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#Un-retirement- Are you ready for it?

September 02, 2020 1549

It's the dawn of the 2020s. The first two decades of the millennium have turned many of our ideas of life and living on their head already. Rapid strides in technology and lifestyles mean we no longer work and live the way our grandparents, or even our parents did, for that matter.

With Covid 19 casting its long shadow across the planet, the rules are blurring even faster. Is it time to sit back and assess what our future could be like a few decades down the line?

What's changed?

Average life expectancy has jumped by 50 per cent in the last 100 years. Medical advances have made sure we will live longer, and healthier. It's no surprise that we are also seeing changes in the way people think about work, retirement, and age itself. 40 is the new 30, and and 60 is the new middle age, as they say!

Nuclear families

Joint families are almost passe in urban India, and the norm veers towards compact nuclear families, with fewer children. Chances are most of us will be living independently as we grow older, with plenty of time on our hands once we retire from active jobs! Most of us will also be far fitter than our parents were at that age, not willing to reconcile to the idea of simply reclining in an armchair and watching the sunset every evening!

Tech advances

The technology of the 1990s is history and that of the 2000s equally obsolete. We are living through times of swift tech upgrades and most of us have proven ourselves adept at adapting to newer technologies quickly - we are as ready for smart TVs, smarter audio enable bots and always available video calling. This means we will beliving a well-connected, hassle free life as we grow older and using tech to make our lives smoother and richer in the process.

How does it change your future?

What all this means is that people are getting to their sixties with another 15 years of productive life ahead, and this is turning out to be the most emotionally rewarding part of life. They don't want to hang it up and just play golf. Or play with their grandchildren. The 'golden years' as they were called, now mean something else altogether. These years, once you retire from an active career, are the ones where you follow all the dreams and passions that were stowed away while you built yourself a home, family and profession.

A new profession

Even in India, the number of entrepreneurs who have decided to change direction midway through their lives, take up early retirement and follow their heart is growing. If you have always wanted to take to commercial organic farming, open your pastry shop or launch your own clothes line, it's all within the realm of possibility.

Start to a new meaningful life

The retirement years were when our forefathers eased into the roles of grandparents and submitted to the tag of 'elderly'. No more. As we speed through the millennium, those crossing the half century mark are unwilling to give up their zest for life. They have the energy to keep up an active social life, travel, take up innovative projects that help the environment, make friends and sometimes, even finding a new life partner in the process.

A new destination

Several Indians are rethinking their golden years. No longer content with living out their lives in the same apartment they spent in their working years, many are seeking out alternative cities to spend the latter part of their lives. Here it is that they want to farm, open a library or join a trekker's group. In many ways, the complete break from the old ways of life is enabling many to discover themselves anew, taking up painting, writing or cooking professionally and making a success of it!

Think Income, Not Investments

Economists like Nobel Prize winner Robert Merton believe that it is more important to estimate and plan for your retirement income needs than worry about investments and how much you need for retirement. If you are planning to enjoy a second innings as fruitful as the first, you should account for a financial cushion that will enable you to experiment without being worried about the outcome of your ventures.

Ideally, you should have an income that lasts beyond your last salary. While an ideal plan will continue to give you an income that covers your regular expenses, you also need to factor in inflation, increasing healthcare costs that you might need later, and funds for emergencies. Besides, apart from the investments you have made through your life, you also need to think about providing for those who continue to be dependent upon you for their financial needs.

What you then need, if you need to live that dream life after retirement is an annuity plan that offers better utility and control. A plan like HDFC Life Pension Guaranteed Plan gives you guaranteed^ lifelong income after retirement.

Such a plan will not just help you plan your second innings better, it also works as an effective instrument for -financial planning, and gives you the option for immediate and deferred annuity.

The world is changing, and uncertainties will pop up at every stage. The office has moved into our homes, and a new normal awaits us in months to come. If you want to stay on the path of your dreams and find new ways to retire, the time to start is now!


^ The word "Guaranteed" and "Guarantee" mean that annuity payout is fixed at the inception of the policy

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