How much cover do I need?
Total & Permanent Disability
Business Expenses Insurance
Superannuation (Retirement Planning)
Master Trusts/Wrap Accounts
Life Insurance provides insurance cover that pays a lump sum benefit to your Estate if you die during the period of cover.
If you're the main income earner in the family, life insurance can help provide a stable financial future for your loved ones if you pass away prematurely. It can help your family cope with major household expenses, such as paying off the mortgage, education costs and funeral expenses.
Most review their life insurance at key stages during their lives, like:
- getting married
- arranging a mortgage or a loan
- starting a new job
- the birth of children
- buying a house
- establishing a business
Your Synchron adviser is equipped to advise you in all situations. He or she can assist you to determine the amount of cover you require, arrange quotes from reputable life insurance companies and advise on matters like whether you should take a joint policy with your partner.
Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) cover is life insurance that pays out if the insured person becomes Totally and Permanently Disabled.
In the event of a claim, the TPD payment can be used to eliminate debt, pay ongoing medical expenses, make necessary home modifications, or hire home care services such as nursing, cleaning and cooking.
It is usually purchased as an additional option on another policy but can be purchased on a “stand alone” basis.
Your Synchron adviser can advise you on the appropriateness of this cover.
Trauma insurance pays a lump sum in the event that you suffer a major injury or illness such as heart attack, stroke or cancer.
This type of cover is designed to help you cover medical expenses associated with the trauma and other costs that your family may be exposed to. Also, it can often be combined with Life and/or TPD cover at a discounted price.
Basically trauma insurance fills in the gap between life insurance, TPD insurance and income protection insurance.
For example, an insured person who suffers a mild stroke and is able to return to work after 3 months would not be able to claim under their life insurance or TPD and may not be able to claim under their income protection policy.
That's why you should seek advice from your qualified Synchron adviser.
Income Protection insurance is probably the most essential type of insurance cover because your income determines your standard of living, your ability to build wealth and your capacity to provide for retirement.
It provides you with an income should you become unable to work due to an injury or sickness. Benefits are paid monthly. The amount of cover is usually restricted to 75% of your gross salary. Premiums are tax deductible for most taxpayers and the income is assessable because it replaces lost “assessable” income.
The choice of cover depends entirely on your individual circumstances.
Because of the number of choices, advice from your qualified Synchron adviser is essential.
- Benefit periods can vary from 2 years to age 65 or life for accident cover
- Waiting periods (the time before a claim is paid) can range from 14, 30 or 90 days to even longer
- Maximum benefit calculations for self-employed people can be complex
- Claims benefits can be escalated in line with inflation
- Your occupation determines your premium and some companies exclude some occupations altogether
- Policy definitions can vary greatly between companies especially the definitions of "total disability" and the differences between “own occupation” and “any occupation” and “Indemnity” vs “Agreed Value”
- Premiums can be “Stepped” or “Level”
Business Expenses insurance is like Income Protection for your business.
It enables your business to continue to operate if you are temporarily disabled and unable to work.
If your business stops operating, your income might be covered by Income Protection, but if the ongoing expenses of the business – for example rent, business mortgage or loan repayments, equipment leasing costs and utilities payments – aren't covered, the owner might need to use the income protection proceeds to pay those, to keep the business out of bankruptcy.
Ideally, a business owner would have the business's net profit covered by income protection, any loans covered by life insurance – possibly with some TPD cover – and the expenses covered by business expenses insurance.
Retirement planning should start as soon as possible after you start working because the longer you delay, the fewer options you will have and the harder it's going to be to reach your retirement income goal.
While 65 years is often considered the "official" retirement age, there's a growing variation in the ages at which people stop working
Your Synchron adviser will work with you to determine your statistical life expectancy (and therefore how long your retirement income will need to last), the lifestyle you want to have in retirement, the expenses that may still need to be covered and the likely impact of inflation.
With this information in hand he or she will discuss the various investment options and your risk tolerance level.
Master trusts (and wrap accounts) are managed investments that allow you to pool your money with other investors to create a fund large enough to access wider investment opportunities or save costs.
Even though your money is pooled with other investors', you still keep some control over your own investment. It's usually easy to switch investments or change your strategy at any time by instructing your adviser or the master trust or wrap account operator. Sometimes you can do this over the phone or through the Internet.
Some trusts offer you hundreds of different investment choices. Some of the popular choices you may be offered include:
- Cash management trusts
- Property trusts
- Australian equity (share) trusts
- International equity trusts
- Some mortgage schemes
Your Synchron investment adviser will help you to:
- Understand the fee structure
- Explain the different features
- Advise on the future flexibility of your investment
The role of your financial planner is help you determine and assess your financial goals, taking into account your individual circumstances and aspirations and the options available.
In other words financial planning helps you determine where you're going – what you want for your financial future and then it helps you make it happen.
It is an ongoing process that takes into account your income, assets, liabilities, and personal views like your values, dreams, wants, needs, time horizons and your attitude toward risk and reward.
The result is a custom-tailored strategy that can help you:
- Maximise your investment returns
- Make your retirement years more comfortable and secure
- Handle your day-to-day finances faster and easier
- Increase your savings and optimize the growth of your wealth
- Improve your cash flow for a better balance between income and expenses
- Minimise the taxes you pay
- Accumulate funds for special goals, like higher education for children
- Look after your dependents in case of death or disability
- Estimate your insurance needs
- Have more confidence in your financial decisions
- Transfer the assets of your estate to your heirs in the most effective way