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Young mother on sabbatical

Motherhood is an overwhelming experience. Suddenly all your senses are taken over by one encompassing feeling, what you feel for that little thing. In the midst of this expecting financial planning and prudence is a bit too much. Hence it is advisable to think about some of these things well before the d day. As a mother of young kid, I dare call myself a young mother, I am just a mother to a young kid!

So as a mother of a young kid here are few of my learning’s

Maternity leave:  Maternity leave is your right and you must avail it. Don’t jump the ship before that. There will be plenty of time to quit later if you so decide but you must benefit from the paid leave after all the years of hard work.

Find out about your company maternity policy. Quite a few companies these days provide maternity leaves more than the mandated by law.  Also do note as per provisions of Maternity benefit act you are entitled to one month extra paid maternity leave incase of complication in pregnancy.

Health Insurance: Check your employer health insurance for maternity cover. Usually maternity cover comes with a maximum cap. Plan for a higher amount as hospital stays these days cost a bomb and god forbid if you or the baby develop some complication then the cost can sky rocket. Also know that new born are covered from day one so incase of any NICU charges don’t forget to get the baby registered with your insurance company. You don’t need to name the baby to register him/her for insurance. Till many months he/ she will just be called as “ your baby”J

Returning to work – Mothers should keep an open mind. Even women who have every intention of returning to work after having a baby can have a change of heart once the baby is born. Working mothers should have a contingency plan that builds in all possible outcomes – digging deep to figure out what becoming a stay-at-home mother would mean for you and your family.

Here are few tips to ensure financial comfort if you choose to go on a sabbatical after child birth.

Buy an additional health cover:  Health covers offered by employers have few restrictions on the amount that can be claimed in case of maternity which in most cases is inadequate. It is advisable in case of a planned pregnancy to take additional health cover with Maternity Benefits atleast one year in advance as most health insurance have a waiting period for maternity coverage

Invest in Public Provident Fund: Provident fund helps us save for our retirement. In India where we don’t have a state social security, provident fund is an important tool to save for retirement.  Once you will stop working investments in employer provident fund will stop you need to ensure that you have a sufficient pool for retirement. Hence it is important to have a public provident fund account in addition to employer provident fund. Open a PPF account if you don’t have already. Invest your surplus first in this before considering other avenues of investment.

Open a National Pension System (NPS) account: NPS is another tool to save for retirement. Open a NPS account and start putting aside some money every moth/ quarter.

Invest in Mutual Funds: Start a monthly SIP and start investing in mutual funds. Decide on an amount that you can easily put aside in a month and use that to start a SIP. Do a good research on funds and fund houses you want to invest with. You can consult a financial adviser if you feel you are not equipped for the same.