Financial Planning is the process of meeting your life goals through the proper management of your finances. It involves the process of assessing your financial situation, determining your objectives and formulating a plan to achieve them. The objective of financial planning is to ensure that the right amount of money is available in the right hands at the right point in the future to achieve an individual's life goals. It also allows you to understand how each financial decision you make affects other areas of your finances.
Who needs Financial Planning?
It is useful to everyone. Very few can consider themselves too rich to engage in Financial Planning. There are many instances of highly paid employees who came to financial grief merely because they did not plan for their post-career years. Similarly even people earning small amounts of income should undertake this process, as it will help them in prioritizing their goals so that their limited income can be used more efficiently. Financial planning provides direction and meaning to your financial decisions. It allows you to understand how each financial decision you make affects other areas of your finances. For example, buying a particular investment product might help you save adequately to finance your child's higher education or it may provide enough for a comfortable retirement. You can also adapt more easily to life changes and feel more secure that your goals are on track.
How we can help you?
The areas where we as a Financial Planner can help you are:
Helping you in better understanding your present financial position
The questions contained in the Financial Questionnaire require you to list down your assets, liabilities, incomes and expenditures. This is a process of virtually drawing up your own Balance Sheet and will help you gain a better grip on your present financial position.
Cash Flow and Debt Management
Incomes and expenditures can be better matched through the Plan. It also will assist you in identifying whether your borrowings are within prudent limits.
We at money mantra Investments can help you in identifying your life and property insurance requirements. Evaluating your insurance needs is part of personal financial planning. Insurance usually takes care of your unpredictable needs and as these needs can arise at anytime, insurance is extremely important.
Achievement of Financial objectives
Various financial objectives, whether it is financing our child's education, a house of our own or our post-retirement phase can be better met through systematic investing. A properly laid out investment plan, prepared after considering your risk appetite, time horizons etc. go a long way in helping face the future more confidently.
Often investors invest with the sole objective of saving tax. We believe that this is not the most desirable method. Investments should be in sync with your requirements, the tax angle being secondary. However, we do not ignore the tax aspect. Optimum Post tax returns are what all investors should be concerned about and that is what we too strive for. It is important that financial plans are tax efficient. The financial plan should help you in minimizing your tax liability and also maximizing your after-tax returns from your investments. Do Contact Usfor more information and your customized Financial Planning.
Setting financial goals!!
Let us understand what a financial goal is & how important it is?
A financial goal simply means those dreams or goals of your life which you would like to achieve & for the achievement of which you need money. The importance of setting a financial goal is that there are no regrets in the future of not achieving something desired due to lack of finance. The list of financial goals vary from person to person and so one needs to first prioritize their goals and the time required for them to be achieved. A financial goal can be: What sort of lifestyle do you want to be living? Do you want your house loan paid off? What sort of college education do you want to provide to your kids? How much do you want in retirement savings? When and where will your dream vacation be? So on and so forth.
Financial goals are not only about setting long term goals but also short term & intermediate term goals.
Short-Term financial goals are the ones which are to be achieved within one year. These may be buying a laptop or a good mobile phone. These are mostly achieved using the current savings or by putting money in a liquid investments depending on the goal & the estimated cost.
Intermediate-Term financial goal are termed between 1 to 5 years. These goals are not to be executed immediately but may not take too long to be achieved. For example buying or replacing a car, clearing credit card bills, setting-off a small debt, getting an education etc. Funds for these goals should be invested more in debt investments.
Long-Term goals there are goals which may require more than 5 years to be accomplished or one wants to achieve it at a later stage in their life. These goals require more money as inflation will affect it more and so it is better to start saving for it today. Long-term goals can be buying a bigger house, college education or wedding for children, having a good standard of living during retirement etc. It is very important to invest your money in good investments which give rate of returns better than the inflation rate, so that the future financial goals can be achievable when required. Thus equity is a good investment for these goals.
How to set your own financial goals & achieve them?
Identify your financial goals
It is very important to first list down your financial goals in order of priority and the time frame required to be accomplished. This will also help to understand how realistic the goals are
Prioritize the financial goals
Each goal should be broken down depending on the time left for it & it’s importance. For eg you may have two goals in the next year, daughter’s wedding or a dream vacation. Most probably the wedding will have more priority. This is important goals can be many but resources are limited. So higher priority goals need to be funded first.
