How NRI’s should plan their investments in India?

Are you one of the NRI’s who wants to know if you should invest your money in India and how to do it? Then this article is a good place to start with.

There are close to 3 crores NRI’s and PIO from India in different parts of the world, however, this post is mainly for those NRI investors who go out of India for 2-10 yrs and will mostly return back after few years of work.

Generally, there is a perception that NRI’s make a lot of money outside India as they are paid in Dollars and Dirhams! While this is true in general, one can’t deny that their expenses are also high and their life out of India is challenging as it’s a different city, culture, and environment overall.

NRI’s earn well, spend well and in most cases also “save” a decent amount of money every month. Even if one some is saving $2,000 in USA it’s close to 1.5 lacs a month after all. So the first challenge is to “save” money while you are NRI and the second one is to invest it properly and manage it well, especially if you are have limited time in your hands as an NRI.

What a person can save in India in 5 yrs, many NRIs can do that in just 1 yr – which means that if an NRI plans well – he/she can do financially very well in 8-10 yrs and come back to India semi-retired or fully retired.

In this article, we are just going to do some conversation regarding the various options available to NRI’s for investments and why they should choose India for their investment purpose. I will not cover too many technical rules or aspects related to investments in this article and will keep it quite too the point.

Which bank account to use – NRE or NRO?

A lot of NRI’s keep using their saving bank account for many years, without realizing that it’s illegal. The moment you become an NRI, one needs to convert their savings bank account to NRE or an NRO account. Or one can open a new NRE/NRO account if needed.

NRE account is a bank account where the money is full repatriable – which means that you will be able to take out all the money back from the NRE account and use it in a country where you are residing. It’s an account where you can deposit both your foreign and Indian income.

On the other hand, the NRO bank account is only partially repatriable and you can only deposit your Indian income in this account.

So depending on your situation and income type, you need to open these accounts. One can have any number of NRE/NRO accounts if required. There are too many aspects you need to consider between NRE / NRO account, which is explained in the table below

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Comparison NRE Account NRO Account
Income can be Deposited Foreign earnings and Indian Earnings Only Indian Earnings
Meaning Tax-Free Taxable
Repatriability Fully Repatriable Partial (interest fully and principle within set limits)
Joint Account Can be opened by 2 NRI’s Can be opened by an NRI along with another resident or NRI’s
Deposits and Withdrawals Can deposit in foreign currency, and withdraw in Indian currency Can deposit in foreign as well as Indian currency, and withdraw in Indian currency


Click here to learn more about NRI investment services by Jagoinvestor

4 reasons why NRI’s should invest in India?

Should you be investing your money in the country where you are residing or in India? Does it make sense to earn and stay in the US or the Middle East, but invest all that money in India? Many NRIs are confused about this, so I will just give you 4 small points which you should be aware about.

Reason #1 – India is one the fastest growing and a stable Economy

Note that India is one of the fastest major economy and quite a stable country compared to many others where NRI’s live. It’s important to make sure that your money is invested in the country which is stable enough. On top of that, you also help in growing the foreign exchange of your country.

Reason #2 – High-Interest Rates

Compared to many developed economies, the interest rates or “returns” you can get in India is quite good. Japan has negative interest rates and the US has not more than 2-3%. Many NRI investors make the mistake of keeping too much money in the bank accounts outside India and earn very little interest rates.

Reason #3 – Because you understand the investments in India

There is a high probability that you already understand various Indian investments options and financial products. Also, you will never fear what happens to your money because there is a sense of familiarity with India’s markets and financial ecosystem.

Reason #4 – Mostly you will be back to India

A vast majority of NRIs return back to India after working for a few years outside and finally use all their investments back in India. That’s one strong reason why you should invest a major part of your money in India itself.

I don’t mean to say that no investment products outside India are better than Indian financial products. There will surely be options which can be looked at, please do that in case you feel you want to.

What options do NRI have for investments in India

Quickly, let’s see what various options are where NRI’s can put their money for short – long term. This is not a guide which will give you very detailed information, but a quick commentary of what the option is all about.

#1 – Bank NRE Deposits

Bank NRE deposits are one of the wonderful choices an NRI can make. The interest you earn on NRE deposits is tax-free and it’s a simple product that gives you decent risk-free returns. You can choose the NRE deposits for some part of your investments if you don’t want to complicate things and are investing for less than 5 yrs.

Many NRIs take a loan from the local banks at low-interest rates and invest in NRE deposits and earn the margin. See if this is a profitable thing to do in your case of not.

#2 – Real Estate

One the hot favorite for NRIs is real estate in India. Real estate investments require big-ticket investments and many NRI’s have that. Even if you are buying a flat or land on installments, it works well for NRI’s are they have a big disposable income per month. One of my close friends also invested in the Hiranandani project in Bangalore by making a down payment because they knew that the installments to be paid will be easy on the pocket with NRI income.

