Ramesh Singh took voluntary retirement from the Indian Revenue Service in 2016 at the age of 48. He planned to live a stress-free life, painting, reading, and writing. In the year following his retirement, he wrote a book and produced several paintings, but soon life became monotonous. To break the monotony, he started guiding aspiring students who wanted to become a bureaucrat like him. Turning his new found passion into a full-fledged profession, Singh has started teaching through a popular online education portal.
Singh is not alone, the community of semi-retirees is growing rapidly in India. The reasons may vary, from monotony, extreme work pressure to supplemental income, but a higher number of people are opting to retire early and take up some form of work.
What is semi-retirement?
Semi-retirement is a contemporary practice, whereby people opt to leave their full-time job and take up similar work with reduced working hours or enter into a completely different occupation. The trend is an offshoot of early retirement, which is gaining traction even among the younger working population. The popularity of early retirement can be gauged from the fact that it has even spawned an online movement called FIRE- an acronym for Financial Independence, Retire Early, with the caveat being that many decide to take up work even after retiring. Besides personal reasons, the changing dynamics of the Indian economy and society, too are contributing to the growing number of semi-retirees. These are some of the major reasons for semi-retirement.
Indians are not known to be very prudent financially, active retirement planning is still a foreign concept for most. Investing in financial safety nets such as mutual funds and insurance plans still needs a lot of convincing. A sudden or complete retirement is likely to hamstrung household expenses, which gives rise to the need to ease into semi-retirement before completely leaving work. Improper retirement planning leaves many with no other option than to work to maintain their lifestyles or to meet basic needs.
In India, children are supposed to take care of their parents in their old age, but cases of elder abuse or abandon are rising. The belief that children will step up after retirement leaves many people with minuscule or no savings, which forces them to come out of retirement. The changing societal dynamics call for proper financial planning and investing in mutual funds is one of the best ways to mitigate post-retirement risks. At Finserv MARKETS, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of mutual funds dispersed across different categories to match your investment targets.
The pull of an alternate career cannot be underestimated, it works in different ways for people in different age groups. People changing their career in the late 40s or 50s is not unheard of anymore in India. Many opt for a well-paying, secure job to provide for their family, but once their children become financially independent, they enter a completely different career path. On the flip side, a lot of young people in their early 30s are saving and leaving their full-time jobs to try their hands at one of the several new age careers. Rising internet penetration has opened up the floodgates of alternate careers such as social media influencer, digital marketer or graphic designer.
Increasing Life Expectancy
With the advancement in medical technology, life expectancy is rising across the globe, which has thrown retirement planning out of gear. Earlier people were expected to spend 10 to 15 years as retirees but increased life expectancy has resulted in people spending 20 to 30 years as retirees. Longer years not only increase medical expenses but also leave existing pension plans inadequate to cover extended retirement. It has been noted that people are increasingly choosing to take up some form of work after retirement or are extending their working years and not retiring at a particular age. To cover the costs of a longer post-retirement life, additional financial cover, besides pension plans is the need of the hour. Invest in mutual funds through Finserv MARKETS’ user-friendly portal to ensure adequate returns and mitigate post-retirement risks.
The growing inclination towards semi-retirement is not going to slow down anytime soon. An additional income after retirement is not a bad idea, but proper financial planning can never be replaced by semi-retirement. Investing in mutual funds can make semi-retirement a refreshing experience as a few bad days is all it takes to play havoc with the best of plans.
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