Source/Contribution by : NJ Publications
We all talk about it, know about it but rarely do we find anyone who is all set and ready for a peaceful and happy retirement. Retirement planning is one goal which is often at the bottom of our priority list. We often make excuses to avoid it. In this article, we will see the most common excuses made by people around us to avoid saving / planning for retirement.
1. It's too soon
This is an excuse which is often given by those who are in their 20s and 30s. At this stage of life, they are primarily concerned about creating assets and enjoying life. For them, 'retirement' is very far away to even start thinking. However, the reality is that the sooner you plan, the better chance you have for having a retirement you want. When it comes to retirement planning, it is frankly, never too soon.
2. It's too late
Retirement planning is a broad subject and is applicable to everyone. Even if you are near retirement or have already retired, it does not make any difference. The planning piece will surely take into consideration your existing age and status to make appropriate plans. Retirement planning is not just limited to saving for retirement but is also concerned with your post retirement planning.
3. My family will care for me
Do we really want to become as dependents on our family / children? No matter how faithful and caring your family members, especially children, are; you should let them worry about their own lives and their own children. Social and family structures are changing today and often children do not stay with parents. It would be strongly advised to not think of yourself living at the mercy of others.
4. I do not have enough money
No one ever has enough money. The important thing here is to make a start. Every rupee will count towards your retirement kitty. Initiating the process will mean that you are serious about retirement planning and you will be more likely to increase your savings in future.
5. I am in a bad financial situation
In a situation where you feel that your finances are in a mess, we would recommend that you get in touch with your financial advisor / planner. You need to sort out your mess and find ways to clear all debts / liabilities first. This though may also be a case of exaggeration. You need to really check if you are truly in trouble or choosing to believe so, so as to avoid saving.
6. I am not aware of retirement planning
This is another excuse people often make. However today, seldom can anyone claim that the awareness was absent. We must be at least aware that we may have to live about 20-30 years of our lives without regular income – post retirement. This simple knowledge is good enough to evoke a sense of urgency and the importance of retirement planning.
7. My advisor did not ask me about it
Those who make this excuse must be asked – do you never put forward any question or requirement to your advisor? Have you ever asked your advisor to plan for your life goals? Are you serious about getting the right advice from your advisor? A good advisor will always ensure that he/she discusses and plans for all your life goals with you. However, the onus of ensuring that your advisor covers all your needs and does not miss anything lies on you.
Why is retirement planning 'important' and 'urgent'?
Among all your life goals, retirement planning is perhaps the most critical life goal. It is much more important than children education or marriage goals. Once secured admission, your child can always find education loans. With an evolving society, traditional marriage expenses may not be applicable today. Also earning children can always save something for their own marriages. Also marriage is something which can be planned or delayed for few years if required. Hence, the only key goal left out is retirement which cannot be compromised.
Here are the reasons why it is very important and urgent.
1. Lack of social security in India forcing everyone to save for retirement
2. Question of living at least 15-20 years without income in old age, with potential health issues & expenses
3. Need to be self dependent for all expenses – for self respect and freedom
4. Can't rely on family members or children for sure
5. Retirement planning is one of the most neglected life goals – other goals get higher preference
6. The amount of savings needed is huge compared to any other goal, especially at later ages
7. You and your spouse deserve a good, peaceful, happy life in your golden ages
Retirement planning deserves your immediate attention. If you have been delaying retirement planning or making excuses to avoid it, we would suggest that you do so at your own peril. Retirement planning is the most important thing that you need to do for yourself. You deserve a life of comfort and care without worries after spending a lifetime working hard and living for others. Rest of the things will happen at their own pace but retirement is something more personal which only you have to think about.