The only negative side is that many NRIs choose real estate just based on the limited information sitting outside India or in a hurried manner. So make sure you take your time in researching the property and take decisions slowly. As it’s a high ticket transaction, its highly recommended to hire a real estate lawyer, pay them fees and get all the work done like title search, property inquiry. If needed go with a real estate broker who can manage everything for you!.

One more thing NRI should know is that they are allowed to only buy residential or commercial real estate, but not agricultural properties.

#3 – Insurance Policies

There are many Insurance policies (which are actually investment polices) that are marketed well for NRIs. These, in my opinion, are to be carefully chosen as many traditional products can turn out to be dud investments and a very bad choice of long term investments. Some ULIP’s in the market have got reintroduced with lower charges and much better structure – so please choose them after a lot of studies and only for the long term.

I would strictly advise against traditional investment option which does not have exposure to equity in them because they are not better than normal NRE deposits.

NRI’s can and should buy the pure insurance policy (term insurance) if they require it.

#4 – Direct Equity

Direct equity is a good choice for NRI investors, provided they know the equity game and are able to pick the right stocks with proper research (either on their own or on someone’s advice). Make sure you do not over diversify your stock portfolio, because with too much money you may go on a shopping spree, which will make your portfolio very complex and with bad stocks.

If you want to do equity and want to take high risk, you can also look at PMS. If you want help in PMS, our team can help you out with that. Note that in order to invest in equity, an NRI needs a PIS permission (portfolio investment scheme). These are generally done by your broker or trading account provider and you don’t have to worry about it.

#5 – Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are quite hot these days among NRI’s and it surely is one of the best choices for investments, provided you have proper guidance about it.

In Mutual funds, you have two choices – Equity mutual funds and Debt Mutual funds.

Equity mutual funds are long term financial products that can deliver extremely good returns if managed well. Those who are ok with volatility in their portfolio and want very tax optimized inflation-beating returns for their long term goals, for those NRI’s mutual funds are a very good choice.

Even Debt mutual funds are a very good choice for those NRI’s who do not want to get into equity risk and want alternatives to bank deposits and bonds. Debt mutual funds are quite a good option even taxation wise if you are ready to invest for more than 3 yrs.

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Taxation Equity Mutual funds Debt Mutual funds
Short Term Capital Gain (STCG) (Before 1 yr) Taxable @ 15% Taxable as per Income tax slab rate
Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG) (After 1 yr) Taxable @ 10% where LTCG>1 lakh (No indexation benefit) Taxable @ 10% without indexation or 20% with indexation


NRI’s from USA and Canada can also invest in mutual funds, but only with some limited mutual fund houses due to FATCA compliance. Here is a detailed guide on NRI’s investments in mutual funds

We at Jagoinvestor manage more than 140 NRI families’ investments in mutual funds. If you want to explore what we have to offer, please do let us know by clicking here and schedule a phone call with us.

#6 – Bonds and NCD

NRI’s can also invest in various bonds and NCD’s which are issued from time to time. These instruments have fixed interest which you can get every year credited in a bank account and you get your principle on maturity. The liquidity has to be compromised in these instruments as getting out of these before maturity becomes very tough even if these are tradable in the secondary market.

#7 – PPF

PPF is a choice for those NRI investors who already had it opened while they were in India because an NRI can’t open a fresh PPF account. Also, PPF is going to be a limited time product as one can’t be extended beyond 15 yrs.

#8 – NPS

NPS is another choice for your long term investments if one wants equity exposure in their portfolio, and pension benefits embedded into the product itself. Only NRI’s who are Indian citizens can invest in NPS. PIO and OCI are not eligible for opening the NPS account. In NPS, you get choices between equity investments, govt securities, and other fixed-income instruments.

Note that in NPS your savings get locked in till your retirement and only after that you get a part in a lump sum and rest is used for a pension. So choose NPS if you are very clear that your retirement is going to be in India.

KYC compliance and taxation For NRI’s

Note that once you become an NRI, there are lots of compliance which has to be followed by you. There are limits on where you can invest and where you can’t? Even the taxation for NRI’s is different and rules regarding TDS are different. We are not going into detail in this article regarding this as its out of scope.

How to avoid double taxation for NRI investments?

A lot of countries have DTAA agreements (double taxation avoidance agreement with India. In the case of NRIs – one can avoid paying double taxes in country of residence and India due to these agreements. You can get an equivalent deduction if DTAA exists between both countries.

Let me give you an example – In USA, a person has to pay the income tax on global income, so if an NRI has Rs 1 crore of FD in India they will pay the tax in India as well as in USA, but because of DTAA they will be avoiding it. There is paper work involved here, but you can surely save the double taxes.

When should an NRI invest outside India?

While India is a great place to invest for NRI’s overall, there may be certain life situations and some cases where investing in the country where you are working may be a good idea. There may be certain countries that might also be offering similar or better interest rates and returns compared to India. However, makes sure you consider the safety and return of your capital while you are investing along with tax to be paid.

Do let us know if you have any more questions related to NRI’s investments in India? Share your questions in the comments section.

