Archive for the ‘ Financial Goals ’ Category

A Late Start to Retirement Planning – Strategies to catch up

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”  – Karen Lamb

Are you 40 plus.. and haven’t started your retirement savings yet.. don’t panic. You can still make solid progress toward your financial goals if you make the effort now

From a Retirement Planning perspective this decade (40 to 50 years) is of utmost importance. Your Career is probably blooming and the 50’s are always the best earning years in one’s career.

Retirement Planning

Getting Started Right now :

Forget the past and start by estimating the amount you would require for a comfortable retirement. Take a pen & paper and note down the assets or savings you have which you can allocate to retirement savings. Get a rough estimate of your monthly expenses you would require after your retirement.

Also estimate how much you can save every month which can be allocated to the long term savings.

Finding the money to save

Eliminate all unnecessary expenses. Spending is sometimes just a habit which you need to modify or divert yourself in habits which are more satisfying and enriching.Take a look at expenses you would like to give up today to make an investment for your future. You will find many of them especially the subscriptions which you end up paying which are of no real use, for e.g a magazine subscription you never find time to read, or a Gym membership where you rarely go. Negotiate for  better rates with telecom companies for telephone as well as internet usage.

Automate your savings

As soon as your pay-checque reaches your bank account, arrange for an auto-mated SIP/switch to Investment account. You will not miss – what you never had. The feeling of your retirement corpus being funded will offset the feeling of spending less.

Invest all extra funds to retirement account

Expenses tend to rise with rising income, but try to avoid it. Whatever increments you get, bonuses, incentives you get divert at least half of those funds to your retirement account.

If you get unexpected money such as by inheritance, stock options etc invest the same to the retirement corpus rather than buying a new car or going for a vacation.

This strategy would be the key to your retirement planning success.

Spend on yourself

The Decade of ages 40-50 are crucial in one’s career. Invest in upgrading and educating yourself to tap the opportunities to the fullest. Keep learning in 40’s, attending classes and training programs which would give up benefits in your 50’s while you reach the peak of your career.

Also spend on good health and food. Being a healthy person you will automatically save the high medical costs of the future.

Invest more Aggressively

Don’t be conservative with your retirement savings because at 40 you still are two decades away your retirement.  Invest in well researched equity shares and Mutual funds. It may expose your portfolio to some volatility but if you invest all your savings to fixed income you may not be able to keep up with Inflation.

Review your Portfolio and Re-balance

Asset allocation is the key to success of any investment. Review your portfolio at-least once in a year and make necessary adjustments keeping in mind the best you can do with the time you have.


Sandwich Generation & their Finances

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Sandwich Generation is the term used for people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children.

India is known for it’s family values since ages, when an Indian speaks of family he does not limit it’s meaning to spouses and children. The Circle of Care in Indian families embraces all generations.

With Increase in Life expectancy and a generation of young adults struggling for financial independence the burden and responsibilities shift to the Middle Aged who still have to build their own retirement nest.

The phenomenon is not new, but the dynamics have changed considerably, families are smaller than they once were, so there might be fewer siblings to share the burden and with more women in the workforce having the extra responsibility of yet another person to care for squeezes their time which also leads to extra burden on the couple.

How should you Plan ?

As you have two sets of dependents leaning on your financial house, be sure it’s strong and sturdy.

  • Maintain a Decent Contingency/ Emergency Cash Reserve
  • Take appropriate Insurance covers for yourself – Protecting your family from the risk of your disability or death is more important than ever.
  • Take sufficient cover for long term health for yourself and your family – Proper Insurance coverage will reduce your burden financially in case of any eventuality
  • Do not belittle the importance of your own Retirement Planning, continue with your savings – If at all possible, don’t use your retirement savings—whether through loans or early withdrawals—to support your kids or parents. Withdrawing from your retirement funds could leave you inadequately prepared for retirement and force your children to support you financially. You should break the cycle.
  • For Eduction Cost of your child opt for Education Loan

How to deal with both sides ?

Your Children : Your children are watching and learning from you. Have an open dialogue with them on importance of financial planning. Children raised with money management skills will be better prepared for their own financial success.Prepare a Financial plan and save accordingly for children education and marriage.

Your Parents : Know your parents’ total financial picture, help them in managing their funds. Help them in their Estate Planning. Take special care that they are safe, make necessary changes in the house required for the elderly. Devote some quality time.

Above all, be realistic about what you can do. Don’t expect too much of yourself, either emotionally, physically or financially.

Getting on Track for Retirement

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

No matter where you are on your life path, take a moment to stop and imagine what your retirement would look like. Even if it seems far away try to focus on the picture as it’s vital to get on track for your retirement journey.

