First of all get the basics right…Retirement is expensive, EARN it only then will you deserve it.

Even if you plan to retire at say 58…it is not too early to start planning for it when you are say 50 years of age. It is necessary to find something worthwhile to do. It cannot be just some exercise (which you should anyway MUST do) but find some real calling. Nobody will take you seriously UNLESS you take yourself seriously. For heavens sake, stop looking at those butox faces and silver grey heads and think nice happy things are going to happen to you. YOU, and YOU alone can make it happen, so take charge.

Let us see what all you should/ could do.

1. Do not take the targets, etc. too seriously! All that is over and done with, but still find a hobby. Pottery? Photography? Music? Something which will take 2-3 hours of your day without too much of a travel or other hardships. This should pull you from your job instead of just the date calendar pushing you into retirement! But be seriously interested.

2. For heavens sake, do it TODAY, now. Do not think you will do it one week or one month before retirement.  A few of my classmates said ‘your mind has to be alert’..’your attitude has to be good’….yuck guys, you still need to DO SOMETHING. Now, today. Remember, the Power of NOW?

3. Take up some courses: some of them are paid online course, and many are free. You have FREE online music classes, cycling, running websites, MIT runs a lot of free course, try it out. If you do not mind spending money, there are greater choices – Indian and Foreign. However be aware there are just too many frauds too. Examples are day trading, forex trading, etc… these are just ways to take money from you. Simple.

4. Join groups: Groups cut across age and gender barriers. So find your self a walking buddy 10 years older than you, a running buddy same age as yourself and a cycling buddy 10 years younger than you! Being in multi age groups helps – sometimes as a mentor and sometimes as a mentee.

5. Do not listen to a doctor: If he is a smoking, fat 39 year old doc, he is in no position to treat a 59 year old fit ru0nner. If you must see a doc for physical ailments see a sports doctor. Sadly many Indian doctors are unfit and will quickly say ‘Oh you are should not be running’. They act like Don Quixote when you say Treadmill.

6. There is nothing perfect on day one: You may run for 700m or cycle for not let that dishearten you. I know kids who have said ‘I cannot run, I can only walk’…now running a half marathon. Just goddamn start…remember point no. 1? Leave competition behind. Remember you have retired? Just relax, but do, NOW. And like they say ‘It is too late only if you do not start NOW’. So like Nike says ‘Just Do It’

Unless if you are a cricketer you retire only once, make the most of it. Remember you do not stop learning because you are aged, you age because you stopped learning.

Hey Chinese, here I come? Or should it be Sanskrit? Your call.


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  1. Dr M Chandrashekhar

    Nice one , Subra– Iam 60 & though I call it a Sabbatical , it is actually my retirement.

    I love going back again to Transcendental Meditation ( TM),

    Joined a PG course ( online + contact programme)in Family Medicine & Geriatric Medicine,

    Taking great interest in Financial Planning–rather too late for me–but may be useful to plan for my entrepreneur son.

    Give strategic business advice to him — though , I believe, no successful entrepreneur son has made it good in business listening to his senile father !

    Looking to work for an NGO — in Healthcare. Last 07 months have been great & hope the future remains this way.

  2. sir,
    it is ‘botox’ but obviously you would be knowing nothing about it!

    there is a site named ‘coursera ‘ that offers nice free online courses in various subjects. they are good too.

  3. All these things are indeed part of your philosophical approach of living in the present, and not for a very distant unknown future. But the way you have ‘interwoven’ them with planning for retirement makes it very practical and easy to understand. Thanks again.

  4. I’m on two writing groups.
    On one group,, the oldest person on my practice list is a young and smart as hell 90-year old. This exposure seriously turns all our preconceived notions of old age and retirement upside down.

  5. Hi subra,
    You have pointed out some good tips for retirement. I know some very old people from computer industry do this. They joined some forums and keep answering questions from newbies. They can earn very well if they work(may be forums pay them! i don’t know). Sadly all are Foreign people(US and Europe). When I read this post, they came to my mind.

  6. Subra,

    following are golden statements from you

    “Retirement is expensive, EARN it only then will you deserve it.”

    “In real estate one has to DEAL and NOT invest to make money”

    “America loves democracy so much that they want to keep it all to themselves”

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