Not buying (or delaying) Term Insurance because of over-confidence

There are many investors who do not buy (or delay) term insurance plan, because they feel that nothing will happen to them.

  • Some feel they can’t die due to illness, because they take care of their health.
  • Some feel they will never die in an accident, because they drive their vehicles carefully.
  • Some feel they will never die, because they eat healthy.
  • Some feel they will not die because they keep an eye around them for all the risks.

Not buying life insurance because of over confidence

I don’t know why people feel that they are “special” and bad things happen in only other’s life.

Do you think that those people who die suddenly because of some reason, were not confident that it will not happen to them in unexpected manner? “Accidents” are called accidents because they are unplanned and out of your control. So thinking that nothing will happen to you accidently itself is technically wrong thinking.

No one plans their death or any major accident. Life is so uncertain and external risks are so huge that statistically a certain percentage of people will die a sudden death due to various reasons.

That’s the sad truth of life.

Let me tell you two real life incidents where someone I knew personally died in an unexpected manner!

  • 20 years back, we got a sad news one day that one of our relative died while taking bath. How? He suffered sudden brain hemorrhage and died. He was lying down on floor, when family broke the door. Do you think the guy in question ever thought that this can happen to him?
  • 6 yrs back, someone I knew personally died because he got sucked into a daldal (mud puddle). He never realized that he is getting there as he was moving casually into that region and in no time he was stuck. He was there for taking a picture of his wife from distance & he got sucked in slowly while he was crying for help. Who can imagine or guess if something like that can ever happen?

At some point in our life, we all get casual and do things which have high risk. If we don’t do it, someone around us does not which can impact us. As humans, we have tendency to terribly under estimate the bad things which can happen to us. We feel that “accidents” and “unlucky incidents” happens in other lives.

If you really want to know how unexpected life can be, then I want you to watch out this following youtube video (just few seconds) before I start this article

Emotional and Financial Impact on Family

Death is not an issue for the person who dies because that person does not exist later to face the consequences. It’s the dependents, who face the heat – emotionally and financially.

Emotional suffering however huge, finally fades away over time slowly. Over years, life gets back on track. However financial impact is huge on the family, if a sufficient life insurance was not taken by the bread winner. Financial impact also completely changes the lives of family members and creates big issues.

It can leave the family with questions like

  • How will we pay back the home loan?
  • Will we have to sell the house?
  • How will we send children to school?
  • Who will give us money for many years?
  • Will we have to sell house belongings?
  • Will our children have to start working after their school?
  • How will we take care of old parents?
  • Who will earn now in family?

Think about this!

I have seen lots of investors not taking the decision of buying life insurance very seriously. They delay the decision, cut down on the sum assured feeling what’s the need to “waste” the premium and worst of all, close an existing term plan because now they feel “Nothing happened in last 6 yrs, I wasted so much of premium” ..

And then the most unexpected incidents happen ! … Sudden death due to a health issue or accident!

Rains in Pune in last 2 days

From last week, Pune is witnessing heavy rains and two days back there was an overflow in a lake within city which literally created havoc in one part of the city. One of the society wall fell and 5 people died because of that. I wonder if these 5 people ever wondered if they will die like this?

(Source : Hindustan Times)

Let me tell you another incident from Pune rains

One guy was returning late in night in his car when this over flow happened and while he was going through a tunnel, the water from the other side came because of the overflow (like you must have seen in a scene from titanic). The car got washed away and after few hours, the guy death body was recovered. He did not even get time to react and do anything as his seat belt was on and he could not do much in response of that terrible accident.

Imagine this guy, and ask yourself if he had ever thought that this could have happened to him?

We need to accept that shit happens! . Many things are beyond our control. We can only minimize the impact or risk, but can never eliminate it.

7 real life incidents which will lower your over-confidence !

Here is a small compilation of few real life incidents, where people have died because of various unexpected reasons which was beyond their control almost all the time. Please imagine yourself and ask if by any chance, it’s possible that you could have been at their place?

Pune man saw wife disappear in flooded stream (Link)

We all were trying to get out of the house when suddenly the heavy flow of water came and in that Jyotsana was washed away right in front of my eyes. I could not get hold of her or save her; afterwards, we found her body nearby.”

7 school children die in Kenya as school building collapses (link)

“We were in class reading and we heard pupils and teachers screaming, and the class started collapsing and then a stone hit me on the mouth,” 10-year-old survivor Tracy Oduor told the AP. “When we got out of the gate, we heard that pupils were dead. I feel so sad.”

Spine surgeon & driver killed in accident on Mumbai-Pune Expressway (Link)

The car had stopped on the roadside to get a punctured tyre changed. When the driver was changing the tyre of the car a speeding private bus coming from Mumbai rammed into the driver and Dr Khurjekar, killing them on the spot.

A person died while taking selfie with elephant (Link)

A 30-year-old man was trampled to death by an elephant at the Bannerghatta Biological Park on Tuesday, after he and his friends sneaked into the park to take selfies with the elephant.

