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A Millennials Guide to buying Health Insurance

Imagine what you could do with a lump sum amount. If you are between the age 18-30, you may just plan for an adventurous trip or head to the nearby retail store to purchase the latest gadget doing the rounds. And if you are someone who takes savings seriously, would probably head to a bank and put the money in an FD. But would you for a brief moment think of investing in a health insurance?

Let’s be real. No one really think of buying health insurance until something worse happens. And Millenials are no different. Buying or thinking about getting a health insurance is like one of those tedious tasks – going to the dentist, doing your taxes, or dealing with a neighbour. But health is above all and without insurance, a serious accident or illness could put you on the hook for staggering medical bills that will haunt you for years. So ignoring a health insurance is not advisable. But buying a health plan also doesn’t have to be ‘oh where do I begin’ difficult. This post will help you take a better decision. All you have to do is read on.

Option for Health coverage is related to Age
You age determines exactly the kind of health plan you’re eligible for. Which can also save you money. Here are some important health insurance milestones you need to be aware of:
Your age determines exactly the kind of health plan you’re eligible for. Which can also save you money. Here are some important health insurance milestones you need to be aware of:

Opt for your parent’s plan – now common, if we have been dependent on them for so many things over the years, why not health plans. Plus if you’re under 26, this is one of the cheapest options for you to remain covered. Family plans tend to have more extensive coverage in the event of an emergency. Even if you get married, you can continue with your parent’s health insurance plan, although your spouse will have to find coverage elsewhere.
Work with some perks – Office goers can always check with their employers to see if they offer health benefits. Employer-sponsored health insurance is state regulated, which means companies with 50 or more employees must offer health benefits. Many companies chip in to pay part of your monthly premium costs (similar to PF fund), and some will even cover the full amount (rare to find). Either way, you’ll still be responsible for paying your deductible and other health care costs.

Buy your independent plan – There are multiple sites and insurance providers you can find online. You can purchase insurance directly through a health insurance company or a licensed insurance agent. Depending on the information you provide, they will pick the best plan suitable for you.

 

Checklist of buying health insurance

  •  Don’t always judge a plan by its premium – Choosing a health plan based solely on the monthly premium probably is not the best way to go. Most insurance companies have at several levels of plans. So give a thought to how you’ll use your plan, and how much you’ll pay over the course of the year after premiums and medical costs. Say for instance you pick a plan that has slightly lower premium, but it doesn’t offer the services you could end up spending money on, like prescription drugs, discounted urgent care visits, and primary care doctor visits. In this case, you would have to determine if paying a slightly higher premium for a plan that covers these services would save you more money and give you better benefits over the course of a year.
  • The next criteria is network. A health plan’s network consists of the doctors, health professionals, hospitals and service facilities it contracts with to provide (generally) lower costs of healthcare for its members. While some plans let you go out-of-network and still have care covered, you’ll have to file a claim and probably pay more money out-of-pocket. So least expensive plans will have smaller networks limited to certain areas. Whereas a premium plan will give you a broader network.
  • Another consideration is that generally, the younger you are, the healthier you are. That directly translates to a cheaper premium. So take advantage of the younger, healthier you and lock in a great, affordable premium for the next 20- or 30- years.
  • Before you buy a health insurance – get some quotes online, make sure the coverage/premium fits your budget, select desired company and quote and then apply for the same. You can also hire a insurance agent who can make the entire process easy for you.

Remember health is important and so is covering it. The early you start the better it is. If you have any query related to health insurance, you can write to us and we will be happy to help you.

Tax Benefits of Health Insurance

We live in a ‘maddening working’ and ‘everything on-the-go’lifestyle.

