Author - Kapil

February 2010

What is adequate life insurance coverage?

What is adequate life insurance coverage,foundation of financial planning, current liabilities, financially secure the foreseeable future, .

“Death is certain and Life is uncertain.”

You work hard, You earn , You save. You plan and have dreams. You do this to secure your future and the future your loved ones.

However, your untimely demise, can jeopardize the future of your loved ones. Emotional needs, of your loved ones and your dependents cannot be replaced or compensated.
However in case of financial needs, you can always plan ahead, so that your loved ones are left behind with adequate financial resources to take care of their future needs. This is all the more important in case you have dependents who are financially dependent on you (like your non-working spouse, children , old parents etc.).

This is where “adequate”  insurance of  “life” assumes such a significance.
Life Insurance is the foundation of financial planning and you should ensure that it is properly planned, first.

Many a times , I am truly surprised when I ask clients and people about their insurance coverage. I get responses like the following :
“I believe I am adequately covered” (– Salary 20Lacs/yr, Home Loan 40K / month, Car Loan 3Lacs, 2 young school kids, Insurance coverage – sum assured around 40Lacs ONLY – 2 policies, annual premium around 2Lacs) And he believes he is adequately covered. Badly mistaken……………

“I have one investment flat, and one flat in which I currently live – In case something happens to me , my wife can sell that flat and that can easily service the needs of the future”. I told him, why does he need to wait for his death, in order to sell the flat. Why is he not doing it now.? An hence why should his spouse sell the property to finance family needs ……………? This person understood the crux and went ahead to increase his insurance………….

“My father tells me about the futility of insurance – See, he is 65 yrs of age and he is still going hale and hearty” – This is such a stupid response. It is really difficult to believe seemingly intelligent people making such comments………….

“I will get 20Lacs at the end of the policy” Upon asking , how much money his wife will get in case he were to die today  – His reply was ” I do not know, I will have to check my policy”. He does plans his weekend outing to Lonavla and Khandala or other places near Mumbai along with friends meticuluosly. But hey , no plans for life………

” I have a child insurance policy which will give me 15 Lacs in due course apart from my endowment life policy of 20Lacs” Again , this fellow has been sold into these policies is paying roof high premiums for paltry insurance. And by the way, why insure your child , when you yourself are inadequately covered. Also does one really need child’s life to be insured to cover financial needs. No……….

” I have a ULIP (Unit Linked) policy and the agent has promised me guaranteed (LOL……..) returns in next 15 years” ……… I am sure the agent also must be laughing his way to the bank ………..

” I had bought policy from LIC to to save taxes. And I am happy to save on taxes”Now buying insurance just to save taxes is one of the worst mistakes one can make. Buying Life insurance to save taxes or to invest is just not right………

These are responses of intelligent,hardworking , well educated people. However, they fail to get the financial planning act together. I am sure that they can also put in little extra effort to get this part right as well.

As you can see, all the responses above have one underlying theme – all of the different sets of people have inadequate Life Insurance coverage. In some  cases unplanned, some have planned but due to thier ignorance have been sold products which will truly not help in case of insurance.

Let us face it , no one likes to really think about his own death. However, the truth also cannot be denied that death is indeed certain.It can happen in (a) normal course of time (let us say avg 70yrs)  (b) earlier in an untimely fashion (let  us 30 -45yrs) — this is prime time when dependents really need you (c) or later than normal. (>85+ yrs)

All the three cases can be properly planned for.

So, that brings us to the question — What is adequate life insurance coverage?

Simply put, an adequate life insurance coverage should cover the current liabilities of the descedent and should financially secure the foreseeable future needs of the dependents in such a way that the lifestyle of the dependents remains unaffected going forward and life goes on normally as if nothing truly happened……………..

Later we will see , how much insurance do you need. Or How to arrive at the magic figure of sum assured. You can read the post here at How much life insurance do I need?

Invest Early, Invest Wise, Utilize Magic of Compounding

Invest Early, Invest Wise, Utilize Magic of Compounding, Time value of money.

If you have built castles in air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. —- Henry David Thoureau, Walden.

In the previous post , I had mentioned about the importance of time value of money. Let us see here the impact of the same over a period of time on investments – And why investing early and then making it work for long periods of time makes such a BIG difference.

In this example , Early Investor starts putting aside Rs 10,000 a year beginning age of 22 yrs until the age of 30 and then decides to stop making contributions. Over this time, he puts aside a total of only Rs 90,000.