14 dead, several injured in massive fire at Mumbai’s Kamala Mills (Link)

The fire broke out shortly after midnight on the third floor of the four-storied building on Senapati Bapat Marg. The majority of those killed were women attending a birthday party at a rooftop restaurant.

Illegal banner claims another life, 23-year-old dies after hoarding falls on her (Link)

An illegal banner which was installed by an AIADMK functionary for a family function fell on Subhashree, making her fall to the road. Meanwhile, a lorry which right behind her on the road ran over her.

28-yr-old engineer dies after sharp kite string slits his throat in Delhi (Link)

A 28-year-old civil engineer was killed and at least half a dozen others, including a retired defence forces officer, were injured after being allegedly hit by sharp kite strings (manjha) in separate incidents during Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan celebrations on Thursday.

Please take Life Insurance

So the point is clear!

In case your family members are financially dependent on you, and you do not have sufficient assets with you, please buy sufficient life insurance (only a term plan) as soon as possible and secure their future. Do not over estimate your ability to avoid accidents. You have far less control over these things than you think.

If you are confused on which term plan to buy, I can help you along with my team. We will connect you to right platform to buy the term plan which will also give your family claim support in future. Just email us at [email protected] and we will get back to you!

Do share any incident or real life story related to this topic in comments section below.

From “ZERO savings” to “Debt FREE house”

Here is an interesting financial journey of one of our readers who went from “zero savings” to “debt free house owner” .. I would like to handover to him directly so that he can share more about his journey and thought process.

Hello All, Rahul here.

I was born in typical middle-class family where my father has spent around 32 years serving as professor in government college and mother is housemaker. I have completed my Masters in computer science and secured a job in multinational IT company.

All is NOT set

Like everyone who enters in his first job with good company after completion of college, it was looking “All is SET”. But when I started looking around and inside, I was feeling that something is not what I was expecting. My salary was finishing by mid of the month.

Savings were ZERO.

zero savings and investments

Rest of the month was either going on credit-card or killing daily needs. When I looked around in first year of my job, I found that I am not the exception and same is situation with all my colleagues who joined with me. Also, in first three years after talking with my school and college friends I observed that situation is same across almost all my friends either they were doctors, lawyers, IT engineers or self-employed who were earning excellent amount.

What was wrong?


Fortunately, from my college time, I had ample amount of interest in finance specially in wealth management. I realized at that point of time I read multiple bogs and books on personal finance but never applied them. Once I started my job and money started flowing, I thought irrespective of my low expenses – money would be over one day and that was devastating thought.

I have never saved for future in first two year, borrowed by credit card and in next month paid all my expenses which were already done in past.

Before I move ahead, if you think changing habits and continue progress on this is easy please see below video link:


My wealth issues provoked me to jot down each basic principles of personal finance three times and started following them. Those were :

Step #1 : Saving

As per basic rule of personal finance I changed my equation from :

Saving = Earning – Spending to Spending = Earning – Saving

In summary I need to save before I spend. As soon as I would receive my salary 30% of that I would save, 50% would be for necessities and rest 20% for splurging (for different people percentage would defer).

Step #2 : Start Investing

As I was avid reader on personal finance it was known fact to me that only saving is not going to help me. Inflation would eat all my savings. My savings needs to grow. It needs to be invested at some place where even if I am not present my money is growing.

Initially I invested in tax saving instruments like PPF, NSC, ULIP policy. At the end of fifth year of my job I realized that even though I am saving tax that become my main focus instead of investment. I need proper solution which solve my both the goals.

Step #3 : Equity investment

Meanwhile in addition to different blogs like JagoInvestor (, I read three books which completely changed my view on wealth (which was money till then). I read them again and again and implementation of lessons in those completely changed my life.

Book one : The Richest Man in Babylon – I was (few of) in luckiest people who came across this book. When implemented lessons in this which are given in form of stories, I was able to grow my wealth, was more wiser while handling my finances and had tools like life insurance, medical insurance to safeguard it.

Book two : The Intelligent Investor – When I read this book first time I was not that much convinced (as Warren Buffet was) but this book has done wonder in my life.

I tilted towards my favorite investment instruments – Equities/Share market. I re-read that book and took multiple lessons from it specially “Margin of safety” and “Theory of Mr. Market who is manic-depressive with his estimate of the business’s value going from very pessimistic to wildly optimistic.”

I have started making good fortune with this. My investments were growing and wealth was generating more wealth without much of my active presence. Still I was feeling that I am making lots of financial mistakes. I have closed my ULIP policy as that was one of my worst financial mistake.

Still I was loosing fortune. Stocks which I was selling on 20-30 percent profit were becoming 10-12 times of my purchase price while many of my stocks were sitting idle in my portfolio either with zero or negative returns.

Here I came across something which changed my investment approach completely. I got my (imaginary) mentor “Charlie Munger”. I heard speeches of Charlie Munger” and finally read his book :

Book three : Poor Charlie’s Almanack – After listening and reading to Munger I found where exactly I was lacking. Ideas were not complex, but I never realized I am in simple but wildly affecting traps. Those were “Heuristic Biases” .

