Most of us cannot predict about the future. Tautology? Prediction is always about the future, is it not?

So a 30 year old thinks he is going to retire at 49 years and spend the next 20 years in the current home and die at a ripe old age of 70.

A 55 year old thinks Mumbai is too crowded and hot, so he is going to settle in OOty because it is cooler.

A 42 year old thinks he will sell off his existing house, invest the crores and go to a smaller town.

One person thinks that your costs come down if you can stay in a small town and DO YOUR OWN FARMING.

Thane? It is so far of!! Nerul? Omg it is too far off…Panvel? Does anybody stay there?

A 78 year old thinks that an old age home charging Rs. 8k per month as being very unreasonable.

A 80 year old with a rental income of Rs. 35k thinks 10k per month is too high, because she has paid a deposit of 1 Million Rupees.

Let me get some things clear:

A 30 year old has no clue what he is going to do in life, let alone retire, where to live in retirement etc. At the age of 30 the only thing he can / should do is to invest aggressively for his old age. He can use the money to do what ever he wants at the age of 60. Thinking about retirement now is pretty unnecessary and impossible.

The 55 year old has NO CLUE how his body will react to the cold at his age of 78, does he? So he is in some mental foolishness.

The 42 year old is in a fool’s paradise. Land, steel and cement are all commodities. With improved infra there is no reason for Real Estate to give returns more than 7% pa in India. And I maybe on the higher side!

Staying in a small town and doing your own farming: gimme a break. If you have spent 40 years of your life living in Mumbai, it is doubtful whether you will want to go to a small village and live. You will need your 24 hour electricity, 4G, doctors, nursing homes, friends, – I dare say you will not leave the city. A different town may have a different ethos which may not suit you. Stop telling lies.

Most of the people want an old home exactly where they live. Or have been used to living. So for them the ‘suburbs’ look too far away. ย They forget that the house in which they are staying is now a Rs. 44,000 rupee rental property! They wish to pay Rs. 5k for stay, lunch, electricity, basic care, entertainment,….wake up guys, wake up.

Accept one thing. At 55 you do not know what you will want at 70. At 70 you really do not know what you will want at 80. You will have to live with an older person, cantenkerous self, a failing health and a failing brain. No, it is not easy and you need to reconcile yourself to a 100 year journey. Stop fooling yourself about a bad lifestyle leading to an early death. Protect yourself against a fall. Broken bones take years to heal and terribly restrict your movements. Keeping up a good mood and making new friends continuously is the only remedy. So seek a good old age home, accept that it will be ‘expensive’ because it is a people heavy business (many old age homes have a 1:1 ratio of inmates to employees) and good social contacts is absolutely necessary to be able to live. Happily or otherwise is your choice.

Read the comments of 18 August post!!



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  1. sir very very true post you have written

    what i see is people imagining retirement life at 60 but still thinking like they are 30.

    what you said about failing health and failing brain is 10000% agmark truth which young people in 30s cant even understand.
    nowadays most of them dont have experience of taking care of elderly or sick parents or grandparents or in-laws

    simple slipping in bathroom when you are 60 or 70 will make you bedridden till 90 .

    unless you have sons daughters or daughters-in-law taking care is really tough for all. they also have to sacrifice a lot for your sake. they can’t even go out leaving a bedridden 80+ old person all alone in house.

    do what you can and hope for best but prepare for worst thats all we can do.

  2. Just the other day, one of my old uncle said, “It is really tough being old. The memory does not support you. All you remember is the time when you were in between 30s and 50s. The recent memories are gone. I do not remember anything happened in recent years. I do not remember if you are still studying or working anywhere”

  3. Looking at the scenarios and experience of old people, it’s not difficult to comprehend that our old age is going to be really tough. What with the next generation of our sons/daughters wont even be willing to take care of us and we left to fend for ourselves that too with a failing health and failing brain.
    I really really honestly wish I should not live after 70 or 75 but alas.. as Subra sir said, I should stop fooling myself about an early death inspite of my bad lifestyle (zero exercise, fast food every now and then, high stress job to name a few)

  4. Not many would like to live beykond 70 (I not beyond 65) but it will depend on mother nature. I took care of my father (he took care of his) but I am not sure of the same about my son. Its not about money one needs hands(and willpower) to help old people. I have cleaned up my dad with my hands in his last days and I am sure there are many who have done so, but I am not sure about who would do the same for me in my old days. So life is a bif IF…for most of us, let see where it takes….

  5. mr. umang don’t worry your son wont let you down.

    he would have seen you or atleast heard your relatives say how you took care of your father.. that itself is a big influence trust me

  6. I lived in village(TN) till my engineering and currently staying Bangalore.In my experience most of city things are available in my village too.ATM’s,DTH,3G,Cab/auto

    on call are available. conveniences,essential and emergency services(Thanks to 108) are available @ a 15 – 20 minutes drive (The same takes 30 – 60 mins @ Bangalore).

    Vegetables, rice and other farm produces are cheap if you or neighbors produce it.Air and water are equally /slightly less polluted than city.Power supply in my

    village is slightly better than Bangalore now ๐Ÿ™‚
    To me its not a binary answer, But you can think of this option if you are from a village background, for others its not such an easy option.

  7. It is true that children learn by examples and not advice alone. If they have seen their parents take care of the elders and respect them they too will follow to the maximum extent possible by them.

  8. Oh all you great souls who are sure that your children will take care of you have you got a guarantee that you will NOT outlive your children? what if you do? jump into the pyre with them? what if your children have other medical/ marital problems? what if they have problem children?

    STOP THIS STUPID argument. It is like telling a lion “see I am a vegetarian i do not eat lions so please do not eat me”.

    You did your duty, now go and pray that you will be taken care of by somebody in exchange of money. If your children do it, it is luck. I hope you are not saying…my father lived till 80 so I do not need life insurance. It would be just as foolish.

  9. Do not agree about this pessimistic view – there are limitations to what you can forecast – but long term planning is truly required – may not be accurate – but still necessary. – Please see my website -http://get-rich-and-retire-early

  10. Dear Mr. Subra,
    You are on dot and blunt in your comment regarding children taking care of old parent/s, sick or agile. We are an evolving society and children born in the eighties and nineties are not burdened by the same guilt that we born in the fifties and sixties carry of taking care of our parents in their old age. It is lot wise to take care of ourselves and our life partner till the end of our days. And I see no reason why we should expect our kids to take care of us in our old age. We never gave birth to them in the first place with this expectation. Neither they sought our permission that they be born to us. Lets get real and not get senti about these realities of the day. We are too caught up with what I call “Rama Conciousness”, with Duty to family and kin above self as life theme, whereas the real world out there has changed. And now with all TamBrahm kids flying out and settling in US, elders and to be oldies like us better get real of life out here in our amchi mumbai. Regards, Dr. S. Hariharan.

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