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.