Prepare to Retire in the Worst Place... India - Common Sense Living Newsletter
 
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Prepare to Retire in the Worst Place... India

Life
Retirement
Sep 11, 2015

Prepare to Retire in the Worst Place... India 

We hadn't really grasped the enormity of the retirement issue until we saw a recent article in The Times of India.

India among the worst places in the world to grow old, the report stated.

According to the Global Age Watch Index, India scores the lowest on the elderly healthcare front, an average 60-year-old is expected to live only about 12 years in good health, one in two elderly people don't have friends or relatives to count on when they are in trouble, and almost 70 percent are not receiving any pensions.

Of course, we don't want to pack up our bags and leave our beloved homeland to retire elsewhere. But there is a solution.

Every aspect of your retired life can change by taking one simple step now - creating a solid retirement plan.

If you are not already convinced that in this environment where growing older is getting tougher, you should still plan for retirement, here are some more reasons why...

#1. Money is fickle... and the markets are fair weather friends.

The stock markets have been swinging wildly over the last few weeks, and it has some of our stomachs turning. You are trying to get past your sinking heart and queasy stomach to make rational, Warren Buffett-inspired decisions. If you have some cash in hand you try to invest it now, if you have some money in the markets you try to hold on and get past the lows...

But if you don't have a plan, with clear financial goals, you won't really be making the best decision for your specific context.

For example, if your retirement is nearing you might be tempted to cash out of the stocks you hold and buy into bonds. Or, if your money is all tied up elsewhere you will be unable to profit from the market low. To be protected and make rational decisions, you need a retirement plan which defines your ideal investment strategy.

#2. Life is a toss-up... and sometimes you will fall.

'Things fall apart' sometimes, as the title of a famous novel by Chinua Achebe goes. But it's really just a fact of life. There are ups and downs, smiles and frowns, and sometimes, both of these, can cost us.

Maybe your child got into that Ivy League university you never thought they would get into, and you're hit with an unexpected exorbitant bill.

Maybe the roof of your house caved in, and you now have to spend heavily on repairs and reconstruction.

Good news and bad news... If you haven't planned for them financially, they could both end up becoming bad. In our new book, 10 Things EVERYONE Wants from Retirement, we talk about the role financial independence can play in helping you plan your dream retirement (you can get the free book here).

#3. Aging can be a pain... in the wallet.

Thinking about getting older is a little like thinking about moving to Mars, a very real idea that is just too alien to properly grasp. You look around at older people and you think, 'I can't ever be like that, right?'

But, with aging, comes aching. Things inside your body will hurt, deteriorate, get rusty - the good news is we can put them all back together most of the time with good healthcare. But you need to plan ahead for good healthcare because it is expensive.

#4. As you run out of time... you run out of time for magic.

We have said it before, we will say it again, and we are happy to keep saying it forever, because we think Einstein was brilliant. He said, "Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it." And we think that thought is worth our consideration.

Compound interest is magic. If babies could work, I would recommend that they make money and put it away, and they would be able to retire in their teens. As it were, I suggest as young as you learn this lesson you put it into practice.

#5. Your family loves you... and they need you.

And although I was joking about babies putting away money, that is not so far-fetched. Parents should put away money for their children when they are born. Uncles and aunties should contribute to the child's fund.

Watch the magic of compound interest grow their net worth with their age, eventually giving them what they need - funds to start a life, to get that education, to start that business, to start their own retirement plan someday... if you plan ahead, you can think of not only yourself, but everyone your life touches.

#6. You are not too young... and you're not going to live forever.

This was hard for me to say. I have been saying it to myself to gear myself up for retirement planning, and at first it made me go, 'ouch' and then I got used to it and began to make sense.

I really want to live every day to the fullest. I want to swim in every ocean, read a thousand books. These things don't just happen. You have to plan because you only have one lifetime to get everything done.

And while I'm planning for my dreams I don't want to be bogged down by financial worries. I want to get sorted, so I can start living.

And I certainly don't want to waste my money on short-term pleasures because I didn't have the foresight to dream big for tomorrow. As Franklin Roosevelt said,

"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today."

