This is how procrastination really kills

24th February 2017

An April 6 TED talk by Tim Urban shows how a master procrastinator thinks.

In case you’re wondering, it’s not a pretty sight.

Simply put, a procrastinator tends to postpone every decision in their lives. Sounds like a problem, doesn’t it?

The crux of life is often found in the simplest of lessons. While some learnings give you an understanding of life, others make living simpler for you.

There’s a fable, where a spy overhears an enemy General making plans to attack the former’s army. It was now the spy’s responsibility to alert his army. As he started on his horse, he noticed that the nail of the horseshoe was lost. The spy had to spare a few minutes to replace the nail and get the horse in perfect condition, but he was too focused on reaching to his army. He went on, while the horse was in pain and eventually his shoe went kaput. The spy ignored the broken shoe and went on. The strain was too much for the horse to take and he began limping; the spy was running now because that was faster than the limping horse, consequentially he couldn’t share his message in time. His army lost the battle and eventually the kingdom.

Often in life we tend to forget the little things, especially when they are of little consequence then. A very relevant example of the same is when people plan for their tax saving efforts. Here’s the logic a friend of mine who recently started earning put forth, “I calculated my taxes and have decided not to make any tax saving investments. It’s too hectic to plan. Also my credit card gives me enough cushion to sustain a month where I get less salary due to income tax deductions.” As I heard him talk more about how he thought he would end up spending more every month in tax saving than he had to pay once a year as taxes, I was reminded of the spy’s story again.

Here was an idea; that one could sustain a tax hit in a year and hence, saving up to their investment declaration limit was redundant.  But what happens in the future? When one has no savings to fall back on? How would such an idea sustain the test of unexpected heavy expenses? Does procrastination still maintain a sense of humor then?

Says Smita Thomas, AVP Brand, Bajaj Allianz Life, “Tax saving investment options should not only be thought of as a route to save income tax. At the end of the day, it is still an investment and that makes it worthy of a wealth building status. As an instance, if an individual’s 80(C ) investment limit is Rs 1,50,000 and one invests it all in a ULIP. Now assuming a standard growth of 8% per annum, by his 10th year, this individual would have built a corpus worth Rs 21,02795. Even at a sub-optimal growth rate of 4%, the total corpus would be Rs 16,86770/-. Here’s an opportunity to build a huge corpus over time and also save around Rs 46,350* per annum in taxes. I say it’s a deal worth taking.”

A financial planning procrastinator, can make 1 of 2 choices today.

Either investing every month to enjoy a big sum of money after a stipulated period or to overuse one’s credit card in youth and hope for miracle when one grows older and really needs.

Procrastination is funny when one is young, and it’s capable of making one’s life a joke when applied to financial planning.

The government invested a good thought when they offered tax rebates to medium and long term investments. Non-market linked investments like traditional insurance plans, PPF and market linked investments like ULIPs and ELSS and many other products offer the investee a chance to take care of their future even before having stepped into it.  Just because one can take a tax hit once a year shouldn’t deter them from buying an insurance policy or investing in a ULIP. Products like these offer us protection and in turn a safe financial future.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.

For want of a horse the rider was lost.

For want of a rider the message was lost.

For want of a message the battle was lost.

For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Let your story never become a fable as someone who for the want of a tax rebate lost a life and many others dependent on yours.

Save to Invest, invest today.



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