are 40 and older income tax contribution

5 things you need to know about SRS when you are 40 and older: income tax contribution

SRS is a tax planning tool. Hence, it is important to know at which chargeable income bracket (after CPF contribution, tax relief) will it make sense for us to contribute to SRS.

Personally, SRS contribution will start to make sense after the $80,000 chargeable income bracket. Any other income after the $80,000 is subjected to a tax rate of 11.5%. Hence, I find it reasonable to contribute to SRS unless I can find an investment instrument that can give me 11.5% easily. Of course, there are other reasons as well.

#4.1 Tax Savings

To give an example, Amy earns $120,000 annually (after all personal tax relief).

Without SRS, she pays $7950 on taxes.

With SRS, her chargeable income becomes $104,700. She now pays $6190 on taxes.

She saves $1760. (which is a probably an extra month of family expenses)

However, in a situation where by you need liquidity for big purchases such as down-payment for a property, you might want to skip this year’s contribution. The balance of liquidity and tax saving should be taken into consideration.

#4.2 Emergency Funds

If you already have money in your SRS and have a URGENT need for cash, you can still withdrawal from SRS with a 5% penalty instead of having it locked up like the CPF. Of course, we ideally do not want to withdraw from our SRS. However, in an event of a unforeseen circumstances, the funds are still available.

 

#5 Then why after age 40?

I’m assuming that after age 40, it is likely that our income is more than $80,000. Plus, we might need liquidity for housing/renovation/marriage/children purposes before that. There is also an (irrational) fear is that if we contribute too early, we might compound it too much by then.

Hence, 40 years is ideal because there will be possible substantial tax saving, not having a liquidity issue and also closer to retirement age (lesser compounding period).

A potential solution to the “worse case” scenario is to get an annuity (but you will still be effectively taxed on half the annuity’s payouts every year).

 

#6onus How should you open a SRS account?

To open a SRS account, simply go to the 3 SRS operators (DBS/POSB, UOB & OCBC) website and you can do it online. You can register an account with any of them. There is little difference which bank you choose because you can invest in SRS approved assets from any institutions.

OCBC SRS Account

UOB SRS Account

DBS SRS Account

I suggest that you wait until the end of the year before applying. Typically, there are promotions to open a SRS account at the end of the year. On a side note, I’m don’t think there will be a promotion this year (2020) due to the COVID-19 situation. The banks have also been reducing their benefits this year.

5 things you need to know about SRS when you are 40 and older OCBC Promotion

5 things you need to know about SRS when you are 40 and older OCBC Promotion 2017

 

Final Thoughts

I believe that SRS is a great tax saving tool for you if you are 40 and above. Your contribution might save your family one month worth of household expenses. When we are younger, it is important to balance tax-saving and liquidity. Upon retirement, SRS can  provide a source of income for us in addition to possibly rental, dividends etc.

 

 

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.