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How To Prioritise Goals For A Timely Retirement

Prioritising goals is an important part of life, and planning them well is necessary for a stress-free retirement

Versha Jain
August 15, 2023
Prioritise Goals For A Timely Retirement

Prioritise Goals For A Timely Retirement

A recent survey of 1,000 US respondents, working and retired (between the age group of 25 and 80 years), found that 58 per cent of people have delayed their retirement to meet their retirement saving goal and for financing the college education of their family members. Prioritise Goals For A Timely Retirement is one crucial step while planning retirement.

The online survey was conducted by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), a research institute in the US.

The survey shows that 93 per cent of the respondents are saving for the college education of their children, whereas 66 per cent of respondents between 58 and 76 years of age are saving for their grandchildren.

According to the SOA research, the challenge of prioritising savings goals for self and family members has led people to make difficult choices and delay their retirement.

In this context, barring any unexpected situation causing a delayed retirement, what should one do to have a timely retirement? Let us see.

Says Poonam Tandon, chief investment officer, IndiaFirst Life Insurance: “It is important to live for the present, while also saving for the future, especially in an uncertain world, where there are no guaranteed inflation-linked pensions. One must ensure that their money lasts through retirement.”

Pradeep Suryavanshi, founder and CEO, Bestmate Investment Services Pvt. Ltd, emphasises the importance of planning and giving due consideration to factors, such as ascertaining the goals, assessing the financial situation, creating a budget, identifying time horizon, balancing risk and return, and regular review of planning. If there is a need, one may also seek professional advice in financial planning, he says.

How Should One Prioritise The Goals?

As everyone has different goals and time horizons to achieve their goals, so they should plan to save accordingly. However, there is no general framework, and so, keeping in mind one’s retirement, one should set priorities based on the short- and long-term, and always keep some funds handy for emergency requirements, he adds.

He says, “Saving for retirement should be a top priority.”

He says it is also crucial to understand what is important now and maybe later.

“So, for buying a house, it’s important to carefully evaluate your budget and financial capabilities. Consider factors, such as downpayment, mortgage payments, maintenance costs, and how homeownership fits into your long-term financial plan,” he says.

He adds: “It’s also essential to strike a balance between saving for retirement and funding your children’s education. You could use various options to fund education, such as regular systematic investment plan (SIP), children’s insurance plan, Ladli Yojana.”

So, one must carefully plan the goals. Meticulous planning is only half the work done to have a financially secure life. The other half is all about execution of these plans and regular review to make changes whenever required.

Strategies To Strike A Balance Between Goals To Take Timely Retirement

It is always a good strategy to start early and be consistent to save enough for retirement. As experts say, this will give you the benefit of compounding, which works like magic in the long term.

Says Suryavanshi, “Define clear savings targets for each goal. For instance, a goal, such as going on a holiday after three years needs less risky investment (like short term investment schemes, non-convertible debentures, market-linked debentures), while planning for child’s education after 20 years needs a different type of investment, as there is an inverse correlation between time and risk. A longer time horizon will auto-reduce your risk.”

Also, setting the timelines depending on available funds and financial inflow could be a good strategy. One would know the time by when a goal could be achieved, and consciously one can either increase savings or extend the retirement age.

Besides that, to achieve the savings corpus, one should track the expenses, keep expenditures within means, and try to pay off debts on time.

And finally, as retirement is long-term backward planning where various short-term goals fall before actual retirement, one should allocate resources in a way, where shorter-term goals, such as buying a car, or going on vacations do not hamper the savings for retirement, Suryavanshi adds.

Tandon adds: “It is important to enjoy life, but one should make sure that one’s lifestyle is affordable and is not based on personal loans. For instance, taking a holiday in India might be cheaper and equally enjoyable compared to an expensive trip abroad that you may not be able to afford.”

She suggests saving for different goals through different investments, including mutual funds, pension plans, etc. It is equally important to recognise the value of money early in your life, use it wisely, enjoy it, and provide for your retirement from the time you start earning by saving sensibly, she adds.

“Saving for multiple goals requires a balanced approach. Be flexible and willing to adapt your savings strategy, as circumstances change. By diligently saving and prioritising your goals, you can work towards achieving them in a well-managed and timely manner,” Suryavanshi further says.

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