NRIs have to plan their finances well just like anybody else. But financial planning for NRIs has more variables and more complexity.
We try to simplify it for you.
Must Haves For NRIs
Here are key must-haves for all NRIs to keep their financial life in order –
Power of Attorney (POA)
Your financial matters require active involvement from you. It is not always easy to do that when you are an NRI. You will have investments, property matters etc. that need to be dealt with and you cannot travel to India at the drop of a hat.
One way to manage this is to give someone a power of attorney which means you are entrusting them with the right to represent you in financial affairs. Authorise a trusted friend or relative to manage your financial matters by giving power of attorney. This person with power of attorney can sign documents or manage other tasks on your behalf.
As an NRI, you tend to have more money in comparison to the resident Indian. It is easy to have an upgraded lifestyle. You can afford luxury cars, high-end appliances and have a lavishly decorated house. (Check – How can NRIs avoid lifestyle inflation)
But you have to remember that you have to save and invest for your financial goals and retirement and the financial future is uncertain.
Financial discipline is important here so that your NRI income can last long and your short-term and long term financial goals are taken care of.
Remember these tips –
- Understand the cost of living in India and your resident country and spend wisely.
- Manage documentation of finances for both countries for ease in tax planning and investment planning.
- It may not be easy to understand the financial market in India while sitting abroad. It might be better to consult a certified financial planner than a self-appointed “market expert”.
Develop a well-integrated financial plan. The financial plan should include –
- Your assets and liabilities across the countries
- An integrated investment plan that takes care of investments in both countries. The global economy is dependent and connected. So plan your finances such that financial risk is minimum.
- Tax planning and management in the resident country and India. Missing out on tax payments or underreporting of income intentionally or unintentionally are serious offences. You can face strict legal action. Pay the right taxes before the deadline and document taxation matters diligently as required. (check – Tax Rate for NRI)
- Income and expenditure in both countries of residence of self and financial dependents. Income and expenditure will change with changing circumstances and different life stages. Keep a tab on both of them so that there are no unpleasant surprises.
The plan should enable you to align your current and future income and savings to your financial needs and dreams.
Read Detailed Post – Financial Planning for NRIs
Insurance – Life and Health
NRIs have to plan for contingencies. Their finances are linked to more than one country which means more market forces and economic conditions are in play affecting their finances.
It is important, therefore to take insurance. Get a term insurance plan in India so that in case of negative events, your dependents have the cushion of financial security.
Your employer might have provided health insurance for you and your family in the country where you live. It may not be valid in India. If you are planning to move to India in the next 2-3 years, it might be a good idea to buy medical insurance in India. Health insurance is cheaper and accessible more easily when you are younger. Moreover, by the time, you arrive in India the waiting period for certain conditions might be done with. If you have dependents in India, you can consider a family floater policy in India.
Do read the terms and conditions and global applicability of the insurance cover before buying it.
Global Succession Plan
You will probably have assets across countries. It is important to create an estate plan with a will in place. The estate plan and will should consider all assets and at the same time distribute the assets across family members in a manner that they can access it easily. A financial planner can help you have an integrated succession plan in place if it seems complex to you.
Planning your finances optimally will help you to make informed decisions. These must-haves will ensure that your money works for you and your loved ones in the most efficient manner.
Financial matters are complex, more so if you are an NRI. But managing them is not impossible.
If you have any questions regarding any of the points that are discussed in the above post – feel free to add in the comment section.