Plan well and secure your future; self-help is always best
By F. J. Dalal
Lanham, MD: Most of us are happily well-placed in the matter of finance and family. We have educated ourselves, worked professionally, earned well, saved for retirement, and invested wisely. Now, in retirement, we have to live carefully on fixed income. Simple and healthy living within means gives us peace of mind. We, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), have already proved and have set an example, as one of the most successful and productive community.
Health is wealth. In the turbulent materialistic world, particularly in America and the West, health and wealth, both are equally important. We, matured senior citizens, accept the reality of life and death. One of the spouses is going to leave for heaven, earlier than the other. The surviving spouse will be in pain for the loss of beloved companion spouse. We do not want the surviving spouse to suffer any financial anxiety. Life has to go on. Only the time will be a great healing factor.
Further, when the surviving spouse passes away, the heirs who may not be living close by, will have more difficulty in locating the spread around wealth. It is therefore, prudent to put down on one paper, kept in safe known place, the detailed list of all that you own.
How do we get organized?
Firstly, we have to simplify all our finances, i.e. assets and income. We must have an account with a discount broker in good standing. We have to have all our investments, e.g. stocks, bonds, cash, direct deposits of monthly Social Security, pension, dividend, interest, IRA, 401-K, etc. with the same broker. You can pay all your regular bills through their free bill payment facility. We may also have a nominal checking account for cash requirement, etc., with a neighborhood sound bank with a safe deposit box facility.
Secondly, All of us have to make a revocable living trust through a specialized law firm of good standing and transfer all the assets, including the residential home in the name of this trust. Do not own any other real estate and other property any where else, including India.
Thirdly, pay up your home mortgage and cash your life insurance policies.
Fourthly, have only one or at the most two credit cards, with no yearly fees, for convenience only and pay the full amount of charges when you receive their bills and avoid any finance charges.
Fifthly and finally, make your investment portfolio balanced and income producing. Greed has failed many.
All of the above will give you sound sleep, without stress and anxiety. You will attain both, health and wealth Do not worry at all about the future of your children and grandchildren, now. You did whatever you had to do while bringing them up and you are finally done with your parental responsibilities. Attachments bring misery.
Don’t believe in and fall prey to any preaching pundit, guru, or financial expert. If you want to go to heaven, you have to die yourself. Again, that is going to happen only once. Don’t die and worry about death many more times in search of heaven. Because it is nowhere else, but actually, it is right here on this earth. Heaven is “what you make, not where you go to.”
Conclusion: Self-help is the best service you will do to yourself. Do not expect help from anyone. Good friends don’t come in large numbers. They are rare and only a few to find. Most of them are not found while you are socializing or in big crowds. They are chosen in quiet moments, one on one. Please make serious effort to “put your house in order.” God helps only those who help themselves.
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