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.
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.
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
I have interacted with many women who at some point in their career want to stop and take stock of where they are headed. These are not decisions that people take overnight, they are thoughts which stay seeded in your mind and take lot of time to grow enough to make you take action. The reasons for the same may be varied, and so will the journey, but there is always merit in reading how someone else’s journey unfolded. It may make your ride a little smoother and disappointments lesser.
A few years back I went through a similar dilemma. Having done something similar a few years back, I think that if my journey could help some get solace or pave the way for realistic expectations, this is a story which is worth telling. On hindsight, these are my learnings.
Please read our latest article, published on Moneycontrol.
Financial planning has different connotations to different people. To us who have been interacting and partnering with people in their pursuit of financial well-being, it means living a fulfilling now while planning to sustain the same lifestyle throughout your life.
In our numerous interactions with people, we have noticed many kinds. A few are balanced in their need to live a good life today as well as save for the future. Some are very involved in the now, and live an indulgent life-style with no worries of tomorrow. While some are constantly worrying about the future, so much so that they compromise on even little things which bring them great joy. We are going to discuss this last category since we have noticed some common traits which distinguish them and strongly believe a different approach can significantly change their lives.
Read on more in our latest article below, published on Moneycontrol.
Our third couple are equals in every sense. Amish & Trupti Jasapara are doctors and both are in corporate practice. Amish is Senior Consultant at Fortis Hospitals and Trupti is Senior Consultant at SR Mehta & Sir KP Cardiac Institute. And in their personal lives, both take turns – whether it is in managing the various expenses of their family or in funding for their goals of the future.
As Amish says, “As doctors who face the same challenges every day, there was no way we could have been anything but equals. Trupti has single-handedly managed the family and has taken decisions without hesitation, when I took a sabbatical to study in Germany. She is a prudent investor and her involvement has meant that we have not added unnecessarily to our lifestyle and have saved before we spent. We both ensure we are on the same page before we embark upon any new investment/expenditure.”
On being asked about when they discovered the need for professional advice, Trupti had this to say “As doctors, if there is one thing which is in short supply, it has got be time. Lack of proper knowledge of investments, some losses incurred and shortage of time directed us towards getting professional help for our investments. Finwise through their systematic analysis helped us understand that healthy financial goals are a reality.
Their being professionals themselves, they didn’t have to hesitate when it came to seeking professionals when planning for their future goals, including their retirement. Having done that, they are now able to spare valuable time on other aspects of their personal life – scaling further heights in their professional careers and enjoying the small pleasures in their present, without having to feel guilty about it.
Finwise is a personal finance solutions firm that helps both NRI and resident individuals and families plan for their financial goals, follow their passions and achieve financial independence.
To receive our articles through email, pl subscribe here.
For advice, please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +91 9870702277/9820818007.
Last week, I did a financial well-being session at a well-known corporate, the participants being predominantly women in their 30s. While they were all keen on taking charge of their finances and made for an attentive audience, most of them were extremely risk-averse.
This was startling, since women, usually, are not in a hurry. They are very patient, and once they understand the way a product is built and have realistic expectations of the short-term as well as long-term performance, they wait out the turbulent times patiently and truly stay put for the long term.
Given this fact, it was surprising to see that most of the women mentioned earlier were shying away from equity since they perceived the volatility in the short term as risk. There are several compelling reasons for women to take more interest and understand the best options available to them when it comes to investing. Here are three big ones.
Read our latest article, published on Moneycontrol.