Proposed Surcharge – Apne Sar pe ek aur charge
When the
Government decides to charge, they hit the nail straight on the honest tax
payer’s head. When new taxes don’t find favors, they still have their way out.
Surcharges on the existing taxes, simple and still an effective way to empty
our pockets.
Maharashtra Government’s latest bill to amend the Maharashtra Municipal
Corporation Act to allow the government to levy a surcharge on transactions of
immovable properties is the latest smart move in this direction.
And how do
they plan to go about this. The extra money that the government now plans to
snatch away from us would in all probability be introduced in the form of a
surcharge on the stamp duty that we pay on every property transaction.


So here we go,
the dear sweet home that we were eyeing for would become even dearer.
Just a 2%
surcharge on stamp duty, sounds simple and cheap! A person paying Rs.100/-
would need to pay just Rs.102/-. Not a bad deal, right? But work out the
whooping numbers. The annual stamp duty revenue of the Maharashtra Government
today stands at Rs.20,000 crores and so a 2% additional collection gets Rs.400
crores into the kitty. Simple mathematics, that’s it.
promises this money would be used to boost urban infrastructure such as Metro
Rail, Freeways and Sea-Links in various cities across the state, but how much
of it will be utilised for the real cause is anybody’s guess.
Government says it is really concerned about the farmers who commit suicide and
has plans to take complete responsibility for their children’s education and
ensure food security to their families. Seriously!
No, the
politicians are not letting go of their allowances and he freebies that they
enjoy from the Government. How could we even take such a wild guess?
When they
have gullible tax payers at their mercy, why should they worry? Who cares
whether we are agriculturists or not, but we all would now be required to pay
an agricultural tax. The government bill suggests collecting this through sale
of goods or through value added tax.
Government needs money to dig up 3 lakh wells, to create 1 lakh artificial
lakes, power connection and water pumps, they say. The leaders need to dig up
wells and ponds to hide their wealth, that’s what they didn’t say and we need
to read between the lines.
The proposed
agricultural tax is no child’s game either. The government plans to make the
tax payer poorer by at least Rs.500 crores annually over the next five years.
So let us be
prepared for another bolt on our head, another one of those Sarpe charge.


Surcharge or
VAT, hum tax payers ki lag gayi hai vatt!
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Planning for our retirement – Lambi Innings Ki Taiyari
All of us experience many events
during our lifetime, be it marriage, birth of a child, marrying off our
children, death of a loved one and so many. Some of these events bring immense happiness
and some profound sadness. Whatever may be the emotions that these events bring
about in our lives, the memory of it fades over time and we become oblivious of
the fact in such a way that it gets absorbed in our lives.


We all need to work for some or
major part of our lives to earn a livelihood and then retire for different
reasons. Reasons for retirement may vary from attained satisfaction to not
being able to work any further due to ill health or just the compulsory
retrenchment due to attainment of a certain age.


Oh retirement!
Retirement is perhaps one of the
most important events in our life that we may ever experience.  Of course, we all wish to retire comfortably,
but how many of us really achieve the privilege of doing so considering the
complexity in building up a retirement plan built up with extensive and
sensible planning and years of persistence.


A little homework, a systematic
and attainable savings and investment plan and of course a long term commitment
is all it needs to ensure that you carry it well into your golden years.
Do I need to plan?
For many of us who are earning a
decent salary with an even decent and seemingly reasonable savings in our bank
account to splurge on necessities and luxuries alike, this may seem to be a
trivial question.


Though we may consider ourselves
to financial wizards in our own count, what we don’t realise is that our
popular belief about the best way to save for the future could be totally
contrary to what the key components of retirement planning properly implemented
should be to guarantee a financially secure retirement.
The flexibilities of life to deal with
Life surely tends to keep
throwing us a curve ball every now and then. It may be a Googly, a Doosra or
may be a Yorker, but we need to be prepared well to face the ball as it comes
beaming at us. These spinning balls may be in the form of unforeseen illness,
the financial needs of our children or dependents or the uncertainty of the
returns from risk bearing investments.


