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Last Updated : Jun 07, 2013 11:37 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Retirement is a long way off; why think about it now?

Lovaii Navlakhi of International Money Matters explains why it is important to plan one's retirement early.

Lovaii Navlakhi
International Money Matters

This is what most of us think especially when we are in our 20s and 30s. While this is certainly true, retirement is indeed a long way off, but planning for it is not.

Just answer these 4 basic questions and you will know whether you need to start planning for retirement now?

  • Do you have considerable inherited and /or ancestral wealth coming your way in a few years?
  • Is your current income such that you manage to save more than 50% of your salary almost every month?
  • Do you plan to leave a very Spartan existence once you retire by moving to the Himalayas and living in an Ashram there?
  • Do you regularly buy a lottery ticket every other day hoping to hit the jackpot in the next few years?

Also read: Not-so-good investment options for retirement planning

If the answer to any one of these questions is YES, then sure you don’t need any retirement planning as either you won’t need much money to survive after retirement or you would have enough wealth without doing anything by the time you retire!

If your answers are mostly NO, then you do need to start thinking of retirement now and setting aside money for it today.

Traditionally, we Indians do not plan for retirement. It is the other goals like owning our own house, providing a good education to our children and arranging for a lavish marriage,especially a daughter's marriage that take precedence.

While this was fine as long as the joint family system was prevalent and the son took care of his parents when the father retired, thingsare different now.The joint family system is no more, children rather sons are often living in a different city, if not continent. Even if both are residing in the same city, parents and children want to live separately as there are too many adjustment issues – which means more expenses.

Moreover, retirement period itself has become longer and more expensive. Progress in medicine has increased lifespans but comes at a high price reflected in health care.

Second there is now a trend of wanting to retire early from active work say by 50 and then doing charitable work or pursuing hobbies like wildlife photography. Either ways the length of the retirement period is longer now at 20+ years.

Beyond that retired life these days is not about a reclining chair, books and watching sunrises and sunsets. Having led high pressure and stressful lives, one has many expectations from retirement – it is the time to do all that one hasn't had the luxury or rather leisure to do until now – traveling the world, pursuing different interests and hobbies.

You just have to look at daily newspapers to see people in their 'old' age doing all kinds of things – a India tour looking up, relatives and friends along the way, a cruise around the world, scuba diving, setting up a school. All this needs money. Which is possible to accumulate only if you start now, start TODAY!

First Published on Jun 7, 2013 11:32 am