Our fathers have been our backbones since the time we hadn’t even entered the world. From meeting our smallest needs like our favourite toy still perched in our childhood room to help us get through our college tuition in most cases, our dads have always been there for us. With father’s day right around the corner, give your father the best gift that you can by helping him organise his finances and help him live a comfortable life further by helping him put the resources at his disposal to the best possible use.
Now, why should you organise your dad’s finances? He has been doing a great job at this himself. Well, the simple reason is that your father, having met all his financial obligations, may not have the time, resources or will to sit down and create a financial plan. However, it is now even more crucial for him to plan his finances for a smooth retirement and invest his time and money in streams that would generate steady income.
There are several steps that have to be taken when it comes to helping your dad organise his finances. Here’s all that you need to know:
Having the Talk
The first step is having the talk. Having an open conversation about your father’s existing liabilities and assets is a good way to start. This includes having full knowledge of the debts he has incurred, deposits and investments he has made and the estates that he owns.
This further includes taking into account his monthly expenses, health fund to be made, life insurance plan, the amount he would like to set aside for his retirement and how much more he needs to earn to be able to meet all this.
Clearing previous investment portfolio
Your father might have an existing investment portfolio consisting of mutual funds and stocks of various companies. As goals change, so do the investment avenues that are ideal for you. Going by this, for example, you might consider investing in large-cap companies which are more reliable when planning to generate steady revenue streams.
Thus, the existing portfolio should be cleared of irrelevant or underperforming investments as per the life stage your father is at and what are his goals behind financial planning. Also, reducing the number of investments in your portfolio to around 10-15 might be considered for easier handling.
Planning for contingency
The move towards the 40+ age bracket calls for keeping aside a contingency fund for any age-related health issues that may arise or even for the unlikely event of early retirement due to various reasons. Planning for a contingency fund may require him to keep aside a portion of his monthly income which needs to be determined based on his existing expenses and liabilities.
Ideally, an amount equal to the total 6 months of expenses that your dad incurs should be kept in the contingency fund however, it might differ depending upon the people he has to support.
Finding the best investments
After having a clear picture of the current financial situation of your dad and defining clear goals, the next step is finding the best investments for the money he has left after meeting his monthly expenses and keeping aside his monthly share for the contingency funds. Investment here doesn’t just mean investing in the market to generate profits but also investing in a life insurance policy or even investing in a diligent retirement plan.
All this forms a part of the retirement plan as well which basically has 2 aspects including keeping aside a lump sum amount of money and generating steady income streams for when you don't have a fixed monthly salary to look up to.
One thing that your dad might forget easily while organising his finances may be estate planning. Estate planning includes planning for when your dad is not around and what he would want to do with his estate, investments, savings in the unfortunate event of his demise.
While this might not seem important especially if your father is in his early 40s, it is important to at least start estate planning so that there is no scope of confusion or conflict in case of unfortunate events. Having a rough will that can be refined later and a power of attorney should be considered.
Organising his paperwork
Having determined the investments that might best suit your father’s goals and financial needs and started planning his estate for retirement, one important step is to help him organise his paperwork which could really be huge and quite tedious. Keeping in mind this, your job is to make it easier for him to keep track of his investments and organise his paperwork throughout the year.
This involves assembling all his documents pertaining to health reports, financial reports, bank statements, investment certificates, insurance policy plan. Using digital file holders like DigiLocker or even simply maintaining separate folders in one computer may be convenient.
The most important thing that you need to keep in mind while organising your dad’s finances is that all your life you have been his priority but it is high time that he makes himself the priority when it comes to his financial plans.
Your dad has been working hard for years to provide for you in the best way possible, make sure as you organise his finances that his hard-earned money works harder for him than he has to.
The author is co-founder & CEO of STOCKEDGE and ELEARNMARKETS
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