In every financial planning class I need to do a post lunch session. To keep them awake I ask them to do a simple exercise – calculating how much money they require for retirement.
Unless they are at least 32-33 years of age, they have no clue as to how much they need for retirement. Once they see the figure (let us say Rs. 7 crores) they get into a DENIAL mode. Immediate reaction is to say “my father did not need this much amount” or “my expenses will reduce after retirement” or “my children will take care of me”.
Once they cool down, they sit and work out how it can be put together.
What most people do not realise is that the figure looks very big because we are seeing it from a very long tunnel. If I were to tell you that YES you do require Rs. 4 crores to retire, 30 years from now. HOWEVER if you were to invest just Rs. 100 a day for 30 years in a SIP which gave a SENSEX rate of return, you will have Rs. 4 crores in your retirement kitty.
However the requirement could be Rs. 20 crores and not just Rs. 4 crores. Not everybody understands how this works, and many people (including some fund managers!!) like to remain in denial.
So the important lessons in retirement planning are simple – make an estimate of your needs, adjust them for time value, compute the amount that you need to invest on a monthly basis, THEN START TODAY. Do not let the power of compounding go away – harness it when you can. Simple.
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