Make a plan for each goal
After bifurcating the term & cost there should be a plan made to achieve each goals as and when required. This is a very important step as one has to invest properly for each goal. Here one should take advise from their financial planners and also educate themselves on proper investments.
Evaluate your progress
It is very crucial to keep a check on the plans made for the financial goals. Regular reviews are necessary. Re-evaluate the goals if necessary. This helps to quickly deal with any shortcomings
Reap what you have sown
Start fulfilling your goals when the financial target set is achieved or when its time. It is like rewarding yourself when targets are reached.
You may or may not be able to achieve your all financial goals due to limited resources but, if you know what you want to achieve and treat savings for financial goals as a fixed "expense," you'll be more likely to achieve success.
Your Financial Health after Proper Financial Planning!!
Everyone want to be financial well-off. We all aspire for better homes, cars, vacations, etc. but are these signs of your financial health? You should not confuse owning a great car with a person’s financial health. He may have bought the car on a loan & this is not a sign of being financially free. So what is the meaning of financial health? Well, we can judge a person’s financial health with the following parameters-
Loans- the lesser, the better.
In today’s world, the mantra of the generation is ‘buy now, pay later’. You want a new car, get a loan. That new ipad is the thing to buy but no funds for it. No problem get a consumer products loan. Want to spend Friday night out in that new & expensive lounge bar, just swipe your titanium credit card! Well this is to your financial health, what eating donuts regularly is to your physical health! Loans are not bad per se but having too many debts creates havoc not only with your net worth but also to your cash-flow. This is because servicing that debt makes you save less & when the EMI’s grow too big you end up in the worst case scenario of a debt trap. You need more loans to pay off older loans. It becomes a never-ending circle.
Have more investment assets!
Your assets are of two types- personal which includes your residential home, car, family jewellery, etc. & investments assets which include your stocks, bonds, investment property, etc. Many people believe their biggest investment is their home. They feel that’s a great thing. Yes, having a fully owned residential house without any loans on it is a great thing, but it’s not an investment! You use it only for your personal purposes. There is no income accrued from it yearly nor can you book any profits from it without thinking of first purchasing another home. We are not saying that it is wrong to buy a home, what we are advising is that your investment assets should form a bigger chunk of you total assets pie. Stocks, bonds, additional investment property, etc will yield regular income as well as capital gains. In a worst case scenario you can dispose them without affecting your own lifestyle. Can you do that with your home? Thus it is advised that instead of going for bigger homes, buy a home which suits your budget & invest more of your savings in investment assets!
Savings is the key!
We have two people, Mr. A & Mr. B. Mr A is earning Rs 2,00,000/- per month & Mr. B is earning Rs 50,000/- p.m. Generally everyone will feel that Mr. A is more financially healthy, right! But on further enquiry we see that Mr. A is spending Rs 1,95,000/- p.m. as his living expenses. The bulk of these expenses are for maintaining his high standard of living. Mr. B on the other hand is spending only Rs 25,000/- p.m. Though A’s income is more his savings are much less than B. Mr. B is investing his savings well & will soon be more wealthy than A. It is not your income which determines your financial networth but your savings!
Have a financial cushion.
When you have bad back, you always want that extra cushion. Even the healthiest among us, sometimes fall ill & need that extra care. The same applies to your financial health. You may have a bad year, lose a job, have a medical emergency, etc. For these moments you need to keep some funds as contingency. Ideally you should keep three-six months expenses in a liquid avenue for such emergency. Also you should have right insurance cover for life, health or property, if the same is needed.
Secure life goals.
We have many people who have good amount of assets & feel they are financially secure. They do not realise that these assets may have to be used for their life goals like retirement, child’s education or wedding, etc. For eg. A person may have investments worth Rs 50,00,000/- & may feel he doesn’t need to do anything more, but he doesn’t realise that his retirement corpus requirement is Rs 75,00,000/- & his daughter’s wedding will cost Rs 10,00,000/-. This means he will utilize his investments fully but still fall short. What will he do then? Compare your investments with the funds required for your life goals. If there is a surplus, you are financially free!
With these points in mind, go ahead & take your own financial health check-up. If you are strong on all points, congratulations! If not, do work on the same.