Useful Banking & Finance Tips for Senior Citizens



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These Useful Banking and finance related tips are for Senior Citizens, especially ladies, who have not had the need or opportunity to handle their financial transactions or banking.

Bank Instruments:

PAY IN SLIPS: These are the slips with which you can deposit cash/cheques into your Bank Account.

CHEQUES: This is used to either withdraw your money from the Bank or make payments to others e.g. house tax, telephone bills etc.

Please be careful while writing the cheques as any error while writing it, makes it invalid. Each cheque leaf costs money. They are valid only for three months from the date of issue.

DEMAND DRAFT OR D/D: This used to be a major instrument for sending money when one didn’t know the bank details of the receiver.

NEFT-National Electronic Transfer Fund: This is a very simple method of transferring the funds, it is very quick but one has to know the bank account number of the receiver, ISFC Code, name of the Bank, its address. Money is transferred within two to three hours.

RTGS-Real Time Gross Transfer: This is used to transfer large amounts of money-Rs 2,00,000/- & above. It also needs the details of the Bank Account of the receiver & other details as above.

Both NEFT & RTGS have Bank Charges. But they are much safer than sending a Cheque or Demand Draft outstation.

ECS-Electronic Clearing System: One can use this for regular payments like Telephone bills, Electricity bills etc. Please specify the upper limit for these bills as in case of outrageous bills, one can do stop payments.

BANK: Find out your account is in which major Bank from which all payments are made, its address, a/c number etc. Please also make a list of all other Bank Accounts & keep a list ready, so that you are aware of them. Ensure that all Bank Accounts are in joint name so you can withdraw money in an emergency.

CREDIT CARDS/DEBIT CARDS: At least have One Credit Card with the PIN number ready. For any emergency like hospitalization it is very useful. If you are a regular card user then the withdrawal limit is also high.

Debit Card is issued by the Bank where you have your primary account. Limit is given by the Bank.

ATM- Automatic Teller Machine: This is to help you withdraw cash even when the banks are closed. The limit of withdrawal is Rs 20,000/-

GENERAL:

1) Keep all cheque books in a safe place

2) Ensure that a will is made by the primary earner. Somehow there is a superstition that if you make a will, your time is over. It’s not true. It only makes the life of those left behind a little easy.

3) Please note that merely by making investments in joint names, the money is not passed on to your wife. This is a wrong notion. In the absence of a proper will, all the investments-movable & immovable get divided amongst the legal heirs. Then there is the first circle, second circle etc. As per the Hindu Law, the widowed mother is also a legal heir even if she has ten other children.

Always keep a list of Bank Accounts, investments, Locker keys etc ready & copies can be given to husband/wife, daughters & sons etc.

INVESTMENTS: There are various types of investments; Major among them are:

Bank Fixed Deposits

Shares

Mutual Funds

Ensure that they all are in joint names or at least have nominations in your name. Have the name, phone number etc details of your share broker, mutual fund agent, LIC agent etc with you.

In conclusion I would like to say that please do not take the attitude of why should I bother with all this, I have my own people to look after.

Be familiar with Bank Accounts, Investments, your Chartered Accountant & Investment Agents. This will give you self esteem & confidence to handle any emergencies.                                                                                                                                                            — Ms Chandra Baliga.