Here is a real-life sharing from one of our clients on personal finance lessons she learned after she suddenly lost her husband. We asked her to jot down her journey for the benefit of other investors and we thank her that she agreed.
Over to Jyoti Iyer ..
I am here to share my story and personal finance takeaways with all of you. I want to thank Jagoinvestor for giving me this opportunity. I hope my words and sharing make a positive difference in your life and do share the article with more and more people in your life.
Here is my journey………
A daughter of an honest middle-class gentleman meets the son of retd. army personnel through Shaadi.com both in mid-30 get married in 2007.
Like every service class people, life begins like earning saving and living within the means. A lovely daughter is born to us in 2008. We started investing (rather than putting) money in FDs, Insurance policies, and Gold as when suggested by insurance agents or at the financial year-end to save taxes, big-ticket purchase only during Diwali (as would get a good discount).
During this time my husband Raj asked me to take care of our financial papers, our educational documents, and other documents, to pay bills and maintain records of it. During sorting and filing of our records, I found many mismatches, as he is South Indian, they don’t add surname, in some documents he had his surname mentioned and some didn’t somewhere his name was misspelled.
Updation of documents
It took around 2 years of time to set the record straight including mine like adding my name in ration card, updating PAN card (name and address change) bank details (name and address change), marriage certificate, updating nominations in our important documents, the opening of a joint account, etc. Also, he encouraged me to do online transactions for utility bills and booking of FDs rather he was in favor of doing all the things which were technology-driven.
All this led me to think about how to save for our daughter’s education, marriage, and retirement. I had always heard from my masi that it’s the woman of the house who brings up the family. What she meant was with sheer grit and determination a woman can make her family prosper by contributing or earning extra income, proper saving & investing (gold & real estate), and strict control on spending or indulges. Another relative once said that she invested in MFs and stocks, and she is eating the malai now (reaping benefits). This remained at the back of my mind and the Quest to know about mutual funds began.
The Learning phase
I started reading articles in TOI and then shifted to reading ET wealth. I was hooked and eagerly waited for Monday, especially loved the Family finance section- in this a family’s current assets, liabilities, and investments breakups were given and as per the goals of the family how investments can be rearranged & done to achieve those. Week by week used to read them and was motivated. This led to a discussion with Raj and finally decided to give it a shot.
I communicated with the ET wealth team, they agreed to do a photoshoot and the article was published in Jan 2014 that how to balance and reorganize our finances. Somehow, we could not muster the courage to do all the rebalancing it was difficult to do away with multiple existing policies and settle down for one or two good ones. (Old habits and notions die hard). later started researching more on the internet reading blogs and articles stumbled upon Jago Investor and stuck to it.
What I liked most was it’s true to its name many articles were an eye-opener and the language is Simple English. This made me attend their Bootcamp online, finally, when I was convinced, I registered for a live workshop conducted by them in Mumbai July ‘15. After the workshop we were confident and finally started our investment journey with them.
How our life took a turn.
Fast forward 20-21, due to covid, the market was down we feared for our investments but still continued doing regular investments (SIP).
On July 21 we booked our 2nd home, myself and Nandish were against dipping from our investments, but Raj was of the opinion that it’s one life and how much are we going to keep on investing, when to enjoy the fruits of it, another argument by him as you are there to save and we will build this corpus again I am earning ( probably was expecting a raise in salary in coming years) so don’t worry.
He was extremely happy and proud of me he said Mom (ma-in-law) would have been very happy and proud. Nandish’s view was by the year-end we could have achieved our target which was initially planned for ten years.
Life took an ugly turn on 4th Sept 21, Raj started vomiting very badly he was unable to speak, his hand started twisting and he was unable to sit, then I called our neighbor requested him to arrange for an ambulance, and immediately shifted him to the nearby hospital. Even in the ambulance he vomited and still was unable to speak.
After initial diagnosis and CT report Doctor said it was a paralytic attack. Either he to be operated or given injection (blood thinner) operation was ruled out as they did not have neuro dept. So, it was decided to give him the injection. In the meanwhile, I informed his friend and him to his other friends. They all came immediately and took all charge each one used their contacts and references took 2nd opinion of the best doctors available in Mumbai.
It was decided that he be shifted to a better hospital where neurosurgeons and other facilities are available, even they contacted and consulted the best Neurologist in the city finally took the decision to shift him to Fortis Kalyan in the middle of the night. They took all precautions, handled his discharge, and got admitted to Fortis.
I take this opportunity to thank our neighbor Mr & Mrs. Satpute, Raj’s friends Sachin, Shailendra, Ashish & Pratik, My Chanda Masi, and Ramesh Mamaji, My cousins Nitin, Ghana Bhaiya, Mom, relatives, and our daughter who stood by us like pillars.
Those six days were a roller coaster ride hospital staff would call me to ask me to sign papers as they would be giving a certain injection or treatment. Every day it was new hope sometimes and complete despair at other times. Even the treating Doctor said we have given the best possible treatment to him, now if his body responds to treatment even 10% of it, we will take him out from this and the recovery path would be longer it could take 8-9 months.
After hearing all this a sudden chill ran up my spine. I started thinking about how I will manage things cost of medicines rehab expenses plus our regular expenses etc thinking about all this I became numb.
I discussed his health condition with his boss Denis and requested him to grant medical leave he also assured me not to worry till the time he recovers and join back, they will continue with his salary. It was such a relief.
I take this moment to thank Mr Denis and his staff from Dubai and Management & staff from his head office in Leer, Germany.