Those were as simple as If I am trying to search a flat for rent, broker would show me first two flat which I would directly reject (broker already knows that) and in last would show which I would exactly looking for. I would say immediate ‘Yes’ (hindsight bias). If he might have shown me last flat as first I might have asked to show him better flats. Same things were happening in personal finances as well.

My so called financial advisers (originally salesmen) were showing me financial products which they know I would reject and later showing something for which I would say …Yes….and would later realize, in market hundreds of much better options were available.

I started grasping different biases which impact our financial decisions like confirmation bias, red queen effect, social-proof which are close to hundred and still practicing them.

Now I have a solid Value Investor portfolio with which I say “Value Investment plus approach”. In addition to cigar butt approach it has margin of safety of Graham, growth prospects for which I paid more and management quality as top three priorities.

After 12 yrs, How it helped me?

Life after Debt

After 12 years of IT experience and practicing savings, investment and controlling different biases I have benefited on all aspects of my life :

  • On financial front I am feeling completely secured. Bought a two bedroom flat in Bangalore for which completed EMI in in first 7 years.
  • On personal front I have happy married life with my wife and kids as I am assured on their future needs and able to spend more time with them
  • Iam not limited to single occupation. Both active and passive wealth systems are working for me. I am practicing financial instruments, learning cutting edge IT technologies (if thrown out of job, I can go in teaching) and learning how to cook healthy food.
  • I can return to society what I received from them. In addition to social charity for needy people, I am managing finances of my close friends and relatives

8 lessons for Jagoinvestor readers

Manish always kept his first priority as benefit to readers of Jagoinvestor. He requested my learning from above journey which can help his readers. Below are the pinpoints which I nailed down on my desk. Hopefully it would be useful for you as well :

Lesson 1 : Spend less than you are earning irrespective of in which job/occupation you are. Save and invest some money every month before expenses.

Lesson 2 : Create an emergency fund. The fund should be ideally equal to 6 times of your monthly needs.

Lesson 3 : Buy life and medical insurance. Life insurance plan must be pure term insurance plan. Strictly NO ULIP, no Endowment, no Money-Back, no Child Plans.

Lesson 4 : Before starting any investment in direct equity try with selected mutual funds.

Lesson 5 : Equity must be necessary component of your portfolio. None of the fix return instruments like FD, NSC, Bonds are going to make you wealthy. Take calculated risk in equity (share market) with keeping important point in mind “Liquidity should be always available for your daily and emergency need”.

Lesson 6 : Don’t jump in to F&O segment of share market. You can never predict share market direction in short term. Option can hedge but you must have at least ten years of experience in value investing.

Lesson 7 : Keep learning and IMPLEMENT them.

Lesson 8 : Practice controlling biases which are negatively affecting you. As Munger says “Practicing few hundred biases would make not only a successful investor but a successful man (woman).

Happy Investing friends!!!

Do share your thoughts about my journey in comments section.

Buying a new House? Here are 10 additional expenses you should be ready for!

Are you planning to buy a house? If yes then, you would have planned your investments and saving in line with the “Cost of the house”, you are looking for. But, when we buy a house, there are so many other events/costs which comes during or after buying the house which we do not plan well beforehand.

In this article, we will look at various things where we might have to spend money for. If you are planning to buy a brand new house, this article will give you a good direction on how to plan out your finances.

List of expenses associated with the purchase of a new home

 1) Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is a tax, levied by the state government on every transaction of property i.e. buy and sell, whether it be commercial or residential property. As it is levied by state govt. the rate varies from state to state. It ranges from 3% to 10%, depending on the slab decided by the particular state (in Maharashtra it is 5% of market value or agreed value of property whichever is higher).

Stamp duty is calculated on the higher value of any of the following:

  • The ready reckoner rate also known as circle rate/market value which is predefined every year by state government for every town, state or village, or
  • The agreement value of property. For example, if the agreement value of a property is Rs 50 lakhs and the value according to the ready reckoner rate is Rs 40 lakhs, then, the stamp duty would be calculated on the higher value, i.e., Rs 50 lakhs.

2) Registration cost

For registering a property on your name, the state government will charge you a registration fee. It varies from state to state. But most of the cases it is 1% of Market value of the property. Registration fee is lowered if the buyer is a senior citizen or a woman. In most cases, the builder will add this cost when they quote the house value to you.

3) Interior Cost

When you get the new house, its the bare minimum house with walls, electric points. It’s your job now to furnish it and decorate it as per your taste.  So, it is suggested to consider the cost that you may need to spend on interiors. And if you want to do marble flooring, designer wallpapers, texture paintings on wall, chandelier, modular kitchen, etc… the interior cost will tend to go up.

4) Advance maintenance fee 

When we move to a new house, and if it is in a newly constructed project, usually we are asked to pay a maintenance fee for a year or two by the builder. It can be a decent amount if you consider advance payment, so please consider that.

