Women and the Covid-19 financial crisis
The Coronavirus pandemic has been hard for everyone. Surveys suggest that everyone has been plagued by one worry or another.
But another silent pandemic of struggles that women have faced during these times has been prevailing, especially the ones managing both house chores and work. It is not a secret that the burden of housework and taking care of children and the elderly, in most houses, falls more on women.
Yet, this is the right time when society becomes enlightened as to how the advancement of women in education and careers can bring overall betterment to the entire community. Women are better savers and money-managers by nature, and these testing times are only proving their worth. If you’re one of the millions of women who want to grab this chance and learn how to handle finances better, here are some starting points for you.
Health conditions are unpredictable. Sooner or later, most people require medical care. Health insurance covers accidents, illnesses, and healthcare. It is essential while facing unforeseen medical care with high costs.
It also helps in making decisive savings. It protects your family while dealing with medical inflation. In India, annual medical inflation is at 17 percent , which is comparatively higher than the general level of inflation.
Health insurance plans are mainly categorized as 'defined benefits plans' and 'indemnity plans.’ Indemnity plans deal with compensating hospital bills, while the defined-benefit plans remunerate a massive sum of money irrespective of the hospital bills. For the health insurance of an individual, indemnity plans work the best.
Some handy tips while selecting the right health insurance include:
● Remembering to estimate how much coverage is required
● Not forgetting to note the sub-limits offered in the plans.
● Checking when and if there is coverage of pre-existing medical conditions
● Checking for co-payment policies.
● And lastly, always comparing your options!
It is also essential to have a life insurance policy in these uncertain times. It not only aids you and your family with a non-taxable sum at the time of death but also covers personal loans and mortgages.
Remember that a life insurance policy is need-based, and what suits your friends or relatives may not necessarily suit you and your family. Before you select one, follow these guidelines:
● Look into the claim settlement ratio of the company.
● Take medical inflation into account.
When it comes to timing, the earlier you get a life insurance plan, the better are your results. Early age insurance translates to lower premiums, more significant benefits, and better mental peace, thanks to the constant security.
Emergency funds and budgeting
It is crucial to keep track of monthly expenses and income, and most women do it in their systematic way. If you haven’t been doing it yet, start with setting a savings goal every month. Formulate a plan to start saving and store the emergency fund in a convenient place.
Amidst the panic and chaos created by the Coronavirus pandemic, it has been an eye-opener for many of those who did not have any safety net. If you are one of these, it is crucial to realize how important budgeting is and start learning how to manage money on your own.
Most panic expenses turn out to be bad decisions. With the necessity and anxiety to hoard as many resources as you can in quarantine, it is vital to keep in mind the savings factor. This lockdown has been a host to many mental and physical health challenges. The anomaly of being out of ordinary and loss of control that the body faces can be tackled by creating a new daily routine. Involve your family members in regular budgeting and take advice from them to make a collaborative plan that suits everyone’s needs.
Saving for your child’s future
To save for long term gain, it is essential to understand the flow of the cash. Starting early and being consistent is good at all times. Maintain a separate account for a saving that is backed by restricted access. Having a stick saving regime will help you better reach your target financial goals as the years pass by!
A pension plan is an accumulated sum of a long term savings plan which is given back as pension or annuity to the insured at regular intervals of time. It is never a wrong time to start looking for one at an age where you would rather have your children focus on their own lives than your retirement finances.
Soft skills such as the financial attitude and a mindset to 'not follow the herd' route prove how women should take control of the finance front. At such a prime time, every woman needs to be encouraged to educate herself and others in financial matters.