“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second-best time is now” –Chinese Proverb
The frantic pace of our lives is dizzying. We are constantly on the move, with too many things to do, places to go and people to see. Of course, we all want to be ready for the life necessities, but too often we delay planning for them, especially, the young professionals who are focused on building their careers. They procrastinate planning for their goals, only to discover them becoming unaffordable in the future. Here are three such life’s necessities that can soon become unaffordable, unless you start planning now:
1. Cost of Buying Your Dream House
Very few things in our life are more exciting than finding our dream home. Similarly, there is nothing more soul-crushing than realising you can’t afford it. Your dream home can turn into ‘Just a dream’ (literally) if you don’t take practical steps now, considering the ever-increasing real estate prices.
For instance, if a house costs Rs. 1 crore today, then, at 10 percent inflation, it would cost Rs 1.61 crores after five years. Likewise, if you choose to rent a house, the annual increment is bound to be in this range. Say, you pay Rs. 25,000 per month as rent. If there is an annual rise of 10 percent, by the 10th year, your rent will come to around Rs. 64,000.
Hence, the smart thing to do is to start investing in financial plans from the beginning in order to achieve this goal. For that purpose, you can choose to invest in stocks, mutual funds or ULIPs to get the advantage of additional income and remain prepared for the financial demands of the future.
2. Funding Your Child’s Education
Ballooning tuition fees and skyrocketing costs for higher studies, coupled with expenses towards books, extra-curricular activities and transportation, are pushing quality education past the reach of a common man. Higher education costs are especially encountering the most noteworthy inflation rates. For example, at an expected 10 percent inflation rate, a four-year engineering course costing Rs. 8 lakhs today will cost Rs. 17 lakhs in eight years.
Therefore, funding higher education should be a crucial financial goal for all parents, right from the day their child is born. Along these lines, one must focus on creating a portfolio that combines growth investments like equity and balanced funds or child education plans. Also, emphasis should be on investing for a long time, at least 8 to 10 years, to reduce portfolio volatility and to make it less risky.
3. Costs Towards Securing Your Health
Rising healthcare cost is not a new thing. But young individuals don’t discuss it often. Yet, the idea of health care inflation cannot be ignored. Here’s why:
Stress, environmental pollution and sedentary lifestyle are increasing the incidences of lifestyle diseases. Treatment and surgeries related to renal failure, cancer, heart disease, can cost anything between Rs. 10-25 lakhs depending on the stage, complexity and severity. The worst part is, these numbers are only expected to rise in the future.
Hence, the need of the hour is to have a proactive approach to counter these expenses, especially the ones related to critical illnesses. One of the best ways to do so is to invest in a critical illness policy or cancer insurance policy that can financially protect you in case of an untoward emergency.
Buying a cancer insurance policy at a young age is ideal. Why? Because the premium charged by an insurance provider depends on your age, meaning, if you opt for a cancer insurance policy at a young age, you can avail a lower premium. Similarly, you can enjoy tax benefits on the same for a longer period.
While planning for future, the most significant thing is to get started early, at least with one goal. You will soon realise that it gets easier as you get into the habit of making a plan and investing towards your goal.
Just like this Warren Buffett saying, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”, ensure you have a shady tree in your future by planning for it in the present.