Sixty-six-year-old Raka Prashad is a retired counsellor of the Delhi Education Department. Since she retired from her job in 2017, she has been living a happy and confident life with a government pension along with her 92-year-old mother.
But Prashad isn’t naïve about financial matters. She managed her finances independently and efficiently since she started working in her 20s. Besides her pension, Prashad earns from her savings bank account, fixed deposits (FDs), debt mutual funds, insurance policies and post office schemes. She also has a Delhi Government Employees Health Scheme (DGEHS) card and a personal health insurance policy, which she already used for reimbursements.
She is today nostalgic about her counsellor job. She says, “There wasn’t a single boring day. I met new students every day, and each day was different. I believe I understand their needs well.”
Having been busy all these years, she couldn’t stay at home for long after retirement. She joined a senior citizen club to keep herself active. “I love meeting people, listening to them and helping them”. She considers herself an “accepting, happy-go-lucky and adjusting kind”.
Since she was in a government job, she did not consider investing for retirement. But as realization dawned on her, she started planning for it. She first estimated how much she would need for her monthly expenses in old age. Then, when she received her accumulated pension fund after retirement, she invested in assets where she could generate interest income, but the principal remained intact.
The interest income allows her to manage her expenses. She also reinvests the unspent interest amount in income-generating instruments at the end of each month. Prashad consults her brother and two sisters, who are also retired and live in Delhi, before making any investment. They help her with their financial advice.
Why Some Still Prefer Old Ways Of Banking
Sometimes the old ways of banking are preferred more than new-age technologies that promise speed and ease by a section of older people. Prashad confesses that she is not tech-savvy and favours traditional modes of banking and investment. She prefers visiting the bank or the automated teller machine (ATM) instead of using mobile or net banking options for transactions.
This happened after she made a few mistakes doing online transactions. “I once tried paying a bill online, but the money went to someone else. In another instance, I pressed the wrong digit. So, the company did not receive payment, but the money got debited from my account. After that, I stopped using online modes,” she says.
She says she now prefers transacting in cash and cheque to avoid the troubles of following up with companies if something goes wrong. However, Prashad knows times are changing. “I think senior people are learning these things now. But I am not comfortable with the new-age apps, etc.,” she says.
She used credit cards in the past, but not anymore. “With growing age, my requirements have changed; I do not feel the need to use cards. I find it cumbersome.” Prashad says she trusts her bank for financial needs and would continue investing in small savings schemes besides the good old FDs.