We just saw…part 1 of ‘should I retire at all’…now here are the hassles – or why I have been having these doubts! Here are the reasons:

Of course the most important question is “Will my corpus last 4 decades….for me and my wife to survive on”…

1. In India we have NO social security at all: If you exhaust your money, well bluntly, you are dead. Period. Not negotiable. Plain cold dead.

2. People who are dependent on Government or other pensions – God bless you if you think it will last till you last! The government will coolly stop the indexing or the pension itself! PSUs will be privatised (we are talking 3-4 decades, and anything can happen).

3. Our medical insurance is a farce BEYOND your age of 65: Most companies will not pay for regular expenses – and the hospitality industry’s pace is higher than inflation! Redefine health and pray.

4. If you have kept the money in safe, solid fixed deposits, inflation will kill your corpus before you die!!

5. If you think ‘Reverse Mortgage’ will save your day. Chill. You can do a R.M. only AFTER your age of 65. I would suggest please try RM only after the YOUNGER spouse turns 70 should you even THINK of RM. Remember the building has to be less than a particular age for the lender to be interested in the deal. To cut a long story short, do not rely on this …EXCEPT as a last resort….

6. Health care is expensive and worse, unpredictable: need I say more?

7. Living beyond a particular age you will need help of all kinds – changing curtains, changing bulbs, banking, cooking,….and this is damn damn expensive, and worse not available in most places.

8. Retirement, well technically is just an exercise in knowing how much you should withdraw. However with so many scams, meltdowns, frauds,…it is well nigh impossible to get the final answer right. Just too many variables for you to get the final answer right.

Now you know what I have been saying, right?

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  1. i really have a no edit policy – and normally I would have deleted any parochial comment. It could be caste, creed, community or GENDER. Gopinath’s comments are surely ….where are the women readers? do they find it offensive? any rejoinders?

  2. Gopinath was not being discriminatory here. He just raised a practical point. May not be an issue in well to do families, but the reality is different when it comes to low middle class families.
    Let us put aside our high moral ground and think practically.

  3. Subra, I am disappointed by your response to C.J. Gopinath.
    Mr. Gopinath is raising a very valid point. Politically correct fundamentalists nip these points (like the one raised by Mr. Gopinath) in the bud, and then engage in condescending, hypocritical and sterile debate about male-child-preference in India.
    Dowry and security-in-old-age are significant drivers behind the male child preference in Indian society. If we want to solve the problem of female infanticide (and not just write stupid editorials/opinions on girl child day), points like Mr. Gopinath’s should be heard and addressed.

    Having said that, I would like to share an observation of mine. Due to job market dynamics, I see too many old couples living alone. Sons are unable to help as they have to migrate to other state/country for job. Parents are not always able to stay with sons because it is difficult to adapt to a new place in old age.
    I also know a couple of cases where because of saas-bahu issues, the old mother is living at her daughter’s place and not at son’s house. I know of one case where old mother is staying with son, but in the process severely letting her dignity getting ripped apart daily in 1000 skirmishes with daughter-in-law.
    I would like to know from Mr. Gopinath whether he considers the above examples as exceptional cases or agrees that it might be a trend. In case, you agree that my examples above are not exceptions, then having a male child for old-age-support might not be worth it.
    Of course dowry remains the other big factor. Alas, that is a social evil which government rules cannot address. Except one community, I know of no other community/caste in India where dowry is truly abhorred.

  4. i am clearly not here to change the world. I move around in a society where there may be an occasional clash, but many people do live together. ‘Dowry’ – in the last 20 years of marriages in my circles, I HAVE NOT SEEN dowry being asked nor given.

    Having said that to say children should financially look after parents is sheer financial unpreparedness on part of the parents. Just too many of the seniors I know need their kids emotionally (almost all of them perhaps) but not more than 3-4% need them financially.

    So my audience is well to do, nondiscriminatory -genderwise or otherwise.

  5. I agree with subra.( I should, have 2 daughters!) And would definitely like to rely on them for emotional support in my old age. I should say my parents are financially independant and stay on their own not relying on either their sons or daughters!
    Financial independence gives you a choice!

  6. Thanks Sujatha! Most of the seniors I know are financially independent, having a good lifestyle – and completely at ease that one day (maybe at age 83?) they may move in to a ‘home’ if they need constant medical attention, nursing, etc.

    It is not easy (emotionally and physically) for a 62 year old to look after a 84 year old mother / father / in-law esp when the older person needs medical and nursing attendance through out the day. Let us be practical, I would rather have a PAID nurse looking after me and my daughter visiting me with love and care, rather than she telling the world that she cannot take a break because she has to look after me. My parents stay 7 minutes away from me, are financially and physically independent, but I do help them with banking, and some other more demanding chores. To me that makes more sense.And I hope my daughter is learning 🙂 LOL

  7. Subra,

    I like the practical approach espoused by you. Old age homes do make sense. I will be happy to live in one, with my daughter visiting me- because she misses me and wants to spend time with me! As for my parents and inlaws – they are financially independent and are physically better off than me!

  8. I think Sujatha has a point. In the end it doesn’t matter if one has sons or daughter. What makes the readers think that a son is better equipped to take of the parents in the old age.I think what Sam has got a valid point ie. old age home.

  9. Wow. what a fantastic responce on the great topic.

    A normal human life can be divided into 3 stages
    1. depending on your parents for 25 years
    2. living of working for 25-35 years
    3. a retired life of 25-30 years

    So the simple logic SAVE and invest atleast what you SPEND in you stage 2 (year by year, month by month, day by day) of life can help you have a peaceful retired life FINANCIALLY provided your savings are compounded.

    The value of emotional support required in the retired life just depends on what the “provider” is blessing you with in his wisdom. you have 1 kid or 10 kids is of no meaning. you have boys or girls is of no value. This is my belief and expectations with what i see around.

  10. Be ready to work till you die

    If you have work to do at the time of your death and you are healthy enough to do it, count it as a blessing.

  11. Thinking about life insurance and don’t know where to start? Try IntelliQuote. I work with them and you can get free quotes on rates from several different providers without any pressure to buy. Want to talk to a human? They have agents available to help find the policy that is right for you. Not ready? No pressure. But at least it’s a place to start.

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