Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own “to do” list.-Michelle Obama
A quote that emplifies the absolute need for women, a point missed here in my opinion would be the absolute need for Women ‘s financial health.
While we run around being good daughters, girl friends, fiancés, wives , mothers .. we often forget to take care of an important part of ourselves, our financial wellness which has a huge bearing on our absolute mental state of being.
Last week Malala Yousafazai spoke at the UN Assembly and said the wisest words I have heard from an individual of her age, the extreme maturity of thought and action. “One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”
It takes pride to watch a 16 year old take charge of herself and fight people/ situations that could have damaged her mentally more than anything else. Ever so often I come across women struggling, struggling with relationships, finances and aren’t independent enough to take decisions for themselves. Some lucky women are equipped to walk out a bad marriage because they have been earning and have saved enough, others still stuck in a bad marriage because they do not have the financial power to walk out. In our small attempt we are running a 3 part series on how women should take charges of their finances. Our end hope is women will take some action and take 1 step forward to make themselves financial independent.
While education is our basic right, I would like to bring to light the basic things and impart some education on finance on aspects that women should have in place for themselves.
PPF- Public Provident Fund – fortunately for me, my parents started this account for me soon after I was born, 28 years hence, other than building investments on the same over time, I also took charge of this account at the age of 22 when I started working and helped instill in me the regularity of investment and the need of discipline when it came to investing.
- Interest rate of 8.7% per annum w.e.f. 2013-2014
- Minimum deposit is 500/- per annum. Maximum deposit is Rs. 1,00,000/- per annum
- PPF has an investment period of 15 years
- Investment up to Rs 1,00,000/- per annum qualifies for Income Tax Rebate under section 80C of IT Act.
- Interest is completely tax-free.
- Deposits can be made in lumpsum or in 12 installments.
- One deposit with a minimum amount of Rs 500/- is mandatory in each financial year.
- Withdrawal is permissible from 6th financial year.
Health Insurance: While we take care of the medical needs of the humans and for animal lovers even our pets, we often forget to provide our self basic health insurance covers. In my opinion for any female adult over the age of 21 it is of utmost importance to take a health insurance cover of at least Rs 3,00,000 ,by the age of 25 this should be sealed at a minimum of Rs 5,00,000. Also, look at a health insurance policy with a maternity benefit. While your argument maybe that you have a job at the moment/ parents are taking care of it. You may never know when you quit your job/ get married/ move cities geographies and it is a basic cover to equip yourself with. An important point to keep in mind here is as women, I can vouch for the fact that ever so often we need a surgery or two , for a fall or any other problem that may arise. It is important to take a policy when you are younger and in good health as over time, the policies only become more expensive and have a whole bunch of exceptions. (Who wants things like thyroid, diabetes , hyper tension to be excluded?)
In the age of the tech savvy women, information is available at the touch of a screen, in my opinion utilize this, read more, ask more questions and get in touch with a reliable advisor or planner. A person you can have a good equation with. This makes it much easier to ask questions and take actions thereafter.
To be continued..