So, instead of doubting today, dream today, and plan to make those dreams real tomorrow.

# 7. I hope you live a hundred years... and you probably will.

We are, in fact living longer and longer. Living to a hundred is not such an enormous deal anymore as it was when Morarji Desai turned a hundred years old. With our own greater interest in health and fitness as a society, and the vast advantages in medical technology, pretty soon we will all be living well into three-digits. In fact there are some societies in which living to a healthy hundred is standard, and there are lessons we can learn from them to extend our own healthy years. When I write next, I will bring out these ideas for you.

Until then I hope you are intrigued enough to read Common Sense Living's new book, 10 Things Everyone Wants from Retirement. Over 7,000 readers have downloaded it since yesterday, and we have been inundated with responses. To get the guide free, please click here.

Image Source: Stephen Finn / Shutterstock

 
 

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15 Responses to "Prepare to Retire in the Worst Place... India"

jpnair

18 Sep, 2015

Forgot to thank Anishaji. good articles, keeps me re vetted and thought provoking. once again thank you.

Like (1)

jpnair

18 Sep, 2015

I dont want to argue whether India is a good or bad place for retirees. everyone is on their own as far as planning is concerned. lack of options and awareness makes the life after retirement a suffering. i have seen many well to do people doing many things they love as their health was good till 70. since then whatever they started became their own shackles. investing is still a very tricky part. investing in shares is still a game for brokers not investors. reputed brokers revised their charges once the market went up and made it very clear that small time investors are not welcome. FDs has become a bane for saving as it is highly taxed leaving little gain from these investments. Govt should be more friendly with citizens in this matter. thanks for the topics. it makes some learning by exchanging ideas.

Like (1)

SATYABRATA MAITI

18 Sep, 2015

Anishaji, thanks for such a thought provoking article. You are right living for 100 years is not that difficult if you can reduce your desire after retirement. This is a lesion I learnt from my father who is now 100 and living without much of health problem. I found that his disciplined life style, tension free attitude and nothing to loose mindset have made him to 100 years. He lost his wife, my mother when he was about to retire and he continued his journey with a smile. He is a founder member of laughing club in our town and still in touch with the members. May God bless us all with his style of living and attitude.

Vijay Vora

17 Sep, 2015

Anishaji, very interesting and thought provoking article ....it gives nice information to understand and visualise life span and what next ?? Nice to understand Age, Health , people's approach , , attitude and temperament are vital factors while one retires . Nicely reflected by Anishaji. In fact all your views and articles are par excellence and deserves compliments .

Like (1)

Atchutuni Lakshmikant

17 Sep, 2015

I do not agree with the opinion that India is the worst place for retirement. No doubt that retirement needs good planning for comfortable living after retirement. I can say that India is a better place as cost of living is less than many other developed countries. From the day one gets employment he/she has to plan well for retirement also apart from other responsibilities.

Harshad Kamdar

17 Sep, 2015

Dear Anisa, Greetings from Mumbai! I am sorry you have forgotten one important part of the Indian retirement system. The Joint family system still exists. The values are still there and this helps. Although parents may be living seperately, in most cases they are being taken care off. Of-course with opportunities expanding children are mobile and often live away from parents, but one has to accept that as the bond does exist. I aggree that those who retired in or around yeqr Y2K had to face worst inflation due to spiralling prices. How ever as domestic help is available at reasonable costs if one had a reasonable kitty. Anyways always count your blessings and work to stay healthy by taking care of Food and Exercise

Srinivas

17 Sep, 2015

Excellent, thought provoking,inspiring article.

