1st Things

I would like to believe that by now, everyone in Malaysia own at least an insurance policy each. If you are reading this and you don’t have one, I’m sure someone in the family has some policies. You could help them check this out :-

For those of you who have not nominated anyone for your policies, please do so now! Or, put this task in your iPhone or BB or whatever – To Do List.  It is as easy as ABC. Get your insurance advisor or financial planner to help you out, or call your insurer’s customer service representative and he/she would be most glad to assist you.

Why do you need to nominate? Simply because, in the event of death, the Insurer needs to know who to write the cheque to without unnecessary delay. If you leave it blank, this insurance policy would be part of your estate (at death, a person’s assets would be referred to as “estate”). Before I proceed further, I must emphasise that there are two parts to this nomination issue. For Muslims and non-Muslims, the treatment is entirely different.

Now I shall start with the Non-Muslims : for those of you who are interested to make your policy a Trust Policy, here’s how. Huh….Trust Policy??? Sorry, I’m so eager to share this info with you that I forgot to explain myself first. Trust Policy in simple term means that it is Creditor Proof – creditors would not be able to claim a piece of that money, if the person has outstanding debts. Creditors could claim from the estate, but not from the insurance proceeds in this case. That is why an Insurance Policy is a Huge Umbrella to hold your loved ones together when you are not around for them. You should thank your insurance advisor or financial planner for taking time to plan for your financial security. However, if your policy is a Non-Trust Policy, then, it falls under your estate, so not creditor proof at all then.

Now, how do we do that? It all depends on who you nominated for your policy proceeds. Go get your policy(ies) and check it out. If you are not sure, call the customer service and ask them for your latest nomination.

For a single person, with living parent(s), nominate your parent(s). This way your policy will automatically become a Trust Policy.  Nominate any other persons, it would become a Non-Trust Policy.

For married person, nominate your spouse and/or children. If children is of minority age, nominate a trustee at the same time. By nominating your spouse and/or children, your policy will be a Trust Policy.

Once your policy is a Trust Policy, you don’t have include it in your Will (if you have a will) – just like you do not include your EPF in your Will, after nomination. If you wish to change your nomination in your insurance policy, do it with the insurer, D-I-Y or with the help from your insurance advisor or financial planner.

If for some reasons, you decided to nominate differently and the policy is then  a non-trust policy, (e.g. married person nominating sibling; single with living parents, nominating sibling or friend), the named person would just be an Administrator (without the presence of a Will) or Executor (with a Will) and he/she is supposed to distribute the proceeds accordingly to the Distribution Act (without a Will) or as specified in the Will.

My dear Muslim friends, here’s what your nomination means when you nominated someone in your policy(ies).  The person will undertake the duty as an Administrator only, to distribute the proceeds according to Faraid (Islamic estate distribution ratio). The proceeds would form part of your estate.

I hope you are clearer now about Insurance Nomination.  This is very important. I shall now leave you to your thoughts.

Signing off with warm wishes to you and your family 🙂

Straight A’s?!

Just barely a week ago, the whole nation (Malaysia) was excited (or not) about the SPM results. On that particular morning, as I was trapped in a bumper to bumper traffic, on my way to the office, I listened to JJ and Ean (my fave DJs at Hitz.FM) on the radio. One particular lady in her 50s spoke with them. I agreed with her on every word she spoke of.

Let’s see if I could still recall one particular point she said about results (not in exact words) : Whether the children did well or not well enough, one door may be closed but another would open. Do not give up, just keep on moving forward.  She is so Right! Being a top student is great; being an average is great too.  As long as you have worked hard for it, it’s the best that you could deliver, that is already a great achievement! 

