Our mission to COVID-proof your finances!

The COVID-19 pandemic has very clearly shown us that a global pandemic is not selective by nature – it can very suddenly and very easily strike anyone in any family the very next minute. In the most unfortunate event of your death, is your family prepared financially from that very next minute?

Relationship-based access to your personal finances

Team sthana.ai had a moment of epiphany over the last weekend. We realized that access to your personal finances, from the point of view of continuity, ought to be relationship-based.

Allows us to explain.

We’ve illustrated previously that your world of personal finance can be very broad. We’ve also effectively made the case for COVID-proofing your personal finances. Having said that, we now realize that providing access to your personal finances to your family, loved ones, and dependents should be based on relationships, rather categories of relationships.

The health insurance portion of your personal finance portfolio which includes government identification cards, health insurance cards, health insurance policy documents, insurer helplines, and such should be made accessible to everyone – generally your family, loved ones, and dependents – since you cannot predict who may need to access this in the time of a health emergency.

However, the bank accounts portion of your personal finance portfolio should be made accessible to, for example, your spouse, your parents, and your spouse’s parents. The same argument can be extended to other personal finance assets of a sensitive and monetary nature.

It’s what we call relationship-based access control and is a very useful and incredibly powerful mechanism to share access to your personal finance portfolio.

Our software makes it trivially simple to assign such relationship-based access control over your personal finance portfolio. Our software makes it easy to visually create your family tree (think drag and drop) and assign portions of your personal finance portfolio anywhere into that family tree. You can then share and send a secure access link to each member in your family tree who can then access the information after a secure and multi-factor authentication and identity verification mechanism.

As we like to say, it’s all in the relationships!

Meet Apaara!

Meet Apaara!

Our super smart sthana.AI advisor who graduated from Mensa! 😉

Let Apaara run her magical IQ on your personal finance portfolio & find and fix problems automagically while you enjoy a cuppa!

Apaara is astonishingly good at figuring out what you don’t know about your own personal finances! Using our proprietary personal finance data schema, Apaara can quickly identify the missing pieces in your personal finances – things that you didn’t know that you didn’t know!

Consider this: Did you know that your credit card comes with insurance for accidental death, medical emergencies, and lost card liabilities? You would if you had read those terms and conditions printed in microscopic font size and dispatched with your credit card…but most of us simply toss that into the dustbin. It’s just one of those things that we don’t know that we don’t know and that most of us will never know!

Or this: Do you remember that your savings account is linked to several government-provided health and life insurance schemes? The premiums for these schemes are extremely low and very easily escapes notice – the amounts are very low and, by nature, you seldom pay attention to such very small ticket once-a-year expenses.

Using her deep knowledge and exemplary IQ, Apaara is astonishingly great at automagically fixing the missing pieces in your personal finances. In the rare exception that an automatic fix is impossible a wizard guides you in completing that fix.

Apaara deep mines the personal finance web and has an unmatched knowledge base when it comes to anything related to personal finance.

For example, add your bank account and Apaara immediately asks you if a nomination has been registered for that bank account. If you haven’t, Apaara immediately digs into her knowledge base, pulls out the process for your bank, and automatically registers the nomination that you chose if your bank supports it online. Apaara can open and fill-up a web form automatically and ask you to just click submit or open and fill-up a PDF automatically and email it to your bank. The time that you save is really mind boggling.

Next, if you add your credit card and Apaara immediately digs into her knowledge base to see if your credit card includes life insurance, medical insurance, and liability insurance. If it does those details are automatically added into your credit card record.

With a large repository of legally-vetted estate and succession planning templates, Apaara is the perfect and sagely advisor to get you started on your inheritance and succession planning journey. Simple or complex, Apaara has it covered.

Inheritance and succession planning are Apaara’s forte. You can customize your succession plan to your liking and finally select from a range of trusted brands/services for creating your registered e-Will. You also have the option of storing everything in a range of trusted digi-lockers and facilitate easy yet secure access to your family.

Stay tuned as we introduce Apaara very very soon!

Have you documented all of your employee benefits? Is your family even aware of these benefits?

Employers generally provide a host of financial benefits to their employees. Some of these benefits include:

  • Group health insurance – This is very often a big draw for accepting employment since group health insurance provided by the employer has a decent coverage amount, includes pre-existing diseases and conditions, does not have lengthy waiting periods, covers family (spouse and kids), covers parents, and often covers in-laws too as an alternative to parents. Best of all, this insurance is FREE and the insurance premium is very often not included in your cost-to-company breakup. Can’t get better right?
  • Group life insurance – This is often included by employers and is typically set to an amount equal to one-year’s worth of cost-to-company. The higher your pay grade the better the coverage. Again, this insurance is FREE and the insurance premium is very often not included in your cost-to-company breakup. Again, can’t get better right?
  • Group accident insurance – This too is often included by employers and is typically set to an amount equal to one-year’s worth of cost-to-company. The higher your pay grade the better the coverage. Permanent Total Disablement, Permanent Partial Disablement, and Temporary Total Disablement are typical scenarios covered. Again, this insurance is FREE and the insurance premium is very often not included in your cost-to-company breakup. Gets better and better right?
  • Employee Stock Options (or ESOPs) – Employers often hand out stock-options about a year into your tenure at the company. The grants are electronically signed and countersigned as proof of record.

