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7 Common Estate Planning Mistakes People Make

When it comes to checking tasks off your financial to-do list, estate planning is probably the last item you’ll get to—if you get around to it at all.

We don’t necessarily blame you. After all, it can be morbid to think about preparing for death, and people often don’t know where to start, so they simply don’t get started.

Case in point: According to legal services site Rocket Lawyer, 64% of Americans don’t have a basic will.

But estate planning shouldn’t fall to the wayside. Because, although it’s nice to think that you can trust everyone to do the right thing, the truth is that if you don’t have your wishes formalized, there may be a debate over what the “right thing” actually is.

“It’s always difficult to predict which families will get along and which will end up in court fighting over mother’s heirloom china,” says Tim White, an attorney with Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge. “Leaving an estate plan with clear instructions is your best defense against family discord.”

Of course, there’s also no shortage of ways in which people can stumble when it comes to making their after-death arrangements. That’s why we rounded up some classic estate planning mistakes that people tend to make, so you’ll know what not to do when it comes to prepping your own estate plan. (more…)

Ladies, Financial Planning is like another Beauty Product!

Financial-Planning-is-like-Beauty-Product

“I have opted for financial planning and wanted to invest in mutual funds” – when I told this to my mom; she was as concerned, as one feels towards a medical patient.

Now stop smiling there!

If it reminds you of a famous dialogue-“It happens only in India”, then you are wrong. It’s not just the case in India, it’s worldwide. People are afraid about investing in market either because of their bitter experiences or scarce knowledge.

My mom warned me to either take a money back insurance policy or open a bank FD account for all my needs. She said “it’s more than (more…)

Financial Planning – another investment selling pitch ;)

Financial Planning is not just Selling products

Yes, very true, this is exactly what everyone thinks in India, whenever we hear the term “Financial Planning”.

Since the day I have started my venture in similar field and my interactions with my near & dear ones to promote same, reactions have been quite similar, i.e. they perceive my pitch as another advisor in town, who wants to sell investments (i.e. Insurance or Mutual Fund). And all most all of them have replied back (though without hurting my feelings), that they will call back once they have funds in hand… 😉

As a matter of fact, my own experience of last 15 years in capital market & my recent venture, where we have registered more than 1500 customers for Financial Planning, most of them or rather 99% of them, relate the term “Financial Planning” to “selling new investments”.

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Discount Purchase v/s Actual Requirement

Discount Purchase V/s Actual Requirement

We all get tempted at offers when we see discounts at stores, malls or even online websites and end up purchasing goods, which we may actually don’t require or even use in the near future. Whereas, we most likely will shrug off a genuine seller, who would be pitching for a product (with or without discount), which will actually be beneficial & useful to us.

Why do we behave like this?

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Live in own house via “Home Loan” or Live in a “Rented” house? What should one look at?

rent-vs-buy

This is a scenario which one goes through while relocating to a new place, mainly to metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi & Bangalore. It’s been everyone’s dream to have their own property, but without any guidance in place, making us feel helpless.

One hand you have hordes of brokers who are ready to show you apartments, where you just have to give them an indication on your budget. On the other hand you have banks offering home loans based on your eligibility & make offers look very attractive.

But both these parties will never ever advice what is good & right, give you a cost benefit analysis, how one should look at buying a property or even renting? Broker makes cool 1% on the purchase transaction. Banks has a spread of 3% to 5% on your interest payment & makes handsome money by lending.

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E-Will

e-will

E-Will, one of the recent fads in the financial market, where recently two big institutions have launched this service & many more are in the pipeline. I thought of writing this article on two aspects, does an individual really needs a will & more importantly how should one look at it, if it’s required?

Will, which is better known as “Vasiyat” or “Vasiyatnama” in Hindi, is no doubt an important legal document. Even though we all are governed by the succession law, as per the religion we follow, but importance of a Will is felt when there is a difference of opinion or understanding among the family members of the deceased.

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Is advice only the domain of HNI?

financial-planning-HNI

Well for starters, my interaction with customers of all categories, i.e. retail to mass affluent or even budding HNI’s, not just in today’s market scenario, but since last 15 years of my corporate career, is that customers don’t mind paying for advice, as long as same delivers, “what is preached?”
Pop comes out question; why we don’t have players or offerings which takes care of same?
My understanding, it’s all about vision & execution from a leader or from a company, where we have very few risk takers or even innovators. We all follow a herd mentality, not just at a customer level, but even at a company & leader levels. In short, we have very few companies, who would want to try new products or create new demand. I am talking about companies like Apple, Facebook, even our own Tata motors with Nano… all have DNA built on innovation & customer centric working. Whereas most of the other companies, follow the herd mentality.

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New Year Resolution 2015

new-year-resolution-2015

With 2015 few days away, I thought of writing the most debated topic & a crucial benchmark, which always get backseat…. What should come first? Expenses or investments?
Let me start with you… which one will you prefer?

  • Income minus expenses equals investments
  • Or Income minus investments equals expenses

I will not be surprised, if you have selected the 1st option, as most of us including myself (till few years back though) follows the first model, i.e. we take out expenses from our monthly income first & balance is looked at investments later, on what is left.

I started thinking as to why most of us follow this model, even though back of the mind we know it’s wrong.I started comparing societies & countries on how they follow savings & investments. What comes out clearly in the culture & upbringing an individual goes through, where I can draw parallel to the most heated topic of 2014, “women empowerment”.

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January 15th, Deadline by HR

Tax Saving

This is a usual scenario with all corporate employees in India, where in Dec one gets a mail from HR to submit tax saving proofs to avail tax saving benefits, given by the Tax department under various heads, key being 80C, 80D & section 24.

Confused, where to go, contradicting advice, & above all big Gyan by all on do’s & don’ts. Today I thought of writing something different, a guide to make you plan & execute same, which will not take more than 10 minutes of your time & easy to use.

I have divided this feature into three parts, where part one covers 80C, to avail exception for 1.5lacs, part two will cover 80D, to covers 0.35lacs & part three covers section 24, towards 2lacs.

In short, your investments amounting to 3.85lacs will attract no tax… if you plan well.

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Women don’t need a different retirement plan!

Women Retirement Plan

Women don’t need a different retirement plan; as saving for her is done by her husband! The only thing she plans is SHOPPING! This is what one of my friends said when we were recently discussing about my new job domain (i.e. financial planning). I was rapt by her statement because that was not true.

Women and men are way different from each other. Everyone will agree on this. So does a retirement plan requirement is different for both? Now you will say that investment basics will remain same. Allocation in Bonds, shares, stocks, etc will not change much for women, then how can a retirement plan for them be different?

Why she requires different retirement plan?

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