This Mother’s Day, you can do certain things for your mother to make this day special for her from financial perspective.
Since today is the Mother’s Day, I thought to discuss certain things which you can do for your mother to make this day special for her from financial perspective. Let us discuss what all you can do to help her.
Give her an annual preventative health check up
As all the doctors advise you to go for an annual check of your full body if you are over 35 to ensure early symptoms of any impeding disease. For females it is more important specially to cover cancer check up as well for early detection of symptom and probability of Cervical, Endometrial, and Ovarian cancer. With early detection, a preventive course of action can be taken before it becomes chronic. The expenses incurred by you for a preventative health check-up of both the parents taken together can be claimed up to Rs 5,000/- under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act every year. You can claim these expenses even when your parents are financially independent. This deduction can be claimed by your mother as well as you both, but not for the same expenditure.
Health Cover for your mother
With cost of medical treatments skyrocketing, it is important that your mother has adequate health insurance cover. If you are employed and your employer provides the facility to cover your parents, please cover your mother in that group health insurance policy because group health policies cover pre-existing diseases from inception without any medical check-up. Please buy her a separate cover as well in addition to adding her in your employer-provided health policy. For the separate cover you can claim up to Rs 25000/- along with the health check up of Rs 5,000/- which is included in the above overall limit of Rs 25,000/-. In case your parents are senior citizen, you can claim deduction up to Rs 50,000/- for the same under Section 80D. In case your mother is a senior citizen and does not have a health insurance policy, you can pay and claim deduction for regular medical expenses including hospitalisation and diagnosis expenses up to Rs 50,000/- in a year.
Make a liquid fund for your mother
Most of the people keep their savings in their saving bank account earning only around 3% to 4%. Instead of keeping it in a savings account, the same can be put in a liquid fund or overnight fund of a mutual fund house. Liquid fund/overnight funds provide better returns than a savings account and better liquidity than fixed deposits. The average returns generated by liquid funds are generally around the same range as those earned on fixed deposits and that too with added advantage of liquidity as you can withdraw as much money as you want while the balance earns you the interest. There are certain liquids funds which provide you instant redemption facility up to Rs 50,000/- or 90% of the value of your investments in the scheme. The money of instant redemption gets credited in your linked account within an hour. With the smart phone applications and online banking facility available in all the banks, your mother can invest/withdraw from liquid funds very conveniently without keeping huge balance in the savings bank account.
Educate your mother on investments
There is difference between saving and investment which many people are not able to appreciate. For them money kept in a savings bank account is treated as investment though interest on it is not sufficient enough to beat the inflation.
So, educate your mother about the various options available for investment in addition to the traditional ones like insurance policies, bank fixed deposits and gold jewellery. These traditional investments are not good and at the most are just able to help you beat the inflation in the long run, but do not help your money work harder. You can pay subscription for some of the personal finance magazines or newspapers to help her understand the field of investment. Investment is not a rocket science and it is not necessary for one to have the commerce background to understand the basics of investment. With the basic learning even if she is not able to take her own investments decisions, at least, she does not become victim of misselling of any of the toxic products which are sold to gullible people, specially senior citizens. Even if you make her start watching personal finance programme on television, gradually she will be able to understand the nuances of personal finance.
Give her a Financial Plan
On the Mother’s Day, you can get a financial plan prepared by a Financial Planner for your mother. There is no age for preparing a financial plan. So, whatever be her age, you can hire services of a Registered Investment Advisor and get a financial road map made for her. This will make her financially aware about various investment options and the importance of laying out your financial road map for her future.
Help her with her investments
If your mother is comfortable sharing her investment details with you, you can help her take her investment decision. In case you are not able to decide about where to invest, you can avail services of an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) to review her investment periodically while you be part of the discussion on her investment strategy. With interest rates having come down significantly from good old days, it is very important that her money earns decent returns to take care of her day-to-day expenses without risking her principal amount. What a better day than the Mother’s Day to list our all her investments and review them to optimise the returns without compromising on safety of her money.?
Introduce her to new financial transaction trends like money wallets, online banking, use of cards
This is the digital age. From getting your grocery to booking for movie tickets and booking a cab, everything is possible with the help of your phone. Even for paying the utility bill, you need not stand in a long queue. What you need is online banking facility which all the banks provide. Train and motivate your mother to do online transactions. Getting your mother to become conversant is very important for your mother as in most of the cases the grown-up children do not stay with their parents and it is the parents who have to fend for themselves. If they have become conversant with online payments, various payment wallet etc, their life could become very comfortable. The importance of digital payments is getting manifested in the current lockdown period.
(The author is a tax and investment expert, and can be reached at email@example.com)