What do you think of when you think about retirement?
No more deadlines to meet. No office politics to deal with. No more long commutes on the train.
Chances are you picture yourself “happily retired” in your 60s, playing with your grandkids and living the kind of life you want to live. Everybody has a wish list for their retirement. You may envision yourself travelling the world, relocating to a beach destination or building a second home in the mountains, taking up a side gig, learning a musical instrument, or contributing to a social cause. Retirement is a time to lay back and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Except, what if your retirement is not as you hope for it to be?
What if everything that you looked forward to all these years disappears in an instant because of your deteriorating health?
Bad health can dramatically impact your dream retirement, and alter even the best laid plans.
Planning your retirement
According to the 2016 Global Retirement Index—developed by Natixis Global Asset Management and CoreData Research—India ranked last out of 43 countries. It also ranked last in terms of healthcare and quality of life, and second to last in terms of finances in retirement. Old age in India can be rather tough if you’re not prepared for it.
Planning for your golden years is a daunting task by itself as you figure out how to balance all of your short-term financial priorities. However, planning for retirement without taking into account your health needs is certainly a bad idea. Good health is often overlooked in the pursuit of money, dreams, and luxuries as this cookie jar experiment from Axis Mutual Fund revealed.
While it’s important to grow your financial nest egg, it’s equally important to take care of your health. With the rise in medical costs in India, accompanied by an ageing population, it’s imperative for today’s youth to look into savings and retirement schemes to meet their post-retirement expenses. This is especially crucial when it comes to healthcare, as per a 2015 CRISIL research report titled ‘When India Ages, Whither Pension for All?’
Investing in your health is as important as investing in your dreams.
Here’s a guide to making sure you stay in the prime of health during your golden years:
• Foster key relationships and build a strong social network
Having a strong social network—comprising family and friends—is critical to long-term happiness, physical and emotional wellbeing. During retirement, your interests may change and you will find yourself with more time on your hands, which you certainly wouldn’t want to spend alone. Take time to foster the most important relationships in your life now to reap the benefits during retirement.
• Maintain a healthy diet and stay fit
Staying fit and healthy when you’re younger will reduce your expenses on health insurance during old age. When you commit to self-care and eating right, you’re setting yourself up for a healthy, relaxed retirement. In fact, insurers in India are now encouraging customers to stay active and focus on their wellness. Your health insurance premiums are a function of age and sum assured, followed by a healthy lifestyle. Going the extra mile to stay in the pink of health is good for you as well as insurance companies. You can even earn discounts on your premiums depending on the provider.
• Manage stress effectively
Stress affects your body’s immune system and disables it from fighting disease. It’s known to be a silent killer leading to several health problems such as heart disease, depression, anxiety, etc. Therefore, it’s critical to take some time out every day from your busy lives to switch off, relax, and meditate.
• Rekindle old hobbies or find a new one
Most people forget about hobbies or second careers till they hit retirement. But your 20s and 30s are the best time to rekindle the interests you harboured as a kid/young adult, or even to find new ones. Everybody enjoys life more when they follow their passions.
You can plan for your dream retirement today by being open to new experiences, creating a roadmap of your income and expenses post-retirement, exploring investment options, and boosting your awareness of financial products in the market.
Statutory Details: Axis Mutual Fund has been established as a Trust under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, sponsored by Axis Bank Ltd. (liability restricted to Rs. 1 Lakh). Trustee: Axis Mutual Fund Trustee Ltd.
Investment Manager: Axis Asset Management Co. Ltd. (the AMC). Risk Factors: Axis Bank Ltd. is not liable or responsible for any loss or shortfall resulting from the operation of the scheme.
Mutual Fund Investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.