Spend, Save and Invest Smartly


Posted On   Aug 27th, 2016   

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) today rolled out Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a mobile payment solution which, experts say, has the potential to revolutionise the payment system in the country. The UPI app is part of the Reserve Bank's initiative to promote a cashless society. Currently, customers of 21 banks are operating the new payment solution.

1.The UPI app offers the facility to identify a bank customer with an email-like virtual address. Since bank account details are not given in this virtual address, the customer can freely share the UPI financial address with others.

2.A customer, for example, can also decide to use a mobile number or a short name for the virtual address such as XYZ@icici or 123456789@axis

3.The UPI app allows a customer to have more than one virtual addresses for multiple accounts in various banks.

4.For making payment, the transaction will be complete once the customer authenticates the transaction through a secure PIN.

5.The other benefits of this mobile payment mechanism include its round-the-clock availability and faster checkout.

6. One can use the UPI app instead of paying cash on delivery (COD) on receipt of product from online shopping websites, and can pay for miscellaneous expenses like utility bills, over the counter payments and school fees.

Posted On   Aug 27th, 2016   

Raise health insurance coverage with super top-up plans

A top-up health plan is a regular indemnity policy that covers admissible expenses after the threshold limit is breached. The threshold limit is known as 'deductible'.

Who needs Top-Up health insurance?

Anyone with or without a basic health insurance may go for a Top-Up plan. The basic aim of a Top-Up plan is to increase the existing health insurance cover. Whosoever wants a bigger cover may go for it. A top-up health plan is equally useful for those who are covered by their employers under group health insurance plans. Not to forget that employers health cover ceases to exist once you retire or change job. A person may also feel the need to buy more insurance when he or she gets older. Old age increases the chance of getting ill and medical emergencies. Such people may also opt for a Top-Up health insurance plan to enjoy a higher insurance cover.

Types of Top-Up Plans There are two kinds of Top-Up plans. First are those where each and every hospitalisation would be considered as a separate claim and deductible applies to each hospitalisation. For example, in above example, if Ms. Aananya gets hospitalised twice in a year. Supposedly, her first hospitalisation incurs her claim of Rs 2 lakh and second visit leads to a claim of 2.5 lakh rupees. In such a case, she will need to bear all the expenses on her own or through her primary health insurance policy. The benefits of Top-Up plan will not kick in as a single claim amount did not violate the threshold limit. Second type of plans are Super Top-Up plans where threshold limit applies to total expenses incurred during the policy period irrespective of the number of claims. Taking the same example, MsAananya's Super Top-Up plan will become active at time of second claim when total deductible of Rs 3 lakh gets breached. Her first claim of Rs 2 lakh will be borne either by her basic health policy or on her own and out of her second claim of Rs 2.5 lakh , her Top-Up plan would indemnify her for Rs 1.5 lakh.

Posted On   Aug 27th, 2016   

Forex reserves hit record high of $367.169 billion as foreign currency assets grow

The amount grew by $1.346 billion (approximately Rs 9,021 crore) in the week leading up to August 19. India’s foreign exchange reserves touched a record high of $367.169 billion (approximately Rs 24.6 lakh crore) in the week leading up to August 19,. The amount grew by $1.346 billion (approximately Rs 9,021 crore) from the previous week, the report added.

According to the market sources after 2 weeks of remaining flat the reserves went up supported by strong capital inflow which has given the chance to RBI to mop up more dollars

Experts attributed the rise to growing Foreign Currency Assets, a collection of currencies from other countries such as the dollar, pound and euro held by the central bank. A country’s foreign exchange reserves have a significant proportion of FCAs. Other assets, such as gold reserves, remained largely the same.

What's Stopping You from Getting the Life Insurance You Need ?

Why is Life Insurance Important?

5 Common Excuses That Shouldn't Keep You from Getting the Life Insurance You Need

Excuse 1    The life insurance I have through my employer is good enough. Many employers provide a type of supplementary life insurance coverage that is typically only one or two times your annual salary. This modest amount of coverage isn’t always enough to meet the needs of most families. Moreover, you typically can’t take your policy with you when you leave your job.

Excuse 2     It’s just too expensive. Life insurance is today is just as affordable as it has always been, and the different Types of life insurance policies available today make it easy to find something to fit just about any budget. Moreover, shopping for life insurance early before potential health problems arise, is one of the best possible times to make a purchase. Not only will your insurance premiums be more affordable, you’ll find it’s much easier to get a policy when you’re younger and healthier.

Excuse 3    I don’t know enough to make a decision. Life insurance can be complex. However, don’t let what you don’t know keep you from getting a policy. In fact, a qualified life insurance agent or company representative can help you take those first steps toward understanding the basics. They’ll even help you calculate How much life insurance you need.

