Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Broaden your financial horizons

Broaden your financial horizons

Broaden your financial horizons

Medical insurance is often not enough

when living abroad

Opinion

By Trevor Kiedan
WHEN it comes to investing, you should broaden your horizons - and this is especially true when choosing how and where to invest your money.

There are many who think that they should invest in specific countries and markets, especially for those living in emerging markets such as Cambodia.

It can often be tempting to think - while living in a place such as Cambodia - that there is once-in-a-lifetime access to unique opportunities that will inevitably reap huge rewards.

And although this might well be the case, it is not a subject that is dealt with in this particular column.

There are those in (and outside) Cambodia who are better placed to offer advice on this type of investment.

In this column we offer advice to those people living in Cambodia who want help planning their financial future to meet their own personal objectives.

Such objectives can range from retiring comfortably to saving for children's education.

Insurance needs

Although most investors have their own individual personal finance needs, many people in Cambodia will find they need medical insurance, as well as a pension plan. This is especially true for expats.

Medical insurance is there to protect you and your family and is often overlooked. People often think they can do without it and only realise that they need it when it is too late.

Today in Cambodia there are a number of good hospitals and clinics.

In addition, the cost of medical treatment is relatively low compared with other countries.

With this in mind, it is easy to forget the consequences of becoming ill or hospitalised.

People often forget that hospitalisation - or a prolonged illness - can mean loss of employment and income.

In addition to medical insurance, there are a number of other types of insurance that should be considered.

For example, there is life insurance whereby the insurer pays the nominated beneficiaries a sum upon the death of the insured.

Another type of insurance is critical illness cover.

This can either be an addition to an existing insurance policy or can be a stand-alone product.

This type of insurance pays out to the insured in the event of a critical illness. The insurer often limits this type of insurance to certain clearly defined illnesses.

And, even though Cambodia is a fast-growing emerging economy, there are many medical insurers that will not offer insurance cover to those living here.

Even though this is improving, those seeking cover still face the challenge of finding suitable cover from suitable insurers.

This is where the services of a personal financial expert or even an insurance broker can come in useful.

Another facet of personal finance that is often required by people living in Cambodia is a personal pension.

A personal pension plan is often taken for granted by those living in Western countries.

In the United Kingdom, for example, there are state as well as individual pensions.  

The state will provide a certain level of pension for those over the age of 65 for men and 60 for women. This is intended to alleviate the risk of poverty in old age.

In the United States, it is often the employer who provides a pension plan, encouraged by generous tax incentives from the US government.

Many of us living overseas (and I'm sure this applies to many living in Cambodia) do not have the luxury of having a state or employersponsored pension plan. We have to "fend" for ourselves.

Fending for ourselves often means investing in funds in order to achieve an amount of money that will see us through our retirement - which could be 30 or more years away.

It also often means paying in to a regular savings plan - and this is where we have to broaden our horizons.

Instead of concentrating on specific countries and markets, we should consider  investing - on a regular basis - in diversified investment funds.

It is often safer and hassle-free (especially when it comes to managed funds). Hopefully this will give you the peace of mind you might need as you save for retirement.

After all, your money matters!

______________________________________________

Trevor Keidan is managing director of Infinity Financial Solutions. Contact him at [email protected].

MOST VIEWED

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Nod given for school exams

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced that State-run higher educational institutions can hold examinations to end the academic year, while private schools can organise grade 9 and grade 12 examinations at their premises for two days. However, private institutions have to take measures to prevent

  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

    In a press release published by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh on Monday, the country applauded Cambodia’s stance on transnational crimes as well as its promulgation of an anti-money laundering law and a law on combating proliferation financing. The praise came after King

  • Lotus face masks designed to cover globe

    A French designer in Cambodia has produced ecological face masks from lotus fibre to supply local and international markets with an eye on preserving ancestral techniques and supporting Cambodian women in rural communities. During a trip to Asia, Awen Delaval, an eco-friendly fashion designer, was

  • Accused not treated equally, says CCHR

    The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has urged the Court of Appeal to do more to ensure that an accused’s right to a fair trial is fully respected. In a bulletin released on Monday, the CCHR said it had monitored 273 cases at the

  • Fish, frogs to boost local food supply

    The government has disbursed more than $4.5 million to boost aquaculture production and domestic market supply amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon told The Post on Monday that in boosting agricultural production, the ministry has received financing from development partners

  • Planning ministry hands out cash to 420,000 poor families in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Planning has identified 20,000 more poor families in the country, bringing the total to over 580,000, while over 420,000 of them have received the government’s cash assistance. In the meantime, many social security cards from families not deemed to be poor have been revoked.

  • Nature in focus at inaugural film and photo festival

    The first Cambodian Wildlife Photo and Film Festival – an event celebrating the conservation of nature through the eyes of wildlife photographers, nature enthusiasts and conservation experts – is scheduled for July 18-26 at Fauna in Focus’ Nature Discovery Centre in Siem Reap. The festival will be

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this