According to one of the world leading experts in Success and Personal Development, Brian Tracy, the 3 keys to Financial Success are saving, insurance, and investment. These are the 3 legs of financial planning.

Saving

Many personal finance gurus have endorsed and proposed the idea of saving 10% of your income on a monthly basis. Ideally, you should pay yourself first, before you even pay your bills and spend your income.

While that is certainly a good advice, but in the context of Singapore, we do believe that you should save more than just 10%. A 20 to 30% of consistent monthly saving of your income would be important if you want to have financial security, as well as a comfortable retirement lifestyle later on.

Obviously, if you started late, say in your 40s, then you will need to save even more aggressively, as time is not in your favor compare to those who started in their 20s.

One of the rules of thumb in financial planning is for you to have a buffer of at least 3 to 6 months of your monthly income.

Some people called it an “Emergency Fund”. As the name suggested, it’s meant for you to handle whatever is the financial obligation in time of financial emergency. Also, in case you lose your job or unemployed for a few months, you can still fall onto your buffer, instead of getting panic and sell away your investment at a loss. That will give you a peace of mind more than anything else.

Insurance

Insurance is the key element in your Financial Planning. It’s designed to protect you against the loss of income, be it due to untimely death, disability, or critical illness.

It’s especially important for working adult with a family to support.

Ideally, you should have insurance protection of 10 times your annual income. For example, if you annual income is $30,000, then you should have coverage of $300,000.

The most affordable form of insurance is term insurance. This is the insurance in its purest form, with no cash value build in it. And because of that, it’s a lot cheaper compare to other forms of life insurance. It’s an excellent choice for those who need high coverage and on a tight budget.

Another form of life insurance is Whole Life Insurance. There are a lot more features and benefits build into a whole life insurance policy compare to term insurance. One of it is the cash value build into the plan. Basically the saving element comes together with the protection, so that even in the event where nothing (death, disability, or critical illness) happens, policyholder can still take out the cash value for retirement or other purposes, if they want to.

On top of that, there is a host of other benefits in a whole life insurance. You can go to Whole Life Insurance for more details.

Investment

Finally, investment is an important tool for you to create wealth, generate higher return, and plan for your retirement.

There are many reasons people invest. Some invest for capital gain, some invest for coupon income, and some invest just so that it beats inflation.

Therefore, it’s important to identify your investment objective, risk profile, time horizon, as well as investment strategy.

Also, when it comes to investment, there are plenty of asset classes available. Unit Trust is one of the most common ways for busy professional and beginner to invest. Other asset classes include ETF (Exchange Traded Fund), share and stock, bond, property, and commodities.

With all the complexities involve, it’s wise to do your own research as well as discussing with a competent financial adviser about your investment needs.

Summary

These 3 elements of Financial Planning, when properly put in place, will ensure that you achieve your financial objective, and even become financially free.

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