Excuse 4    Money spent on a life insurance policy can be invested elsewhere. First off, life insurance shouldn't be considered a vehicle for investment purposes – unless you consider it an investment in protecting those you love. The purpose of life insurance is meant to provide those who depend on you the most from financial hardship in the event you should you die unexpectedly.

Excuse 5    I don’t have the time. While you can’t manufacture more hours in the day or add more days to the week, there are some things in life that need to be brought to the top of the “to-do” list. Make life insurance one of them because just like taxes, death is certain – and there’s not time like the present.

Are You Financially Ready to Marry?

 In the 19th century, when the novel Little Women was written, it was understood: Before you married my daughter, you had a house. When John Brooke wished to court the eldest daughter in the novel, Meg, her mother voiced concern, "Do you love him enough to wait till he can make a home for you? So, what are signs of financial maturity? Here are a few that have marked our path.

Question 1     : Do you tithe? I know ... ouch. According to the studies, most of you reading this don't tithe. Some of you may take issue with the mere idea of a "10 percent" requirement. I used to. So, let me put it this way: Do you give to support God's kingdom? For me, this was the most important step toward financial maturity. Honestly, the rest of my financial life (and spiritual life, really) did not come into line until I got this one thing: God first, not Heather first. It's not that God needs my money. But God knows that giving keeps my priorities straight. "[Tithing] is to teach us how to keep God first in our lives and how to be unselfish people," Dave Ramsey writes in The Money Answer Book. "Unselfish people make better husbands [and] wives.... God is trying to teach us how to prosper over time." The bottom line is that giving to God first, before meeting my needs and wants, teaches me that it's not about me and that it's God, not me, who takes care of my needs. That's a great place to start a marriage.

Question 2     : Do you spend more than you make? A recent study showed that debt brought into marriage was the No. 1 problem area for newlyweds. Will it be yours? Do you have a running balance on your credit cards? If the answer is "Yes," let's be honest: That's a sign of financial immaturity. You have not shown the discipline to say, "I can't afford this. I'll do without it." Even the "but I'm in college" excuse is no justification. Remember that you have choices. You can go to a less expensive school or take a break for a semester to work. You can do lots of things before resorting to credit cards. Does that mean you shouldn't marry until you're out of credit card debt? Not necessarily. Maybe you went a little "swipe crazy" your freshman year in college. You fell for that "free pizza" credit card offer and kept the VISA pizzas coming. But you're now delivering pizzas to conquer your debt. Excellent! But I do think that you shouldn't marry until you stop getting into more credit card debt (this includes the temptation to finance your wedding with it). Are you still piling up the debt? Then, stop, get a good Christian resource and get a hold on the problem. You also need to take an unbiased look at your "intended" and his or her spending habits. As Michelle Singletary writes in her book Your Money and Your Man, "I didn't grade the men I dated based on their looks. Income wasn't high on my list, either. Instead I watched how they dealt with all things financial. How my future spouse handled his money was too important to ignore." As Christians, of course, we have other criteria to use for a potential mate besides just how he or she handles money. But, Singletary's right. How he or she spends is too important to ignore.

Question 3     : Wherever you are financially, I think it's important to have a plan. Not a budget, a plan. Let me preface by saying that God is in control. I have had several financial (and other) plans in my life where God intervened and said, "Yeah, nice planning, but ... no." And hallelujah that He did! But I do think that God honors our attempts to get our financial lives straight. So, take a piece of paper. Left side: Assets (anything you own). Right side: Debts (anything you owe). Now take a long, hard look. Many of us, at this stage in our lives, are right-side heavy. Here's the question: What are you going to do about it? Think about your life in stages. One year from now, how do you want that list to look? What debts do you want to have paid off? What are you doing to make that happen? Now, five years out. Now, 10. What about your ability to earn income? Do you have a job? If not, that doesn't disqualify you from marriage. Neither my husband nor I had a job when we got engaged. But, we were pursuing employment and had an idea of the fields we wanted to enter. Still in school but want to marry? Many before you have done it. What will you do to make it happen? "If you aim at nothing," Zig Ziglar said, "you will hit it every time." So make a plan. Then, as you consider marriage, share your plans with each other.

Question 4     :Do you have realistic expectations? What are your expectations for your financial future? Do you count down the days until you fill your dream home with dream furniture? Can't wait for your boat, motorcycle and sound system? I, too, fell into the temptation to live now like my parents did after decades of marriage. It helped to get perspective.

7 Checklist before Buying Health Insurance for your senior citizen

Why is Life Insurance Important?

