Ready For Retirement

Just over a year ago Anurag 52, was back to India from his overseas job, happily retired with the idea of spending the rest of his life with wife Parul, a home maker and a shopping freak by nature and son Akash, a top performer, who was in his last year of Engineering. Anurag had no further commitments towards Akash except providing for his marriage.

During his career he has always been a disciplined person whether it is with time or money, he was always accountable. So it goes without saying that the nest egg was built. He had his plans (TO DO LIST) post retirement ready, like spending time with wife, son, extended family, friends, give time to hobbies, involvement with an orphanage which was close to his heart etc.

 Life was hunky dory. Few months passed, Parul started feeling uncomfortable with the full time presence of Anurag and was also worried about their financial situation in later years, though he was confident to sail through but was unable to convince her. So he took up a local job but was however not accustomed to the local traffic & travelling and was also missing out on his idea of retirement. His ex employers were calling him even today, to continue with the company he had worked for over 15 years. Not comfortable with the travelling part & the difference of opinion on the home front, he decided to go back to his previous employer.

 Anurag had done the monetary planning very well but had failed to involve & communicate with Parul during the course of planning with respect to the plans post retirement. Since he was not at home for a good number of years, they met only on holidays or when she stayed at the place he worked, they generally ended spending very little time with each other.

 The numbers were well taken care of since he was always that way, however the emotions were not. For the last 25 years, life was always work centered for Anurag, though money was not the only criteria and it was only a means to an end. The retirement planning was the version of Anurag alone, and that made all the difference.

 This by no way means money is not important; it only means that it is one of the important things.

 Few decades ago, average life expectancy in India used to be about 62-63 years, hence post retired life used to be short. With advanced medical innovations life span has jumped to 80 -85 years. So it’s a full 3rd Innings of 20-25 years, a new life all together with 24 hours to play with good amount of resources and at times lot of unfinished agenda, which takes center stage in this innings.

 To share with you the case of Captain Nair who had an empowering context at the age of 65 when he started Hotel Leela Kempenski at Andheri, Mumbai & still going strong even today at 90 with his chain of 7 up market luxury hotels and more on the way at various stages of implementation. His wife Leela has walked the journey with him throughout, since the dream was shared passionately by the two.

 Like the above examples, for most of us Retirement Planning is only about accumulating the corpus money. However it has to answer many questions which call for some thought process, discussion, participation etc. with all involved something like:

  1.  An Empowering context – the Purpose over the next 20 years, since it is a long period for all concerned!
  2. The Engagement – which satisfies the intellect, whether a job, some social work, a hobby etc. either part time or full time?
  3. Enrolment – who are the people I shall spend my time with & do we share anything in common or how do we bond and have an emotional quotient between us?
  4. The Energy & Enthusiasm – health, both physical & mental – what are we doing about it?
  5. The Location – Where? Native place with extended family, old friends, or around kids or an organized retirement home with the idea of having people of same age & a good support system. Today there are many Senior citizen complexes with all the amenities built around them.

 A 15 day vacation is planned well in advance enrolling every member of the family with aspects like when, where, how many days, arranging according to the holidays at office, school etc. besides of course whether to go on our own or have a packaged tour for a tension free vacation?

 All of the above with a budget well worked out.

 Then what about the 20 year plus vacation, called Retirement – do it as it comes on your own or a planned tour with a financial planner for a tension free vacation!