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.
The past year has been uniformly difficult for most of us. However, for some people lower down the pecking order, things have been unimaginably bad. Most of us do help someone out financially, but usually this is a one-off case done without much thought.
My conversations on the topic of giving with most people always leads back to the same position, we are not there yet. When do you start giving? When do you acknowledge that you have enough for your needs? After all our wants keep expanding and the list is endless. If we wait to take care of all our wants, we are essentially guaranteeing we will never be able to give in our lifetime.
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.
While in many households, it is common to see that the responsibility of managing investments falls upon one, having a spouse who is also interested in the nuances of money need not be threatening at all to the person managing it. If anything, it helps by having a bouncing board, and allows you to get another perspective. A person who knows you and is equally responsible in the money management process helps ensure that individual biases if any get identified, since the risk-tolerances of both is not likely to be the same.
The couple we talk about today is one such. They are Pramod Marar & Suvena Bansal, both of whom work in the banking & financial services sector. Pramod is COO – Commercial Banking at HSBC India and Suvena is Head – Risk Policy at Aditya Birla Finance Limited.
Both Pramod & Suvena have been judicious about the need to put money away, and have been active savers and investors right from the beginning. So how did Pramod & Suvena decide that they needed help in reviewing their finances? In their words, “We felt the need to consult with professionals, when we reshuffled our real estate portfolio and realized we needed a better asset mix for our mid-term goals. Time was running out, there wasn’t enough time to plan, research and execute. We also needed someone whom we could trust and yet they weren’t too close, as financial matters can strain relationships.
On both being involved in the decision making on their family’s finances, they say, “Both of us from the beginning have had a say in all the investment decisions we have made. It has been a together thing always, we just don’t know to do it any other way.”
Their comfort with managing money together has helped Pramod & Suvena over the years jointly formulate a plan that will help them meet their financial goals for their family and achieve financial security. And being financially secure, is helping them focus more on the other things in life. In their words “Parents are getting older so we like to spend as much time as we can with them. Kids are in the teenage phase and require a new orientation, something we are working on. Work as new responsibilities so overall, a plate that is overflowing full.”
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.
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