Life’s unpleasant uncertainties
force us to maintain a secure nest egg. This nest egg is what will help in
smoothing out the financial hiccups over the long run, so that we are not
forced to liquidate our assets to cover our expenses during our retirement
years. This golden egg will only ensure that rather than leaving a financial
legacy for our loved ones or worse still, becoming a financial burden on our
family, we can rather contribute to our children and grandchildren’s lives, be
it by splurging on their luxuries and needs, financing their education, by
gifting a portion our nest egg or just simply ensuring that the estate and
assets that we built up painstakingly are passed on to them in inheritance and
on which we assign so much sentimental value.
How would I know how much I need to retire?
At a first glance, this so much
relevant question seems to be unanswerable, plainly because the amount of money
we would need depends upon a number of factors including our desired standard
of living, our expenses, our medical needs and most importantly our target
retirement age.


But just a little thought
applied, all these seem so simple like a mystery unfolding by itself. If we
pose a few questions to ourselves and try to answer them, it becomes so much
easier to determine the reasonable money needed for our retirement needs.
We just need to answer for
ourselves a few simple questions and they would be:
(a)    When
do we plan to retire, i.e. at what age?
(b)   Assume
or decide how much monthly income we would need to sustain at present level of
(c)    Scale
it up till the year of our retirement considering the annual inflation factor
(maybe safely and conservatively considered at 4-5%).
(d)   Total
up all our current savings and investment which earn us regular returns.
(e)   Determine
the monthly real rate of return on our investment today.
(f)     Scale
it up till the year of our retirement considering the annual inflation factor
(maybe safely and conservatively considered at 4-5%).
(g)    The
resultant figure is what we need for our monthly expenses post retirement.
If the resultant figure in (f)
above is equal to or more than the figure in © above, then we are securely
planned. If it is negative, we need to worry, for we are short planned for our
From where will this shortfall money come from?
We have mentioned earlier and at
the cost of repetition, we repeat that we are earning a decent salary with an
even decent and seemingly reasonable savings in our bank account to splurge on
necessities and luxuries alike.


We just need to cut down on the
little luxuries a bit, maybe skip that extra movie a month, or that one
additional dine-out at the fine-dine restaurant, expenses which are dead cost
not providing any returns financially, and just deploy these finds in
reasonably moderate risk but decent returns yielding investments.
Here comes Reliance Retirement Fund:
This is an open ended notified
tax savings cum pension scheme managed by highly professional fund managers who
would invest the corpus in open income oriented funds giving us the benefit of draw
down as required during retirement.


Its advantages! Oh! There are
many, but few to list out here, it is a tax efficient SWP, has the potential to
grow corpus over time thus providing a scope for better returns. The
investments primarily focus on income generation, growth assets for fighting
inflation and enable draw-down without depleting the corpus.


Talking of key features, it
1.       Unlimited
switch between schemes
2.       Bare
minimum exit load of 1% on redemption before the age of 60, subject to a
lock-in period of just 5 years.
3.       Auto
transfer facility where the entire investment can be switched from wealth
creation plan to income generation plan according to our needs.
4.       Facility
to accumulate using both SIP and lump sum over the earning years.
5.       Facility
to use systematic withdrawal plan (SWP) to use only what is needed after



The nagging Question, Can I afford it?
Reliance Retirement Plans by Reliance Mutual Fund answers the nagging question by explaining that it just takes a little sensible planning and a happy retirement is well within the reach of most of us. 

A little planning and we ensure that we need not spend our retirement days living frugally, whereas we can make it a life of joy and dignity, filled with the thrill of discovering new things, and pursuit of new interests and passion. In short, a second innings in our life, when we play the doosra, the googly, the yorker or the beam-ball with utmost comfort and dispatch it to the boundary with disdain.

The Bloggers Meet:

Reliance Capital Asset Management had joined hands with BlogAdda wherein select bloggers were called upon to be given an introduction to the various retirement plans.

Image courtesy: Blogadda and fellow bloggers

It was truly an amazing interactive session with the top brass of Reliance Capital led by the ever-cool Mr. Sundeep Sikka, CEO,  the self-admittedly over-dressed but absolutely flawless Mr. Himanshu Vyapak, Deputy CEO, Mr. Ajay Jethi, CMO and Mr. Sharad Goel, CCO taking pains to lucidly explain the juggernauts of how to save early to retire happily to the largely young crowd of bloggers.

Image courtesy: BlogAdda and fellow bloggers

It was a very knowledgeable session with veterans like me or novices like my daughter and the other bloggers present understood  the simple tricks of planning for retirement.


