Retirement is one of the biggest milestones in life you want to achieve. You work to accumulate enough and live tension-free after retirement. But certain risks will haunt you post your retirement as well. Living longer than expected, higher than expected inflation rates, unexpected health expenses are some of the risks you could face as you go on to live your retirement life.
To combat these risks, it is important to have a planned way before you actually retire. Planning about how much money will be needed, how to use this money etc must be done. One important aspect of planning your retirement is budgeting.
How does Budgeting help in Retirement?
Proper budgeting is the key to your happiness post-retirement. Creating and more importantly, sticking to the budget certainly helps your retirement. A budget makes sure that you spend what you absolutely need to and helps you save as well.
Budgeting helps you to:
1. Spend your money wisely2. Curbs unnecessary spending habits3. Helps save for emergencies 4. A step forward towards financial security5. Makes sure your bills are met and keeps you away from debt
Four Financial Phases of Retirement
As discussed above, retirement planning starts way before you retire. Retirement has been divided into 4 broad phases. These are:
a) Accumulation Phase or wealth-building periodb) Wealth Preservation Phasec) Retirement Decision – Now or Laterd) Distribution Phase
Accumulation Phase (Age 30-50)
This is the wealth-building stage. This is the time you start having thought of retirement. You start investing money in different plans that will build your wealth. Since you are young, you can try for more aggressive investments in this stage.
At this stage, you try to ascertain how much money would be enough for you to live your retirement life happily. Allot a specific amount in the budget that will specifically be used for investments and premiums.
Here is an example showing how your investment will work.
How much will be Enough for your Retirement Life?
Though there is no specific amount, a certain thumb rule is present. It is said that if you can replicate the same income you had at the age of 30, at the time of retiring at 60, then you can manage post-retirement life well.
So, to have this desired income, you need to invest about 10-12 per cent of your income from the time you turn 30.
But if you believe you can manage with lesser income, say 80% of your income at the age of 30, then this rate can go down.
Rate of Investment Changes with Age
Note that the earlier you want to retire, the more amount you have to save from your income. For example, if you wish to retire early, say at 55 then you need to contribute at least 18-20% of your income to your retirement fund.
Similarly, the rate shoots up to 35 per cent if you want to retire at the age of 50 and so on.
Preservation Stage (Age: 50-60)
This stage occurs when you are near your retirement age. The preservation stage starts after you turn 50. You make efforts to preserve the money you have already accumulated in the years that have passed.
You would not want your portfolio to go down this close to retirement. That is why at this stage, you need to take a review of your investments as most of them will start to mature.
This stage is less concerned with having more growth and more with sustaining the growth already made.
At 50, there are possibilities that most of your major goals would be met. If they are, then you can save even more of your income to your retirement fund to give it an extra push. You can even start an additional investment to supplement your retirement income.
Problems in the Preservation Stage
At this stage, a budget should be created keeping in mind the problems in this stage
I. Are there any debts that need to be settled?II. Basic living expenseIII. Any major expense coming up, for example, house repairsIV. Stock market volatility
Deciding to Retire (Age: 60-65)
This is the stage where you essentially attain your retirement age. Here you have to decide between the following
1. Whether to retire2. Continue work for some time
Retiring at 60?
This is the age that the majority of the Indian population retires. You can retire at this age if you are satisfied with the corpus you have created. If you can live the same lifestyle without any concessions then retiring at 60 is suitable.
Working for Some More Time to Plan for Retirement?
If you believe you need a larger corpus or have some goals after retirement that might need extra money, you can hustle at work some more. Working some more can increase your corpus considerably as your amount will stay untouched for 4-5 years more and will reap the benefits of compounding.
It is better to make sure that all your debts are paid off and you are at least close if not at the desired level of your retirement fund before you make your decision.
Distribution Phase (Age: 60+)
This phase starts after you retire. At this stage, your income has stopped. The efforts you have put over the years to create a retirement fund and other investments will finally come to your help at the distribution phase.
The success of the accumulation and preservation stage is judged in this phase.
Problems in the Distribution Phase
a) Getting short of fundsb) Health concerns increasing as you agec) Unexpected expensesd) Inflation
Cover for Contingencies
This would involve creating budgets for a broader duration such as a year and not monthly. At this age, healthcare insurance won’t help you much. Also, after the age 75-80, Critical illness cover also is not available in some of the plans. Therefore, if you face an emergency health concern or some other emergency, you have to bear it from your pocket.
To face this, you need to allocate a certain percentage of your budget to emergencies every month so that you can meet the cost without much burden.
It is clear that one budget cannot take you through all the phases of retirement. Your budget must be tweaked according to the phase you are in. Try sticking to your budget to get the best results both before and after retirement.