Just met a 70 year old man from our community. Interesting case study and pretty scary.

So fasten your seat belts, and have a sip of water before you start reading this.

Here is a man, not very educated (undergraduate) living in a nice house given to him by his wife’s brother. This man started his life as a sports coach in a school, and was lucky enough to get a job as a coach in one of the best Indian companies. The company gave him a house, a decent salary, provident fund, etc. and life was fine in his 20s, 50s, 60s,……

He got married to a woman who did not seek any employment (not sure if she was capable)..and life went on. The couple did not have any children – though at some points of time he supported his widowed mother.

Now at 70 (wife is 59 years old) he has a problem. All his money is over. Except perhaps a couple of lakhs in bank fixed deposits.

He is lucky that his brother in law has given him a house – but this man does not have money to even pay the society charges. So he needs a subsidy there too. He has no money to EAT, forget what happens if there is an illness to him or his wife.

So at 70 years of age he has no job, no income, no assets, – the typical American NINJA.

Questions to ask are:

What did he do with his salary income during his earning years?

Remember he was in the employment of a top Indian corporate which paid him decently.

Why did he not seek employment from age 58 (post retirement) as a sports coach in the new city of residence?

There is a good demand today for coaches – running, cycling, tennis, badminton….and even at age 58 he would have got a job paying about Rs. 6000 for a part time job in a school / college / corporate.

Did he live far beyond his means EVEN when retired?

If he did not buy any asset (like a house), did not pay for any major illness, did not pay for children’s expenses, where the hell did the money go?

Sorry my job is not to provide the answers it is only to ASK uncomfortable questions. Now squirm.

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  1. Good that he has no debt currently. He can reverse mortgage his house with his brother-in-law’s consent anyway. But surely he must have lived an unplanned and beyond the means life during his earning years.

  2. Absolutely scary !!! Surprised he does not have his own medical costs to contend with which perhaps may have made him want to look for a job in his 50s as a coach.

  3. Abhijit this looks so cruel!! I give a RIGHT of usage and he gives it for MORTGAGE!!

    Yes Vidya – many many many people have done all this. In the past the siblings took care of such idiots at their age of 70 or 80 without much of a murmur. Now with 1 or 2 kids such support system will disappear.

    I know one person who ran out of money and stayed with his sister. The guy had not married and the sister had very successful sons who treated the ‘Mama’ with lots of respect and ensured that he lived well and had a nice death. But the sister had 3 sons and 2 daughters doing EXTREMELY WELL – earning in various currencies. Also the sister’s husband did not object to the arrangement!! not everybody is so lucky.

  4. He obviously seems to be someone who thought that –
    a. he will live without any health or other financial emergency all his life
    b. did not understand the concept or need for financial planning
    c. his income during his working years would continue without any problem, post-retirement — but did not do anything about it after 58 years of age.
    d. his bro-in-law would support him lifelong in case of need — which seems to have become a perpetual one now !

    Solution ?
    Even now, if his health permits him, he can start giving full-time or part-time coaching.
    Obviously, this is based on the assumption that his knowledge and skills have kept pace with the times.
    If not, then he is way up s**t creek, without a paddle !

  5. Subra,

    Would like you to write an article what happens to money market funds and various debt funds during Equity market crash?
    Does Equity market crash affects debt market?iif yes then to how much extent and is it good to park lot of money in Liquid funds etc or being in FD is better?


  6. though it ‘s scary, i think, from my experience , that it is not unusual. now i am sixty six , and my financial scenario , is similar, a few lacs rupees and a 2 bhk flat in tier II city of my own. though i can’t say i had no liabilities ,and not fulfilled , but my impression is that during the time, most people did not think of any financial planning as today. the time was also rather easy for who were in good jobs. still even today,many people with accounts and finance education , do not do that , as their present financials are comfortable.if a person do not put the nos. on paper, it is difficult to understand the future needs and how difficult to plan to finance it.

  7. This is far too common Subrabhai.
    One more point– people who earned in the pre-1990’s, specially govt./teaching jobs, did not have the kind of salaries and disposable incomes that one sees today.
    Agree on lifestyle being out of sync.

    But this can happen to anyone…scary.

  8. I know one person, educated, did a good job, have no child, at 60+ his wife died, now he has no income, no savings, no children (might have supported him), no company. This situation is scary.

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