Impact Of Genetic Testing On Insurance Singapore

Impact Of Genetic Testing On Insurance

Genetic testing is getting more common as the medical scene evolves. If you find out that you have a  “bad” result from the testing, you might fear whether your insurability will be impacted or worried that this is considered a pre-existing condition.

On 27 October 2021, the Ministry Of Health (MOH) and Life Insurance Association (LIA) have put together a Moratorium to protect Singapore Residents from having their insurability impacted as a result of having taken predictive genetic testing.

Please refer to the complete details on the LIA’s website. In an event of doubt, please refer back to the complete details as hyperlinked above.

Impact Of Genetic Testing On Insurance Singapore
Impact Of Genetic Testing On Insurance Singapore

A Brief Background

If you know that you have a higher chance to develop a condition in future (via those gene testing), you might load up on more insurance now. Insurers knowing that will ask for those test results. To then prevent this from happening, you might be deterred to undergo such testing anyway.

This Moratorium serves as a safeguard to prevent unfair discrimination during risk assessment (or insurance purchase) and adverse selection against insurer.

The Summary

Life Insurers in Singapore are NOT ALLOWED to ask applicants for their predictive genetic test results if they have taken the test. They will not be allowed to use those results for underwriting purposes.

However, given certain criteria are satisfied, life insurers may ask and use results of approved predictive genetic test for underwriting.

This is applicable for Singapore Residents only (Singaporeans, PR and valid pass holders). Non Singaporean residents are required to disclose genetic test results. If genetic test are done for biomedical research, applicants are not required to disclose those results.

This is also applicable to the following insurance policies (Life Insurance, Total Permanent Disability Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, Disability Income Insurance) only.

The Criteria Of Being Asked

Impact Of Genetic Testing On Insurance Singapore LIA Infographic
Impact Of Genetic Testing On Insurance Singapore LIA Infographic

There will be 2 keys that need to be satisfied before the life insurer can ask for and use the results of the certain predictive genetic tests.

The first key involves the sum assured you are considering. This sum assured refers to the total insurance coverage under all policies issued by insurers in Singapore (including concurrent insurance application). If you require a high sum assured, you might have satisfied the first key.

The second key involves the approved predictive genetic test for Huntington’s disease (HTT) and Breast Cancer (BRCA 1 and BRCA2). If you have done a predictive genetic test for the above, you would have satisfied the second key.

A simple example:

Sarah wants to buy $1,000,000 sum assured for critical illness. She would have satisfied key 1 because she is buying a sum assured more than $500,000 for critical illness.

If she have taken a predictive genetic test for breast cancer previously, she would have satisfied key 2.

As both keys are satisfied, Sarah will have to declare the result of the predictive genetic tests for her insurance application review.

If you have any questions, there is a listed of FAQs here.

 

Final Thoughts

Please refer to the complete details on the LIA’s website. In an event of doubt, please refer back to the complete details as hyperlinked above.

Stay safe and take care.

Chengkok is a licensed Financial Services Consultant since 2012. He is an Investment and Critical Illness Specialist. Wealthdojo was created in 2019 to educate and debunk “free financial advice” that was given without context.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.

Financial Lessons From The Squid Game

Financial Lessons From The Squid Game

Financial Lessons From The Squid Game
Financial Lessons From The Squid Game

This show from Netflix needs no introduction. Amidst the games, the show highlighted the Korea Economy. One with highly-skewed income disparity, worsening household debt and survival of the fittest amid fierce competition.

South Korea is the 12th biggest economy in the world with a GDP of $1.6T. Singapore is trailing behind at 36th with a GDP of $364.2B. Though they are larger in GDP, it seems like the struggles they have with money is the same as Singapore or even worse.

While watching the show, I keep feeling that the characters behave very badly when it comes to money (or the lack of money). Just a few days after, I can’t help but think that it is an representation of what is happening in real life. (That’s probably why the show resonates to us on some level).

