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Goels must make better use of their realty acquistions to achieve their goals
August, 13th 2012

Call it an occupational hazard. A doctor usually overdoses on caution when it comes to health, and a chartered accountant is wont to bingeing on the wrong financial products to save more tax. Sanjay Goel knows it well. The 47-year-old chartered accountant expends nearly 25% of his monthly salary on insurance premium.

Little wonder then that his other investments suffer and, hence, the need for financial planning. However, a strong base in real estate and a high monthly income will help them achieve most goals, provided they utilise their existing assets more efficiently.

Sanjay lives with his wife Madhu, a 43-year-old teacher, 18-year-old son Anurag and 12-year-old daughter Soumya, in Delhi. The couple collectively bring in a monthly income of Rs 1.82 lakh. After accounting for all their expenses, which include an EMI of Rs 41,000 for a 3-BHK house in Delhi, and a huge premium of Rs 36,003 per month for life insurance, they are left with just Rs 1,956. Apart from this, the Goels own two small plots near Bangalore and another house in Delhi, where the family resides.

The reason for the sizeable insurance premium is their 26 plans, a majority being Ulips. "Most of these were taken because they were being sold by a relative or friend and I just kept collecting them," says Sanjay. The total cover comes to Rs 1.5 crore, of which Rs 1 crore is from a term plan, which was bought for Rs 3,000 per month. More importantly, since some of these policies are nearly 20 years old, SKP Securities recommends that instead of redeeming them now, the Goels should pay the premium and use the proceeds to fund their other goals.

However, it is important to remind the Goels that by buying so many policies, they have missed an opportunity to accumulate wealth. Consider this: if the Goels had started investing Rs 20,000 per month in diversified equity funds in 1994, instead of buying insurance policies, they could have created a corpus of Rs 1.51 crore, at a compounded annual growth rate of 12%. Besides, their investment in direct equity across 23 different stocks is currently suffering a loss of Rs 1.03 lakh and they must sell the poor performers, even at a loss, and redirect the money towards mutual funds.

As for their health insurance, the family is protected adequately even though they pay a high premium. They have a family floater policy of Rs 8 lakh, which costs them Rs 3,000 per month, while Sunil has bought a cover from Star Health for his mother, which costs Rs 1,250 per month. So they don't need to spend more on insurance.

As with most parents, the main goals for Goels include saving for their children's education and weddings. However, here they hit certain roadblocks. Despite paying Rs 41,000 in home loan EMIs and Rs 36,003 on insurance policies, the returns from real estate are zero and insurance products give very low returns. Hence, unless they start putting their properties in Bangalore and Delhi to better use, they will not be able to achieve the desired corpus for their children's wedding. The Goels understand this problem. "I have been thinking about renting our second house in Delhi as the property in Bangalore is on the outskirts and will take some time before yielding anything,"

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