Whenever I used to visit him in the hospital seeing him lying down tied with all the gadgets it was painful to even the beeping sound of the monitor was deafening, standing aside his bed I would murmur please wake up please open your eyes if not for me but at least for Hirono(our daughter).
Each passing day was difficult. There were some or other complications which affected his organs; it was from bad to worse.
On the 10th early morning, the inevitable happened. He had a cardiac arrest. Doctors gave all possible treatments to revive him but couldn’t save him.
We lost him forever. We miss his laughter, sense of humor, and love.
The next steps…
After 15-20 days, thought of doing first things first like taking xerox copies of the death certificate, PAN Card, Aadhar card, started applying for the insurance claims, also informed Nandish to stop SIP, surrendered his credit cards. Also applied for a legal heirship certificate. Here I would like to thank Pathakji and his team for giving proper advice on legal matters.
The only liability was the car loan which we bought in 2019. Brainstormed with many ideas on how to use the car to repay the loan, discussed with Raj’s friends, my cousins and Nandish finally came to the conclusions to square it off. Here I would like to thank Nadir (ex-boss) who purchased our car and thus could square off the loan.
Didn’t face many difficulties in claiming insurances as only one required a notarized indemnity bond and in others I was the nominee. But term insurance took a lot of time for the settlement also was asked to submit many documents like death certificates, KYC documents, medical records, cremation certificates, salary slips, employer’s certificates, leave records, bank statements and many more. It was quite intimidating and overwhelming to fill out that form Nandish helped and explained how to go about it. After submission was anxious as the company goes through a detailed investigation. Still, it took 3 months of time for the settlement.
Now the majority of the settlements in place, Nandish has helped in chartering a financial plan for our future, which will take care of emergencies, income, and growth for the future.
Seeing and experiencing these events throughout my life I am motivated to help others in making proper financial decisions in one’s life. Hence, I took the NISM VA exam and now am a certified professional.
1. See that you learn the basics of personal finance
There are many who avoid learning about personal finance. I invite everyone to learn the basics, be on websites like Jago investor or other platforms but see that you learn the basics of personal finance.
Learn about different avenues of investments, insurance so that you can manage your finances and live powerfully. There are professionals to help but as an investor, it is your primary responsibility to know the basics of investments.
2. Discuss Finances with your family members:
In our Indian families, people avoid discussing money and finances. Well, that is where all the problem lies, that is where personal finance conversations take a back seat. I invite you to have a discussion about money, investments with your family members. Spread the awareness amongst your family members. Take the lead in your family to educate more and more family members about personal finance.
3. Encourage women to participate:
I urge women to take charge, I urge women to take active participation on the personal finance front. My life situation taught me to be in charge of money and finances and I do not want other ladies to learn about personal finance only when life forces them to learn. Whatever may be your educational background, it is extremely important to participate actively on the personal finance front.
4. Data is GOD, keep data impeccable:
Make sure your data and documents are impeccable, there are no spelling mistakes and important information like the nominee name is updated. Trust me it takes a lot of effort when data and documents are not kept impeccable. You have to invest your time into making changes and it drains your energy.
All the KYC-related documents should also be thoroughly checked and kept updated so that the transition remains smooth.
5. A Joint Bank account and a joint investment account is a must:
Husband and wife should have a joint bank account and investments should be done jointly. This helps them to have a smooth transition if something goes wrong with one of the partners.
I was about to handle my investments smoothly because of the joint arrangement. It was a great help and so I have added it to my list of leanings.
6. When it comes to insurance, look for accuracy:
My greatest learning is to buy insurance under proper guidance and do not focus on saving money. If the information filled by the online call center is incorrect you can face a lot of issues at the time of claim settlement. We bought an online term plan and it was hard to figure out things.
I was guided by Jago investor in this matter, initially, I was told after 180 days I will get the insurance money and the investigation also took a lot of time.
Make sure you buy life and health insurance from someone you trust and make sure you do not hide any information from the insurance company. Even at the time of claim settlement make sure you do not hide any information.
7. Start investing early:
Start investing early; I know you must have heard the same from Jago investor and from many other people. It is very important to start early so that with a small amount also you are able to create a bigger corpus. In the process of wealth creation, it is more about time than the amount you invest.
8. Operate from the plan:
Operate from the document or the plan you get prepared for yourself. I have made a commitment to help more and more people to have their planning exercise done. I will continue to share my journey so that people start planning their finances. I know the importance of planning and having a mentor.
Nandish is my mentor and I know he will make me win in the game of wealth creation. I also, wish to coach people in their finances, with this article I am announcing myself to be the most powerful financial independence coach. I will help more and more people to reap the benefits of planning.
9. Stay in the game
Personal finance is a game played with the tool called consistency. If you start investing stay consistent, if you start insurance stay consistent in paying the premiums. If you get your planning done see that you stay consistent with your plan.
My Mentor, Nandish Desai asked me to jot down my learning and to share the same with the world. He encouraged me to write the points so that the learnings stay alive and they also help and inspire others. I have shared my heart with the world through my learning and I will now be helping others in shaping their financial life. I will help others to transform their finances.
Note from Jagoinvestor/ Nandish Desai
Hey Jyoti Ji, thanks for opening up and sharing your heart with all of us, thanks for your generosity and courage. I literally had tears when I read the first draft, so happy to see you sharing and growing as a wealth coach.
A lot of people think you need a lot of knowledge and certifications to become a wealth coach, in fact, what you need is a commitment to serve and nothing else.
I am sure you will do wonderful as a wealth coach, I will keep helping you from time to time to help you set up your practice
– Nandish Desai