Fiercely competitive corporate environment, extended working hours, unhealthy food habits, lack of exercise, building stress, etc. are becoming routines of our lives today. These factors have resulted in people falling victims to the lifestyle-related disorders. Medical emergencies may arrive unannounced at any point of time, to anyone. With medical inflation running in double-digits in India, there are chances that one will end up affecting his investment or savings when facing such emergency. And the last thing one would want to worry about at such times is finances. Therefore, investing in a health insurance cannot be a choice, it’s a mandate. While providing protection against expenses related to medical emergencies is the major advantage provided by a health insurance plan, the hidden gem is that it also offers tax benefits as an added advantage. The premium paid for a Health Insurance policy can be deducted from the total income under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. The Section 80D of the Income Tax Act provides for tax deduction from total taxable income for a payment of Health Insurance premium paid by an individual. The tax deduction under Section 80D is allowed for making a payment to purchase or renew a Health Insurance policy on self, spouse, dependent parents or dependent children. Let’s look at four health insurance tax benefits that you can avail.

Benefit on boosting to critical illness riders

The unhealthy lifestyle that we were discussing may give rise to critical illnesses. So along with the health insurance you may also need a plan that can cover critical illness. And the good thing is that you can always buy a health insurance plan and customise your life insurance policy with riders such as critical illness benefits. Health insurance doesn’t restrict you in buying only one plan from one health insurance provider. And about the tax benefit bit – You can claim deductions on both your health insurance policy as well as any health-related riders. Simple!

Benefit on dependents (parents’ premium)

Your parents may be in the pink of their health now, but with growing age, medical emergencies can arrive unannounced at any point of time. So, a medical insurance for your parents is ideal. The other advantage is that the health insurance premium you pay on behalf of your parents is tax deductible.You can claim deductions under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. However, the benefits are subject to an age criterion. If the age of the insured is under 60 years, the tax deduction for paying health insurance premium is Rs 25,000. If they are above 60, the tax deduction limit is Rs 30,000. Also, as a tax payer, if your age is below 60 years and parents age is above 60, under section 80D, you can get a tax deduction for a total of Rs 55,000. And, if you are above the age of 60 yourself and paying health insurance premium for your parents, who are super senior citizens (above 80), the maximum deduction you can claim is Rs 60,000.

Benefit on health check-ups

Stress has become part of our daily lives and lifestyle ailments are on the rise. Hence, health check- ups on a regular basis are highly recommended for you and your family. This is also another way of availing tax benefits. You can claim deductions up to Rs 5,000 per annum for undergoing periodic health check-ups. You can get this benefit if your family members go for a check-up too.

Benefit on online payment

Online payment is easy, convenient and can be taken care on-the-go. So, if you choose the online payment mode to make premium payments, you can also claim tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. Well, the same is valid for cheque or draft payment too. However, it is important to note that cash payment for health check-ups is eligible for tax deduction. Do remember, buying a health insurance isn’t an option, it’s a mandate to protect your lifelong savings or investments during unfortunate times. And the tax benefit is an added cherry on the cake. If you want to find the best plan for you and your family, you can write to us and we will provide with suitable options.

How to manage your finances before starting the Passion Plan

Starting your own business, becoming a travel / fashion blogger or a scuba diving instructor, all comes under our passion plan. Over the years most of us may have understood (in a hard or easy way) that passion is what drives us to success. Passion is something that sets people apart. And it’s the passion in you that’s probably driving you to leave your comfort job and live the life you always wanted to. But having said that one should give utmost importance to one’s personal finances even before pursuing the passion plan because the first steps of following your passion is usually a financial disaster. It usually means the cost of leaving a job or the cost of starting a business. These are critical costs that may stand as a roadblock between you and your plan. Secondly, passion is extremely hard to quantify and evaluate. You may have all the passion in the world, but it doesn’t guarantee you a dime. All this usually result in lack of a proper planning. Preparing to pursue your passion plan with a basic understanding of money management will give you a solid foundation to build from. Take note of these three essential finance management tips.