Now, while the benefits are great, have you actually taken time to document them somewhere? Or, is it just lying around somewhere in your email inbox or in some folder on some shared drive or in some online insurance account none of which your family has any idea of much less being able to access it in an emergency?

Suppose you have a medical emergency and your family has no clue at all about that health insurance provided by your company? What are they supposed to do?

In the most unfortunate scenario of your death, does your company know whom to contact in your family? Flipping it, is your family even aware of that group life insurance which can provide a substantial financial benefit in that very time of need?

How about those stock-options? Does your family know how to access them and exercise them?

You get the picture right?

If your objective is to ensure that your family is prepared to handle any emergency then it is your duty to document every financial benefit that is provided by your employer and make it securely accessible to your family.

At sthana.ai, we encourage you to take action right away. Our smart software comes preloaded with intelligent wizards and advisors that guide you on this journey. Come let us prepare our families for a financially secure future.

How to COVID-proof Your Personal Finances?

At sthana.ai, we have been thinking a lot about how you can COVID-proof (if we have the liberty to coin that term) your personal finances. This critically important action is not just for you, it’s for your family, your loved ones, and your dependents. This critically important action is not local, it applies globally to each of us.

We don’t think there’s going to be a better time and place than now and here, in this prevailing environment, to really think hard about this one question:

Have I ensured that my family, my loved ones, and my dependents have easy access to my financial assets should something unfortunate happen to me?

We have seen this time and again.

You spend your entire lifetime in the pursuit of ever increasing financial assets but not even a minute in ensuring its inheritance and availability for your loved ones and dependents.

Too often, your family has no idea about your financial assets simply because we don’t talk about it. Pause for a moment to think:

  • Does anyone in your family know the details of your retirement accounts in which you have been accumulating your hard-earned money for years?
  • Does anyone in your family know the details of your life insurance policy? Or, how about that life insurance policy that’s often included with your terms of employment? Or, how about that life insurance policy that’s often pre-included with your mortgage?
  • Does anyone in your family know all of the credit cards you have? How about the free insurance (balance waiver, life coverage, and more) that’s very often bundled with it?
  • Does anyone in your family know the details of something as simple as your bank account?
  • Does anyone in your family know how and where they can access your personal identification documents in an emergency?

While the above list is just a short example of reality, the underlying question really is,

Does my family have a clue about our personal finances? How prepared are they today to handle an emergency should it happen in the next minute?

At sthana.ai, we have been thinking hard about building a solution to this problem. We admit that we are in the same boat – our own families have no clue about our personal finances and they are nowhere as prepared as we would like them to be should an emergency happen in the next minute.

We are on a very ambitious mission to build a solution that’s powered by software, artificial intelligence, and machine learning and which is seamlessly accessible on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.

So, here’s how our software is going to help you:

  • Document your personal finances in one secure place. In our opinion, this is the hardest step and requires time. Our intelligent questions and recommendations engine will nudge you into completing this most important phase one personal finance asset at a time. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll get this done!
  • Address risks and gaps that can disrupt financial continuity for your family. Our smart AI-driven advisor will quickly identify the missing pieces in your personal finance puzzle. The advisor will tap into vast knowledge of industry research, documents, and contacts among others and will auto-magically fix these issues by navigating you in the right direction for taking corrective actions. Again, one step at a time.
  • Create a smart succession plan and ensure its easy (and secure) access and enforcement for your family. Tap into our vast and legally-vetted repository of succession planning templates and add your financial assets into it in just the way you want it.

With sthana.ai, you get peace of mind in knowing that your family is prepared to handle any emergency at any minute.

Building and maintaining life resilience through sound personal finance management

resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Of late, we have become strong believers in resilience, especially life resilience. We all need to cultivate the habit of being life resilient i.e. have the capacity to recover quickly from any difficulty or challenge that life may throw at us.

A huge part of life resilience, in our opinion, is dependent upon personal finance resilience. The only way to achieve that is through sound personal finance management.

Sound personal finance management in turn depends upon these pillars:

  • Knowing all of your personal finance assets
  • Documenting all of your personal finance assets
  • Recognizing the gaps that exist, especially those gaps which have a huge impact in ensuring personal financial continuity for your loved ones and dependents
  • Recognizing the risks that arise from those gaps
  • Taking specific actions towards addressing these risks
  • Ensuring that your personal finance assets are accessible to your loved ones and dependents should something unfortunate happen
  • Ensuring that your personal finance assets are transferable and usable by your loved ones and dependents should something unfortunate happen

We’re sure that you will agree:

The vast majority of us simply do not bother about personal finance management and ensuring personal finance security and continuity for our loved ones and dependents.

