Tag Archives: Financial planning

Risk of delaying Financial Decisions

http://quadconsultancy.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/financial-planning-decision-support-executive1.jpgIs lack of time making you go crazy in your attempt to plan your finance?

Does your busy professional schedule offer you time to monitor your personal finance?

Balaji is working for an MNC. Today he has got a deadline for a particular assignment. His day is fully packed. First thing in the morning, he receives a mail from his HR Dept stating that today is the last date for producing proofs for tax saving investments; otherwise a huge amount will be deducted from his salary as tax. He wanted to do some tax saving investments urgently and submit the proof on or before end of the day.

Mahesh is an NRI, working for a software company in US. He has got a couple of crores in his overseas fixed deposits giving a return of 1.50% p.a. Returns are taxable. At times, he thinks that the return what he getting is very low.  He wanted to check up with a professional financial planner in India. He thinks he will contact as soon as his present project gets completed. Like this he has not contacted any financial consultant for the last 3years because of some reason or the other.

Most of the investment decisions are either taken because of some compulsion or urgency or postponed because of compulsion or urgency in some other area of life. This is because we want to complete the urgent thing first not the most important thing. Many important things that contribute to our overall financial objectives and give richness don’t tend to give any pressure on us. Though they may not be urgent, they are the things that we must give importance and carry out immediately.

We act upon things like pressing problems, deadline-driven projects, and official meetings. We don’t give importance to

  • prepare for a meeting with a financial planner;  appraising a financial planner before making investments
  • planning activities like budgeting, children’s future planning, retirement planning;
  • protective activities like taking a term insurance, house holder policy, health insurance;
  • empowering ourselves by upgrading our knowledge with reference to investments

Why we are not able spend time on important things and spend most of our time on urgent things?  Because, we are following a way that focuses on how fast or efficiently we are getting things done. We are not following a way that focuses on why we are doing things.

Take the case of Mr.Balaji. Why didn’t he do his tax planning during the beginning of the financial year itself? Why is he chasing at the last minute? Balaji is much worried about his deadline for assignment than tax planning. As he is making investment urgently, it is difficult for him to choose the right financial advisor and also difficult to judge which one would be the best tax saving option for him. He will be investing with an advisor who can get the investment proof on the same day.

Is this the basis on which we select an investment advisor? Will the relationship of Mahesh and this advisor be a long term one? Will this investment is going to be of any help to Balaji in meeting the higher education expenses of his son after 15 years?

Coming to the case of Mr. Mahesh, he had couple of crores at 1.5% pre-tax return. He could have tripled his returns by investing in an Indian liquid fund which is very safe.  There are far better investment options available for him to choose. But he has settled for 1.5%.

If he could have spent a day or two in carefully choosing the right financial advisor and investment product he could have earned more. The earning opportunity which he missed with his investments might equal to his 6 months or 1 year salary.

He could have generated that passive income equivalent to 6 month or 1 year salary without any pressure from the top management; without meeting any deadlines by just spending a day or two.

We are all working hard for money. Is our hard earned money is working for us or lying in our SB a/c or really growing?

We find a ladder and see there are so many people trying to reach the top of the ladder faster.  Then we also follow the group, deadlines to be met in each and every step; focusing more on reaching the top and finally reached the top. Only after reaching the top, we realize that we have come to a very wrong place or a place which is not worth missing so many things and opportunities in life. This is how the today’s world is.

Nothing wrong in working harder or focusing more on completing the assignment or spending more time on finishing the project  on deadline. These are all good thing to do. But always remember, there are better and best things to do. We keep too many good things ahead of a few best things.

Setting up financial goals; working out a plan for achieving those goals; and implementing those plans are all best things to do in life. You know in advance where you want to reach exactly, by doing this exercise. As we progress, we enjoy the journey. As we reach the place, we really feel happy and we have not missed any important thing on the way.