Save for your passion plan

Think about how you usually tick off a plan from your bucket list – be it buying a car, or going for that world tour. You set some serious saving goals before getting your hands on what you want. Starting a business or your passion plan is also one of those from your bucket list for which you need to set financial goals. Running a business or pursuing an expensive course may usually involve managing debt. So the more you save in advance, the less you will need to apply for as a loan. The more confident you get in setting and reaching your financial goals, the more responsible you will be when you actually go for your passion plan. Getting into the habit of saving forces you to become more aware of your actual financial position, rather than relying on credit, and will help you to live within your means.

Don’t cross the line

As we mentioned earlier how passion plan extremely hard to quantify and evaluate. So, whether you have started your own business or started freelancing as a blogger, it’s important to not go overboard with spending. It’s important to make sure that you aren’t stretching your budget too far and that you have a steady cash flow in your business or venture. Just don’t bleed it dry the moment you start to see the money coming in! It may seem like a fantastic idea to blow all of last month’s profit on a shiny new piece of equipment, but if next month isn’t as fruitful as you anticipated you may find yourself struggling to pay your bills. Because at initial stage, you just can’t predict. A great way to develop the habit (which most of you know out of your previous work experiences) of living within your means is to put aside money for all of your essentials first, then use the remainder as your disposable income. Saving and living within your means are great habits to adopt when thinking of going ahead with your passion plan, but to make them work together effectively you need to monitor your finances on a daily basis.

Monitor your finances

If you don’t closely keep track of your finances you may head into a dangerous territory. You can’t afford to exhaust all the income before the month ends. And if you are the one who is aiming to build a team of people then they will be depending on you financially. So, you cannot afford to go off-track. Hence monitoring your finances is so important. So make it a habit – set aside some time every week to review your financial position. A simple way to start off is by reviewing your previous bank statement. Group all of your expenses on the statement into relevant categories, such as rent, dining out, other expenses, etc. and add them to a spread sheet. Do this once a week and keep a tally of how much you’re spending in each category. Make sure you include any income you make to track that you’re living within your means and also include a category for savings, as this money won’t be available in your disposable income. This monitoring trick will not only help you to plan for the future, but will help you re-assess some of your ‘not required’ spending. Setting good financial habits before you execute your passion plan will make your journey smooth.
Learn to manage money first which will eventually be the wings to your dreams!

Are you also following your passion and need help in managing your finances then feel free to contact us.

Here’s how to find the Best Child Education Investment and Saving Plan

For parents, their world revolves around their children. While they work really hard to provide their children the best of the comfort, what tops their priority list is education.
Every parent wants his/her child to get the best possible education without any financial hurdle. But unlike the earlier days when competition was low and education fee in institutions was modest. Now-a-days the cost of higher education is not only high; it’s rising at 10-12 per cent every year. And in order to provide the best education in the coming years, it becomes significant for parents to invest in best options to meet their educational expenses and secure their future. However, the big question is: how to find the Best Child Education Investment and Saving Plan? Well to get the right plan, you got to plan well in advance and take the right kind of steps. And you can take a cue and chalk out your plan from this post.

Pick the career option

The foremost step is to plan for a higher education program. This step comes even before you even think of start saving. It’s early to pick an education option at this stage, sure. But you can identify two or three good career options for your child based on your wish and your child interest. When you do this, you can even get the estimated year when you are likely to spend this savings on the selected program. For instance if you are planning for engineering, you know, you are likely to spend this money when your child would turn 18.

Do the cost calculation

Now that you have picked the tentative education option, figure out the current cost of the program. Going by the engineering option, you can pick any government institute or private college, and find out current education cost applicable. You can get this information from website or from the institute itself. It doesn’t stop here. You have to now calculate the future education cost (difficult to get the exact estimation). You can get a tentative figure though. Consider 8-10% inflation every year and find out future education cost.