Anisa

14 Sep, 2015

A note on moderation: Moderation is a requisite from our legal team. I believe they only reject comments for two reasons - abusive language and promotions. If you don't hurl abuses or try to sell us something you will be heard :)

Anisa

14 Sep, 2015

Dear Maj Dutta - Your story is exactly the point I am trying to bring out here. Any place in the world can be the best place to retire and any place can be he worst - depending on what you want from retirement, and what you will do about it. I say above that with one simple thing - financial planning - everything else can fall into place - your relationships are more fruitful without dependencies, good healthcare is accessible to you, you can hire help where you need, you can breathe free and easy, and work at whatever you like. That's what you seem to be doing - the perfect retirement plan. That was just my point - don't sit back and hope things will fall into place, create a plan to make them do so. By the way I'd love to know where you live.

joginder bakshi

13 Sep, 2015

Well, I am seventy seven now and going to step into seventy eight after about a month.i have desire to age gracefully and live actively upto hundred for which l have your support and wish too.i am grateful for encouraging words as well as pieces of advice.Due to immaturity,I did not plan well for retirement and as such I entered seconndary carrer is paying dividend till now.i am enjoying the process of aging and developed interest of reading lot of books on management and happiness condensing them to forty five minutes or one hour public speaking speaking with presentation on power point to concerned audience.it makes my network to expand.Your ten point formula for retirees is superb.it is nectar for senior citizens.I also feel rejuvenated in the company of younger generation which also gives me a chance to know as to what they are thinking about as they are better exposed to technology and are constant pressure and stress which is quiet different than our times.i would love to keep myself upgraded since I plan for hundred year of active life. I have read that great lawyer Mr. Jathalmani at. 91years charges twenty lakhs for appearance in the supreme court.It is an inspiration.Every thing is possible if believed and acted upon.Thanks Anisa for such a lovely input and infusing spirit.Regards from joginder

Maj Gen S.Dutta

13 Sep, 2015

Dear Anisha. When you ask for comments have courage to post them without moderating. Having asked for comments, who are you to judge if it is appropriate for posting?. Otherwise I will agree with what Rajiv has said. Maj Gen S.Dutta (retd)

Like (1)

Maj Gen S.Dutta

13 Sep, 2015

Dear Anisha. I completely disagree with you and the TOI article you referred to. I am 80 years young now. Post retirement from the Army after 40 years service I had worked in 5 companies, a public sector Navratna Company, Two of India's biggest private sector Companies and two pure private Companies. Now I have my own Company which I run with my son and daughter in law. I had spent a year with US Army, a year with Soviet Army and a year with UN Peace keeping force where I interacted with Armies of many countries. I have also traveled almost all part of the world. This back ground is for authenticity of my view. My view is that India is the best place to live for retired people with a caveat that you have some money. Most important need in old age is human help. At old age very few people have son / daughter who can spend time for them. Today's TOI has an article on Ramu Kaka. That commodity is cheap in India. I have one for last 24 years who is with me since I retired from the Army. If you can afford one then India is best place on earth for old retired people. Maj Gen S.Dutta (retd many times but still working)

Like (1)

VINOD MAHAJAN

12 Sep, 2015

I wish such articles were available to read when we were young.Today's generation is blessed to have so much information to plan everything meticulously. I congratulate and thank Anisa Virji for bringing out so well written articles .

Like (1)

AB Pereira

11 Sep, 2015

Dear Anisa, always love and appreciate your writing ability. Thats why I have downloaded, but yet to read, your detailed ebook on retirement! Regarding the subject, no financial planning is enough to retire in India. The most important thing missing here is the value for life. I have seen around the world, especially in Europe, how older people independently travel on buses and trains (everything is built around the needs of elderly and disabled) and how they bicycle their way to the market place. Here in our country, how many of our near and dear ones have met with accidents on the streets, just trying to walk or stand on the side of the road! I am a finance professional, know quite well about financial planning, but that will not qualify older people to have a happy retirement life here. Even if they keep servants, nurses etc, there are cases where the elderly are looted, burgled or murdered! There is something else that needs to change. Ever increasing value for life, beyond everything else. And the message has to come right from the top (our governance system) and inculcated regularly by our ground level upbringing systems - as important as a Make in India or a Clean India campaign. Its a steep climb, no doubt, but not impossible!

Like (1)

rajiv

11 Sep, 2015

The BritShit dogs , and the puppies left behind by them may say this . I fail to fathom how , educated , well to do Indians can say this ? only mental slaves , still labouring under the conundrum of the britshit lord , can subscribe to this blatant lie

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