Bollywood Lessons On Financial Planning – Right From Investment To Retirement Planning
Almost all Indians have grown up watching Bollywood movies. The dramatic dialogues of yesteryears are as popular today as they were when the movies were first released decades ago. That said, they carry some very important messages from the perspective of retirement planning too!
Most of us have grown up watching movies, gazing in awe at the stars with their larger than life personas and their ability to surmount all challenges that life throws at them. While these movies have been a major source of entertainment, sometimes they have also inspired us.
Iconic movies are characterised by their memorable dialogues. Dialogues like “ZIndagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahin”, and “Mein aaj bhi phenke hue paise nahin leta” have stood the test of time and are recited by people who may not even have been born when the movies with these lines were released.
The power and punchiness of these dialogues lie not just in how they are delivered, but also in the life truths that they carry within them. We recognise the timeless essence that these words carry, and maybe, that is the reason, they strike a chord. Let’s see if there are lessons that we can extend from some of these unforgettable dialogues into the rather prosaic world of retirement planning.
“Tareekh pe tareekh, tareekh pe tareekh…..”: Start Early
When it comes to starting saving for retirement, we mostly think that we have a lot of time in hand, hence we keep postponing the decision. Embarking on the retirement planning journey early has a big advantage, as the power of compounding can work wonders. The savings pool grows significantly over a longer period of time, taking you closer to the desired retirement corpus. So, the ‘tareekh’ to start planning for retirement is ‘now’.
“Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di…..” : Discipline is the key
Be it a plan for maintaining one’s physical health or improving one’s financial health, discipline is the key. The old adage of ‘slow and steady wins the race’ is particularly true when it comes to retirement planning. Regular, systematic saving ensures that setting aside some money on a regular basis, typically monthly, becomes second nature to us. In the context of market-linked investments, the principle of rupee cost averaging comes into play. This ensures that one doesn’t have to wait for the ‘right time to invest’, and it also makes decision making that much easier. So, while starting early gives us a definite head-start, it is sustained, systematic investing that can convert the head-start into a decisive, tangible advantage.
“Aaj mere pass buildingein hain, property hai, bank balance hai, bangla hai..” : Importance of diversification of retirement income
Most people are familiar with the concepts of diversification and asset allocation. If we extend this to the arena of retirement planning, the key point is that one’s retirement income should comprise of at least three-four different sources. Sources of income could be interest from deposits, dividend income, rental income, fixed income from annuity plans, pension from employer, and so on. Having income coming from multiple sources is a good way of reducing dependence on any one source.
We need to remember that every source of income has a certain inherent element of risk. Interest rates could fluctuate. Market returns will vary with time. Rental income is also cyclical in nature and prone to ups and downs. Thus, relying on any one source is not advisable. Multiple sources of income ensures that the risk gets spread out, and thus makes our plan more robust.
“Kya pata, kal ho na ho” : Importance of adequate insurance
To say that life is unpredictable would be stating the obvious. Over the last couple of years, we have come face to face with extreme unpredictability. If there is one thing that we need to take as a lesson from this, it is to make plans which are built on strong foundations, which can withstand the strongest of shocks. And when it comes to financial planning, that strong foundation is provided by adequate life and health insurance cover.
“Picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost” : Retire from work, not life
Retirement could be, and should be the start of the golden phase of one’s life. This is a distinct possibility because of three reasons. First, with increasing lifespans and better access to healthcare, people who retire will be doing so with their physical abilities to enjoy life fully intact. Second, during our working years, time would have been the scarcest commodity. Retirement is that phase of life when time is available in abundance. And finally, right financial planning can ensure that money will also be in abundance. So, with health, time and money being available, what is needed is the right mindset to make the fullest use of all three.
Life after retirement is the beginning of an exciting chapter, and one can look forward to it only if it has been planned for. If one is financially prepared, this chapter can be lived with joy and happiness like one has never lived before. And you can delightfully say and sing “All izz well” every single day of your retired life.
The author is head of products, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance
(Disclaimer: Views expressed are the author’s own, and Outlook Money does not necessarily subscribe to them. Outlook Money shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.)