Fi­nan­cial plan­ning helped me get rid of my in­se­cu­ri­ties



Mili Sri­vas­tava (42), a Ban­ga­lore-based startup pro­fes­sional, fi­nan­cial plan­ning is her life­line. A sin­gle mother (she has two chil­dren—a 13-year-old daugh­ter and a 10-yearold son), ear­lier Sri­vas­tava had locked most of her money in real es­tate and gold. “My par­ents had pres­sur­ized me to in­vest in phys­i­cal as­sets—gold and FDS,” she says.

Mak­ing the shift

Af­ter her divorce, Sri­vas­tava started tak­ing charge of her money and had an in­tu­ition that all was not well with her per­sonal fi­nances. Mean­while, she also re­al­ized that her bank had mis-sold her very ex­pen­sive life in­sur­ance prod­ucts. That is when she met Deepali Sen (her plan­ner).

Sri­vas­tava be­lieves that in this age you don’t need to own and main­tain things to en­joy it. “If you need a car, go to Zoom­car, Ola or Uber. Why do you have to own a farm house when you can go to Airbnb?”

Sen also helped her get rid of all the wrong in­sur­ance prod­ucts and started goal-based in­vest­ments and put in place a plan with a mix of debt and equity for her chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion, emer­gen­cies and other goals.

Will­ing­ness to un­der­stand fi­nance

It was not very dif­fi­cult for Sen to ex­plain things to Sri­vas­tava. “She was open to learn about in­vest­ments. For in­stance, when I told her real es­tate was not a sen­si­ble in­vest­ment, she was not rigid,” says Sen.

Sri­vas­tava has moved cities—ear­lier she lived in Hy­der­abad and now lives in Ban­ga­lore—and she is not sure whether she would con­tinue to live in Ban­ga­lore. Hence, she has de­cided to con­sider buying a prop­erty only when she is closer to her re­tire­ment age. “I see a lot of my friends block­ing at least 30-40% salary in EMIS with­out re­al­iz­ing that it com­pletely kills their ac­cess to liq­uid­ity.

She has also elim­i­nated her chil­dren’s marriage and pro­fes­sional ed­u­ca­tion from her fi­nan­cial plan. “If they are do­ing a pro­fes­sional course of 2 years, they are as­sured of a job. Hence, they will be ca­pa­ble of tak­ing a loan. That way you can make chil­dren more re­spon­si­ble.” Mean­while, she is able to fi­nan­cially sup­port her son’s pas­sion of play­ing golf, an ex­pen­sive sport to pur­sue, and her daugh­ter’s in­ter­est in mul­ti­me­dia.

Sri­vas­tava has set aside funds for emer­gen­cies as well as her travel plans. “I want to travel. Ev­ery year when we plan our fi­nances, we pick an amount and put in a liq­uid fund, from where I can get the money in 24 hours even in case of emer­gen­cies. For in­stance, my mom had a heart at­tack 2 months ago. I called Deepali and I said I need money to pay. Since she had planned be­tween liq­uid and fixed prod­ucts, I could with­draw from these and pay the hos­pi­tal bills with­out my ex­penses be­ing af­fected.”

Sri­vas­tava says that thanks to the fi­nan­cial plan, she has a strong foun­da­tion and doesn't have to bat­tle un­nec­es­sary in­se­cu­ri­ties.


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