This article was contributed to us by AIA Singapore
Having access to accurate and high-quality advice from a trusted professional when you really need it is often worth far more than it costs. This is especially pertinent when it comes to your family’s physical, mental and financial well-being.
From buying a new home to planning a family to eventually retiring, you will need to work with these professionals on numerous occasions in your lifetime. Even if you are financially savvy, being able to call on trusted advisors, who understand you and your family’s needs, allows you to have peace of mind.
In addition, they will also save you time, explain the jargons as well as the pros and cons of the options available to you, keep you updated with the latest happenings in the industry and provide you with advice and insights based on their experience.
Here are six types of advisors you will likely need to work with at one point in time or another in Singapore.
#1 Financial Advisor
You will likely turn to your financial advisor to purchase adequate protection for you and your family – this includes coverage for health, life, overseas travel or your vehicle. Beyond this, you may even enlist their help to build your retirement nest egg through endowment and savings plans or invest your money through suitable investment-linked plans. When you have to make an insurance claim, they should be there to help you with the necessary paperwork required for your claim submission.
Despite the advancement of technology allowing you to purchase many types of insurance policies online, having a trusted financial advisor who understands your unique profile and needs enables you to make better financial decisions over the long term. The best candidates tend to be trusted friends or family members who understand our needs best.
They are able to advise you on health and protection plans that best fits your requirements and the retirement plans that will enable you to live a lifestyle you’re comfortable with.
Lawyers who give good legal advice usually end up saving their clients a lot of time, hassle, stress and even money in the long term. However, being able to consult one on demand is a luxury most Singaporeans cannot afford.
As the stakes tend to be high for legal issues in Singapore, you should keep a good relationship with a reliable lawyer you’ve already worked with or know, and consult them whenever you genuinely need their advice with a view to hiring them for the job.
Most big law firms may not entertain this kind of informal working arrangements and are outside your budget anyway. Friends and smaller law firms may be more open to this arrangement. Of course, you’d be burning bridges if you constantly go to them for advice only to proceed without them or to engage someone cheaper.
Again, being able to consult a doctor on demand is not something ordinary Singaporeans can afford.
Instead, if you are eligible, you may register with a family physician clinic in most polyclinics to receive continual care by a designated Family Physician and his care team to ensure high quality and coordinated management for chronic diseases.
If you are an AIA Healthshield Gold Max policyholder, you will have exclusive access to over 180 well-qualified and experienced medical specialists at an affordable rate within three working days, under the AIA Quality Healthcare Partners programme.
Bankers provide much-needed advice when it comes to taking out and repaying loans, such as personal loans and mortgages, and investing your money through structured products or via the stock exchange.
This comes in handy when you need to fund your children’s (or your) education, take out a mortgage or renovation loan when you purchase your home and even start planning for your retirement.
While you should heed the fact that they are usually remunerated through commissions, having someone trusted to consult will put you at ease when making such decisions, knowing they have your interest at heart.
Today, it’s hard to find someone who does not have a friend who’s an accountant. If you’re running a small business or even a large enough side-hustle, you may need to consult these friends to give you income and tax related advice.
Of course, you can offer to pay these friends a small fee for their time to help you get your tax returns in order as well.
Alternatively, there are company secretarial services that cater to start-ups and small businesses. Creating a relationship with these firms could be beneficial if you’re running, or plan to run, your own company.
In Singapore, many families also own multiple properties, and it could be beneficial to consult relevant accountants to help you understand the legal requirements and charges you can offset on your purchase or rental income.
#6 Real Estate Agent
Singaporeans enjoy buying, selling and renting properties out for profit and rental income. Unless you are keen on spending time facilitating all these transactions on your own, a trusted and effective real estate agent can go a long way towards helping you.
He or she can tap on a vast network to help you find buyers and tenants depending on whether you are looking to sell or rent out your properties. The person will also understand the property market and the latest happenings better than you, and can use this knowledge to negotiate the best possible deal, and prepare all the necessary paper works required for you to complete your transactions.
Bonds and Fixed Income