Smart millennial parents know how to get the best out of life, money and taxes
Parenting has become a complex phenomenon, especially in this day & age. Modern parents would agree that kids of this generation are absolutely sure of what they want. They are smart kids. Therein lies the catch-22. We the “millennial parents” consider ourselves to be the smartest ones. After all, we have witnessed transition that our kids cannot even imagine, let alone believe. We have known life before and after the internet, mobile phones and yes, even cable TV. And we thrive in this change! It is this change that gives us this feeling of empowerment.
This empowerment is what makes us different from parents of the Gen X or the baby boomers period. While their main focus had always been their kids, their risk-taking ability was very low. We cannot be happy emulating their ways. We have our own passions to pursue, hobbies to follow, and life goals to achieve. We have our couple goals of owning a house, a car and a lifestyle of our choice. And also the future goals of our kids. Our aim is to find the balance between the two.
To be able to maintain these goals for self, kids and the family, with the source of funding as only the ‘take-home salary’ is a challenging task. A few years back, we were struggling to get settled in a new city. For the exorbitant school fees of our child and his demands for new gadgets or a trip, our take-home salary did not seem sufficient. We realised that it is not just important to earn more but also to invest more in tax saving options. Our salary, if not invested well, can get drained out in taxes. At the end of the day, tax saved is actually money saved. We cannot make everything possible until we plan our expenses and investments.
So four years back, we made some ground rules:
1) Our kids only get to buy one luxury a month (they can choose between a new gadget, a weekend outing or an experience like amusement parks, adventure zones etc.)
2) We, the parents consciously save towards fulfilment of one particular goal. My husband started saving for the new camera lens that he wanted (the trip to Masai Mara, Kenya was still a long shot) and I started saving for the new bread maker that I wanted to buy.
3) Every month, we will make systematic investments towards a tax-friendly policy that helps us save tax.
4) We will not compromise on our lifestyle because well, you get only one life to live, and we want to live it well.
So, with these rules, we got going. Some of these were easy targets, but the real challenge was finding the right investment instrument. So after some research, we came across ICICI Pru LifeTime Classic. The plan gives us an opportunity to grow our money and also help us save with tax savings; along with providing life cover to financially secure our loved ones.
The plan also gives us many flexible options like choice of investment portfolio across equity, debt and balanced funds. We can switch between portfolios as and when we find it beneficial. It also gives us an option to withdraw funds as per our requirements. The cherry to top all of this is that it helps us get a yearly tax rebate of INR 48,600 under Section 80C.
As a reward for staying invested for a long duration, the plan also gives loyalty additions and wealth boosters which further increase our investments. All of these benefits have helped us plan our finances in a way that we are able to set aside some amount to fulfil our short term desires like a trip to amusement park for my kids, bread maker for me or camera lens for my husband. While the plan takes care of our long term goals by growing our money.
Smart investment decisions for both long term and short term are important. If we get the right tool for investment, we can actually make use of it to fulfil both our short as well as long term life goals. Isn’t this the best part of being tech-savvy and informed? And you wondered why we the millennial parents consider ourselves to be smart!