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Credit Mistakes Which Can Create Problems after Retirement
Retirement is one important inevitable stage of life. It is time to give up on your official obligations and hang up those boots. A lot of people like to take up this segment of life with a bang. Some would sell their possessions to take a tour around the world which they couldn’t go for in their prime, some would splurge on some very expensive gifts while others have no clue what they will do with all their retirement fund. What they forget is that for as long as you live, you need money to survive. Perhaps, even more because of the increased expenditure on health related issues. While you need to plan for your retirement very early in life, let’s say right from your first job, yet it is never too late.
I – Plan for Days Post Retirement
There are several things that you can do as part of the plan:
Invest in a good pension scheme offered by insurance companies. Alternatively, you could invest in the government’s National Pension Scheme (NPS). Investing in such a scheme makes sure you get a dedicated flow of income even after you have retired.
Buy a medical health insurance policy that will cover the costs of major illnesses and surgeries.
Plan your investments and break them into low risk and high risk categories. Put them in FDs or invest in MFs as per your risk appetite. Or may be invest in property. But do not let it lie idle in the account.
Do not ignore taxes. Though there are several relaxations and benefits for Senior Citizens in our tax slabs, however you do owe the government. Thus, factor the tax element while investing.
II – (Not the) End of the Road
Indians are primarily of the view that saving is to be done for three main jobs of our lives – child’s marriage, child’s education or business and making a home. When someone is through with these responsibilities, he or she develops a casual attitude towards savings. In any Indian household you will commonly overhear the elderly saying, “who do we have to save for now?” And so they will give up on credit cards, be content with their existing car, etc. But before you bid adieu to savings and credit review your prospects once again.
There could be a medical emergency, the car may permanently go out of order and you may need to sell the family home to meet with certain financial emergencies. There could be a ton of reasons when credit will be needed. But if you had given up on credit long ago, there is a great deal of chance that your CIBIL score will be nearly zero now. And you will have to begin afresh in the credit space. What’s best is that you keep atleast one credit card running and use it as and when required. There is really no need to be shy of credit even while playing life’s second innings.
III – Medical Exigencies Should not be ignored
You are as young as you feel. And you are as fit as a fiddle. Give yourself a hand for looking after your health because that is your greatest wealth. As per statistics there has been steady growth in health and life expectancy, year on year. It means more and more people are able to live longer than two decades post retirement. What is essential to note is that as long as you live you will need money to survive and fulfil all your needs. Perhaps, you may need more than what you accounted for.
Medical costs are rising and with growing age your dependency on medicines increases too. What adds to your existing woes is that the cost of premium for a medical plan also rises with age. Thus, you need to plan beforehand on what would be your estimated medical expenses and create adequate buffer for them.
IV – Trying to become the favourite parent/ grandparent
No one is really going to hand out any rewards to you for being the greatest granddad or grandmom. Or even mom & dad, for that matter. So be careful before you co-sign any document with your child or grandchild. In an attempt to help your “whippersnappers”, most people go ahead and either stand guarantors or jointly apply for loans. This can be detrimental to your own score as lenders hold joint applicants and guarantors responsible to make good the defaults on debts.
V – Don’t Ignore Checking Credit Reports
You must forever be in control of your own score. Check it regularly even after you have retired. You may not anticipate the need for credit post retirement, but future is unpredictable. It is better to be safe than sorry. Therefore you must ask for a copy of your credit report at least once a year. You can now check CIBIL score online for free on freescoreindia.com. Remember most ignorant elderly are prey to identity thefts. Staying vigilant is your biggest weapon.
VI – Splurging Mindlessly
Your retirement fund may be a huge sum and you may feel tempted to buy rather expensive gifts. But this will be highly wasteful as you may need these funds in future. Without a steady flow of income, this retirement fund is all that you can depend upon. So it is of highest priority that you look after it very carefully.
VII – Work after Retirement
Don’t give up looking for work. There are several opportunities offered to candidates post retirement. These may not have long working hours, be flexible with work load and offer modest pays. Yet, it will not only keep you occupied but also help you stay on top of your financial obligations. Through the medium of internet, you could take up online courses and update your skills. Take tuitions, become an inactive member of a board of directors, start an online business, etc are some of the ways to earn a few bucks.
So while you are preparing to take the “post retirement challenges of life” head on, don’t miss out planning appropriately for your “golden days”. While everyone wants a relaxed retirement life, away from the hustle & bustle of the busy work life and just reflect on the days gone by, but everyone may not find it that easy. If you don’t want to be saddled down with financial obligations in those days, then plan for them today.