The “Blessing” of Age and Pensions for Maltese Families

This article which delves into the various facets of life insurance is written in partnership with  jesmondmizzi.com.

Meet Joanna Azzopardi from Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors

Joanna AzzopardiIn this interview, we meet Joanna Azzopardi, Insurance and Pensions Manager at Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors (JMFA). On a personal note, she shares with us why she’s happy revealing her age (we promise we didn’t ask :)). Joanna also uses her extensive experience in the insurance and pensions field to offer advice on long-term financial protection for young Maltese families. Read on to get to know Joanna and JMFA. Get to know more about why life insurance should be part of your family conversations from an early stage.

Hi Joanna! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what drives you to work in this field? 

Hi! I am 45 years old and very happy to reveal my age, as I consider every day a blessing 😊. I have always worked in the life insurance field because I find it interesting. Life business forms an integral part of an individual’s life journey. It also has an emotional side to it, not just monetary or financial. Life insurance covers four main areas. These are: protection, savings, investments and retirement. All of these have a role to play in our day to day lives.       

That’s a very interesting way to look at it – you really are with your clients throughout all the stages of life. Are there any special anecdotes from your time working with Jesmond Mizzi and that you always look back on? 

I can’t think of one in particular. However, when speaking to clients I always try to put myself in their shoes. I listen in order to appreciate what their objectives and concerns are. Everyone has a story to tell and although situations may differ the ultimate goal for each individual is to have peace of mind and live life to the max. I tend to relate a lot with clients who I get to know and communicate with, on an ongoing basis.

On a more technical (and practical) note: what services can Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors offer families in Malta? 

So, as I’ve already noted, life insurance covers four main areas and our services fall in the following.

financial advice on savings and pensionsService categories

  1.  Protection – when you are buying your own home and would need life cover to get a loan from the bank, or if you have a young family and wish to protect your spouse or children, by providing a lump sum in case of your premature death. 
  2. Savings – when you are saving in the long term for a particular goal for e.g. to buy a second property, a predicted/ unpredicted event in the future or to save for your children’s education.
  3.  Investments – this is most common when you reach middle-age and would have accumulated a sum of money, through matured savings accounts or through inheritance and would want to invest a lump sum to make your money work for you.
  4. Retirement – we all see this as very far off but in reality time flies and before you know it you will retire! The tax incentives currently in place provide you with an opportunity not to be missed. The sooner you start to take advantage from these tax benefits, the better are your chances to build a financial cushion and live a comfortable and enjoyable life at retirement.

Young families are the main audience for Island Bébé . Are there any specific plans that would work best for parents raising young children?

There are specific products within each category that would be great for families with young kids (of course, each case is unique and the ideal product will vary according to the family’s specific situation). Here are a few to consider.

Services to consider

  • A Level Term Protection Plan is important to protect the family in case of an unfortunate event. E.g. a young 25 year old father takes out a life policy for 25 years, for a sum insured of €100,000, until the age of 50 years. If the father passes away before the age of 50, then a €100,000 death benefit is paid to the beneficiaries i.e. family, as an emergency fund.  
  • savings and pensions planA Savings Plan can be either conservative i.e. With-Profits or Unit-Linked for the more adventurous individual, where the investment element would be in funds. One’s risk appetite is a determining factor for which product to choose. It is advisable that one chooses an amount that he/she is comfortable with for the foreseeable future. One may increase or decrease the amount paid into the minimum. There are also Child Savings Plans which are tailor-made for children starting from only €40 monthly.
  • Personal Pension Plans – Again, these can be either With-Profits or Unit-Linked. The main attractive feature for these is that there is a 25% tax credit on a maximum contribution of €3,000 per year. Young families who are wise enough to start a pension plan early in life are in a better position to build an adequate pension pot, however one needs to keep in mind that this is accessible only after reaching the age of 61 years.

Thank you for elaborating on that. How are Jesmond Mizzi’s services different from a bank? What makes Jesmond Mizzi different from other financial advisors? 

JMFA is a trustworthy boutique company which offers a personalised service. The Team at JMFA is available and flexible to suit a client’s needs. We can meet clients at our offices or in the comfort of their own home or office. JMFA also has its inhouse funds i.e. ‘Merill Funds’ and can offer a holistic service to clients.

What should someone expect when they first meet with you? 

financial advisorWhen we first meet with a client, we discuss the individual’s situation. This includes age, status, family and dependants, occupation, hobbies, inspirations, future goals, etc.  From there, we can together determine which products would work best for them.

In addition, we guarantee honesty and integrity and deliver an efficient service in a timely manner. We treat our customers in the same way we wish to be treated.

On a final note, do you have any personal advice for our readers? 

I would recommend young families to give importance to their financial well-being from an early age and not to fall into the trap of procrastination. They should get as much information as possible, from different sources, to make an informed decision on which Company, the type of product and the customer service it offers. Financial soundness, corporate governance and transparency of policies and procedures are very important aspects to look out for!

Thank you Joanna for taking the time to share such insightful information with our readers!

Learn more about your insurance, savings and pension options by getting in touch with the experts at Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors or call on +356 2343 5715. For more tips and advice on all things related to family life, visit our Island Parents and Experts sections.

Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Limited (C30176) is an enrolled Tied Insurance Intermediary under the Insurance Distribution Act for MAPFRE MSV Life p.l.c (MMSV). MMSV (C-15722) is authorised under the Insurance Business Act.  Both entities are regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority.    

The Products are manufactured by MMSV and distributed by Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Limited.   

Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances. Tax legislation and the amount of rebate may change in the future.    

If you surrender your plan before the date of maturity, you may not get back as much as you invested.   

If you invest in this product you will not have access to your money before the product matures. 

Past performance of funds is not necessarily a guide to future performance and the value of your Plan is not guaranteed. The value of funds and the currency in which they are denominated may go down as well as up and you may not get back your original investment.   

More from our Financial Advice series:

The Maltese Parent: Can I afford Not to think about a private pension plan?

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