On the other hand, Late Investor doesn’t start making contributions until he is 31 and puts aside Rs 10,000 a year until he reaches age 65. Over that time, his contributions total Rs 3,50,000.

In both cases, assume that their account grows 10% a year. Despite the fact that Late Investor contributes  almost 4 times , at age 65 his account is hardly 2/3rd as compared to the Early Investor!!!!

This clearly illustrates the benefit of starting to invest early.

The power of time and impact on the the value of money, the benefit of investing with patience and discipline and the magic of compounding is truly amazing.

Even, if it may be late for some of you to maximize your lifetime investment potential, it may not be the case for your children.So, go ahead, start thinking , plan , and invest for long terms with conviction.

You will find the related post on Time Value of Money as interesting as it is one of the most important concepts in finance.

What is Time Value of Money

What is Time Value of Money

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” – Miguel de Cervantes

The time value of money is one of the most important concepts in finance. Money that is in possession today is more valuable than future payments because today’s money can be invested to earn positive returns in future.The understanding of Time Value of Money leads to better decision making in some of the major financial decisions like — calculating sum assured requirements for your life insurance needs, computing monies which will be required for child education/wedding in future, corpus needed to fund retirement, comparing alternative investment decisions, comparing house lease v/s buy decisions, horrendous impact of carrying credit card debts etc.

What is time Value?What is Time Value of Money, Present Value , Future Value, Compound Interest, Time and their Relationship,

Money has time value. The value of Rs. 1 today is more worthy than the value of Rs. 1 tomorrow. This economic principle recognizes that the passage of time affects the value of money. This relationship between time and money is called the ‘Time Value of Money’.

If someone owes you Rs 10,000/- , it is advantageous to get the money today If you get this money today:
–> You could earn interest and invest it and you will receive this quantity plus some other amount in the future.
–> You can use it to pay your debts and therefore, lower the interest amount paid on your debt.
–> Or you can spend it and enjoy it as you wish.

Understanding Present Value , Future Value, Compound Interest, Time and their Relationship:

A sum of money today is called a present value (PV). A sum of money at a future time is termed a future value (FV).

The time period in between the present and future value can be no of years, no of months, no of quarters or any unit of period. (n).

The interest rate or growth rate in which the present value can be employed . This is the interest rate per period.(i) The effects of value versus time is best usually described by compound interest. Change in Value over time is impacted by factors like inflation, tax rates , discounting rates etc.

Future Value is calculated as follows : Future Value (FV) = Present Value (PV) * (1 + i) ^ n

Alternatively, given a future value then,

Present Value can be calculated as follows : Present Value (PV) = Future Value (FV) / (1 + i) ^ n

Compounding

Compounding is the mathematical procedure for determining “future value” and is virtually the reverse of discounting

Discounting

Discounting is the mathematical procedure for determining “present value”.

Some Examples :
1. If you invest Rs 1,000 today at an interest rate of 10 percent, how much will it grow to be after 5 years?
FV = 1000 * (1 + .1) ^ 5 = Rs 1,610.51

2. If you were given an option to get Rs 1,00,000 , six years hence OR option of receiving Rs 55,000 now. What will you choose.
In this case, you bring down the future value to the present value and then make a decision (or judgement). Let us assume a discounting rate of 12%.

So, PV = 1,00,000 / (1 + .12) ^ 6 = Rs 50,663.11.

Option A Present Value comes to Rs 50,663.11 and Option B is Rs 55,000. And the choice becomes obvious. In this way different rates can be used to make alternative quality decisions and arrive at decisions quantitatively.

3.If you invest Rs 11,000 in a mutual fund today, and it grows to be Rs 50,000 after 8 years, what compounded, annualized rate of return did you earn?

Using the above formula again : FV = PV * (1 + n) ^ i
50000 = 11000 * (1 + n) ^ 8 ; So, n = 20.84 % (Wow!! — This is a good investment)

4. Rule of 72 (Quick!!! — )

How long does it take to double Rs 5,000 at a compound rate of 12% per year (approx.)?

Approx years to double = 72/ i% (Cool!!)

In the above case it will be = 72/ 12% = 6 years. (This is rough, Actually it will be 6.12 years)

Thus, Your ability to measure time value of money can be THE vital difference between your making a good or bad investment decision.