To avoid going down the slippery slope, I decided to consolidate the lessons we can learn from this so that we will NEVER have a situation like this EVER.

Hope you enjoy the read.

Spoiler Alerts: Please do not read this as it contains spoilers on the show. We invite you to come back after you finish the series.

 

We Have Emotions

Financial Lessons From The Squid Game Emotion Greed Fear
Financial Lessons From The Squid Game Emotion Greed Fear (Source: Distractify)

I feel that this is something that isn’t acknowledged much in the financial world. It is often thought that most financial decision can be made logically easily. The basic assumption in most economic literature is that humans are rational in nature. However, behaviour economics proven time over time that this couldn’t be more wrong.

Starbucks Behaviour Economics Financial Lessons
Starbucks Behaviour Economics Financial Lessons (Source: S-Retech)

Consider this, you walk into Starbucks (or any other coffee places) to get your daily small dose of coffee. After looking at the prices, most people end up getting the big cup not because they wanted it but because it is a “much better price” than the medium. If you have also chosen the big cup, congratulations, you have experienced the Decoy Effect.

The Decoy Effects explains how an inclusion of an inferior 3rd choice (medium cup) will affect your consideration of between the initial 2 choices (large and small). When there is a decoy alternative, most people makes decision based less on what suits their needs and what we considered as a more beneficial alternative. This results in people spending more as a result at Starbucks.

This is just one of the many cognitive bias that we experience.

This is why it is not easy to invest in the long run, buying term and invest the rest is bad advice or why buy low and sell high is useless advice. I’m not denying that those are rational. It is logical. But we are humans. We experience fear, greed, anger, denial, lost, guilt, shame, hope, envy etc.

These makes it very tough to be rational in a body where we feel so much. Today, most people only focus on the rational side which makes it tough to have a good conversation on finances. I hope that more and more people can come to acknowledgement with their emotions in future.

You Can Win With The Right Strategy

Financial Lessons From The Squid Game Right Strategy
Financial Lessons From The Squid Game Right Strategy

In this very epic game of tug of war, strength is very important. In the team of 10 people, the protagonist team have 3 ladies, 1 weak elderly and 6 men. They faces off a stronger team consisting of all men.

While it feels like the protagonists team have a clear disadvantage in this game, the weak elderly share his wisdom and experience on how to strategize and win against teams that are bigger and stronger than them.

The protagonists team barely escape death by execute the strategy and winning against a team far stronger than them.

In the financial world, you can consider the 10 people the resources that we have. Some of my peers have rich parents, some are left properties under their names, some have good networks and have parents financially independent. But, they may not be financially as well off.

I also have friends who have siblings who depend on them, a study loan, parents who believes that children is the ultimate retirement plan. In spite of this, some of them do succeed in their financial goals by having a right strategy and executing it well.

Having a strong 10 people/resource is important. It is as important as having the right strategy and executing it well.

Learn From Others Mistakes

Financial Lessons From The Squid Game Learning From Mistakes
Financial Lessons From The Squid Game Learning From Mistakes

In another nerve wreaking game called the glass stepping game, participants are made to cross a glass bridge. Participants are presented 2 choices. Stepping on the right choice would mean safety, stepping on the wrong one would meant death. In any event the participant chooses the wrong one and dies, the one after him/her can choose the right one and proceed with the game.

In this game, it is awful being the first one.

In the financial world, money was first originated some where as early as 5000 B.C., in which tons of literature has already been written. One of the classics of financial books is The Richest Man in Babylon. Many important clues have been record and it is up to us to follow that roadmap presented to us.

Another way is to learn from the people around us. If our parents have achieve a certain level of financial freedom, we can learn from it. If our parents have not achieve any, we can also learn from that too.

In whichever case, there is always something to learn.

People Can Behave Badly When It Comes To Money

Financial Lessons From The Squid Game Bad Behaviour
Financial Lessons From The Squid Game Bad Behaviour

In the final game of the series, Squid game, the 2 protagonists face off in a brutal, savage and barbaric fight. As their lives and the prize money was on the line, they really had a lot to fight for.

