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How to Get Rich, Stay Rich…and Die Poor

First, how do you get rich?

Work hard…and earn a lot.

Second, how do you stay rich?

Save a lot…invest a lot…and get smart about your finances so that you are never the target of scamming financial advisors.

Okay, you now know how to get rich and stay rich.

But how do still die poor?

It’s even simpler than getting rich and staying rich.

I’ll tell you the answer, but before that…

What if you die tomorrow?
I wish you a very long life ahead! But just think of this for a moment – What if you were to die tomorrow?

Will the money you’ve saved all these years for your dependents’ well-being after your death, really come to them?

Who will decide how much your wife, son, and daughter will get? What about the other possible claimants on that dream holiday home you had bought – your brother, sister, closest cousin and best friend?

Who will get the dividends from the wonderful stocks you had bought after doing so much hard work to identify them in the first place?

Who will get the fixed deposits and money from your PPF account?

And by the way, will your wife be left at peace to benefit from your insurance claim and the jewellery you’ve saved in your bank locker?

These are some simple questions that most of us fail to answer while we are alive.

Just imagine what will your family go through if you die without answering these questions?

See this.

These could be your shoes. The wrinkles on them stand testimony to the years of hard work you are putting in to earn and save money for your family.

Just think of this – Who will fill these ‘big’ shoes after you are gone?

And if you find it tough to get a clear answer…

Make a Will
The main reason why Will-making is so important is because without one, your family could be left with nothing.

It’s same as you dying poor!

“But who needs a Will?” you might ask. “I am not so rich anyways that my family will fight for whatever I leave for them!”

This is what the father of two of India’s richest men must have thought, “I’ve already earned enough for my sons and their families to survive and live happily ever after. I don’t need a Will!”

You know what happened immediately after the father died, and the sons cried.

A Will specifies who you want your money, property, and other possessions to go to should something happen to you. Once you have done this i.e., made a Will, you can be assured that the things you care about the most will be going into good hands…the hands you want them to go to.

Even if you don’t own much, it is still beneficial to make a Will. Certain things like jewellery may have sentimental value and it would therefore be heartbreaking if it had to get taken away.

Remember, you are often worth more than you realize because the cost of a house, car and furniture all adds up.

Further, Will-making can be especially important if you haven’t got much because it would mean that the little amount there is will become even less once it has been divided amongst everybody.

Although Will-making isn’t something that people like to think about and they tend to leave until later on in life, regardless of how old you are or what you own it should definitely be done sooner rather than later.

If making a Will is something you have never thought of before, now is the time to start considering it.

Importantly, while Will-making is so important, the process of actually making a Will is very easy.

Just fill a simple Will Deed – like this one in English or this one in Hindi – and you are done!

Will-making is important because a lot of people automatically assume that the person they are married to will get everything.

This isn’t necessarily always the case as children, parents, brothers and sisters may all have a claim even if you haven’t seen them for years.

Do what’s ‘truly’ important
I remember what Steve Jobs said at his famous speech at Stanford University in 1995…

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

If you are the sole (or a key) earning member of your family, what is truly important for you now is to prepare to die rich.

Not just how to get rich or how to stay rich, but how do die rich is what you must prepare for…now!

That is what will determine the life and condition of your loved ones you will leave behind.

So have you made a Will? If not, are you making it soon?

Remember, where there is a Will, there is a way…for your loved ones.

Note: Here is a page that explains Will-making in greater detail.

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About the Author

Vishal Khandelwal is the founder of Safal Niveshak. He works with small investors to help them become smart and independent in their stock market investing decisions. He is a SEBI registered Research Analyst. Connect with Vishal on Twitter.


  1. Thanks Vishal for reminding us that we need to take time off to do this absolutely mandatory activity. I will also get my team to make their will.
    Thanks once again.
    Warm regards & best wishes for a fulfilling 2012.

  2. Amazing insight, Vishal! Thanks a lot for this wake-up call. The middle part of your post sent a shiver down my spine. I’m going to make my will right away. Thanks again!

  3. Awesome. You know, I have read a couple of articles on the importance of making Will but thanks for attaching a format – it makes life simple enough to take this ahead.
    I do have a question on this, probably you could throw some light on it. If I have not nominated anyone in, let’s say one of the mutual fund I have, can having a Will help the nominee to get the money using it or do they have to go through the pains to get their share of the money? If you have come across anything like this, please share.

    • Thanks Mansoor! On your question, while I’m not an expert on mutual funds, I can say from experience that you need to have clear nominations apart from having the Will. The nomination will help the designated person ‘redeem’ the money. The Will will help him/her ‘claim’ the money.

    • Mansoor,
      Just name the same person in the WILL as the person who is the nominee. Having both of them same should help. As Vishal has mentioned, nomination will help that person redeem the money and WILL will help him retain the money.

      Good post Vishal. It is a good eye opener

      Best Regards
      Gopal Gidwani

    • Eswar Santhosh says:

      I know this reply comes a year and a half late :). But, it always helps to register nominee and if possible, write a will.

      The procedure and the documents required for transmission are usually detailed in the respective mutual fund sites. For example, Birla Sun Life’s list of required documents for transmission are listed here.

      The procedure is almost the same across MF houses, but the time taken for transmission generally varies. Back in 2007-08, it took anywhere between five days to five weeks. Not sure about the situation now.

      Some more information on wills and nominations here.

  4. Hello Vishal,
    I was going through the format of the will attached in this article. Questions came to my mind
    1) If the beneficiary mentioned in the will say wife is a major, then is / are trustees / executors still required in case say there are no complex assets like property to dispose the assets and pay the money to the wife?
    2) Does the beneficiary named in the will, say wife have powers to supersede the trustees / executors, in case the trustees / executors don’t act as per the willingness of the beneficiary at the time of disposing off the assets
    3) Can the beneficiary say wife, herself be the trustee / executor provided she is a major?

    Sorry for asking too many questions. But your article was really very interesting and thought provoking.

    Best Regards
    Gopal Gidwani

    • Hi Gopal, thanks for your questions as these are the ones that I also need to get answers to. I would try and speak to a CA here to get the answers. You can talk to a CA or any other legal expert on this front as well.

  5. Dear Vishal,

    Yet another important article.

    How do we go about making an will? Is it that I write myself in the typical deed you have given as example and sign it and keep it safely or is it better to approach a professional. If yes, who is this professional ? Is it a legal lawyer or some kind of firm doing such wills? Can you throw some light on the right approach!

    What happens to the subsequent changes and additional assets? Everytime do we need to review this will (at what frequency!)?


  6. Hi Vishal,

    Recently came across a fabulous book ‘Die Poor or Live Rich’ published by CNBC TV18. Its a truly life changing book and showed lot of new ideas to make money, keep money and grow money. It also taught me how to plan my financial life. A great book! The language is highly motivating.

    Thanks for your efforts to educate the masses in financial matters.



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