Me, I was always an average student (for all subjects except for Accounting and Math/Add Math – my fave) in school, till I became a professional adult student – I became one of the top students in the class! How I could do so well? Simply because I finally found what I was (still am) passionate about and my brain went to work full swing, tirelessly. I got it finally! What I learnt from my own experience was that if one studies what one is passionate about, it’s like a hobby. It becomes easier to learn and understand, and excel in it. Same goes to a job. If you like what you are doing, you don’t find your job that tough after all. You’ll surprise yourself with all those amazing ideas you came up with, to complete a certain project or task. Believe me….been there, done that.

So, whatever results your children/niece/nephew, etc have, find out what his/her strengths are, what his/her passion is, and that would be the clue to which course he/she should go for. Be not afraid of choosing the wrong course. There’s not right or wrong. It’s only wrong when we try to get them to live our dreams, against their will. Yes, I’m a parent, and I would like to give the best to my children….but sometimes, we must not protect them too much.

My Dad as I was growing up, allowed me to make my own decisions, right from choosing my primary school, Science Stream (I hate Science and I hate History too) or change to Art Stream (cos I love Accounting) to selecting my courses in college, etc. Thanks, Dad! I asked him, what if I made the wrong decision? He simply said that whatever decisions I made, he would give me his full support. I am so grateful for he had given me the opportunity to learn how make decisions at a young age (since 6 years old) and not afraid to make any decisions (right or wrong) at all. He allowed me to grow at my own pace, and I survived well.

Signing off and hope you have a great evening 😉

The Start of My Journey

Good Morning!

When I first started on Financial Planning, I noticed that most planners work with men (at least, in this part of city). Does that mean men are more financial savvy? That makes me wonder about their wives and all ladies in general, regardless if they are homemakers, career women, business women, single, married or even single mothers. Are they as financial savvy too?

The whole idea of “Financial Planning for Women” started brewing in my mind when I first attended a seminar on that topic. I was shocked to discover that more than 60% of women around the world would become single (again) by choice or circumstances. The number could have gone up since then, maybe? For those who left all financials to their partners till then, they would be caught off guard when there is change to their domestic landscape. Then what?

Sadly, I had personally witnessed friends going through rough times after a divorce or becoming a widow, mostly with young children.  One can only imagine how hard it was going to be. All felt that something should have been done much earlier, to tide them over this difficult period. To allow them time to come to terms with emotional issues without having an additional baggage of financial issues to deal with. At that point of time, like it or not, she has to make life adjustments, trying hard not to compromise their lifestyle and children’s education. But, many have to make sacrifices, which most of the time, met with resentment from her children. Imagine a woman’s journey at that point of time. One can only pray for strength and patience….

After knowing and watching what people around me went through, it is my burning desire to educate and share my knowledge with fellow ladies to make them more prepared. Just like my motto as a Girl Guide and Ranger, which I practiced to this day, always BE PREPARED. Of course, we can’t plan a plan which is 100% foolproof. At least with a plan, the impact would not be as great. Just like having an umbrella for rainy days. It may be big enough to protect all from getting wet; maybe it could be a bit smaller whereby everyone has to squeeze in, feeling very uncomfortable, but everyone’s kept out of the rain. Now, you’re probably thinking what I’m thinking.

So, woman, please start getting your financials in order and get to know your inflows and outflows so that you won’t be caught off guard. It is always good to be aware of your environment. In a more positive light, you could also be helping your beloved partner to carry out some administrative works (pay bills, cheque books, etc), to free his mind for more important stuffs at the office.

Wait a minute…you’re overwhelmed? I know that in every household, the lady of the house would have so many things on her plate already. Take care of business/career, husband, kids, maid, in-laws, etc. and now finance?! Go easy on it…take a baby step at a time, if you like. At least, take the very first step to the financially savvy you. What’s insured for and what’s not. What have you and partner invested for, thus far, and saving for the children’s education and your own retirement. It’s something very close at heart, not to worry. We women are so adaptable. Take it as a new challenge for 2011. For those who have done it, Good For You and Keep It Up!!!

Hope I have left some thoughts for you to ponder this week. Remember to flash that beautiful smile always. You look great in it.

Signing off.