Inflation and Retirement
Most Retirees feel great getting a bulk sum as provident fund and gratuity, and wish they knew a magician, who could spin their money 2 to 3 times in just 5 years, in addition to ensuring a regular return for their day to day expenses. It is true we all want it to keep up with the inflation rate in the market. I know of no such magicians, and it is practically not possible to multiply your money 2 to 3 times in just 5 years. But I definitely know of smart investment planning and investment advisors that could help you to beat inflation.
A step by step look at your considerations to come out with smart calculated investment decisions:
- Post-retirement, you know that you would no longer earn a regular income and would have to stay on your savings, provident fund, gratuity, and other benefits that have been given to you. You would definitely want more good returns on your investments, but your appetite for risk is low, for you would not want to lose your precious savings. So you would prefer to shift your portfolio of investment from risky ones to safer ones like fixed deposits in banks and good rated companies.
- However your need for more income, capital gains to keep up with inflation, and rates of interest on fixed deposits decreasing each year may make you puzzled about coping up with the increased financial needs. You, as a senior citizen are lucky to be getting additional interest, however taxes leave you with not much more. However you are not prepared to subject your savings to the volatile bullish and bearish trends of the share market of over-confidence and pessimism.
- You retire at 60, considering 5% is the rate of inflation annually, with life span as 85, and spending Rs.20000 per month, you would require a retirement corpus of Rs.42,00,000 if the return rate was 8%, while you would require Rs.47,00,000 if the return rate was only 7%. I am sure you would invest smart, reducing your retirement corpus by 10.5% by just investing for 1% more return.
- It is true that stocks and shares gave an annual compounded return of 17 to 18% in the last 15 years, with long term stocks giving a compounded returns of about 15 to 18% annually. However you have not appetite for risky and volatile investments, and may want to play safe with low or moderate risk to capital and in not putting all your eggs in one basket or to divide your risk.
- After your retirement you would do best to follow the advice of financial experts and invest no more than 10 to 20% of your retirement corpus in shares and stocks. A novice to the share market, or lack of time, inclination or shrewdness may not prove right to deal in the share market, and most financial advisors advice senior citizens to invest in mutual funds. These companies have experienced fund managers and researchers with in-depth knowledge of various industries and valuation principles and also offer diversified investment options in shares in companies, debt instruments and government securities.
- The choice of retirees should be to invest in big cap funds, funds investing in huge paid-up capital companies, while mid cap funds suit those who do not mind medium risk-taking. However small cap funds, invested mostly in start-up companies are to be avoided, being highly volatile in nature.
- Time plays a vital role in investment in mutual funds, and a good investment advisor would advice you appropriately. The best option for senior citizens would be to first invest a lump sum in a debt based funds that promise good, safe and regular return. This could be followed up by a systematic investment/transfer plan of investing or transferring through ECS regularly a fixed amount for units of a mutual fund. This definitely proves beneficial to take advantage of the volatility of the market, as buying different number of units each month helps to spread the risk also.
A Final Thought:
However your smart calculated investment choice of mutual funds requires evaluating every 3 to 6 months. This would help switching between mutual funds at the right time. My last but most important advice again especially to senior citizens is never go in for stock trading in a big way without proper knowledge and inclination and lose due to volatility of stock and share market.
(The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners(www.holisticinvestment.in) a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.