5) House warming party

When you move to a new house, you may feel like celebrating it with your friends or family. Some people may like to have a grant celebration or some may like to have a small party with close friends & relatives. So, the cost of house warming party varies from the taste of person to person, find out how do you want to celebrate it? And accordingly, plan for that cost separately.

6) Furniture

Many people want to set up furniture before moving to the new house and some people do it after 2 to 3 years of moving in, which is also okay. So, if you want to move in, to furnished new house then, you will require to buy or appoint a carpenter to make your home furniture best suitable as per your needs and requirements. You need to be prepared for the cost of furniture such as sofa, bed, almirah, dressing table, dining table with chairs, shoe rack, study table, electrical appliances, etc… depending on your needs.

7) Additional charges in flat

Now, these costs are subjective, it depends on the needs of a family. These additional costs include a video security system and iron grill at the main entrance for security purposes, pigeon net if your new house is having open balconies and mosquito net for windows, etc.

8) Sinking Fund

Sinking fund is a cost, which you may need to pay, to the society you will be living in, every year for a certain period of time such as  5 to 10 years. These charges are paid by all the house owners in the society, so that society’s huge maintenance cost, which can be for Lift maintenance charges, Building painting, clubhouse renovation, parking space, and building renovation charges, etc.

For example, if the lift of your building is not working and it requires 10 Lakhs to get repaired then it will be made from the sinking fund collected by society.

9) Small house alteration

Now, this cost again is subjective, it may change from person to person. Many people want to make some changes in the existing layout of the new house before moving. So, they will be needing extra money for this. Examples of small alterations are changes according to Vastu Shastra & creating storage space (storage room or shelf) etc.

10) Packers and Movers Charges

Moving your home stuff from one place to another can also cost a bit, especially if its an inter-city move. Do consider this cost as well when you are buying a new house.


For many of us buying a house is like achieving a huge milestone in our lives. When we plan our savings and investments according to, not only for the cost of the property but, also for other additional expenses to be incurred, then we will have more clarity & avoid the burden of so many expenses before buying our dream home.

And I would say around 10 – 20% of your house cost, should be kept aside to meet all these expenses. eg. if you are planning to buy a house of Rs. 50 Lac then additional 5 – 10 Lac has to be taken into consideration.

If anyone in your circle of friends and family is planning to buy a house, let them know about these additional costs. And also, if I have missed some points so please add in the comment section.

Apollo Munich Optima Restore Policy – Detailed Review + 13 Benefits

In this article, we will see various features of Apollo Munich Optima Restore Health Cover policy. We will be covering its benefits, exclusions, eligibility and premiums details.

Apollo Munich is one of the most respected and well known health insurance company in India, which offers different health insurance plans for family, individual and senior citizens. Optima restore is its flagship health insurance plan, which has recently got some more features and we will discuss that in detail.

Let’s start.

Benefits of Apollo Munich Optima Restore policy

Below are the benefits you will get as a policy holder.

Benefit #1 – Restore Benefit

In Apollo Munich Optima Restore policy there is restoration benefit, which means that when you file for a claim in any year and the sum insured (plus the bonus, if any) is totally exhausted, then it will automatically be refilled to the extent of your basic sum insured. So in a way you get the full sum assured benefit again in the same year.

Let’s take an example – Suppose you are having health insurance of Rs. 5 Lakhs per year so, restoration benefit will work as follows –

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Cover Amount Claims made Restoration Benefit
5,00,000 Claimed Rs. 3 Lakhs after 5 months of policy in force Zero – as balance health cover is still there
Balance Left 2,00,000 Claimed Rs. 1.5 Lakhs in next 2 months after first claim (7 months over) Zero – as balance health cover is still there
Balance Left 50,000 Claimed balance Rs. 50,000 in next 1 month after second claim (8 months over) As the whole sum assured is exhausted, the restoration benefit will trigger now and the sum assured now will again be Rs. 5,00,000 – for next 4 months


So, as per the example, you can again claim up to Rs. 5,00,000 in remaining 4 months of your policy without paying any premium or any charges. If restored sum insured is not utilized in a policy year, it will expire. Note, that the restore benefit is available once in a year and it will be available to all Insured Persons for all claims under In-patient Benefit during the current Policy year.restore benefit of Apollo optima policy

**Restoration benefit is different from recharge benefit offered by different health insurance policies. Recharge benefit says that, your sum insured will be refilled to the amount of basic sum insured, every time when your sum insured amount is utilized for any claim, it does not matter what amount has been reduced from the total amount of sum insured cover.

Benefit #2 – ‘Stay Active’ – Get discount for staying healthy

In order to encourage policyholders to stay healthy, this policy provides stay active benefit which says that, if you walk certain number of steps on daily basis, you will get discount at the time of renewal. Your activity will be tracked on a mobile application provided by them (Health Jinn app). The discount can vary from 2%, 5% or 8% depending on average steps you made during the year.