I was reminded of estate planning stories and divorce stories that were shared during my recent IBF Certification for Private Banking. Most of the stories were very unfortunate. In almost all cases, humans behaves very badly when it comes to money issues.

A old example happened in 2013 when a Singapore based couple committed “financial suicide”. Both have spend SGD$1.7 million on legal costs – just to decide where the divorce should be heard as well as litigation costs linked to the child. You can find the article from multimedia stations from NLB Libraries. It is written in The Straits Times dated Friday, 2 Aug 2013 by Senior Law Correspondent K.C. Vijayan.

Divorce Case Financial Suicide
Divorce Case Financial Suicide

In a more recent example, siblings are suing their elder brother over 2 properties worth SGD$3.1 million. As the estate planning was not poorly set up, it has resulted in a messy inheritance battle of which relationship will be ruined. Though it is not known what the legal costs are, I believe their relationship will never be the same again.

The Financial Journey

Financial Lessons From The Squid Game The Journey
Financial Lessons From The Squid Game The Journey

In the most iconic game called Green Light, Red Light, participants win by making their way towards the end of the line in a given time limit. They can only move when it is Green Light (when the doll is not facing them) and they have to stop any movement during Red Light (when the doll is facing them).

At the start, the participants don’t really understand what to do. 2 brave souls started the journey but ended up dead. This causes panic to everyone and people scrambled towards the “exit”. Unfortunately, they were all shot dead.

The cooler headed participants began their journey again. Unfortunately, some tripped either because they were moving too fast or just unlucky to bump into themselves. They died in their attempt to reach the end.

As some participants crossed the line and won the game, there were others that couldn’t cross the line and died as well.

In this game, it closely symbolizes our journey with money. In a given period of time (working years), we want to reach the end (retirement). Some people panic when they see others lost money in the investment and ran towards the exit (panic selling). Some people overleverage (move too fast), some people suffers from critical illness (bump into themselves), some people start too late (couldn’t reach the end). In all these cases, it resulted in people having a less than ideal lifestyle.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this show was a dark, ghastful and yet awfully realistic in showcasing the behaviour of humans put in those desperate situations.

I recommend watching a comedy after the show.

What other financial lessons have you learn from this show? Let me know in the comments below.

Chengkok is a licensed Financial Services Consultant since 2012. He is an Investment and Critical Illness Specialist. Wealthdojo was created in 2019 to educate and debunk “free financial advice” that was given without context.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.

Jack Ma's 5 Best Quotes On Life, Business and Relationship

Jack Ma’s 5 Best Quotes On Life, Business and Relationship

It is amazing how a man’s destiny can be changed in one year. Jack Ma, more famously known as the Founder of Alibaba (BABA) has disappeared from the public eye around the time when Ant Group was unable to list on the US stock exchange. China stocks are not having a good year ever since the CCP started to have impose regulations on various sectors. There might be times where you might think dollar cost averaging is not working on Chinese stocks.

That being said, Jack Ma has spoken wisdom on life, business and relationship. I have compiled Top 5 quotes which I particularly enjoy.

Hope that Chinese stocks turn around soon.

Jack Ma's 5 Best Quotes On Life, Business and Relationship
Jack Ma’s 5 Best Quotes On Life, Business and Relationship (Photo Source)

#1: On the path to success, you will notice the successful ones are not whiners, nor do they complain often.

After thinking for a long time, I personally felt that this should be the first one on the list (or on any list). If you ask someone what are the ingredients of success, you might get answers like family background, intelligence, the amount of money they have, the school they come from or being hardworking.

I believe that one point stands above all of those listed above. I’m not undermining any of them but without this one point, the rest might fall short.

The Right Positive Attitude.

In my industry and in the previous companies that I worked for, I noticed a similar pattern. The top performers are usually silent (of course they will be loud performers too) and they do what they are suppose to do diligently. Most of them look at the bright side and are often grateful for what they receive or accomplish in their work. Don’t be mistaken though. They do complaint (they are not saints). After releasing the negative energy, they will pick themselves up again and continue preserving in what they do. In time, most of them find success.