Here are the important factors to consider while selecting the best health insurance plans for senior citizen

   1. Age Entry age     A critical aspect in senior citizen health insurance plans is the age factor. Even the best features are far from useful if one cannot avail the health insurance plan in the first place due to age exceeding the limit permitted by the policy. Some insurers, especially in the public sector, offer health insurance plans for senior citizens in the 60-80 year age group. Certain other insurers have health insurance policies without any maximum entry age.

   2. Sum Insured The sum insured or health cover is another vital consideration when selecting a senior citizen health insurance plan. With advancing age, health risks increase and therefore senior citizens need higher health cover protection. Consider the right face value - higher the face value, higher the final coverage provided.

   3. Coverage It is essential to ensure that the best senior citizen health insurance plans cover a broad range of illnesses, particularly critical illnesses, as chances of such incidences increase with progressing age. You must also thoroughly review all terms and conditions concerning exceptions, i.e., the illnesses that the policy does not cover, especially the pre-existing medical conditions. Hereditary medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, must be watched out for. The best health insurance plans for senior citizens offer maximum illnesses’coverage with minimum exceptions.

   4. Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Defined in the health insurance policy itself is the waiting period before a claim can be made for a pre-existing medical condition. This is a critical factor because the threat of illness and resultant hospitalization due to a pre-existing medical condition increases with age and is hence higher for senior citizens.

   5. Broad Hospital Network A senior citizen’s health insurance policy should ideally have a broad network of hospitals, including the good ones in their immediate vicinity. This is particularly helpful when senior citizens need emergency medical care and/or hospitalization. It is therefore necessary to opt for a health insurance plan that includes a wide network of hospitals specializing in a broad range of

   6. Premium Premiums are another important consideration when comparing health insurance policies for senior citizens. Because senior citizens are at higher health risk levels, insurance companies usually charge higher premiums. Senior citizen insurance policy rates vary as per age. Other factors affecting the rates of such policies are lifestyle, family history, overall health, etc. Healthier senior citizens get better coverage at lower premiums. Choose wisely by comparing the various senior citizens’ insurance policies that different insurance companies offer at varying premium rates. Keeping in mind the above-mentioned criteria, these comparisons/evaluations make it easier to choose a good health insurance plan with affordable premiums.

   7. Co-Payment Clause Health insurance policies for senior citizens have a co-payment clause that varies from insurer to insurer. A co-payment clause means that the insured has to share a part of the medical expenses they incur.

How to make oneself financially secure at retirement?

Retirement is one of the important life events many of us will ever experience. From both a personal and financial viewpoint, realizing a comfortable retirement is an extremely wide procedure that takes sensible planning and years of perseverance. Even once it is reached; managing your retirement is an ongoing responsibility that carries well into one's golden years. In this article we will discuss few things about retirement planning that will help you in making proper decision on your retirement planning. Retirement is an inseparable phase life, and this is the most crucial stage of human life cycle. People have different kinds of needs in different phases of life; it changes according to age, income, lifestyle, etc. Generally we can say that a person has five types of needs such as;

Physiological Safety and security Social Self-actualization

These needs differ from people to people, as we have already mentioned there are many factors that determine peoples need. For example; need of a teen ager is entirely different from that of an aged person. Aged people have social and security need. It does not mean that they had not felt this need before; they had felt it and had satisfied it too. But with the passage of time they spent the major portion of their earnings either in their children’s education, in building a home, for their parents’ health, etc. At the end of the day they forget to keep aside a part of their earning to fulfill their post retirement needs. This situation is common in most of the Indian homes.

5 simple steps to arrive at an ideal retirement plan

Below given are five simple steps to keep in mind while choosing retirement plan.

  •    Step 1:  Decide how much income you require to live happily in your post-retirement years. Remember to take into account factors like increased medical expenditure, vacations, gifts for family, etc.
  •    Step 2:  Find out how much you need to save regularly, starting from today. You can use retirement calculator to determine the retirement amount you need.
  •    Step 3:  Select the right retirement plan that allows you to meet your post-retirement requirements. Preferably invest in plans which can provide you with potentially higher returns in the long run.
  •    Step 4:  Start saving now so you have time on your side and can enjoy the power of compounding. The sooner you are starting the higher your savings will be.
  •    Step 5:  Invest a fixed amount every month for your post-retirement years. Systematically investment will help you to multiply tour investments multifold.

Factors to be considered while planning for your Retirement Following are the major factors to be considered while opting for a retirement plan.

  •    Current Age
  •    Age of retirement
  •    Years after retirement
  •    Annual income at retirement age
  •    Rate of return on retirement corpus
  •    Inflation rate