Women in today’s world are equal in every aspect to men. Be it managing a household or working full time at offices, they are right up there with men. Being the most important part of their households, they often forget to take care of their own self and their financial well being. They can multi-task and take care of the family and also manage careers. But, when it comes to financial planning, even the most proficient woman falters and depends on her husband, brother or father for financial planning.
In today’s World, women also need strong financial planning, just like men. Quite often we have seen that the men in the family hold most of the money/assets, leaving women out of the financial decision making. But, women also need financial planning for stability in their lives, in case of death of the spouse or a divorce. With financial planning, you enjoy a secure future. A financially strong woman can cater to the family needs, by creating an emergency fund and actively contribute to the smaller or larger needs of her family in an emergency situation.
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Financial planning is one of the most important aspects that women very often tend to miss out. Generally, women in India depend on their spouse for this. But, it is important for women to take financial planning in their own hands and chalk out a scheme that is inclusive of objectives, they want to attain.
For effective financial planning and implementation, the first step is to set an objective. Goal-setting is one of the first steps that you must take to achieve goals. Make sure to list down objectives that you want to achieve in life and categorize them as short-term goals and long-term goals. Writing down your goals will help understand priorities and you can easily sort out the ones that you need to pursue and fulfill. For example, going on a dream vacation can be a short-term goal that can be achieved with a bit of financial planning, but purchasing a house is a long-term goal as it requires planning, consistent and regular savings over a long period and budgeting.
Similarly, you can set objectives regarding all aspects of your family like child education, saving for certain personal/ family goals, buying health insurance policies for yourself/family or investing money for saving taxes. Financial objectives can only be implemented and achieved when you keep the end in mind.
SEE ALSO: Financial Planning for Women
Women in India have a higher life expectancy than men. So, in case of an untimely demise of the spouse, the woman having no knowledge on financial planning may struggle with finances. In order to avoid this, all women must save for retirement. Women must always save for retirement, as they live longer and just cannot depend on the spouse in retirement.
Once you have chalked down the objectives and decided on how much to save each month, start exploring the various investment options that are available. Go online and search for investment options that are offered by various financial institutions and the rate of interest. A little bit of research will go a long way in understanding the kind of investment options that help meet financial goals.
If you want to play safe, then invest in fixed deposits, NSC or recurring deposits. These investment options help you grow the money as well as offer safety and keep the principal intact. If you have an appetite for taking risk, then you can invest in ELSS or mutual funds, or even avail tax saving bonds. Many actors and famous personalities in India invest in tax saving bonds. If you want to save for retirement, then a PPF account or NPS account is an ideal option.
The next step is to put your plan in action. Whichever mode of investment you choose; you must actively start investing without any delay. Procrastination will slow down the process of achieving financial goals and your money lies idle. Investing helps your money grow over time and you earn high returns. If you have money, investments are the best option to beat inflation.
If you are new to investing, take time to understand the terms and conditions of each investment. Once you start learning, you will neither find it tough nor boring. You can take the help of a financial advisor who helps achieve financial goals, by choosing the best investment options. Getting an expert opinion not only reassures you, it also helps get most out of the investment. You can initially start with smaller amounts and then take charge of the larger finances.
It is important to review investments at regular intervals, which helps you stay updated on the health of your investments, when they are going to mature and so on. Women should be aware on each aspect of the household finances and assets belonging to the family.
If you are a home maker, it is very important for you to know about the investments made by your husband be it a life insurance policy, health insurance and the property/ assets owned. It is equally important for a woman to know all specifications like User ID and passwords of their husbands DEMAT accounts or online bank accounts and credit/debit cards to access in case of emergencies or an untimely demise. Important phone numbers like that of the family lawyer, financial adviser must be easily accessible.
If you are a working woman keep track of your health insurance policy and life insurance policy, and pay premiums in time. Review each of your policies once a year, so that you don’t miss out on any aspect regarding payment or maturities. It will also help you take action for a better future and help change the investment plan, according to your current situation.
Once investments mature, you are free to withdraw and plan further investments. Make tax efficient investments. When redeeming investments, make sure to have all your documents in place, so that the process is easy and hassle free. Now, you can put the plan in action to fulfill financial goals. However, some investments like PPF, NPS, and endowment policies mature over the long-term.
Most people including women thinks of financial planning, only when they reach the age of 40. However, financial planning is important and must start right from the time you start earning money.
There are many home makers and working ladies who save money on a regular basis, but due to lack of financial knowledge, their savings never grow. Women must learn the art of financial planning and convert idle money into return generating investments. This helps create an emergency corpus and helps women become financially independent. Women also must plan for retirement to ensure monthly income in old age. Financial planning can help you lead life on your own terms and avoid depending on others for monetary needs.
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