Never spend money on things you don’t need and never hesitate to spend on things that ensure your happiness, says Sangeeta Veena, Head of Accident and Health claims (Retail), Royal Sundaram General Insurance.
In an interview with MintGenie, Veena said that the spirit of savings and the importance of thrift should be inculcated at a very young age.
Q. What is the most important financial lesson that you would like to impart as a mother to your child?
As a mother, I would like to impart to my child the importance of saving and investing early in life. Time is a valuable asset when it comes to investing, and the earlier one starts, the better will be the returns. I would also encourage my child to set financial goals and create a budget to help them achieve these goals. I would teach my child the value of insurance. Never spend money on things you don’t need and never hesitate to spend on things that ensure your happiness.
Q. At what life stage of the child, do you think mothers must start discussing savings and investments with their wards?
The spirit of savings and the importance of thrift should be inculcated at a very young age. Probably say from five to six years of age, onwards. Today kids are taught music, languages, and even some basic coding at a very early age, primarily because kids have a great capacity to absorb and retain the lessons learned. Why not include financial lessons too at an early age? With the financial lessons, we are equipping them to know the value of money, manage their finances better and live a planned and prosperous life.
Q. Be it homemakers or working women, why should women focus on buying insurance for themselves?
Insurance protects the individual to mitigate unrecognized risks. Women are the heart of every family and their health and life are paramount. Financial independence is important be it pre- or post-retirement. Life is uncertain and insurance provides a cushion during unpleasant situations, and this has nothing to do with gender. It’s not that men are susceptible to higher risk compared to women and diseases do not knock basis of gender.
Every woman must ensure that she has adequate health insurance so that during an unforeseen situation she doesn’t need to dig into lifetime savings and can easily avail of cashless hospitalization. We need to also understand that the cost of medical treatment is going up every year and so it is always better to have insurance coverage that will stand us in good stead in our time of need.
Q. What financial gifts would you like to gift yourself as a mother this year?
This year, I will start with a Demat account, term deposits, and some money-back plans. Of course, I have taken health insurance adequately.
Q. Do you advocate mothers working on a separate retirement corpus to secure their future?
Yes, undoubtedly. Women have a longer life expectancy and high requirements on healthcare costs post the age of 60. A retirement corpus for themselves is a must.
Q. More people are now writing wills to remove discrepancies regarding the nomination. Do you think today’s mothers should also pen their wills?
From a legal and financial angle, yes. It will definitely help the legal heirs if one leaves a will behind. But this requirement varies from family to family. And, there is nothing wrong in discussing it with the family and going ahead on that basis.
Q. Which investment instruments do you think would serve best to today’s mothers?
A combination of life insurance, investment plans, mutual funds, term deposits, and retirement plans supported by adequate health and term insurance, would help. These are my personal views, but this depends on the financial needs or the current situation of the person. It’s best to connect with a financial planner to plan finances or do adequate research before planning the finances as it may vary from person to person.