FinanceMarine-CareersMerchant NavySeafarers

Why financial planning is important for Seafarers?

You don’t just go away to sea for the money – but let’s face it, it helps. So what can you do to make sure you earn as much as possible, but also save and invest wisely too? No point working yourself to a frazzle if your cash isn’t toiling as hard as you are. But there can be pitfalls, so what do you need to keep in mind? First and foremost, remember Sailors need financial planning. It is most essential.

While you’re doing your best to keep up with the various aspects of your training, on-board work and plethora of new legislation, it is fairly difficult to be able to keep yourself updated with the dry subject of your finances.

There are great expectations which a cadet or a trainee has while entering the fascinating world of seafaring. To be honest, these remain largely unfulfilled when he/she comes to realize that the earnings are only for his/her working period. It becomes difficult to make the earnings last for the period of vacation and examinations, which in recent times can be inordinately long.

Things don’t just match up to the expectations and requirements. In the first few years of life, it becomes difficult to have any cash reserves after completing all the examinations, paying for education loans, etc. Things get worse or at least threaten to get worse later on when there is an added responsibility of a family. You get the picture, right?

Moreover, it is vital to understand, apart from one or two, there is no shipping company that actually would be willing to look after a seafarer’s social welfare, in terms of pension, provident fund or emergency funds. Among those one or two companies which do exist, the benefits are so less and far apart that one would only actually benefit if the service in the company lasted over 15 to 20 years. This is at best a hypothesis in today’s corporate culture.

Moreover, the medical benefits are getting so rare and tough to obtain that they cannot be relied upon for actual benefits. There have been cases where the seafarer did not report his illness or ask for the shore medical advice, fearing getting sacked by the company.

So what is that you can do? Save money of course. But saving is not enough. There needs to be a long term plan that will allow for passive income where you let the money work for you. This is done on a compounded basis, as opposed to the active income that one earns from business or employment.

Saving and investing are two forms of financial securities that one could opt for. In investments it’s important to know how to spread the money across all sectors such as Real Estate, Shares or Mutual Funds, Gold and any other asset that you learn about. For savings, you can utilize your money by putting it in the most efficient avenue where you can get a relative interest rate, be safe and save tax.

Since, you now realize how important financial planning is for Seafarers, you can begin to educate yourself about the same.


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Manjyot Naggi

I gather my experiences with a curious mind and an open heart. Getting moved by the things I read, the music I hear, the people I meet and the places I travel to. Sharing those experiences can be a great way to relive them. I’ve always believed in this quote from the movie, The Dead Poets Society-“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” I realise I’m here not for very long and the purpose of my being hasn’t been achieved. I’m hoping do to my bit as I go along and create some difference in the world with a pen as my wand.

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