Increase your happiness Index in 2015

“Financial independence is prerequisite for  good  health, emotional security, social security and quest for spiritual peace” thus said Deepak Chopra in his blog recently.

Many have planned for new year vacations but very few plan their personal finance.The irony is that many work hard for 35 years to earn money but rarely do they manage their personal finance properly.As a result,they end up with buying toxic financial products which does not match their needs .By the time they realise their mistake, it is too late.

However you can  pause now, take stock of what you want  to achieve in life , what you have done till 2014 &  lay a  road map  in 2015 with  course correction and  improve your happiness index .Here are some of the areas for your review;

 

1. Create a contingency fund

Future is uncertain. One may lose job, income may decline or any family member may have to undergo major medical treatment etc. It is advisable to keep sufficient  cash either in Bank or Liquid MF to meet 3/6 months of expenses.

 2. Financial Goals and priorities  i.e Buying a house, Saving for Children’s education& marriage, Buying a car, Going for vacations, creating sufficient retirement corpus etc.

3.Get rid of Toxic Life Insurance Policies;

Do not  mix up your  Insurance with investment. Endowment, money back and ULIP policies are combinations of insurance and investment. They are also packaged as child plans, pension plans etc.It is advisable to take adequate Term Insurance for protection. The cover should be atleast 8-10 times your annual income. You may surrender the toxic  insurance policies.

4. Take adequate Health Insurance

You can take family floater policy if you are young say 40 years or less and prefer individual policies if you are above 40.It is advisable to  take a base cover and top up it with a super top policy. This combination will be cheaper

 5.  Save regularly and invest long term

Before investing, you should know your risk tolerance and risk capacity.Your investment should match your goal horizon. Regular saving and investing preferably through SIP is better than trying to time the market

6.  Do not put all your eggs in one basket:

You should spread your investments into various asset classes i.Equity(Stock and MF), Debt  (Bank FD and Fixed Income Securities),Real estate and Gold.

7.  Monitor your portfolio

You should monitor your portfolio through rebalancing and ensure that your networth is increasing every year.

8. Do your Tax Planning

The 80 C benefit has been increased to Rs1.50 lakhs and interest benefit on home loan has been increased to Rs2 lakhs per annum.Further you can also avail 80 D benefit of Rs15,000/- for medical insurance premium.The agents of Inurance companies will approach you to buy their products but buy them for protection purpose only.

9. Ensure nominations and make a will

 All your financial assets should have nominations. You should not forget to prepare  a will which should always be attested by two independent witnesses.

10. Do exercises regularly

Regular excercise besides proper food and sleep are essential for good health.

11. Donate for the social causes

Helping the poorer sections of the society improves your happiness index. 

Lastly, if you do not have time or are getting confused in handling personal financial matters,it is always preferable to approach a Fee only certified Financial Planner and SEBI Registered Investment Adviser who are client centric in their approach.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 10 February 2016 06:43

Prakash Praharaj

Shri Prakash Praharaj has a passion for excellence. He has been awarded two gold medals for securing top positions both in Graduation and Post Graduation in Commerce. He is an MBA with specialization in Finance and marketing. He has been awarded Diploma in Treasury, Investment and Risk Management besides CAIIB from the Indian Institute of Bankers. He is a Certified Financial Planner from the Financial Planning standards Board, India (FPSB), affiliated to FPSB, Denver, USA and Certified Personal Financial Adviser from NISM. He is also a SEBI registered Investment Adviser vide Reg. no. INA 000000045 dated 2nd August 2013.His book "Your Every day guide to Personal Finance and Insurance" has been published by CNBC TV 18 in August 2015.

9 comments

  • Sujata Aniruddha Sapkal

    posted by Sujata Aniruddha Sapkal

    Friday, 03 July 2015 06:16

    Major worries people have regarding finances are about the whether they will be able to cater to regular and unexpected/sudden needs of their families say for i.e.major illness or loss of income source etc.

    Creating a contingency fund and opting for online term insurance policies and health insurance cover will take care of major part of those worries.

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