Could a pop song change the way you look at your finances?
Ask any 30-something worth their stripes and they’ll heartily agree, no matter how many times your dad might remind you to pay your bills, file your taxes or organise your finances, you’ll always put it off until tomorrow. Or the day after, and the day after that. Until it’s time for the next reminder; or, as in so many cases, much too late.
Well, this is the story of another such reminder, except it wasn’t from my dad. It goes something like this: I was driving to work one morning, weaving through rush-hour traffic with my usual playlist for company. Today, like most other days, I was in the mood for some John Lennon classics. I hummed along to the usual hits - imagine, Instant Karma and Working Class Hero. Tapping on the steering wheel, bopping my head to each tune, I was deep in the groove. Just then I came to this busy intersection when, out of nowhere, a scrawny street kid leapt into view. I jammed the brakes hard and screeched to a halt. Time stood still. As did this kid, with a sheepish grin across his face. At that very moment, as if by some happy fluke, it happened.
The song playing was Beautiful Boy, and the lyrics went like this:
“Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you
While you’re busy making
To those who may not know, John Lennon actually penned the above song for his son Sean. In a world that can be unforgiving and unpredictable, he captures the gentle warmth of parent’s touch, with a simple turn of phrase. Life is indeed what happens while you’re busy making other plans. Like what to say at that client presentation, how to meet your next sales target, or make your next big career move. You make plans for the New Year, for the weekend, and the week after, too. But somewhere in the madness, when you least expect, you hit a bump in the road. And life takes a different direction.
Much like how it helps to hold hands before crossing the street, or buckle upbefore driving, it only makes sense to secure your future before long. And when the chips are down, life insurance is not just monetary help, but also the momentary peace of mind that comes in handy when you need it the most.
Yet, close to 988 million Indians don’t have life insurance
It stands to reason that some of us have the privilege of reading this article only because parents invested in our education – much before the need arose. Had it not been for their planning, we would not have the comforts that we can take for granted (almost) every day. However, a whopping 988 million Indians* - or 75% of the country’s population - do not have a life insurance cover. That’s more than the population of Europe.What’s worse, with over 82% of the country engaged in informal employment, hundreds of millions of workers (and their families) live under the constant threat of financial setbacks. Talk about not having a plan!
It takes presence of mind to secure the future
In fact, a good insurance plan does a whole lot more than just secure the future of your loved ones -even before you start saving for a child, consider investing in a life insurance cover. It brings a security and protection to surviving family members even in the event of a family member’s demise. For instance, you can achieve your parenting goals without the worry of any major expenses that may occur. Secondly, if you need to safeguard your hard-earned money, your insurance plan doubles up as a useful tax saving instrument. Next, you could also safeguard your family from loan liabilities in the future. Since changing lifestyles have left an entire generation vulnerable to health complications, investing in health insurance, too, is absolutely essential to completing your financial plan.
So, in that fleeting moment under the hot Mumbai sun, the universe (or at least Lennon) was quietly trying to tell me something. That life may offer you countless little reminders – like this one. But what really matters is that you heed them closely and act on them. Or, better still, not wait for another reminder to take charge of your future. Financial or otherwise. Because, who knows, one fine morning life could change - with a simple turn of phrase.
With the internet at your fingertips, insuring your loved ones is easier than ever. In fact, you can spend time to look through a variety of plans and see what suits your needs best. Whether you’re young and single, newly married, married with children or heading for retirement, there’s a plan for every need and stage of life. So you know that no matter what life throws at you, there will be someone to help your loved ones cross over safely.
*HANDBOOK ON INDIAN INSURANCE STATISTICS 2016-17