At its simplest, Financial Independence means “having enough money so as to never work again for the rest of your life”. But as you would agree, neither is life simple, nor is it as predictable and straight-forward as one would like it to be. This effectively means that as you go along your life journey, your definition of what Independence means keeps changing as your goal posts keep shifting.
That said, it is not rocket science, and it is something that everyone should aspire towards, not just for the financial security, but for the mental doors that it opens for you when you discover that you are no longer working for the money.
Based on our journey, I share with you below a few simple principles that you can follow to get onto, and stay on this path. But beware, what is simple to understand is rarely easy to do, and requires discipline, patience and the ability to say no to your ego.
In the past weeks, the 32nd Olympics, Tokyo2020, provided the world with sporting excellence and entertainment on display across a range of disciplines. For avid sports fans, these two weeks were exciting days, merrily switching live-streams across events as diverse as hockey, gymnastics, track & field, badminton and golf.
While there were winners, we discovered there were many more heroes, some whose names we heard for the first time, but will remember for long. The Olympics provided some memorable moments but also lots of food for thought. Here are a few observations, particularly pertinent in these raging bull markets.
My recent article was about how just like we frequently do a stress test as part of our regular health check-ups, we also need to periodically “stress-test: our personal financial health to check preparedness for financial calamities.
While many of us thankfully may be financially secure and prepared for calamities, we nevertheless can still do better when it comes to taking money decisions. And there are enough practical life situations around us that we face (or observe) that we can learn from on how we can take our money decisions better.
While we might feel that we are good at taking money decisions, how good are we really? The best way to learn is from our own experiences and the last 12 months will have given you plenty of them to learn from! So, give this “practical exam” to learn how good you are with your money decisions.
While we make extensive plans for most eventualities, something suddenly happens that takes us by surprise and throws all our plans haywire. Take the last 12 months itself as an example.
In a way, we live our lives largely assuming things are going to be peaceful and are usually well prepared for peace-time events. We do make our plans and are prepared for some surprises, but it is when “war-time” strikes our lives that we suddenly find ourselves head under water and gasping for breath.
Such times are also the best time for us to learn about our resilience, our capabilities, our strengths & weaknesses and give us the best clues about what to change about ourselves, hopefully before the next “war” hits.
So, what are some of the “war” situations that has struck your life and how prepared were you? And how can one be better financially prepared for when “wars” strike?
Read our latest article, published on Moneycontrol.
As we get into the second quarter of 2021, life seems to have come full circle, as they say, and we seem to be well into a 2.0 version of last year. But just a few weeks back, the memories of 2020 and the troubles wrought by the pandemic seemed distant and fading. Life had more or less returned to normalcy in most parts, and people seemed to be mingling as though social distancing was a bad dream.
While the memories of last year seem short-lived, I have a different view on this – keeping the experiences of the last 12 months alive in our memories and better still, taking actionable insights from it to prepare for the future, may be one way of being safer and more secure in a future increasingly turbulent and uncertain. So, as we go into a vicious relapse, it may be prudent to quickly assess how each one of us fared during those stressful times.
Most of you would have heard of a “Stress Test”. In personal health, a stress test assesses the state of your overall fitness and particularly your heart. Simply put, a stress test simulates the health and strength of any system that you wish to test, through appropriately designed procedures. Similarly, one can design a stress test to check how prepared one is financially to endure a financial crisis, like what happened in the last few quarters.
Answering this simple six question test below will be a rudimentary yet effective way to check how healthy your personal finances are. Our latest article, published on Money9.
Our behaviors towards money and the money decisions that we make at various junctures in our life are influenced by our experiences at a formative level, right from childhood.
Am sure that this comes as no surprise, after all, money experiences are also a part of the various influences that form us through our life. Where I see a bit of a twist is that while my family was a fairly orthodox one, the women in the family were curiously still quite involved, and to some extent, even dominant, in some of the money decisions that were taken.
How do you plan for your financial well-being? Are the priorities the same for everyone or does it differ depending on your unique circumstances? In our experience over the years, we have noticed that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to your finances.
When it comes to single women specially, their circumstances are different and to an extent unique, driven by not just their needs but also the prevailing laws, and therefore need to pay attention to the following.
The much-awaited festive season comes to an end and it has managed to rekindle hope and bring a lot of joy despite the restraints this year. Diwali has always been the most exciting time of the year for me and preparations for the festival start much in advance every year.
The customary “Diwali cleaning” is something I usually delegate to the willing and efficient staff and am usually pleased with the result of a superficially extra-clean house for a few weeks. This year, I decided to do a lot of the customary cleaning myself and I was surprised to take away some financial lessons from this exercise.
Read our latest article, published on Moneycontrol.
Have you ever wondered, when you are planning for your future, why certain assets evoke so much loyalty and attachment? Come to think of it, you may have invested in it dispassionately in pursuit of good returns but somewhere along the way it has acquired a persona of its own.
Real estate and gold are two such assets which have a huge emotional connect. Gold is understandable, as in our culture, if you are selling physical gold, people assume that you have hit really hard times and it is never easy to part with physical gold. Other forms of gold like Gold ETFs etc. luckily are easier to deal with.
But what about real estate? I cannot think of too many people putting their life savings into a financial asset and staying the course despite hiccups and abysmal returns. Why then is real estate treated differently?
Read our latest article, published on Moneycontrol
Have you ever had conflicting emotions regarding the same issue? It seems to happen quite often to me when I look at the ways in which senior citizens handle their money. At times I feel, I wish I could be as well planned and involved with my own finances. At other times I roll my eyes and make myself a promise never to end up like them when I grow older. I guess its only natural that there are somethings which you envy and some which you absolutely detest and don’t want to emulate ever.
This my attempt to list down 3 things I would love to work on with the older generation as an inspiration and 3 things I would want to do differently than them for sure.
Pl read our latest article, published on Moneycontrol