PK Ghosh is a relaxed man. The 69-year-old scientist retired from the National Physical Laboratory in Delhi. Ghosh says he is comfortably placed in terms of his monthly income and expenditure and is covered by the Central Government Health Scheme that takes care of his and his wife Swapna’s medical needs.
He has also invested wisely."My pension is enough for me and I invest my surplus money in mutual funds, which give better returns than bank deposits. Since I have the capacity to hold on to my investments even if the market falls, I gain in the long run," he says.
Sanjiv Sinha, 39, a senior corporate communications executive, is working on precisely those lines. His goal: to ensure financial security for himself and his wife when he retires at 60.
“I invest Rs 1 lakh a year in mutual funds through a systematic investment plan. I now plan to invest a further Rs 5,000 per month in a mutual fund and the new pension scheme,” he says.
Investment experts and financial planners advise the following: a healthy medical cover, a fixed monthly income, liquidity at hand and investments that can beat inflation.
“Your portfolio should ensure that your monthly financial requirements are met through a steady flow of fixed income,” adds Amar Pandit, a Mumbai-based financial planner.
Fixed income can be assured through a monthly pension, monthly income scheme in banks, post offices or mutual funds and rental income.
“One must invest a small portion of savings in equities. If your savings are large, then the exposure to equity can be raised,” says Pandit.
Adds Bhatia: “Seniors can go in for dividend payout schemes of mutual funds as they provide regular income.”
Experts also suggest that senior citizens should avoid taking on any form of liability — such as car or personal loans. They also need not take on any fresh life insurance cover.
Here’s some advice for those who aren’t yet senior citizens: start saving early, even if it is only a few thousand rupees a year. The compounding of returns over several decades will ensure a decent corpus when you reach