Find the yearly/monthly investment amount

The next step is to calculate yearly or monthly investment amount required for reaching the target amount. This is the tricky step as it would need you to assume expected returns from investment options where you will be investing money. The simple way to look at it using the PMT formula (Google will help you understand this better). It is nothing but a financial function that calculates
investment required for an option based on constant payment and constant rate of return. Doing this would give you a fair idea about the amount required for investment.

Pick your investment option

Now the best part of all your hard work – Finding the investment option which can generate a return as per your expectation. Investment in fixed deposit, term plan or ULIP for child education is not suggested. Also if you have a time horizon of less than five years, you will have to rely primarily on fixed income instruments, which are likely to offer a lower rate of return.
However, these offer guaranteed returns and safety of capital. If you have time in hand, mutual fund is one of the best investment options to be considered for child education planning. You should select 2-3 good equity oriented mutual funds and start SIP. Make sure you select mix of a large-cap and mid-cap fund for investment. And with every passing year, keep on increasing SIP on your salary increment. For conservative investors, PPF (a 15-year scheme that helps you to generate tax –free corpus for your child education) is an option to look forward to. You can partially withdraw money from PPF account after the sixth year and you can close the account after 15 years. However, please note that expected return of PPF is lower compared to mutual funds. The bottom-line is you have to plan and start investment at an early stage. It would be easier to achieve the target if you start investing at an early stage. And your children can reap the benefits!

To know more about best Child Education Investment and Saving Plan connect with our financial planning expert for a better and secure future.

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Smart ways to use your Bonus Money

It’s not quite usual that you see in your inbox that certain ‘X’ amount added to your usual salary and credited to your account. Now, intriguingly you call the accounts team or the supervisor and that when you get the good news that it’s the much deserving bonus that you have received for all your hard work this year. ‘Time for celebration’ is the first thing that will strike your mind. Well, that is ought to happen, after all, you totally deserve it. But whenever a large sum of money falls in your lap, you need to have a plan for it (even before you think of a mini celebration), so you don’t wake up a month or two later and realize that it’s all gone. Well, that’s not definitely a way to reward yourself for a job well done. While it may be tempting to blow all that on something fun, excessive spending isn’t the smartest way to handle your bonus. However, allowing your money to work for you smartly is the way to go about it. So here are some of the smart ways to deploy your annual bonus money.

Pay-off earlier debts

It’s kind of a good idea to get rid of financial obligations. And debt kind of priors the list and it should also be amongst your top priorities when you plan to utilize the bonus. Debts like credit card dues, personal loans, business loans etc. should be repaid especially the ones that bear very high-interest rates. Repaying the debts benefit you many ways in return – it helps you save a lot of interest payments, improves your credit score making way for obtaining further loans in the future.

Invest to earn

A long-term investment pays off well. There are multiple options where you can invest your money. You can opt for a SIP or utilize the amount to purchase stocks or lump-sum mutual funds. If you’re looking for conservative medium (no-risks attached), then opt for long-term investment options that offer not just tax deductions but also tax-free returns. You can choose from PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra,National Savings Certificates. If you don’t want any of these options, consider locking up the money in a fixed deposit.

Fund your Retirement Goal

Apart from the above-mentioned investment options, you can consider parking bonus money in a long-term financial instrument such that the benefits can be reaped post-retirement. Even though retirement often looks like a far away event, the earlier you start saving, better is the retirement corpus you can accumulate. And your older self will thank you for taking such a wise decision. A lot of retirement plans are available in the market, so choosing an appropriate one won’t be a problem.

Start an Emergency Fund

Nothing in this world is permanent or guaranteed and it’s always wise to be prepared for the unexpected. Let’s say your salary takes a hit or your car breaks down or a family member gets hospitalized. To take care of these unexpected events, it is important to have a contingency or emergency fund. And if you still have not created a separate fund for contingency then, you certainly need to create one with the help of the bonus amount received. Experts agree that it’s smart to have three-to-six months;worth of savings tucked away, or even more, to help protect you in case of disaster. So you can utilize this amount to get closer to this goal.

