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Invest wisely and lead a happy retired life

August 12, 2013 15:42 IST

Invest wisely and lead a happy retired life

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Niraj Shah

We have seen India change over the last two decades, notably there has been a change in the lifestyle of the working population. Purchasing power has increased considerably and so have the expenses.

Longevity of an average Indian has increased thanks to improved lifestyle and better medical facilities. A salaried person would need to have sufficient corpus for at least 20 post-retirement years to be able to lead a comfortable life.

If a person spends Rs 25,000 a month today, assuming an inflation of 7 per cent, his expenses after 25 years would increase to Rs 136,000/- a month. Add to this medical expenses, which increase with age and occasional expenses such as gifts – it could actually exceed Rs 150,000 a month.

Most private sector companies do not provide pension. Additionally, the rising trend of nuclear families, increasing cost of healthcare, inflation etc. make it necessary for an individual to plan for retirement.

The objective is to have a regular flow of money after retirement that will enable one to manage the increased expenses without compromising their lifestyle.

Today, consumers have access to financial products which enable them to plan their retirement. While the awareness for retirement planning is increasing, most of us delay investing in it.

Starting early can significantly enhance realisation of an individual’s dream to achieve financial independence in the golden years.

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Photographs: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff
Tags: India

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Invest wisely and lead a happy retired life

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When is the right time for me to start retirement planning? Well, in case of retirement planning it is said 'the earlier the better', however, it is never too late either.

Starting early gives you the benefit of time, which coupled with the power of compounding, enables you to create a sizeable corpus that can enable an individual to take care of expenses after retirement.

The table below illustrates how retirement planning can be done at different ages to generate a similar income once you turn 60.

If you were to start
saving at the age of

You will need to save
money for (in yrs)

The amount you will need
to invest p.a.

Your corpus at the
age of 60 will be

Pension you receive for self,
then wife after which corpus is returned
to children/ beneficiary
35                 251 lakh67 lakh4.5 lakh p.a
50               105 lakh72 lakh
        4.8 lakh p.a        

Though the amount required to be invested is more if you delay your planning, the key word is 'regular investment'.

It is only through regular disciplined investments that you can put aside a corpus that will generate enough income to enable you to lead a comfortable life after retirement.

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Photographs: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff
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Invest wisely and lead a happy retired life

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How do I plan for my retirement?

Retirement planning can be done in 3 simple steps:

Step 1: How do I calculate my expenses post retirement?

Take into account your current expenses and factor in aspects like inflation, increased medical costs, vacations, gifts for family etc. You will then arrive at an amount that you will require for living comfortably once you have retired. You need to keep in mind that inflation will cause your expenses to increase (even if you are spending on the same items). One can eliminate costs like children's education and rent, if you own a home.

Step 2: What savings pool do I need to build?

Once you have an idea of your expenses, you can accordingly establish the quantum of amount (corpus) required to be built – the amount that you need for meeting the expenses. This savings pool will be created taking into consideration the inflation factor.

Step 3: How much do I need to save now?

Depending on your financial status, determine the funds which can be put aside for building the desired retirement corpus. Start saving now so that you have time on your side and can enjoy the power of compounding.

For example, if a 35-year old person wants Rs 50,000 every month for meeting expenses after retirement, he needs to start planning now. A corpus of Rs 75,00,000 will be necessary to generate the desired amount. For this purpose, one needs to invest Rs 10,000 every month in a retirement plan.

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Photographs: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff
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How should I choose a retirement plan?

Studying the features and structure of charges of a retirement plan is important. Ideally, selecting a plan which has a low charges will enable you to contribute more towards your investment.

A good retirement plan would:

  • Provide returns that beat inflation
  • Give you the flexibility to choose your investment strategy as per your risk taking ability
  • Protect your capital from market fluctuations
  • Inculcate a regular saving habit – to ensure the corpus is built in an uninterrupted manner

Niraj Shah is SVP & Head Products ICICI Prudential Life Insurance


Photographs: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff

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