Important factors you need to consider before starting your Retirement Journey :

A. Life Expectancy : As per the latest statistics from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Life expectancy in India has gone up by five years in 2011-15. The Life expectancy for males have gone up from 62.3 years to 67.3 years and for females from 63.9 years to 69.6 years. So to say an Average Male in India would live around 67 years and female 70 years.

Before you make any assumptions I would like to draw your attention to the fact that there is a significant life expectancy gap between the affluent and deprived communities worldwide. If you are a  normal healthy person, having above average financial status, with improved health care facilities in India you have a fair chance to be an octogenarian. So you need to plan for 20-25 years post retirement taking into consideration the age of retirement at 60.

B. Phases of Retirement : Retirement is a major life changing event which an individual has to pass through. A  research by Robert C. Atchley, professor emeritus at Miami University, Ohio has developed six descriptive phases of retirement that represent a transitional process individuals go through when they permanently exit the workforce.

Phase 1 : Pre-retirement – A Phase where an Individual has to disengage from his workplace and plan for retirement.

Phase 2 : Retirement – When an Individual retires, takes one of the following paths.

  • The honeymoon – path is characterized by feeling and acting as if one is on vacation indefinitely.Men and women become very busy doing many of the leisure activities they never had time for previously, especially travel.
  • The  Immediate Retirement Routine – This path is followed by an Individual who already had an active schedule in addition to his/her employment. These individuals easily establish comfortable yet busy schedules soon after retirement
  • Rest and Relaxation This path is described as a period of very low activity as compared to the “honeymoon” path. Persons who have had very busy careers with limited time to themselves frequently choose to do very little in their early retirement years. However, activity levels do increase after a few years of rest and relaxation.

Phase 3 : Disenchantment – For some people, adjusting to retirement is not an easy experience. Following the honeymoon period or a time of continued rest and relaxation, there may be a period of disappointment or uncertainty. A person may miss the feelings of productivity they experienced when working.

Phase 4 : Reorientation – After a period of rest and relaxation or feelings of disenchantment, it is common for people to “take inventory” of their retirement experience and outline ways that will improve their retirement role. Becoming more involved in community activities, taking up a new hobby or relocating to a more affordable setting may contribute to this “second chance” at retirement. A common goal of reorientation is to design a retirement lifestyle that is satisfying and enjoyable.

Phase 5 : Retirement Routine – Mastering a comfortable and rewarding retirement routine is the ultimate goal of retirement. Some adults are able to do this soon after they leave employment, while others take longer, only finding their way after years of extended leisure or a period of disenchantment. Once a fulfilling and comfortable retirement routine has been found, this phase of retirement can last for many years.

Phase 6 : Termination of Retirement – Eventually the retirement role becomes less relevant in the lives of older adults. When a person can no longer live independently due to disability or illness, the role of disabled elder becomes the primary focus of his or her life.

These phases do not apply to everyone, of course, because retirement is experienced on an individual basis; however, these phases do provide a guide for thinking about what some individuals may encounter when they transition into the retirement stage of life.

You can go through the research by Robert C. Atchley here

 C. Put time on your side : Getting started today will help you put time on your side. You must have invested in various instruments like the EPF, PPF, Mutual Funds, Bonds & Equity shares. It is important you first figure out the lifestyle you would like to live after retirement. Don’t forget to factor in Inflation as it does not retire..

You need to find out how much you will need for retirement, and later on determine how much you will need to save every month. An appropriate asset allocation strategy for your investments is also important.

Chart and review your progress once you start on your path..

More to continue on the Preparation of Retirement Plan in the next article…

Financial Planning Process by FPSB

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

The financial planning process consists of the following six steps:

  1. Establish and define the client-planner relationship.The financial planner should clearly explain and document the services that he or she will provide to you and define both his/her and your responsibilities during the financial planning engagement. The financial planner should explain fully how he or she will be paid and by whom. You and the planner should agree on how long the professional relationship should last and on how decisions will be made.
  2. Gather client data, including goals.The financial planner should ask for information about your financial situation. You and the planner should mutually define your personal and financial goals, understand your time frame for results and discuss, if relevant, how you feel about risk. The financial planner should gather all the necessary documents before giving you the advice you need.


It’s not that hard to be a millionaire..take the first step to wealth

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Today’s article reminds of the following quote :

The First step is always the hardest, but it’s the only way to reach the second step. – Susan Gale

Being a Millionaire, a multi-millionaire or in the Indian Context being a Crorepati is always desirable. It is achievable too if you have disciplined savings approach.

Let’s analyse how one can achieve this wealth accumulation goal. As we know The First Step is always hardest – Accumulating the First Crore is hardest but later on the your savings have a multiplying effect.