Enhance insurance cover

You need to on and off check whether the current life insurance cover you have is enough to service the needs of the family in the absence of the breadwinner. Now that you have a lump sum amount in hand, you can always get the cover enhanced. In the same way, review the health insurance that you own and go for a top-up policy if needed. Remember, that medical inflation is rising a 10% plus rate every year. Having a health insurance of at least Rs 5 lakh is a necessity in today’s situation.

Invest on Yourself

With the rising competition, self-development at any point in your career will help you stay on the floor. So, investing your bonus money to learn a new skill sounds like a great idea. Something which could be relevant to your job or an area of personal interest, such as photoshop, advance use of excel, an advance course, etc. It could be anything! Basically, anything you’ve been putting off for the longest time. Having said that you can also learn new things that you are passionate about – it could be learning a new instrument or learning photography skills or even culinary skill. All this would boost your confidence and help you grow professionally and personally.

To know more about smart ways to use your bonus money or a long-term financial planning connect with our financial planning expert for a better and secure future.

All that you need to know about Travel Insurance

Whether it is for business trips or holiday with friends and family, traveling in India or abroad these days has become an integral part of our lives. We have become more mobile than ever before. But with the increased number of travelers and rate of travel, the occurrence of multiple travel related risks are also increasing. From misplaced luggage at airports to costs incurred due to transit delays to falling sick at foreign lands, traveling can sometimes offer a lot of inconveniences and one should be prepared! It is important to take measures and protect oneself against unforeseen circumstances so the rest of the trip goes smoothly and as planned.And who can help you in minimizing all these risks? A travel insurance policy. A comprehensive travel insurance policy offers many benefits such as medical expenses and loss or baggage. However, one can also opt for a specific policy that fits the purpose and duration of the trip.

Let’s find out more.

What does travel insurance usually cover?

A travel policy usually allows you to cancel your trip for the following reasons-injury or illness, a missed connection, or an unpredictable event such as earthquake, terror attack, etc. If your trip is derailed for one of these reasons, you’re entitled to a reimbursement for costs that are usually not refundable. It also covers medical expenses incurred during travelling. Some policies may also provide cover for other situations like medical evacuation to India, accidental death or disability benefit, losses due to flight delays or loss of documents or baggage loss and more. In addition, some even provide travel assistance in the form of legal advice or facilitating emergency cash transfers. Some insurers also provide cover for adventurous sports activities.

What travel insurance does not cover?

A common exclusion is a pre-existing illness. It refers to any medical condition that has required attention prior to travel or initiation of the policy. So, if you are suffering from an illness or condition like diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular problems and so on, the policy will not be covering that. Also, if complications arise from any surgery, illness or accident you sustained prior to the travel those will not be covered in most of the insurance policy. What else doesn’t it cover? Any losses incurred due to breaking foreign laws or caused due to terrorism or making frauds.

What about the cost?

The price and duration of the trip, your age, and optional add-ons–these are the factors that determine the cost of your insurance. A policy typically costs 3 to 5 percent of your trip’s prepaid,non-refundable costs. Whereas a “cancel for any reason” policy (an option provided by many) can run you 7 to 10 percent of the non-refundable cost. Some plan provisions are available only if you buy the policy within 14 days of your initial travel purchase. Some policies are more expensive if you’re older or are engaging in risky activities like bungee jumping, rock climbing, paragliding, etc.

What should I look for when picking a policy?

Consider what kind of a traveler you are and pick a policy accordingly. Say, if you are a frequent traveler (if you take more than two holidays a year), it is best to take an annual travel policy as it will be cheaper than a single trip policy. A single-trip policy is ideal for a one-time vacation or business tour! Also, if you or a family member has a medical problem that could require a cancellation,confirm that your policy includes a waiver for pre-existing conditions (this is the most common reason claims are turned down). These are few factors that you can look forward to when selecting a policy.