They have defined the time intervals of 90 days starting from the date of policy to average out total walking steps taken during this period. The year is broken down into 4 parts as follows – 90 days, 91 – 180 days, 181 – 270 days and 271 – 300 days. You can refer following table to understand how this benefit will work –

Apollo Munich Optima Restore stay active benefit table

In year 2 of policy, calculation will be bit complicated but, the point is, if in a year you can manage to have average walking steps of 10,000 and above, you will be able to avail 8% discount on renewal premium, provided that, the mobile app must be downloaded within 30 days of the policy risk start date to avail this benefit.

In an individual policy, the average step count would be calculated per adult member and in a floater policy it would be an average of all adult members covered whereas, dependent children covered either in individual or floater plan will not be considered for calculation of average steps. So, dependent child is not eligible for this benefit.

For this you simply need to download an app called Health Jinn app on your phone, sync it with Google Fit or Apple Health and aim to walk 10,000+ steps every day to earn the complete 8% discount. Walking is one of the most beneficial things one can do for health and fitness. So, you will enjoy discount on premium amount as well as be motivated to exercise regularly.

However, we are not sure how many policy holders will have this level of discipline to track their walking steps and buy all the equipment’s, so in a way it’s a benefit only tech savvy policyholders will be able to enjoy who can also be disciplined for the whole year at the same time.

Benefit #3 – E-opinion (Second Opinion for critical illnesses)

In Apollo Munich optima restore health insurance, if insured is diagnosed with any critical illness (listed in policy) then he will be able to take second opinion from a medical practitioner appointed under penal of medical practitioners. Following illnesses are covered under critical illness –

  • Cancer of Specified Severity
  • Open Chest CABG
  • Myocardial Infarction (First Heart Attack of specific severity)
  • Kidney Failure requiring regular dialysis
  • Major Organ/Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Multiple Sclerosis with Persisting Symptoms
  • Permanent Paralysis of Limbs and Stroke resulting in permanent symptoms

However, this benefit is available only once in a policy year.

Benefit #4 – Preventive Health checkup

We all know that health is wealth but, even after knowing this, we tend to neglect regular health check-ups. In this policy, the health checks costs are included, which in a way gives the policyholder a great push to do their health checkups.

So, in this plan, the policyholder will get the cash reimbursement for taking preventive health checkups.

In Optima restore, for a sum assured of Rs. 5 Lac they provide cash reimbursement at the end of a block of every continuous 2 Policy Years and once a year on the sum assured of Rs.10 Lac or more.

You can refer following to know what amount of cash will be reimbursed –

**Preventive Health Check-up means a package of medical test(s) undertaken for general assessment of health status, it does not include any diagnostic or investigative medical tests for evaluation of illness or a disease.

Note that these checkups are great for people because if you keep doing these checkups, then you will be able to detect any illness or major issue before it becomes critical.

Benefit #5 – Daily cash Benefit

Daily cash is the cash benefit, which you get by the insurance company on a day to day (in case of hospitalization above 24 hrs.) basis, if you have been hospitalized in a shared accommodation in network hospitals of insurance company for more than 48 hours.

This cash benefit is already decided amount irrespective of your actual daily expenses. In this policy, you will get Rs.800 per day as daily cash which has a limit of up to Rs.4, 800.

For example: If “A” and “B” both get admitted to a hospital (both of them are covered under this policy). Suppose A’s daily expenses are Rs.600 per day and B’s expenses are Rs.1000 per day, in this case, though the expenses are different, both of them will get Rs.800 as a daily cash because it is decided previously in their policy.

So here A will save Rs.200 and B has to pay Rs.200 extra from his own pocket per day.

In another case, a person “C” is hospitalized and his daily expenses are Rs.800, but he has to stay there for 7 days. Here the total daily expenses of the person will be Rs.5600 (for 7 days)but as it is mentioned in his policy clearly, he will get only Rs.4800 as daily cash and the rest he has to pay by his own.

However, daily cash benefit is not given for an insured admitted in Intensive care unit. And the limit is higher for higher sum insured i.e. it is Rs. 1000 per day up to Rs. 6000 for sum insured of Rs. 20 Lakhs, 25 Lakhs and 30 Lakhs.

You can watch this video given below to know the plan details of Apollo Munich Optima Restore policy:

Benefit #6 – Multiplier Benefit

There is something called as Multiplier benefit under this policy which gives additional sum assured to policy holder when there is no claim in any given policy year. It is like a bonus included in sum insured amount in case of no claim made during a year.

One can get a bonus of 50% of the basic sum insured for every claim free year, accumulating up to 100%. In the event of a claim, the bonus shall be reduced by 50% of the basic sum insured at the time of renewal. It simply means insurance company will take back benefit of bonus on making any amount of claim.

Example : Suppose you had a policy cover of Rs. 10 Lakhs for a year, but you didn’t claim anything in that year. So, policy sum insured will be increased to Rs. 15 Lakhs (10 Lakh + 50% of 10 lacs). And next year again, if there is no claim then it will be increased to Rs. 20 Lakhs.

