Some general observations or Axioms:
1. Generally money brings happiness, but only up to a point. You need to choose that point for yourself. IN the US this point to be considered to be about US $ 550,000. In India people will be satiated at a lesser number I guess (apart from a stupidly inflated house, that is).
2. People work beyond the retirement age (I now know 2 employees working till the age of 70 – one in banking and one in the energy sector, both outside India). Also know of a few people past 60 working in India’s Oil bigwig Reliance Industries. These people are surely happier than their retired counterparts. However, if the ‘being employed’ is not optional and is compulsory, I guess the happiness disappears.
3. People with dividend incomes to meet their day to day requirement SHOULD theoretically be MORE happy compared to their debt dependent friends. However, even for people with 30 years experience in investing, EQUITY sounds risky. Surprising but true.
4. Retirement should have a pull effect (a.k.a hobbies) and a push effect (Oh you are 60, we do not need you). For hobbies pick hobbies which involve people of various age groups. In golfing you will find people older than you while in trekking or hiking you will find people younger than you. Make friends 10 years older than you and those who are 20 years younger too.
5. While in Retirement work for a cause: cause could be as simple as ‘Swatchatha’ of schools and temples near your house. It will keep you busy 2 hours a day at least.
6. Keep learning something new. If you enjoyed something in your younger age, bring it back to LIFE!!
7. Financially speaking, keep your kids at an arms length. Not easy but if they keep dipping into your nest egg it will increase your anxiety.
8. Plan your stay – decide how long to live on your own, how long in assisted living and then move to nursing care. This decision has to be made by a sibling or a child. Be reasonable about it.
More to come, later, I promise….
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