Retirement planning is one of the biggest financial decisions one makes in life. It has a set of challenges and if you don't get your finances right with smart planning and consistency, you are unlikely to achieve your retirement goal. When planning for retirement, one has a number of questions including: Where to put money? How much and for how long?
Who better to answer these questions than those who are experienced?
In a series on retirement planning, MintGenie interviews a retired senior citizen every week to explore how they planned their retirement, the investments that worked for them, the ones that did not, the advice they have for the younger generations and much more.
This week, we've interviewed Vijay Maroo, Founder of neversayretired.com, to know how he planned his retirement and learn some lessons. Neversayretired.com aims to harness the energy of senior citizens in nation building.
After retirement, the two most important factors that cause concern are one's health and financial stability, says Maroo, adding that one must not sit idle post retirement and instead, must involve actively in some work.
How did you plan your retirement and did you follow that plan?
After doing my engineering and working for four years in a small scale business run by the family, I started my involvement in the media publishing business run by the family. At the time of retirement, I was its Managing Director.
I had taken a call to not join the other family businesses to work for the upliftment of the poor, particularly in the field of education. I was active in the Ekal Vidyalaya movement for more than three decades. I continued with Ekal and am now also involved with Vidya Bharati group of schools.
Besides working with other NGOs, as mentioned above, I started my own mission ‘Never Say Retired’ to harness the energy of retirees in nation building. I believe that when persons usually retire at 60 (in some cases it may be a little different), they have so much of knowledge and experience that they are assets of the country which cannot be left to go untilised. These people, if are engaged in constructive activities, can play a major role in nation building. At the same time, this will keep them in good health - physical, mental and financial.
What were the investments you made?
My investments are in FDs, PPF, shares. I have my own flat.
In your view, what works best for retirement and what doesn't?
After retirement the two most important factors that cause concern are one's health and financial stability. There are other factors too, but if these two are taken care of, the worry is much less. Post retirement, one must not sit idle, instead, must involve actively in some work. This not only keeps oneself busy, but it helps maintain good health, which helps in less expenses on doctors and medicines. The work that one chooses must be of interest. Even pursuing a hobby, which could not be done earlier, is good in the retirement period. Another good opportunity for retired persons is to help some NGO in their work. Most of the NGOs are looking for retired persons, as youngsters don't see a future working in most NGOs. The knowledge and experience of the seniors can help the NGOs a lot. However, one must be very careful before joining and find out about the management team, its financial status, etc.
Did you achieve your retirement goal?
This is an ongoing process for me. I will be 76 in November and would like to work for many more years still.
According to you, what are the most important factors to consider when planning retirement?
Once you know that you have to retire at this age, always keep in mind that this cannot be extended further. Your retirement plans must start early. Financial stability is the most important factor and for this as well, planning has to be done. With the longevity increasing, one has to plan for many more years now. We also have to consider as to who would be there to take care in the sunset years. There are many today, who are retired, who have to take care of their spouses too. Earlier, most of the spouses were housemakers and they were dependent on the working spouses for all their needs. Maybe this problem will be less in future as both would be working.
Any advice for GenZ for early retirement?
Early retirement can only be achieved if one has financial stability. In such a case, one can pursue his/her hobbies. With early retirement you can become an entrepreneur. Plan to have a home of your own and invest in savings instead of spending all that you earn. Keep on acquiring knowledge. You never know what can come to use.