But, once you claim any amount against your insurance, then renewal amount of sum insured will be reduced by 5 Lakhs (50% of 10 Lakhs) and it will Rs. 15 Lakhs.

It’s a great thing, because this way you are actually getting upto 20 lacs of health insurance even if you have taken just 10 lacs at the time of buying the policy.

Benefit #8 – Cashless Service

Like most of the policies, there is cashless service in this policy too, which means that the insurance company will make payment directly to the hospital provided it’s within its network and there was prior approval taken for the hospitalization at least 48 hours before.

In case of unplanned or emergency hospitalizations, one can still do all the expense from their end and claim for reimbursement later.

Benefit #9 – Pre and Post hospitalization

Apollo Munich Optima Restore policy covers pre hospitalization expenses up to 60 days immediately before hospitalization and post hospitalization expense of 180 days immediately after hospitalization.

Whenever a person is hospitalized, before that he might have gone through various tests/consultations and even after getting discharge from hospital, he will have to pay bills of medicine and other tests.

Benefit #10 – Organ donor Expenses

When insured is having an organ transplant surgery then all the expense related to that will be paid by insurance company. But it will exclude pre and post hospitalization expense of donor. Provided the undergoing of a transplant must be confirmed by specialist. However, any other expenses incurred by an insured person while donating an organ is NOT covered.

Benefit #11 – Domiciliary Expenses

Apollo Munich Optima Health Restore policy also provides for domiciliary expenses which means medical treatment for an illness/disease/injury which in the normal course would require care and treatment at a hospital but is actually taken while confined at home under any of the following circumstances:

  • The condition of the patient is such that he/she is not in a condition to be removed to a hospital, or
  • The patient takes treatment at home on account of non-availability of room in a hospital.

Benefit #12 – Portability

If you are insured with some other company’s health insurance and want to shift to this policy on renewal, then without starting a new cycle of waiting period, you can shift to this policy. Apollo’s portability policy is customer friendly and aims to achieve the transfer of most of the accrued benefits and makes due allowances for waiting periods etc.

Benefit #13 – Day Care Procedures

This health insurance also provides for Day Care Procedures i.e. Medical treatment or surgical procedure (eg. cataract), which require admission in a Hospital/Day Care Center for stay less than 24 hours. Treatment normally taken on out-patient basis is not included in the scope of this definition.

Indicative list of Day Care Procedures that are covered in this benefit is as follows-

• Cancer Chemotherapy
• Liver biopsy
• Coronary angiography
• Haemodialysis
• Operation of cataract
• Nasal sinus aspiration

Other Rules of the Policy

  1. Maximum Age – The maximum entry age is 65 years, however, there is no maximum cover ceasing age in this policy.
  2. Minimum Age – The minimum entry age is 91 days i.e. children between 91 days and 5 years can be insured provided either parent is getting insured in this policy.
  3. The validity of the policy and Discount – The policy will be valid for a period of 1 to 2 year(s) as opted. If a 2-year policy is chosen then an additional 7.5% discount is offered on the premium
  4. Eligibility for buying the policy – An individual or his family members such as spouse, children, parents/parents-in-law are eligible for buying this cover on an individual or floater basis.

Exclusions – What is not covered in this policy?

  • Any treatment within the first 30 days of cover except any accidental injury.
  • Any Pre-existing diseases/conditions will be covered after a waiting period of 3 years.
  • 2 years exclusion for specific diseases like cataract, hernia, hysterectomy, joint replacement etc.
  • Expenses arising from HIV or AIDS and related diseases.
  • Abuse of intoxicant or a hallucinogenic substance like drugs and alcohol.
  • Pregnancy, dental treatment, external aids, and appliances.
  • Hospitalization due to war or an act of war or due to the nuclear, chemical or biological weapon and radiation of any kind.
  • Non-allopathic treatment, congenital external diseases, mental disorder, cosmetic surgery or
    weight control treatments.

Details of individual policy –

If you are buying health insurance for yourself then following table will be helpful to understand what all benefits you will be having for different amount of sum insured.

details of Apollo Munich optima health insurance policy

Details of a family floater –

If you are buying health insurance for you and your family then following table will be helpful to understand what all benefits you will be having for different amount of sum insured.

Apollo Munich family health insurance policy details

Premium details of individual and family policy:

You can refer below given table to get an idea of the premium amount of this policy. The table shows followings –

  • Premium details of a man aged 30 years for an individual policy.
  • Premium details of a family policy, comprising of an individual (aged 30 yrs.), his wife (aged 30 yrs.), son (aged 8 yrs.) and daughter (aged 10 yrs.). The family policy starts from 5 lakhs of sum assured.

Apollo Munich health insurance premium details

**This is the premium details of 1-year policy including GST and excluding the critical illness cover cost.

Infographic of Apollo optima restore health insurance policy


We feel that overall this policy has all the standard features, however there are many other policies which can also be looked at before making the decision.

If you have any doubts regarding this policy cover, you can leave your query in the comment section.