We all are part of a society where very often, the women folk are expected to settle down at the earliest. And the basic understanding of “settling down” connotes finding a worthy life partner.
In this age of uncertainty—whether it is your relationships, life span or net worth—financial matters will continue to remain constant in your life.
A woman who knows what she brings to the table is not afraid to eat alone. Taking control of one’s financial life ought to be a must for all women. Financial empowerment is the first step towards equality, towards shaping your life meaningfully, towards living the dream you pursue and eventually influencing and improving the lives of those around you.
There are certain financial matters which need to be addressed irrespective of the life stage you are in.
Life insurance: If you have children or seniors to look after, you would be the epicentre of a few lives besides your own.
If you are working, you must have a term plan to begin with, to the extent of your pending responsibilities towards your senior and junior dependents for an expected tenure till they become independent or pass away, respectively.
Term plans also provide an additional cover for critical illness, terminal illness or personal accident or accident disability. There is also premium waiver in certain circumstances.
The add-ons need to be evaluated and bought accordingly. It needs to be noted that every rupee of the additional cover comes at an additional cost.
While none of us have a crystal ball, it doesn’t make sense to be overly fearful and end up taking a huge cover, thereby limiting the scope of investing from your current cash flows.
Health insurance: Possessing an appropriate medical insurance cover for yourself and your dependents will ensure that the investment planning does not get hampered owing to medical exigencies.
Here, it may be important to take cover (a separate policy or add-on riders for cancer, neurological disorders or heart ailments if there is a family history of these ailments). While choosing, pick a provider which has a good hospital network and has a quicker and faster claim ratio.
Create an emergency fund: Setting aside some money (four to five months’ expenses) for unexpected events such as job loss or taking a forced break due to health reasons, is called anemergency fund or a rainy-day corpus. It allows the goal-based investments to run on the track, avoids the need to take a personal loan and also does away with the embarrassment of seeking others’ help to bail you out.
Effective house-keeping: You should also ensure that all financial products have a nomination. Hence, prepare a will and get it registered. Also share the money related information with the stakeholders.
Make sure you file your income tax returns on time. Ensure that your know your customer (KYC) compliance for all financial products is relevant.
Budget your expenses and plan for your goals: For meeting the goals, cut corners if you need too. Remember that you can be young and wanting-on-money but you can’t be old and lacking in money.
The more important half while working on our goals is acting on the goal plan, the first being, making one.
Money is our gateway to freedom. Let’s lead our lives around money with grit, grace, and dignity. It’s time we respect money, one of the highest forms of energies.
As the Chinese proverb goes, “When sleeping women wake, mountains move”.
Deepali Sen is a certified financial planner, founder partner of Srujan Financial Advisers LLP.[“source=livemint”]