When the nation is becoming Atmanirbhar, why should we Individuals lag behind? Let us discuss how we can Atmanirbhar and remain Atmanirbhar during all the phases of life.

Early days in life

Gaining basic knowledge about finance

Ideally personal finance should be taught in the school. The basic knowledge about importance of compounding and time value of money is important irrespective of your field of specialisation.  As most of you have already passed that stag in your life, you can at least initiate your children into, if not in the wider field of finance in general but at least in the field of personal finance,  so that they are able to take informed decisions about money at every stage in the life.

How to Become and Remain Atmanirbhar Throughout Your Life

Taking up a part time job

Since timing for most of the graduate colleges is in early morning and the classes get over by 11 a.m., you can take up a part-time job in the office of a professional like a Chartered Accountant or a lawyer. This will be your first step towards becoming Atmanirbhar in your life. By taking such part time job, you will not only make some money but also will learn something which will be of use in your career later on.

During earning days

Starting saving early to maximise the benefit of compounding

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.  He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t,  pays it.” is what Albert Einstein reportedly said. So you should start saving and investing from your first salary. The magic of compounding can be demonstrated with the help of an example.

 Suppose you start investing at 20 years of age, when you get your first job, Rs. 5,000/- monthly, where you get annual compounded returns of 12%.  You will be able to accumulate Rs. 5.88 Crores by the time you complete 60 years.  One of your friend who is only able to start investing after he turns 30 will have to invest Rs. 16,800/- per months  to match your corpus. One other  friend who realises the importance of saving vary late and starts investing after he turns 40 will have to invest a whopping  Rs. 59,500/- every month to accumulate the same amount. So the key to becoming independent is not investing more money but is in investing money for longer period which can be achieved if you start early. Slow but steady wins the race as the saying goes.

 Buying appropriate insurance

Buy enough life insurance to ensure financial independence of your dependents. However for ensuring your own independence, I would advise you to buy a critical illness insurance, so that you remain financially independent even if you are diagnosed with some critical illness like cancer, renal failure, heart disease etc. Critical illness insurance, which affect your earning significantly, policy will take care of your finance when neither your life insurance or health insurance comes to your rescue.

In addition to life insurance and critical illness insurance, you need to buy health insurance to meet the huge cost of medical treatment. Existing health insurance comes handy in your old age when it is difficult to buy it. Though you may feel that you do not need health insurance during your youth but it should be bough when you really do not need it. You will not be able to get it when you would need it in old age due to health complications. Health insurance bought early will come handy later when your ability to bear huge medical expenses is significantly lower due to ceasing of your regular income.

Buy a residential house even if you have to do it with home loan

Buying a residential house during your earning phase will help you minimise your tax outgo and will also help you keep your outgo to the minimum after your retirement. Owning a house during retirement will help you remain financially independent even with meagre resources.

Do not deplete your retirement coffer

In case you are salaried, where  regular contributions are made towards provident fund or National Pensions System (NPS),  please do not withdraw from these accounts as these are supposed to be your retirement money. You should only resort to withdrawing it if it is a life and death situation else you will make a life and death situation for your retirement.  Do not do it even for higher education of your children and rather take education loan.

During Retirement

Do not gift away all your assets under any circumstances

Succession planning, for your assets after your death, is an excellent idea but it does not mean you should transfer significant portion of your assets to your children while you are alive. Make a will to ensure that the assets earned and acquired by you are disposed off as per your wish and not as per the legal provisions. This will ensure that you remain independent and Atmanirbhar during your lifetime while ensuring transfer of assets as per your wishes.

Avail reverse mortgage

In the eventuality of you not being able to save enough for your retirement due to any reasons in spite of all your sincere efforts, you can always avail reverse mortgage, on the security of your residential house. Under reverse mortgage, you can get upto fifty thousand rupees every month for twenty years,  while staying in the house and that too without having to worry about repayment of the money received by you.

Learn to be littlie tech savvy

With increased digitalisation, one can do, almost, everything with a smart-phone, including paying for utilities, ordering grocery and fruits and vegetables etc.. This does not require acquiring an advanced knowledge and it is as simple as a child’s play. This will help you in remaining Atmanirbhar to a great extent after your retirement specially when you are confined to your house due to old age.

Regular exercise

The first duty one owes is to one’s body. Regular physical exercise will keep you fit and healthy.  It will make you feel and less dependent on others for day today chores.

I am with the above measure a person can become Atmanirbhar in true sense.

The write is a tax and investments expert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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January 2021