Retirement planning is also about what you are retiring to

I recently watched Sharmaji Namkeen and would highly recommend others to see it.  Not only because it stars the one and only Rishi Kapoor, but also because it shows how important it is to plan for how you will spend time during retirement. In my own circle, I see most retired people running chores for their children including caring for grandchildren or spending time reading, watching TV/OTT/Social media. Very few have something to occupy them. It’s funny that so much has changed in India but our thoughts on how our parents should live life have not. This is slowly changing with some seniors now planning their own independent life while being there for their children during their time of need. Rightly so! I have often spoken about the need to keep oneself mentally engaged in retirement not only to fill time but also to generate some extra income. It also helps in not being dependent on children for one’s financial needs. But it is not easy to find that purpose. I have seen many people, especially the salaried in their 50s struggling to figure out what they will do once they retire. This is also because they are unsure if the retirement corpus itself will be enough for expenses.

The start of retirement can be quite difficult. Imagine after a busy schedule at work, having days full of endless free time. Beyond a point, one runs out of things to do. Many of my session participants aspire to travel around the world in retirement but traveling cannot keep you busy for the whole year. Here is how you can plan retirement:

Start investing early. An early start helps in compounding returns, thus building a bigger corpus. Do not only plan for essential expenses. Keep in mind fun expenses as well as money needed for your pursuits. This could be learning a new course/traveling/setting up a business/charity etc. Invest into a mix of fixed income and equities to grow the corpus. Stay away from investment-linked insurance plans like pension plans, endowment, Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) etc. At least 10 years before retiring, start making plans. Work out Plan A & Plan B and see how you can implement it while working. This is because post-retirement, others are unlikely to give you the same respect or importance. Be in a situation where people need you versus you need them.  Evaluate if these plans actually give you satisfaction and are sustainable. The plans could be related to your area of expertise or your interest. Retirement planning deserves the same time, attention and planning as any other big goal in life. Figuring out what to do by blending your values with what is important to you could be the way to go in the pursuit of happiness during retirement.

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