How to Design the Best Retirement Plan?

If Aladdin’s lamp was real and the genie could really fulfil whatever we wished for, what would you wish? I can bet, that almost 80% of the audience would want to live forever and to never age. We would wish to be young forever, happy, independent and carefree.

Now let the reality sink in. We are all going to get old. The time when the hair goes grey, the skin gets wrinkly and limbs become weak. Gone would be the carefree days, the financial independence. Are you stressing out already? Well, here’s an escape plan!

Design the best retirement plan for you. Yes. For some of you, this term might bring a feeling of contentment, as you have already set up your goals in this direction and have started working towards it. You know how nerve-racking senescence could be, so you’ve already tightened your buckles to fight through it.

The rest of the people need not freak out. Have you heard of the idiom, “It is better late than never.”? For you, the right time to begin is NOW!

It is no rocket science to guess that now you’re wondering how to go about it. Well, now that you have made up your mind firmly on making your dotage carefree and relaxing, we are right here to guide you through it!

Remember, later is a better time than never to get serious about retirement. It might be possible that you do save up money keeping retirement in mind, but then, all of a sudden something huge comes up and the money is all withdrawn. To lessen the regret and guilt, you convince yourself that there is still a lot of time and you can pile it up again. But that is where you go wrong, my friend.

This golden tip is shared mutually by almost all the financial advisors, “Save money as if you’re throwing it in an abysmal well. It only goes in to never come out.” So, simply saving money and then forgetting about it is the key!

To your rescue, we bring the best five tips that financial planners recommend to ramp up your retirement savings later in life:

Step-by-Step Guide to Build The Best Retirement Plan:

The amount could be less if you begin early, for example, 20% of your gross salary. As soon as you start nearing your 40s or 50s, you should probably increase the percentage to 25% and then to 30%. After all, the more you save, the more financially independent you would be in your later years.

Another option is putting money in a tax-advantaged account like Public Provident Funds (PPF) which allows contributions up to 1.5 lac a year, and you could claim tax benefit under section 80C. This can be opened at any posts office, nationalized banks or a few private banks. Other schemes like New Pension Scheme (NPS) also offer great reductions in the tax. Just find the right scheme for yourself and start investing today!

However, that may require some hard decisions on cutting spending to put more of your salary directly into retirement savings. But you know it is all worth it, don’t you?

Any extra cash that comes along your way should be directed into the investment account. You know you are well off without that extra money (as you were for the last couple of months), so why spend that money extravagantly into stuff that you don’t even need? Saving it up for the future sounds so much better right? Remember, when you get behind in your retirement savings, you have to attack it with a single-minded intensity.

Moreover, if you have already maxed out contributions to a tax-advantaged retirement account, look at other ways to invest. A few suggestions are stocks or mutual funds — through a brokerage account. Anything that has the potential for growth beyond just putting that money in a savings account should be opted for. The trick is that simple!

Keep one point in mind to succeed in the art of investing – Never chase huge returns. You might end up losing your own money. As retirement age approaches, investment portfolios tend to incline towards more conservative investments, like bonds and money market funds, to better safeguard the nest egg. However, if your savings remain small, you may want to set your portfolio for growth by having a higher ratio of equities, which carry greater risk but also a greater potential to rise quickly.

As said by a certified financial planner, “One must not forget that even a 60-year-old may have 30 years ahead of him to plan for, with a little part of his/her money. So take your own time to realize where you are at, where you want to reach, and slowly and steadily work in that direction. Don’t try to make up for lost time by doing stupid stuff like investing it all in some hot stock Once you lose it all and you are left with not even a single rupee, it would be strenuous to start again from scratch!

Kids could take up a loan and finish off their education, but can you take a loan to pay for your retirement? Well, no. In the words of a professional financial planner, “your ability to retire, to be financially independent and not be needy at the end of life, is more important than putting your kids through college.” It might come off as a bit selfish, but think through it. Your kids have the entire lifetime to repay their loans, but that could be the only money you have. If you can manage both, well and good, but if you can’t, you have to prioritize yourself.

Also, it might have been okay with your parents doing it, but education cost in India has almost quadrupled since then. Make a good decision, considering both yours and your child’s future.

In India, as of now, the average retirement age is 62. However, it could vary from person to person. Retirement isn’t some goal that if you don’t cross the finish line on time, you’re a failure at life. You just have to change your mind about what retirement is actually going to look like.

If you are in business or an entrepreneur, you shouldn’t go by this age. Work till your mind tells you to and retire only when you feel is the right time. If you are among the salaried class, find alternatives that interest you, along with paying you, after retirement. You could set up tuition classes, or yoga classes, or even open up your own restaurant. You just need a strong willpower and a functioning mind, and you will understand that age is just a number!

As of now, retirement started seeming a lot less scary right? It is never too late to mend, so get into action now! With the right planning and focused approach, you could even go on an India tour through your retirement savings, who knows? So just make a bucket list and start investing now!

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