Our mission at sthana.ai is to perfectly position your personal finances in order to ensure its continuity for your loved ones. We spend a lifetime in the pursuit of ever increasing economic and financial gains but we seldom spend a minute in ensuring its security and accessibility for our loved ones.

sthana.ai offers simple and intuitive software products to guide you on this journey. Backed by our strong expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning, our software-powered personal finance assistants will help you to identify and document your personal finance assets, identify the gaps and risks in ensuring their continuity, take simple, specific, and actionable steps in addressing the gaps and risks, and finally to plan and complete estate and succession planning.

We’re super excited about this very ambitious mission and we are delighted to be on this journey with you.

Spent a lifetime in earning it but not even a minute in securing it?

We’re sure that you will agree that most of us spend our individual lifetime in the pursuit of increasing economic gains and in the amassing of personal finance assets all with the objective of ensuring financial security for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for our dependents.

But how many of us actually spend even a few minutes in securing that lifetime of effort for our loved ones and for our dependents?

  • Do your loved ones and dependents even know what personal finance assets exist in your name?
  • Do they know how they can access these assets should something unfortunate happen to you?
  • Do they know how they can liquidate these assets and ensure their financial security?
  • How easy have you made it for them to achieve all of the above steps?

Here’s an example:

That home which you dreamed of as you worked hard for many years, which you purchased with a big home loan, and then worked harder for many years more to pay that loan off…what happens if you don’t have succession planned for it?

In our opinion, there really is no point in spending a lifetime in amassing personal finance assets only to have your loved ones and dependents unable even to access a portion of it when they need it most!

Sadly, this is the state of things for most of us today.

With sthana.ai, we want to change that status quo of thinking, planning, and taking action. We want to ensure that your lifetime of hard work does not result in your loved ones and dependents facing financial hardship at a time when they really don’t need to!

With sthana.ai, we will help you:

  • Inventory all of your personal finance assets. Our smart questionnaires will smartly guide you through this process.
  • Collect the details for each of your personal finance assets.
  • Our AI-advisor will then run its algorithms and come up with an action list for you to act upon. In this step you will start to address the gaps in your personal finance assets. We won’t overwhelm you with a list of a hundred things to do…rather will will focus on just one action until it is completed.
  • Our AI-advisor will then guide you towards estate or succession planning using our repository of legally-vetted templates.
  • At any time, should you have a question on any aspect of personal finance you can interact with our AI-powered assistant who will simplify all of the financial complexities for you.

Stay tune as we lauch sthana.ai very shortly!

Should you have health insurance outside of your job?

For most of us, the only health insurance that we have is the one that’s provided to us through our job. We call this employment-linked health insurance.

Employment-linked health insurance has a few benefits:

  • It’s automatically granted to us as soon as we start a job.
  • It usually covers our immediate family including in-laws (very rarely this is provided at a small additional cost).
  • It’s automatically renewed each year.
  • The premiums are borne on company expense.
  • Usually, there are no restrictions on age (especially for parents and in-laws) and existing conditions.

On the other side, it also has a few disadvantages:

  • It stops the second you leave your job.
  • The coverage or sum insured is a small amount.
  • While it’s possible to port out of this group-insurance policy and over to an individual policy, it’s cumbersome and may not be the ideal thing to do.

However, the important factor to remember here is that when you plan to shift policies from a group cover to an individual policy, you can only do so with the same insurer. You can switch insurers only when you have completed at least one year with your individual policy with the present insurer.

https://www.policybazaar.com/health-insurance/general-info/articles/how-to-shift-from-group-medical-cover-to-personal-policy/

It’s best if you always have separate health insurance coverage outside of your employment. There are several benefits to doing so:

  • You choose the insurer.
  • You choose the health insurance policy that’s right for you and your family.
  • You choose the health insurance coverage/amount that’s right for you and your family.
  • You have health insurance coverage for you and your family even when you’re not employed (due to an unfortunate/unforeseen life situation) or when you’re amidst a job transition.
  • You have greater freedom and flexibility should you choose to port your policy to another insurer.

That said, we do realize that it’s often difficult or very expensive to get outside health insurance for our parents especially when there are pre-existing conditions. We’ve been through these experiences before and we’ve concluded that it’s best to have the best of both worlds whenever you can: employer-provided health insurance and an individual health insurance policy.

With sthana.ai, as you start documenting your personal finance assets our intelligent algorithms will guide you towards identifying such gaps in your personal finance portfolio and will nudge you towards taking the right corrective actions for your family’s financial security.

Stay with us on this journey. 🙂