Well, here's something I wrote for a group of people in my mailing list a while ago:
Good day Friends!
I hope this email finds you in good spirits in spite of the incessant downpour that has been plaguing our country recently. There is a line I’ve learnt from my Toastmasters meeting yesterday: “In each life, some rain must fall”. When it’s raining, use the rainwater to water the plants. In every problem, comes an opportunity.
Anyway, I’ll like to share a survey
done by OCBC. This survey shows that Singaporeans are generally poor money managers. Most of us are ill-prepared for retirement, setting aside only around $60,000 liquid and invested assets other than their CPF for retirement. What is shocking is that the very same people hope to have a retirement income of $1,800 per month.
Well, the truth is that I don’t think Singaporeans are poor money managers. In fact, I think having the “Kiasu” mentality somewhat helps because we are always looking out for the cheapest deals, freebies etc. Furthermore, most of us are in fact savers more than spenders. Perplexingly, why are we, Singaporeans, somehow not able to meet our retirement goals or even our own financial goals?
That’s because financial planning is not our top priority. It’s funny actually, some of us spent hours or even days to plan for short overseas trip but when it comes to our financial future, but have we spend more than an hour in our entire life? If the answer’s no, is it because we don’t know how to, avoid such a “depressing” topic or perhaps just not keen at all?” Ask Singaporeans to do financial planning is akin to abstain them from having favourite foods like char kway teow, hokkien mee, chicken rice.
To everyone who has not done financial planning, here are the most common reasons:
1. “Don’t know how to”
Whether you know what you don’t know, don’t know what you know, don’t know what you don’t know about personal finance, (pun intended) you can always ask. That’s what I, 3000+ licensed financial advisory representatives and 10000+ insurance agents are here for. Of course, there’s a fine line between product selling and financial planning which I’ll discuss later.
2. “Not interested”
Nobody interested is to do financial planning until something happens or about to happen. And no, this is not just pertaining to insurance yes? Major events such as loss of job, nearing retirement, childbirth or even promotion! Do we only want to wait for things to happen? Do we want to wait for the rest of Singapore to be flooded before we start taking action to improve our drainage system? Do we only want to wait for another major event of our lives before we start to plan for ourselves?
3. “No time”
An average family of 2 takes an average of 3-4 hours of consultation time for us to understand, explain and recommend solutions to their financial situation. If a family can’t put in 3-4 hours time per year, I’ll like to recommend this book
4. “No money to plan”
Whether we are hosting a party for 5 or 100 guests, we still want to make sure that each and every guest enjoy their experience right? Likewise, whether you have a monthly income of $1000 or $10,000 or savings of $100 or $1,000,000 – financial planning is still the way to ensure that you fully maximise your finances! Otherwise, why work so hard for money when we are not managing it well enough?
5. “Fear of being sold”
When I usually ask for a meet up to introduce the financial plan, most people are hesitant to meet up because 99% of the time the “fear of being sold” is lurking upon them. This even applies to people who in the first place, requested for us to introduce! I understand this concern because doing financial planning is quite often construed as being sold financial products. If uncertain, why not seek to find out more?
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