Observe the “more successful” colleagues that you have. Are they like what I have described? Do you want to be like that too?

 

#2: You need the right people, not the best people.

I was inspired by this book called Good To Great by Jim Collins. Jim Collins put together 5 years of research to explain how a company can grow from good to great. In one of the chapter, Jim Collins writes about “getting the right people on the bus“. He didn’t say the best people, but the right people.

The right people or team will figure out how to drive the bus to the direction they want. I believe that everyone gives out a different kind of energy and it is your job (as a leader) to manage that energy. In the world, there are really smart people/best people out there. But if they won’t be able to have the right resonance with the team, they are not right at all. The bus might be driven in a different direction or be broken down entirely.

The right culture takes time to build up and seconds to be broken down. You might have friends who “overstayed” in a role because they enjoyed their colleagues company too much. You probably might have heard of friends who quit their jobs immediately because of a bad manager.

The book Good To Great will give a different dimension in explaining this.

 

#3: When people think too highly of you, you have the responsibility to calm down and be yourself.

One word can summarise this entire sentence: Ego. This comes as a bad joke because I felt that ego might have gotten better of Jack in the last few years.

As we become more successful and people start looking up to you, I believe it is important to remember our roots and how we get there. I have met people who got successful very quickly and (very quickly as well) became arrogant. I like this quote from Will Smith: Money and success don’t change who we are; they merely amplify what is already there. People will see how you treat people and that is an indication on who you are as a person whether successful or not.

The price of ego could be a heavy one and it is up to us to have humility whether successful or not.

What kind of person do you want to be?

 

#4: When doing sales, the first people who will trust you will be strangers. Friends will be shielding against you, fair weather friends will distance from you. Family will look down upon you. The day you finally succeeded, paying the bills for every get-together dinner, entertainment, you will realised: everyone else is present except strangers.

I don’t blame them. As Walter Bradford Cannon once said fight or flight is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. A sale may seem like a harmful attack to their wallets (whether or not the product/service is useful for them or not). Any and every exposure to a sale person might seem daunting for some.

I know of some friends who put down everything to start a business. It isn’t as glamorous as it seems. Behind the nice Facebook post lies hard work, sweat and tears (not exaggerating). There are also countless heart aches that they (myself inclusive) have experienced in the course of running a business.

  • Working well beyond 9am to 5pm. Some quit their jobs and suddenly they are working 24/7
  • Some might face discouragement from family or their close ones. Some very hurtful sentences include “You have a degree, why do you want to do this?”, “Why don’t you find a proper job?”, “Why are you not setting aside time for the family, is money that important?”, “Why are you not working hard enough (when things are not going well), do you know we have a family to support?”, “I can get this cheaper from Taobao”, “I can do this myself by reading up” etc

Yet, the day you succeeded in the world eyes. Suddenly, the applause comes in. Comments like “I knew you could do it all this time”. I heard this first hand from a friend who successful sold away his business for millions of dollar. However, I would have to say it is not easy. It is hard to suddenly trust someone to buy something straight away. It is even harder to refer them to someone that you know. But for those of you who did, a big thank you.

Do you know someone who is running a business or a practice? Lend them a helping hand. Here are some from I know run great business and I would like to extend to them a helping hand.

Disclaimer: I do not get any referral fees for promoting them. I personally feel that their products and services are great.

Platter With Love: Luxurious Handcrafted Artisanal Gourmet Platters with a Social Mission

OlaBakes: Sweets Made Fresh

Oriental Remedies Group: Bilingual TCM Physicians You Can Trust – #FeelBetterFaster with TCM x Technology

 

#5: Buying Life Insurance cannot change your life; instead it prevents your lifestyle from being changed. After tolling for decades, an illness can wipe out an entire family’s saving by medical bills incurred.

