There was news about a survey done by the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) which says – “30% of the Indian-Americans have had a financial impact on their job and internship”. COVID 19 Impact on Finances of NRIs will change our relationship with money – The Investments & Expenses. Let’s see how COVID 19 will impact NRI affairs.
Being NRI, your anxiety is justified, as you are away from homeland and have anxiety as you are on foreign land.
Plan & RePlan
In my life, only planning has worked. Be it career jumps, family, or financial!
COVID is a situation that a plan works against. Plans act as “standard operating procedure” (SOPs) during accidents. COVID 19 is one such accident in life.
If still you have not planned your investments, consider it a call of nature – forcing you to plan your finances.
If you HAVE a PLAN during good times, YOU CAN RE-PLAN. Otherwise planning becomes stress when the time is not good.
You have ONE LIFE… live it and not spend it on stress.
Changes in LifeStyle
The FIIDs report says – Almost all (Indian-Americans) are changing their lifestyle. The changes will not be limited to America but all impacted regions like Gulf countries, Europe & South East Asia.
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Change in lifestyle means a change in the budget. You will have to spend more money on online gadgets, hygiene-related products, insurance & precautions.
Curtail discretionary expenses. These can be tobacco, liquor, expensive hobbies, etc.
Traveling will be costly in the coming days.
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Discounts will be less on usual things like they use to be.
It means you will have fewer savings & surplus to invest.
One of our clients from Singapore wanted to come back to India permanently by 2021 December. She wanted to come back and find a job in the Indian Media sector. She is rethinking now. Her earnings till 2021 may also get impacted as she is foreseeing a negative growth in salary for this year. The Indian job market is also poised to slow.
Goals – long term of short terms are based on 2 factors – Time in hand & Current Funding.
COVID 19 Impact on Finances will make income streams contracted. Goals approaching in the next 2-5 years may suffer. You need to analyze this and take corrective measures. Ensure sticking to the plan. In case things go out of hand reach out to your financial planner and take a step mutually discussed.
How much did you earn when markets dipped in March end & again bounced bank in May-June. Very few as investing during volatile times is tough. Volatility is set to remain the same or increase. Already you can see heavy price fluctuations in Gold, Crude Oil & other tradeable assets.
Who would have thought that interest rate would turn negative in some countries and Indian banks offering 4-5% for Fixed Deposits?
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If you were planning to buy a house or have a real estate for renting in India, the rental yields will change now. Similarly, do a fact check of returns that you had assumed or used for future calculations.
COVID 19 Impact on Finances will increase Risk. This gives rise to price fluctuations. Your return expectation during a risky time should be practical. Smooth sailing will not be possible in current times.
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COVID 19 has changed how people thought about insurance. You need to check if your insurance is adequate to cover the entire family. Does it cover quarantine losses?
Pandemic is likely to make insurance more expensive. While term insurance products may get costly by 30% dearer, medical insurance premiums may also rise by 20-25%.
Insurers in India are busy calculating the risks that have gone up post-COVID. The same is going to happen in the country you reside in. It is time to beef up the cover. In case you are planning to return to India in 2-3 years, you should start with a small health care policy and increase cover when you are back.
COVID has shaken the world as economies will suffer. Many jobs will go off-market and increments will be difficult. Layoffs will be common. The question is – Do you have enough to sustain during temporary difficult days? NRIs need to check the emergency fund. It is better if you increase it for the coming 2-3 years till normalcy regains.
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If you are in a debt crisis already, it will tough to service it. The best way is to take charge of this situation, see what can be paid (one time or staggered). Work on lowering the cost. Good news is – Interest Rates have come down. Negotiate with the lender or refinance at lower rates.
I would not suggest you increase debt if you see instability or sacrificing priority goals like kid’s education or your retirement. Restrict on credit card spending & small loans.
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Although moratorium schemes on loans are available, it is advisable to continue paying EMIs till the time you can.
COVID 19 Impact on Finances of NRIs – Stress Management
Living alone or in a small community makes anyone nervous. Bad news is more than good news. You are bound to have your mind diverted.
It is very important to soothe your mind so that you may not make a decision that you will regret in the future.
Talk to experts. Take help in your community & office.
Discuss with your spouse or partner and follow what you decide.
I hope this article “COVID 19 Impact on Finances of NRIs” will cheer you and extend you a ray of hope & help. Cheers!
Do let me know your questions, pain points, anxieties, or plans in the comments section below.
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