International Day Of Older Persons: Get Your Finances In Order For A Secured Old Age

Those who didn't do retirement planning in their prime can still make a considerable difference by starting in whichever phase of life they are now.

Versha Jain
October 2, 2023
Financial Planning

Financial Planning

As we marked the International Day for Older Persons on October 1, it brought us together to reflect on whether our senior citizens are getting sufficient support for a healthy and comfortable old age, be it finances, medical help and security. According to UN estimates, the world’s elderly population above 65 grew almost three times from 260 million in 1980 to 761 million in 2021, underscoring the need to pay more attention to their needs by governments and civil societies.


The 33rd commemoration of the day on Sunday allowed us to revisit their issues and ponder how far we are from achieving “the universal declaration of human rights for older persons” envisaged by the UN. On December 14, 1990, it declared October 1 as the International Day for Older Persons to appreciate their contribution to society and pledge to ensure their well-being. It assumes more importance as their population will likely be 1.6 billion globally by 2050.

Since the cure to most present issues, be it health or social, is linked to finances, we explore five factors that could help minimise their problems if they pay attention to them.

Here are five factors to consider for your financial security in old age:

Make A Budget, And Keep Expenses Under Check: Your salary will stop coming after retirement, so plan your budget and expenses accordingly. Cut unnecessary expenditures, and if health permits, take up a part-time job for regular cash and to keep yourself active. Every saving is as good as earning, so spend wisely.

Get A Health Insurance Policy:  Take care of your health and get health insurance coverage to foot the bills in an emergency. As you age, health-related issues will likely arise, so be prepared to handle them well. Buying a health policy would be an intelligent decision if you do not have sufficient income or people to support you financially. Before purchasing a health plan, compare the premiums of different companies, hospital networks, coverage of pre-existing diseases, etc. Purchase the policy at a young age because the premiums will increase with age.

Also, keep yourself fit; pay attention to your diet. It will keep your bones and muscles in good shape and reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, depression, and vertebral fractures, which are common in old age. So, staying physically fit can reduce ageing-related issues.

Invest Judiciously: Retirement does not mean you should stop investing. You could explore safe instruments that give guaranteed returns in the short term. Create more than one income source and an emergency fund for old age. You could also diversify your investments based on your risk-taking capacity and income.

Physical And Social Environments: If you live alone or do not have friends and family members around, negative emotions may more likely haunt you. Loneliness can adversely affect your mental health. Socialise more with friends and family members to prevent mental health issues. You may relocate to smaller, cheaper towns after retirement to reduce expenses. Staying connected with people you trust can improve your health and quality of life.

Periodic Review: Most importantly, regularly review your income, expenses, and investments and make a budget to improve financially and prepare yourself for old age.

Consider these factors to live a much-deserved happy life. The feeling that everything is over after retirement, or all roads for income have closed, or the sense of helplessness due to delay in financial planning or inadequate financial corpus could be more a mental state than physical. As the famous 19th-century American novelist and humorist Mark Twain says, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”.

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