Procrastination and not giving priority to financial goals and investment plans are costliest mistake one can take. So let us stop procrastinating and give priority to our financial goal setting and investment planning. Then life will be really so beautiful.

 

The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners (www.holisticinvestment.in) a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at ramalingam@holisticinvestment.in.

The 10 Financial Doctrines of Wise Retirement Planning

http://www.kamyabology.com/pptadmin/98/retirement.jpgLet’s begin on planning finance for retirement:
It is usual for many of us to aspire for a financially secure and happy retired life. However being financially prepared to meet the demands of retired life by saving and investing requires considering and following the 10 doctrines of wise retirement planning.

A look at the 10 doctrines to wise retirement planning:

1) Provide for contingencies
Most of us tend to underestimate our retirement needs. Provision for medical emergencies with inadequacy of medical insurance in old age requires financial provision. Lack of government social security schemes and retirement benefits to self-employed and private sector employees creates requirement for more provision for contingencies after retirement.

2) Think that you will live long:
This is true with increased life expectancy. Now you will have more years of life after retirement. Thanks to medical advancements. So it is better to plan for the additional years and avoid living frugally in old age.

3) Plan that you will retire early:
It is wise to provide for contingencies arising that require you to retire early. You could suffer ill health, lose your job, or need to care for a sick or elderly member of the family. Women may have to opt voluntarily to look after the family needs.  All this requires more savings for retirement needs.

4) Beat the inflation before it beats you:
Inflation affects the personal finance needs of the working class, but pay rises could help them resolve it to a certain extent. However the retired have to save more to reduce the impact of inflation. Investing in modes that give you extra returns could help greatly.
Investors come to me and say “I would like to accumulate 2 crores and retire”. But when we really work out the inflation adjusted retirement corpus, the 2 crores would not be sufficient for him to have comfortable retirement. 2 crores may feed you enough in the first year after your retirement. The returns from the same 2 crores will not be sufficient for you take care of all your needs on the 10th year after your retirement because of the skyrocketing inflation figures.

5) Provision for increased medical expenses after retirement:
Most of us underestimate medical expenses after retirement, with these expenses being inevitable in old age. Hence more provision for medical insurance helps. A consideration of your family’s general health, family history of certain genetic disorders, and the class of hospital you get treated would help in proper estimation for medical insurance.

6) Provide for your spouse and dependents who may outlive you:
It is inevitable that this need should not be overlooked. Your spouse and dependents need to live a secure financial life after your lifetime. Taking up insurance policies during your working life and well thought out retirement planning will take care of your dependents and spouse financially.

7) Realize you need to be vigilant about sources of retirement income:
Sometimes we may be ignorant of benefits on retirement like provident fund, gratuity and other benefits. In India the lack of social security schemes after retirement makes it necessary to invest more in good income generating sources for steady flow of retirement income. The advice of investment consultants, along with financial education and information contributes to good financial standing after retirement.

8 ) Educate yourself about retirement savings plan management:
When the majority is relying on the pension schemes in the form of ulips offered by various public and private insurance companies, as a smart investor you need to understand the hidden charges of these pension policies. These policies are all heavily front loaded.
So you need to evaluate various investment options available for retirement. You need to accumulate sufficient knowledge in this regard. In addition learning to keep track of them with professional help makes these saving plans work for you.
9) Plan for an income for life:
Your retirement plans need to be financial plans to make income last you a lifetime. Pensions or annuities providing best income need to be safeguarded, as withdrawing large sums from them could end you in financial insufficiency in the final years of your life.

10) Take professional investment advice that works:
Many do realize the importance of financial advice from professional financial advisors, but in practice seek it from family, friends and colleagues. A right financial advisor could give you good investment advice to have financially secured retirement ife.

A final note:
I am sure you want to emerge financially secure for your retired life and will follow these 10 financial tenets to wise retirement planning.

The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners (www.holisticinvestment.in) a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at ramalingam@holisticinvestment.in.
image: http://Kamyabology.com