Where can I find a good policy?

Travel agencies offer policies that will generally cover you for the duration of your trip, but you should definitely do your homework before picking that up. Most airlines, cruise lines, and tour operators offer optional insurance (also called wholesale policies) that tend to have more exclusions.You can also go through multiple websites for reviews and compare policies. You can also buy direct through one of the travel insurance companies.

Wondering about your travel Insurance ?? Want to know more about travel insurance and plan. Feel free to write us on contact@sbsfin.com

What do Millennials save for?

Millennials—people born between 1980 and 2000. People whose traits are positive—they are earnest, positive, seek new experiences, and display a high level of social consciousness. They have expectations from life (positive ones), they work and strive for the best, they use technology, they crave for work-life balance and give a lot of attention to new experiences in life. Millenials are go-getters, hard-working, they are careful about their spending and saving. They are also known to handle responsibilities better, take challenges as opportunities and face competition which otherwise their previous generations haven’t had to face so intensely. Our Millennials are pretty thrifty when it comes to saving money and they know exactly where to spend that. Let’s find out how financial planning for millennials can help them for a better and secured life ahead.

Saving to see ‘The World’
Travel is a wonderful thing. It broadens your horizon. It helps you get a better perspective. It takes you out of your routine life and what not! Millenials, the generation of go-getters are the ones who soulfully believe in this concept and totally live for this. For Millennials traveling matters more than anything. The backpacking trip to Indonesia, biking trip to Ladakh, solo trip to Canada would have been unthinkable choices for the Generation-Xers. But for Millennials the bucket list is getting bigger and better with each passing year. So it’s quite natural that saving for travel is a priority for millennials. And thanks to the economy that has made travel a cheaper and more flexible affair, the love for traveling among Millennials is only growing. They would rather take regular holidays than save for a home or car. Their motto lies in Saving, Exploring, Getting Amazed, and Repeating the same.

Saving to buy more experiences
Millennials tend to define themselves by their experiences more so than other qualities or factors. And it’s not just travel or adventure sports or cultural experiences that they are addicted to. In fact, they value all sorts of experiences—live performances, sporting events, concerts, social events, food fairs, photography and the list goes on. More than aiming to spend on possessions, they love saving for varied experiences of life. They aren’t spending our money on cars, TVs, and watches. In fact, they are renting scooters and touring Goa, rocking out at music festivals, or taking part in Marathons. So after aiming to tour in maximum cities or countries, saving for experiences comes as a high priority for them.

Saving to take better care of themselves
Although open to new experiences in life, Millennials avoid getting addicted to things that seem to harm their body in more ways than one. Millennials are, by and large, eating more healthily than any previous generation. They eat more ethically and are aware of what’s served on the platter. They are also more likely to take part in healthy behaviors (social media influence for good), such as exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. For millennials, value and product quality are important too and they favor things that are natural and organic (from food to cosmetics). So, it’s an obvious thing that they save up to invest in taking better care of themselves. Plus staying healthy helps them save a lot more too.

Saving to maintain the same lifestyle post retirement
The ability to maintain a similar lifestyle in retirement in a satisfying and fulfilling way is one of the biggest concerns for millennials. The key to achieving financial comfort in retirement is to have a clear understanding of the financial resources and the demands on these resources both now and in the future. It is kind of given that Millennials do understand the importance of retirement planning and getting an early start on building retirement security. Many surveys have also shown that when searching for a job, they look out for retirement benefits or make sure to save a certain percentage of their salary in PF accounts.
Additionally, it has been found that millennials purchase their first mutual funds at a younger age compared to their earlier generation. Millennials are still in their prime years to start investing, so you can expect this number to rise at a faster rate than older generations that should have been saving for decades already.

Team SBS Fin is working constantly to help you plan finances better and to help the millennials with setting financial goals as per their bucket lists. Wondering about your travel wish-list?? Feel free to write us on contact@sbsfin.com.