The Future is in your hands - Act now
Most Indians do not have any regular source of income after their retirement, Hence it is advisable to be well prepared beforehand and have a very clear idea of their financial needs and responsibilities after retirement.
*Regular income suitable for economic stratum
*Provision for unexpected and accidental occasions. *Should be able to take care of financially dependent persons * Provision for daughter's wedding
FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: * One must pay proper income tax. * One must take full care when investing money. Economic safety should be the prime consideration * One must make financial provision for the spouse and other dependents so that they will be looked after even after one's death. For this purpose, the spouse must have full knowledge of the financial matters.
Some elderly persons can stay with their children after their retirement. The burdenof their expenditure is lightened to some extent. But this arrangement is becoming increasingly inconvenient because of nuclear family system coming into practice. In short, it is essential that one must be self-reliant.
The following basic financial needs to be taken care of as one gets older:
FIXED EXPENSES: House rent, house tax, repairs of the house, gas, electricity, servant's salary, vehice insurance, medical expenses, religious expenses (Deepavali, X'mas, Ramzan, etc.)
CHANGING EXPENSES: Food, clothes, travelling, small repairs, contributions, post, telephone, etc.
The amount spent on these necessities is based on one's financial status and lifestyle. One gross way of determining the financial status of a family is to delete one-third amount from the joint annual income of a couple and observe the style in which the couple Lives in the two-third of the income. This decides the financiaL status of the couple. If the saving habit has been neglected in the period of employment, it will have to be follpwed in the retirement period and one-third of the annual income will have to be saved. In the present times of Loan culture, wrong decisions are taken under the influence of attractive advertisements. Essential safety measures like Living within one's means, monthly savings, etc. are not undertaken and people find themselves facing economic disaster: A survey has found that most of the senior citizens become a financial liability to the succeeding generation, within a couple of years after their retirement. There might be some other reasons also for this. Some of the common problems faced by the senior citizens are mentioned below and they should get the correct information to avoid them:
* Ups and downs in the existing share market take place so fast that it is becoming difficult for the senior citizens to follow them and indulge in the market. Sometimes the dealings in the share market can prove to be dangerous for the common senior citizen. The same holds true with equity schemes of mutual funds. Only constant transactions can bring benefits in these two areas but age prevents the senior citizens from doing so.
Some finance companies, industries pay more interests. But chances are that these might be risky and illegal too. Common man cannot probe deeply into these schemes, falls a prey for them and loses even the invested amount. Some private and co-operative banks also offer higher interest rates, but it is essential to be cautious there also.
* Some senior citizens hand over their earnings and movable and immovable properties to their sons in their lifetime, and become financially dependent on them. In these circumstance, the death of the husband can raise many problems for the wife and she can be made to lead a humiliated life.
* Ignorance of Income tax rules prevents many persons from taking proper decisions. They cannot increase their earnings. Some have to pay fine on income tax unnecessarily Some avoid paying income tax altogether; which is not only improper but illegal too.
* The failure to make a Will can cause tremendous loss for the person and his spouse and humiliation follows.
* Women generally avoid learning and looking after financial management. So they face numerous problems and humiliation after the death of their husbands.
The decisions about investment vary according to the individuals. The decisions are taken in accordance with the condition, needs and wishes of every individual. But one thing is common -none of them is prepared to take risk and yet many investors are cheated. They lose their entire money as they do not anticipate this failure.
Before making any investment two vital points need to be considered, one is how much risk of losing money is involved and the other is how much return can be expected from it: Increasing age makes us less prepared to face risk and lose money and we turn to safe/reliable investments. But risk and returns go hand in hand. It is better to reject attractive offers of large returns on investments.
One should try and avoid eating into the capital but try to increase it if possible. The following guidelines will be useful
* Take all the decisions only after full consideration. Study the information available about each investment very carefully. * Keep a diary about the maturity dates and renewals of deposits/investments. * Keep a check on interest received. * Consult an expert whenever necessary. * Keep all certificates, notices, etc. In a safe place well outside the reach of anybody. * Keep the originals of all important papers in bank lockers. .
* Avoid flock mentality- Do not invest in schemes without proper consideration, just because many people, friends, relatives are doing the same. * Do not take any decisions because the commission, brokerage or reward is attractive * Do not be dazzled by the name of a big company or an individual and believe blindly that the schemes they have launched must be good and invest in it. * Do not be carried away by a flood of emotions. Be courageous and say NO
These are some suggestions for managing your income and living within your means: 1. THRIFT: Maintain a diary to record your daily expenses under various items, take yearly stock and decide on avoidable spending. You could cut down on items like giving presents, entertainment and eating out expenditure. 2. GOOD HEALTH: Regular exercises and proper diet help to preserve good health .and reduce the chances of falling ill. Thus medical expenses can be saved. Regular medical check-ups with doctor's advice and proper care can go a long way in saving medical expenses. 3. MIGRATION: Instead of living in costly cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, one can migrate to smaller towns. One can even think of selling the flat or house and buy a smaller and cheaper house in small town and use the savings in investments towards a regular income. 4. COMMUNITY LIVING: In this scheme, two or three lonely couples or persons could come together and stay under one roof and maintain themselves by pooling together a part of their income. This will help reduce the expenses of ev.ery bodb And everyone will get good support from each other in the times of difficulty. 5. COMMUNITY BUYING: If three or more senior couples form a group and purchase fresh vegetables, fruits, daily necessities from wholesale market, they can save a lot of expenses. The couples can take turns in doing the marketing and make it a weekly or fortnightly affair: 6. MEDICARE: LlC's Scheme like "Nav Prabhat" and "Senior Citizens' Unit Plan (SCUP)" from UTI offer risk and medical care for senior citizens. Such schemes can protect senior citizens from expenses for prolonged illnesses, accidents, thefts, etc.