February has always been a month of great excitement in India, especially with investors who eagerly await the annual budget. As the year comes to a close, it is always good to know how well did you did in the year and what you plan to do going forward.
But as investors were busy deciphering the path laid down by the budget (which was hardly anything), we saw a mammoth earth quake shake the world and pretty much destroy the entire eastern part of Japan. The earthquake has not only caused major loss of life and property but also has had a major impact on global financial markets. For the first time in history, the G7 countries had to intervene in the forex market to ensure stability. Japan infused record funds into its economy. Indian markets have not been spared either.
While we all wait for the perfect time to start planning for our future goals, we ignore or rather delay planning for contingencies. No one likes to plan for the worst. The biggest emergency that can come today to a family is any adverse impact on the health of the main bread winner or other members of the family. Spread of lifestyle diseases, higher chances of occurrence of heart diseases and diabetes amongst youngsters, spread of cancer and other diseases has not only meant greater hardships mentally but also a big blow financially.
Few recent media findings:
- The International Diabetes Federation in October 2009 ranked India as the country with the most diabetics worldwide – Bloomberg report.
- Average blood pressure falls globally, shoots up in India. From 1980-2008, the number of Indians suffering from high BP rose by 87 million, while the percentage of population suffering from the ailment rose from 21% to 26% – Times of India report.
The first and most important points to look at are:
- Health insurance is a must for everyone in a family.
- It is important to have a separate cover outside the one provided by your employer.
- Sum assured of Rs. 1L-2L may no longer be sufficient, considering the rising cost of health services.
Assess your specific requirements and ensure that you don"t wait for perfection, get a health policy for yourself and your family.
Be prepared for the emergency and buying a health policy is the least we can do. The next step is to start planning for your future goals. But remember – planning for contingencies/ emergencies is the first step to a peaceful life.