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How To Chart The Course To Financial Freedom? What Experts Say

Investors should focus on fulfilling their goals instead of merely chasing returns, considering the potential growth of expenses and the impact of inflation, says expert

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Outlook Money
January 23, 2024
How To Chart The Course To Financial Freedom

How To Chart The Course To Financial Freedom

Once perceived merely as a financial formula, retirement planning has evolved into a complex undertaking that extends far beyond numbers on a balance sheet. In a thought-provoking conversation with industry leaders at the Outlook Money Retirement Expo 40After40 moderated by the editor of Outlook Money, Nidhi Sinha, panellists conveyed a unified sense of urgency, stressing the imperative for proactive retirement planning, financial literacy, and government backing.

Ajit Menon, CEO of PGIM India Asset Management, set the tone by explaining that the biggest risk in retirement planning is not just about numbers but about longevity. According to Menon, the goal is to reframe retirement as a pursuit of financial freedom and happiness rather than a morbid calculation. This sets the stage for comprehensively exploring retirement trends, solutions, and challenges.

The Continuous Journey Of Retirement

Krishan Mishra, CEO of FPSB India, adds depth to the conversation by challenging the conventional notion of retirement as a fixed age. He asserts that retirement is a mindset, urging individuals to begin working and investing from their very first salary. Mishra strongly emphasises diversification and financial literacy, advocating for the guidance of qualified financial planners. Additionally, he highlights the often-overlooked aspect of estate planning for future generations. According to Mishra, adopting a lifelong commitment to financial planning from an early age is the key to ensuring a secure and fulfilling retirement.

Also Read: Important To Provide Seniors Sense Of Relevance, Says Tara Singh Vachani Of Antara Senior Living

Challenges And Contrasts In India

Nilesh Shah, MD of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management, introduces the audience to the unique financial contrasts present in India. Despite the country’s potential for significant financial growth, Shah points out that a lack of awareness, coupled with the prevalence of ponzi schemes, has resulted in substantial losses for millions of Indians. He stresses the crucial need for government support to level the playing field for the mutual fund industry, enabling it to reach a broader audience. Shah also advocates for creating a special retirement fund, addressing the challenges posed by transaction costs in the market.

Also Read: Take Professional Help For Your Finances As You Take For Other Matters: Gopalakrishnan, Whole-Time Sebi Member

Unprepared Societal Shift

Vishal Kapoor, CEO of Bandhan MF, draws attention to the unpreparedness of society for the realities of retirement. Kapoor notes that individuals often underestimate the costs associated with retirement, particularly the exponential rise in medical expenses. He highlights the importance of having a fixed sum to sustain one’s current lifestyle and poses critical questions about aligning investments with lifestyle sustainability. Kapoor suggests that investors should focus on fulfilling their goals instead of merely chasing returns, considering the potential growth of expenses and the impact of inflation.

Also Read: Building Wealth Is Not A Choice But A Sacred Duty: Bharat Shah, Executive Director, Ask Wealth

The journey towards financial freedom requires a positive mindset, early planning, and ongoing financial literacy. The experts unanimously advocate for continuous commitment, diversified investments, and strategic guidance from qualified professionals. As societal and financial landscapes evolve, addressing transaction costs, enhancing financial education, and creating specialised retirement funds are crucial considerations for ensuring a secure and fulfilling retirement. The road to retirement may be paved with challenges, but with foresight and informed decision-making, individuals can navigate it successfully, realising their goals and achieving financial well-being later.

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