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Wealthcare in Singapore: 101

by Nadan Niazi

Wealthcare refers to a financial planning and management approach that focuses on optimising wealth and preserving financial security. The design of wealthcare schemes is such that individuals and families can have a personalised plan that meets their needs, so they can achieve their long-term financial goals.

In Singapore, wealth management and wealthcare schemes typically cover areas such as investment planning, tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance planning, and debt management. Typically, investment and commercial banks offer these services. The goal of wealthcare is to ensure that clients can grow and preserve their wealth over the long term, and to provide them with peace of mind and financial security.

In this 101, we want to answer some basic questions on wealthcare for Singaporean residents who are interested in building their wealth. These include answers to questions like who wealth management is for and the different types of plans available. It also includes details on local regulations in Singapore and how you can open a wealthcare account in the country.

Who is wealthcare for?

There is a misconception amongst many that wealthcare is for those who are wealthy and need a professional to help manage their trust fund, estate, or will. That could not be further from the truth.

These days, wealthcare is for everyone and anyone who wants to build their wealth and secure their financial futures. Regardless of one’s tax bracket, there are schemes that are suitable for everyone and their goals.

What are some types of wealth management planning?

Some wealth management plans that you can choose from, typically, include those that encompass different goals at different life stages. For example, retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, education planning, investment planning, risk management planning, and even philanthropic planning. Below, we take a closer look at what each of them entails.

Retirement planning

Most people will be familiar with the concept of planning for one’s retirement. This is ensuring that you have sufficient savings to take you through old age, after you have stopped working. Retirement planning schemes are for working professionals of every age, and the goal is to focus on building a retirement fund.

Estate planning

Estate planning is for those who would like to preserve their wealth and distribute their properties to beneficiaries after death. Licensed professionals can help create legal agreements to prevent potential legal disputes from arising after the estate owner passes away.

Tax planning

Tax planning is a type of wealth management that helps people reduce tax liability and maximise tax benefits. This can be suitable for business owners, but it can also be a great way for people in higher tax brackets to find strategies that can help them protect their wealth.

Education planning

Parents or parents-to-be often have education planning for their children as part of their wealth management plans. This includes saving and investing to fund education expenses for their children, and there are special accounts for that.

Investment planning

Investment planning is wealthcare planning that focuses on building and managing a portfolio of investments ranging from stocks and commodities to forex and other products, to reach financial goals. Investors can help better manage their assets with the help of a professional, such as a financial advisor or portfolio manager.

Risk management planning

Risk management planning is the act of protecting your wealth by identifying, assessing, and prioritising potential risks that may impact you as an individual or your business or organisation. The focus of this type of planning is to reduce the likelihood or impact of risks to an acceptable level, and to develop a plan of action to respond to these risks, such as medical emergencies.

Philanthropic planning

Finally, philanthropic planning helps wealthy individuals and families align their wealth with their values and goals, and to give back to society through charitable giving. This involves developing a strategy for allocating funds and resources, including charitable contributions, to organisations and causes that align with the individual or family’s values. It may at times also include estate and tax planning, and there may be additional investment management to support this charitable giving.

Is wealthcare regulated in Singapore?

Yes. Singapore’s central bank and financial regulatory authority, the Money Authority of Singapore (MAS), regulates wealth management and financial planning services, including various wealthcare schemes. MAS is responsible for ensuring financial institutions conduct these services in a safe and sound manner. This includes making sure consumers are protected from financial misconduct.

Financial institutions that provide wealth management services in Singapore must adhere to MAS’s regulations and guidelines. This ensures they maintain high standards of professionalism and integrity in their operations. Therefore, when you do participate in a wealthcare plan, you should make sure that it is with a licensed institution.

How to open a wealthcare account in Singapore

If you would like to participate in wealth management, you have plenty of options in Singapore, one of the most active and technologically advanced economies in Asia. There may be a slight difference in details depending on the financial institution you choose to work with. But broadly speaking, individuals must follow these steps:

Choose a wealth management provider

One of the first steps is to choose a wealth management provider. Remember to go for ones that have local licensing and adhere strictly to MAS’s policies. You should do sufficient research at this step, because you must also choose a provider that offers the right services for you.

Check out the fee structures of their various plans, minimum deposits, and the commitment required from you in the long term. You should already know what your financial goals are at this point.

Gather the necessary documentation

Once you have landed on a provider, you must gather the necessary documentation for you to open an account. This is your proof of identity and proof of address. There may also be other documentation you may need to provide, such as your tax statement and your income statement.

Complete the application process

Once you have gathered your documentation, you can submit your completed application to your chosen wealth management provider. This process is usually relatively straightforward if you have provided all the required information.

Fund the account

When the provider approves your account, you can begin to deposit funds into it to start investing in wealthcare plans and building your wealth.

Wealthcare in Singapore: a conclusion

Wealth planning is essential for people who want to build and maintain their wealth in the long term. People may think that wealth planning is only for the wealthy, but there are many types of accounts these days for various purposes that is appropriate for everyone. Whether you are planning for an important life event such as marriage and moving abroad, or you would like to save up for your retirement, you should be opening a wealth planning account to keep track of your finances.

Singapore’s financial regulatory body is the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and you should make sure your wealthcare provider carries a license when you open an account. This can give you much greater peace of mind and give you funds an additional layer of sorely needed protection. But before you go looking for a provider, you should make sure you understand what your investment goals are and what you plan to achieve with your wealth management plan to maximise your chances of long-term success.

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