You will not turn bankrupt because of buying insurance but you will cause your loved ones to turn bankrupt if you don’t.

There are certain things we want to happen and certain things we don’t want to happen. In the 21st century, humanity is facing one of the greatest war ever: the war against critical illness. Mortality has improved over the years because of medical innovation. At the very same time, the cost of medical provision has also increase. What seems to be like a death sentence decades ago can now be cured.. but you need money to have access to that treatment.

After chatting with past critical illness survivors, I realised that concern of falling ill runs deeper than just the cost. At the end, affording the treatment is the start. Recovering from the illness is the end game. Give yourself a chance to win this game by having the adequate insurance.

 

Final Thoughts

Let’s all thrive in our lives, business and relationships.

Stay Safe.

Chengkok is a licensed Financial Services Consultant since 2012. He is an Investment and Critical Illness Specialist. Wealthdojo was created in 2019 to educate and debunk “free financial advice” that was given without context.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.

3 pieces of money advice no one ever wants to hear

I’m a financial planner and these are 3 pieces of money advice no one ever wants to hear

I remember my mom telling me to eat more vegetables when I was younger. At that time, I absolutely hated broccoli and only ate it because I can only play with my playstation after that. Years later, I can only assume eating broccoli was a great decision because I don’t really fall sick as often as my peers. I did not appreciate my mom’s nagging advice (I mean who did at that time) until years later.

Turns out that nagging found its’ way into adulthood. As a financial planner, I’m constantly giving money advice that no one wants to hear. But those who listened and applied the concepts tend to have better cashflow, protection and investment portfolio.

You might not like it, but it is for your own good.

3 pieces of money advice no one ever wants to hear
3 pieces of money advice no one ever wants to hear

 

#1: You Got To Save To Have Money To Invest

“I want to invest but investing more than $100/month is too much because…”

To set the context, these are people with good monthly income of around $3000 to $6000. I find it scary to have so many conversations with people who have issues setting aside money every single month BUT wants to invest. It is like wanting to bake a chocolate cake with no chocolate. Often, not having a Level #2: Abundant Surplus Creator set up is one of the main cause of failure.

Saving more than you need will buy you opportunity and freedom in the future. The usual guideline is to set aside at least 25% of your take home salary. This 25% will buy you opportunity and also freedom that you desire.

 

#2: Have A Backup Plan

“You will fail in life 33% of the time. Do you have a backup plan?”

Cancer hits 1 out of 3 people in Singapore. Each and every of us have a 33% chance of our income source robbed away when we are unable to work when we are ill. If you are lucky and detected it early, the effects may be temporary. However, if it is a major critical illness, the effects will be longer term in nature.

With COVID-19 still looming over our heads, I think it is clear that the next war we will be fighting is a Health War. No one likes to imagine the worst cause situation but if something really happens, you will be glad that you have a backup plan Level 4: Aegis Of War aka insurance especially medical and critical illness coverage.

Other forms of backup includes having adequate emergency funds.

 

#3: Don’t Time The Market. Invest For The Long Term

“I want to wait until the market crash (like in March 2020) and invest.”

You will be waiting for a long time. Before March 2020, it was Sept 2008. Before Sept 2008, it was April 2000. From 2000 to 2021, S&P500 is up roughly 189% with a CAGR of around 6%. It is certainly very easy to look back in 2008 or 2020 to say that it is the best time to invest BECAUSE it has already happened.

It is virtually impossible to predict the market. Investing may be all sunshine in 2020. However, it is not as fun and sexy as you think it is. The recent pull back has shattered some confidence in the market and you might be wondering what to do next.

Build a strategic investment plan and stick to it. We want to invest in companies that is of value and growing and hold it until it rewards us. You can take a look at some of the largest companies now that is rewarding investors. Companies such as Apple and Facebook are rewarding investors with price appreciation and also dividends over the last 10 years whether it is market crash or not.

 

Final Thoughts By Wealthdojo

Eat your veggies. Trust me, it is good for you.

