Planning for the future as a professional
Farzana Botha, Segment Solutions Manager at Sanlam Savings
Intermediaries spend many hours investing in their professional clients, from graduation to retirement. The goal? To set clients up for longstanding financial confidence and prosperity. While committing so much to ensuring others succeed, intermediaries may overlook one very important fact. They’re professionals too. That means they need to attend to their own financial wellbeing with the same rigour and care.
Farzana Botha, Segment Solutions Manager at Sanlam Savings, says that intermediaries – like all professionals – have very specific financial planning needs. “We often say that the greatest asset a person has is their future earning potential. For professionals, this is often a lot greater, because of their specialised skills and level of study, plus what they can offer the market. This means their income tends to grow at a different rate, which comes with extra considerations to the average salaried individual. Also, the investment made in their intellectual capabilities means they must carefully consider their life insurance needs relative to that.
“I think intermediaries tend to forget this ‘professional’ narrative applies to them as well. They often have substantive future earning potential. However, their risk is also quite immense as they can only earn an income if they’re actively practicing. So, they need to safeguard this potential, for themselves, and on behalf of their employees as well, if they’re practice owners.”
Capitalising on professional benefits
Intermediaries are commonly excluded from the industry definition of ‘professional’, which is limited to those who are actively practicing and registered with a professional body such as accountants, lawyers, and doctors. Sanlam’s definition expands to include intermediaries that are registered Certified Financial Planners.
Botha adds, “Intermediaries would advise their professional clients to take full advantage of all the exclusive product offerings open to them. When possible, they should do the same. With Sanlam, qualifying intermediaries unlock all our professional market benefits, including the Sanlam Wealth Bonus Booster, which is only available to professionals with a Cumulus Echo Retirement Annuity and Matrix Premier Life Cover.”
Give your Wealth Bonus a boost
She says that the Wealth Bonus loyalty programme can help intermediaries on their journey to building meaningful long-term wealth. Primarily, it rewards staying power. Sanlam matches a percentage of the client’s premium as a contribution towards their loyalty bonus, which accumulates, with a portion of the funds unlocking at set intervals. Once unlocked, the client can choose to access the cash to spend or invest in a vehicle of their choice, or they can leave it in their Wealth Bonus account. The longer clients stay invested, the greater the wealth-building benefits they accrue.
Qualifying professionals – including intermediaries – also get exclusive access to the Wealth Bonus Booster, which adds an extra financial incentive as a boost to savings.
What professionals really want
Wealth Bonus, the Sanlam Group’s flagship loyalty and rewards programme, is in line with what many professionals are looking for from loyalty products right now. Here are some of the top trends:
The desire to unlock extra value, right now: Insurance is still seen as something of a grudge purchase as the value of risk policies and retirement is not immediately materialised, but, more than ever, people appreciate its necessity. Now, professionals are seeking products that make their money work harder for them – and offer something extra. Hence, the drive to offer relevant rewards in real-time.
Healthy me, happy me: Professionals tend to be more health conscious, so are seeking lifestyle-linked benefits such as gym memberships. This isn’t a new trend, but Covid-19 has certainly highlighted the importance of our physical and mental well-being.
Reward me, don’t punish me: Rewards programmes can be quite exclusionary. They tend to rely heavily on what people can do – if you don’t do something, a benefit may not materialise. There’s been a recent reaction against this.
Botha concludes that Sanlam partners with professionals – including intermediaries – at every stage of their journey, from student days on. “We walk the journey with our clients. We understand the transition they’re going through – the financial impact and growth they’ll experience – and we approach this with empathy and understanding. Products like our Wealth Bonus are designed to meet these unique needs.”
“We urge intermediaries to prioritise their own financial wellness – the same risk assessments and annual reviews they do for their clients apply to them too. There’s an adage that doctors are the least attentive to their own health. Sometimes, we do forget to practice what we preach. Now’s the moment to put yourself first and take full advantage of the professional status you earned.”