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My review of the Edelweiss Tokio Life – Criticare+ policy
there! Do I really need
are living in an amazingly fast faced world today. It’s a world where rapid
advances in technology have ensured that we get better medical treatments which
may result in increasing our life spans. However, one important aspect which
this rapid pace and blinding speed in advancement of technology has failed to
address is the amount of stress that it brings along with it.
stress is synonymous with falling ill. And more the stress more will be the
criticality of the illness. A critical illness like a heart attack may just
abruptly cut short our ability to work and earn apart from the added pressure
of the mounting medical expenses to take care of the same.
is absolutely necessary that we plan well in advance for any such eventualities
and ensure that we and our family does not suffer when we are faced with any
such serious illness. This is where an impaired health solution in the form of
a critical illness plan comes handy which ensures that the financial liability
is well taken care of as we work towards our recovery.
Company should I be thinking of?
it comes to Life
, which other Company can we think of other than the world’s
leading two financial services and insurance brands joining hands to provide us
the best solutions suited to our needs. Yeah! I am talking about Edelweiss
Tokio Life Insurance, which is a joint venture between Edelweiss Financial
Services, Mumbai, one of India’s leading financial services group and Tokio
Marine, one of the largest insurance companies in Japan.
anyone tell me what the Plan all about is?
Tokio Life Insurance
has come up with this amazing plan to take care of the
financial vagaries of all our critical illness. This is called the Edelweiss
Tokio Life Criticare+ Policy
. To summarize, this is a non-participating, no
linked critical
plan that covers a wide range of about 17 illnesses. Not only does
it help to take care of the medical illness expenses and day to day expenses,
it also ensures that all future premiums are waived off after the first claim
so that we continue to be protected without paying anything.
summarise the Plan for me buddy!
entry level for this Plan is immediately upon attaining majority, i.e. at 18
years and you can enter till the ripe old age of 60 years, with the maximum
maturity age being 70 years. The plan also provided both short term and long
term schemes with minimum and maximum policy terms of 5 years to 30 years. The
premium payable is annual with a minimum premium of just Rs.2,000/- so that the
entry is kept open to even the lowest financial class. The minimum premium
provides a sum assured of Rs.5 lakhs whereas it would go up to even Rs.1 crore.
forgot to mention one wonderful thing that Edelweiss Tokio assures us in this
premium payment. The premium rates are guaranteed for the first five years and
even thereafter it is reviewable only with the prior approval of IRDA.
more can you ask for with a minimum initial waiting period of just 90 days, a
survival period of just 28 days and a waiting period between multiple claims of
just a year.
the benefits be summarized for me as well?
benefits are galore to be summarized, honestly. In a nutshell, this plan offers
two options of single claim
and multi-claim. Under the single claim option, a lump sum equal to the sum
assured will be payable and under the multi-claim option, the benefit can be
availed for a maximum of 3 claims, subject to only once from each group.
17 critical
covered are categorized into 4 groups, as follows:
Open Chest CABG, First Heart Attack of specified severity, open heart
replacement or repairs of heart valves, kidney failure requiring regular
dialysis, transpolant of major organs like heart and kidney, stroke resulting
in permanent symptoms, and aorta surgery are covered.
II: Aplastic Anaemia, Cancer of specified severity, Benign Brain tumour and
major organ transplants like bone marrow, liver, lungs and pancreas are
III: Permanent paralysis of limbs, coma of specified severity, major burns and
total blindness are covered under this group.
IV: Motor neurone disease with permanent symptoms and multiple sclerosis with
persisting symptoms are covered here.
the businessman in me, I would look for tax benefits as well!
course, we should. Maturity and Death benefits are tax free under section
10 (10) (D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961
. Premium payments are allowed as a
deduction from the taxable income under section 80D of
the Income Tax Act, 1961
I am going for it; just have a recap of the benefits umbrella!
reasons I would go for this plan:
I stay protected against 17 critical illnesses.
I get lump sum benefit on the diagnosis of the
critical illness under the single claim option.
I can claim upto three times during the policy
term under the multi-claim option.
I get waiver from payment of future premiums
after the first claim in multi-claim option and I stay protected for free for
the remaining term of the policy.
I increase my sum assured and I get higher
discounts on the premium amount.
The product is designed so simple that I
understand it so well.
I get tax benefits for the premium paid and for
the claim amount.
there, let’s go for this amazing product from Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance,
which is called Edelweiss Tokio Life – Criticare+ and forget about living with
impaired health. For more details of this product, please do visit them at or email them at


Tokio understands that “Insurance
Se Badkar Hai Aapki Zaroorat

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