 

Chengkok is a licensed Financial Services Consultant since 2012. He is an Investment and Critical Illness Specialist. Wealthdojo was created in 2019 to educate and debunk “free financial advice” that was given without context.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.

Careshield Life New Updates

Why you shouldn’t pay $200 for your Careshield Life

In 02 Sept 2019, The Singapore Parliament approved Careshield Life. This is the 3rd Shield that Singapore has to prepare our population in this aging economy. We will be covering how will Careshield Life be part of our Wealth Management journey and whether it will be enough.

Careshield Life New Updates
Careshield Life New Updates: My Letter

 

What is Careshield Life?

CareShield Life provides Singapore a Lifetime* payout of $600/month up to $1200/month** in the event of severe disability. The premiums can be fully paid by Medisave. The government ensures that no one will lose their coverage due to financial difficulties. The claim will be eligible if a person is unable to perform at least 3 out of 6 activities of daily living.

Careshield Life New Updates Activities of Daily Living
Careshield Life New Updates Activities of Daily Living

*As long as the insured remain severely disabled
**Estimated payout if increase at 2% a year

 

Why will you need it?

I hope you can agree with me that once a person is unable to perform 3 out of 6 activities of daily living, he/she probably will need help to maintain and sustain his/her life. In the 3 Lessons I Learnt From Critical Illness Survivors and Family Members, I learnt that a family member typically have to help the survivor for at least 6 months or until the treatment is over. If the disability is prolonged, most of them will choose to employ a maid to take care of them.

In recent years, the monthly recurring cost of hiring a maid (excluding the one time cost such as plane tickets, etc) is easily more than $800. This does not include other options like nursing homes, home and community care, transport, consumables and so on.

Based on AVIVA’s Long Term Care Study 2011 showed that claimants on average required about $2,150 per month to pay for a domestic helper or nursing home, transportation to and from the hospital for treatments or physiotherapy, mobility aids, as well as daily expenses and bills.

A Department of Statistics Singapore paper published in 2011 showed that, in Singapore, more than a third of caregivers had been providing care to their recipients for over a decade.

In the Eldershield Review Committee Report in 2018, 1 in 2 healthy Singaporeans aged 65 could become severely disabled in their lifetime.

With the statistics stacked against you, I personally think that the $600/month from Careshield life will not be enough.

 

Careshield Life New Updates Cost
Careshield Life New Updates Cost: Photo Source

 

I already have insurance that covers for TPD. Why make me buy this?

TPD or total permanent disability will only have a payout when it is permanent (As the name suggest. For the avoidance of doubt, please check your individual policies for the definition). If the condition is not serious enough, there may not be a claim from TPD. Careshield Life provides monthly pay outs as long as you are unable to fulfill 3/6 Activities of Daily Living either temporary or permanent. Other common severe disabilities includes the following:

  1. What if there is an amputation that is because of diabetes?
  2. What if there is an accident or degeneration of muscle?
  3. Progression of illnesses such as dementia?

 

What should you do?

If you are age 30 – 40 now, welcome to Careshield Life. It is compulsory. Those that are in eldershield (1979 and before), you can get incentive when you switch over to Careshield Life by by 31 Dec 2023. You can find out more here.

 

Final Thoughts

Personally, I think this is a great initiative by the government to address the needs of the aging population in the years to come. Those who are between 30 to 40 will probably be shocked (or pleasantly surprised) to receive this letter in the next few days.

You shouldn’t be paying only $200 for careshield. I think we should pay more for more benefits.

Long Term Care is part of your Wealth Management, speak to your financial advisors for future clarification.

 

No one will care about your money as much as you do.

In Wealth Management, it is important to Pay yourself first. Beware of scams. Before you invest in any company or popular investment opportunity, be sure to do your own due diligence. If you wish to learn more about Wealth Management, I hope to nurture genuine relationships with all of my readers.

Check out my most popular blog post in 2020 so far: 5 mistakes people make using their CPF.

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