Here is an old friend I met…he is 48 years of age, comfortably retired..but working to keep himself busy. This is how his Financial Goal statement would look if he made one…..oh ok..let me call it his Vision /Mission / Goal statement.

I am 48 years of age, and certified that I have enough for my retirement. Certified by the ever skeptical Subra, so I guess the retirement money should be sufficient for my next gen too, but no comments.

I have been told not to talk numbers – but that is difficult for the ‘bania’ in me not to do so. So here…my annual expenses are very low – X – and I should be having about 400X in equities, 2 rental properties each paying about 2x as rent, and 20X in fixed income like bank fd, ppf, etc.

I work about 3 days a week, and have many hobbies – running (I do a Full Marathon in about 4 hours, and that is credible), I swim, I go on treks, I have zero television time, I read 100 books a year – about 100 pages a day, I potter around the kitchen, I hope to be a good grand parent – my daughter is about to be married (hopefully!), and I am associated with a social ‘ashram’ which looks after many orphan girls. Of course, I trade equities – it has helped me retire dammit.

The best thing that happened to me in the past 10 years is meeting Subra. He completely changed my money management style. I used to be a hands on entrepreneur…and I met S at a wedding. S addressed 18 of us…and said “If you are really successful, why is your time management skill so pathetic?”. Most of us did not like the mirror. A few of them broke the mirror. I changed myself.  I suddenly had a Goal sheet, and realized that I could have retired anyway. Then I tagged my investments to goals…and today I say NO to all investment proposals.

I de-cluttered the office and home:  Got rid of tons of stuff in the house. Amazing junk collection over the years had to just go. Right from pillows, cutlery, clothes, and other seemingly useful things just went out. Went on Olx, went to friends, went to charities, and went to employees. 3 television sets became one. Furniture – simply reduced. Oops made my Mumbai flat look bigger.

I de cluttered the portfolio: dramatically reduced the length of the portfolio – from 133 odd shares to about 30 shares. S knows best. He did it, and did it ruthlessly. Now I know where my assets are, what returns I am getting, and my portfolio manager is doing a good job. My happiest person? My accountant who gets a ‘should have received this dividend’ alert from my accounting software.

I de cluttered my personal life and my business. I gave up many time and effort sucking clients. Now I do very little work – and what I do I enjoy. I gave up painful customers as well as less profitable customers…just upped the ante. Has been worthwhile.

That is all I did. I anyway had the money – thanks to a nice inheritance of office, and the real estate portfolio. Looking back I could have simplified my life earlier. Oh, forgot to mention, eating out twice a week got down to twice a month. Yes my daughter goes out with her friends – but me and my wife have dramatically cut the eating out (expense and health benefits!).

Many of these hobbies were lurking picking it up was not difficult. Dramatic improvement in health..a drop op of weight brought by sugar , salt, milk….reduction.

Can go on…but sticking to my 600 word limit…


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  1. Subra something seems wrong here:

    my annual expenses are very low – X – and I should be having about 400X in equities, 2 rental properties each paying about 2x as rent, and 20X in fixed income like bank fd, ppf, etc.

    Even for basic needs of 50k per month, you’re saying 24cr in equities, rental properties worth 6cr (2% yield) and fixed income capital 1.2cr leading to a sum total of 32.2cr of investments. This is wayyyy more than what is required for a 50k per mo expense.

  2. he has some numbers wrong. His equity portfolio is about Rs. 12 crores and his properties are worth 6 crores..inherited..and fixed income instruments should be in the region u mentioned..

    What is important is till i set the parameters he used to feel he does not have ENOUGH he is relaxed…and feeling rich, that is all..

  3. Thanks for sharing Subra sir!

    This is a nice and simple article and really shows its written by a satisfied man. The numbers are not astronomical, Moreover the lifestyle and philosophy is something we can all strive for.

    Being happy and satisfied post a certain age is most important.

  4. I think equity portfolio of 400x is alright. Even with 1% dividend yield, it will create a substantial cashflow which can be used for reinvestment or for expenses. Subra, what do you do with your dividends? Do you reinvest them. If so in the same shares or you use the dividends to buy other undervalued shares?

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