What to start early: Investment or Insurance?

Several reasons why you should start investing and also get insurance at a young age. But, at the time when we start our career, with a little income and too many expenses, the dilemma that we often face is should we invest or insure first?

Through this blog, I will try to help you get over this dilemma, i.e. whether to invest or insure first.

Before I get it into explaining whether to invest or insure first, it is important to understand why it is important to start investing and also buy insurance (health and life) early in life.

2 reasons why you should start investing early

Starting your investments early improves your spending habits

At the time when we start earning, our income is quite low. And if we want to save from that little amount of salary that we get, then we have to put restrictions on our spending by creating a budget. Over the years this simple practice becomes a habit, eventually improving our spending habits.

To adopt the simple habit of saving/investing, put away the part of the salary at the start of the month. And, then make a monthly budget with the rest of the money you have in hand. 

Say you earn Rs 30,000 monthly and out of that you want to save Rs 10,000 every month. So as soon as you get your salary, put Rs 10,000 away, and then create a monthly budget with the rest Rs 20,000.

You enjoy the benefit of compounding
For starting your investments early, you stay invested for longer, which automatically increases the benefit of compounding. Let’s understand this with 2 simple examples.

Say you want to save Rs 5 crore for your retirement. Now, with that goal in mind, you start investing in an equity mutual fund from the age of 22. For this, you will have to keep investing Rs 5,500 for the next 38 years, and your total investments would be Rs 25 lakh.

In the second case, the goal remains the same but you start investing in the goal much later, let’s say at 45. For this, you would need to invest Rs 1 lakh every month for the next 15 years and your total investment amount would be Rs 1.8 crore.

This is how compounding works in favor of money over the years.

After looking at the reasons why one should start investing early, let’s understand why it is equally important to get insurance at a young age.

Here as we speak about insurance, we mean both health and life insurance.
Speaking about health insurance, no matter what your age is you should always have health insurance. 

Sickness or some health emergencies can come at any time and if you do not have health insurance, medical expenses can burn a huge hole in your pocket. So you should never delay the process of getting health insurance.

However, we often delay the process of buying a term life reason for very simple but foolish reasons. The common notions are since we are young and healthy or at this stage, as the responsibilities are less, we do not need term life insurance. However, contrary to the popular belief, buying term insurance early on is always favorable.

2 reasons why you should buy term life insurance early

The premium amount is low
The biggest advantage of buying term life insurance early on is the premium amount that you pay is much less as compared to what you would pay if you buy it at a later stage in life.

For example, say you want to buy a policy of Rs 1 crore that would give you coverage till 75 years. If you buy it at 25, the premium amount would be Rs 8,000 annually. At 30, it would be Rs 10,000. And at 45, the premium for the same policy would be Rs 30,000.

Your family gets covered early on
The sooner you buy the term insurance, the sooner your family gets covered. Even if you are not married, your parents might be dependent on you or you might have a loan (vehicle loan, student loan), 

In case you die early then your family will have to bear that burden. Having term insurance ensures your family will not have to go through financial hardship in case something happens to you

So finally, whether to invest or insure first?
So, this is typically a chicken and egg situation – who came first.
To put more aptly, here it would be which one to do first, buy insurance, or start investing? Now, the best thing to do is to do both things simultaneously.

For example, let’s suppose Rajeev is a 25-years-old, and given his monthly income of Rs 40,000, he can take out Rs 10,000 each month, i.e. Rs 1.2 lakh annually, for savings/investments/insurance. So what should he do?

Here is how you can allot the money towards insurance and investments

Health insurance: It is a good practice to have at least 6 times your monthly salary as your health insurance coverage. By that logic, since Rajeev’s monthly income is Rs 40,000, his health coverage should be between Rs 2.4 to Rs 2.5 lakh. At the age of 25, the yearly premium amount for Rs 2.5 lakh health insurance would be about Rs 5,000.

Term life insurance: Since Rajeev doesn’t have a lot of liabilities, a term cover of Rs. 1 crore would be enough. Say the term life insurance cover that you need at this stage is Rs 50 lakh. The premium for a Rs 1 crore term policy would be around Rs 8,000 annually.

Investments: The rest of the Rs 1.1 lakh you can invest in Mutual Funds. Since Rajeev is young, he can take risks, and therefore you should invest in equity mutual funds. He can consider large-cap mutual funds or multi-cap funds and start a monthly SIP in these funds.

Now, as and when the income increases, he should also increase your investment amount. Rajeev should also review his health and term cover at regular intervals to ensure the cover is sufficient.

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