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For A Steady Cruise

Chandralekha Mukerji and twitter-logoTanvi Varma    Delhi     Print Edition: May 2012

A financial plan should be for the long term, but can it be for a lifetime? Well, yes, if your life is a monotonous journey with no twists and turns. But life is not that boring, or shall we say, that smooth.

There will be some obvious turns - job, marriage, children, retirement - in your life that will trigger changes in your financial plans. Then there may be speed bumps such as job loss that will require even more careful handling.

At each of these bends and bumps, you will have to rework the plan, from analysing the situation and revisiting goals to reworking finances to suit the new circumstances.

All these require detailed planning with foresight, which you may find difficult to handle on your own. You may need expert advice to work out a plan.

Let's see how you can tackle the different life stages in the best possible way.

We start from the beginning, your first step towards financial freedom, when you are fresh out of college and into your first job, and go right up to retirement planning. We tell you how to prepare a financial plan to tackle all the special situations that may arise.

1. WHEN YOU BEGIN TO EARN
When you kick-off your professional career, the pay cheque may not be fat, but you also do not have many responsibilities. Try to save as much as possible for the future.

2. WHEN YOU GET MARRIED

Marriage means sharing goals and aspirations as well as assets and liabilities. So, finances, too, need to be planned out together.

3. WHEN YOU LOSE A JOB

Whether you are asked to leave the job or you quit yourself, the result is the same-a heavy strain on finances. According to financial planning experts, first, one must keep six months' expenses in a liquid investment to avoid panic.

4. WHEN YOU HAVE CHILDREN
Couples with children face multiple challenges they may not be aware of. While most plan for children's education, they do not account for an increase in regular expenses still. These expenses can upset the budget.

5. WHEN YOU ARE RETIRED
With people living longer, they need to plan well if they want to continue with the lifestyle they have before retirement.

6. WHEN DIVORCED OR A SNGLE PARENT
Divorce is a huge emotional setback. But should it be a financial setback as well? Not necessarily. We give a checklist for couples as they plan a future after divorce.

7. WHEN SOMEONE DIES IN THE FAMILY
The weeks following the death of a loved one are harrowing for the family. It becomes even more so if the person happens to be the family's bread-earner.

8. WHY A FINANCIAL PLANNER IS A MUST
Financial planning involves managing money so that you can achieve life goals without hiccups. Here's how you can work out your finances with help from a planner.

9. TEN STEPS THAT CAN EASE FINANCIAL STRESS
Here's how you can reduce the stress caused by too many financial products.

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