Money has never ceased to be a topic of high interest. The needle moved from growth to survival in the last one year.
Health cannot be managed without wealth resources and insurance plans in place. Health and wealth are now co-dependent rather than independent variables of life.
Discussions on webinars and one-to-one conversations mainly veer around these five topics.
1. Debt Management
The fundamentals of debt management need to be clear.
- Minimise the total outflow of interest, in absolute terms.
- Avail balance transfer wherever possible.
- Taking a fresh loan at lower interest to settle another with a high interest rate is fine.
- Use large inflows such as bonus, incentives, cash gifts etc. to reduce the total debt.
- Remain as debt-free as possible.
- Debt consolidation agencies can help you in settling multiple outstanding loans, and giving you a single loan. It means you need to manage one EMI in a month, but be prepared for a negative impact on your credit score, and paying a higher amount of interest in the long run.
2. Emergency Fund
An amount equivalent to 3-12 months of basic living costs needs to be stashed away in high-interest savings accounts, flexi-deposits or liquid funds.
3. Retirement Planning
If you have suffered an income setback in the Covid19 economy, probably your retirement plans have suffered too.
Revisit and check if the shortfall can be augmented from some other source in future.
The possibility of early retirement cannot be over-emphasised. Unless one is in government service, there is a probability that careers end before 60.
4. Multiple and/or passive sources of incomes
We may already have certain passive sources like rental income, dividends etc.
Calculate the monthly or quarterly interest your fixed deposits can generate if required.
Check the possibility of shifting other blocked investments to annuity plans.
Developing alternate sources of income is not an overnight feat.
Affiliate marketing, network marketing, selling ebooks or online courses require active and continuous work, and cannot be termed as passive income-generating sources. Provide a certain amount of time for learning hard skills, digital marketing and virtual selling skills. Most of these activities take a year or two to start yielding money. It is a long-term plan for alternate sources of income.
5. Rethinking Parenting
It is time to teach children the value of money.
The reasons for overindulgence so far have been
1. guilt for inability to spend time with them
2. easy affordability with double-income households
3. peer pressure
4. transference of parenting responsibilities to something else, maybe a device or an app.
The demands of the next normal are different, and new lifestyles will not disappear with Covid-19.
- They will live alone, move frequently and manage on a budget.
- Support from parents will gradually dwindle off, as parents focus on their retirement plans.
- Living abroad takes away family pampering benefits. They will have technology and ease of living, but at a price. They may have to work part-time to support their needs.
- Uncertainty in careers will be the norm – some of it forced and some voluntary.
- They cannot travel the world without a budget in place.
- Single parenting will be commoner than it is now, changing the entire family support scenario.
The best gift one can give a child is independence for life, rather than a disposable toy.
The best gift one can give oneself is a new perspective, and a flexible mindset to keep changing with the demands of life.
Founder- MoneyGoalz, Financial Coach, Trainer and Writer