YOUR MONEY: Six key ways to be ready for any financial crisis

And, even after making nominations, you may create a will for a smooth transfer of your assets to your legal heirs.

By Sanjiv Bajaj

The unpredictability of life was never more pronounced than what it is in the current times. The outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic has brought the realities of life up front. It can be considered as a wake-up call to ensure things related to money and finances are properly provided for. From maintaining an emergency fund, earmarking funds for long-term goals, keeping adequate risk coverage to having proper nomination, make sure you and your family are financially secure for pandemic situations.

Let us look at some of the key financial aspects and how they can be bolstered.

Emergency fund
In order to meet financial exigencies, you need to have some funds kept separately. If there is a medical emergency or a job loss, dipping into existing investments should be avoided. So, it is better to keep an emergency fund of at least six months of home expenses. Such funds can be deployed in short-term debt funds or liquid funds for tax-effective returns and easy liquidity.

Adequate health cover
Having adequate health insurance is the first step towards managing risks. Medical inflation has always been above regular inflation and the cost of hospitalisation owing to Coronavirus has pushed it up further. Buying individual health covers or family floater plans along with critical illness plans is very necessary. If you already have health cover, enhance coverage by opting for a top-up or super top-up plan.

Adequate life cover
Along with health cover, get adequate life insurance cover, preferably through a term insurance plan. A term plan is a low-cost, high cover plan and ensures financial protection to the family. One may even opt to add riders such as accident benefit, critical illness, etc., to enhance the coverage of a term insurance plan.

Investing for long term goals
The ideal way to save for long-term goals is to divert a portion of income towards them before spending. Identify your goals and then earmark funds towards them preferably though equity-oriented investments such as equity mutual funds. The better way is to keep investing through SIPs and link them to your long-term goals.

Investment records
Maintaining a proper record of your investments is a crucial part of your investing journey. Make sure you have insurance policy documents and statements related to mutual fund investments stored in a place accessible to your family members. Along with bank details, your family members need to be aware of all your investments and insurance plans so as to avoid any last-minute running around.

Lastly, make sure you have proper nominations made in all your investments and insurance plans. After all, the purpose of investing and insurance plans is the benefit of your family. In the absence of nomination, family members may find it difficult to put a claim on the proceeds. And, even after making nominations, you may create a will for a smooth transfer of your assets to your legal heirs.

The writer is joint chairman & MD, Bajaj Capital

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