Boldly taking charge of her own financial destiny

Ms Chenise Lim and her South African husband Karl Christians hope to retire in Cape Town, where they own several properties. To ensure a stable income flow then, she has invested in a diversified portfolio and various insurance plans.
Ms Chenise Lim and her South African husband Karl Christians hope to retire in Cape Town, where they own several properties. To ensure a stable income flow then, she has invested in a diversified portfolio and various insurance plans.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Ms Chenise Lim, who is associate director for private wealth management at Financial Alliance, started mapping out her own financial plan when she was 27.

Now 41, she has her mother to thank for having instilled in her the habit of saving at a young age.

"My mum motivated me to save and subsequently transferred my savings into a fixed deposit. After that, I learnt to work towards my goals," she said.

She advises her female clients to take responsibility for their own financial well-being, because it will enable them to feel more secure and independent. Otherwise, they could be financially clueless if something catastrophic happens in the markets.

She says many have concerns similar to her own - whether they will have enough income during retirement, or if they might have to stop work prematurely because of illness or job restructuring.

SAVING TOWARDS KEY GOALS

My mum motivated me to save and subsequently transferred my savings into a fixed deposit. After that, I learnt to work towards my goals. ''

MS CHENISE LIM, on the need to start building a nest egg at a young age.

In terms of her own financial planning, she wants to ensure a stable income flow during retirement.

To help herself do that, she bought a regular premium retirement insurance plan that will pay out $1,600 (including a non-guaranteed portion) monthly when she turns 60 until she reaches 99.

She also has savings plans that will provide a guaranteed monthly payout of $1,000 from age 65 to 75.

In addition, she has three critical illness plans with an aggregate cover of $450,000, as well as two early critical illness plans that cover her for $100,000.

Ms Lim's investment portfolio currently consists of unit trusts (20 per cent), property funds (50 per cent), stocks (5 per cent) and jewellery (25 per cent).

She owns an apartment here and has a jointly owned landed house in Cape Town, where she plans to retire with her South African husband, Mr Karl Christians, 53. An accountant, he has two additional landed properties in Cape Town.

She plans to retire at 60 while he plans to do so when he turns 65. They estimate that, by then, they would have a monthly income flow of about $10,000.

Lorna Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 12, 2017, with the headline 'Boldly taking charge of her own financial destiny'. Print Edition | Subscribe