Moneylife Foundation conducted an exclusive workshop for senior citizens on planning finances after retirement and being safe with both money and decisions
Financial planners look around for young and high earning professionals as clients. Fund management and wealth management companies keep innovating products for people in their prime. Is anybody even bothered about that fading eyesight and those shaky hands, which are most vulnerable to theft, murder and fraud? Does someone even think of educating and caring about the ‘gullible’ elderly who are easy targets to mis-selling and impersonation?
Moneylife Foundation conducted an exclusive workshop for these senior citizens on planning finances after retirement and being safe with money and decisions. While Debashis Basu, the Founder Trustee of Moneylife Foundation spoke to a packed audience of senior citizens about generating funds that they require after retirement, Sucheta Dalal, focussed on factors that senior citizens are vulnerable to, and how they can avoid being defrauded. Ms Dalal is also a Founder Trustee of Moneylife Foundation.
Ms Dalal shared info graphics on how India fares poorly on geriatric care and human development. “There are 100 million senior citizens in our country, but no cohesive group to lobby for issues like healthcare, geriatric care, insurance and personal safety – we need to work on it!” she said. She provided facts to prove that even in the most advanced economies such as the US, it is the elderly, against whom, majority of heinous crimes happen. She said that according to FBI crime reports, 75% of murders involve relatives or acquaintances.
Advising the audience about how much risk to take, Ms Dalal asked participants to stay away from any risky propositions, however lucrative they may seem and quoted Warren Buffet saying “do not make investments you do not understand”. She urged the audience to try and be financially independent by taking a second job or opting for reverse mortgage.
Highlighting the importance of Wills and nomination, she explained the nitty gritties of the Indian Succession Act and asked elderly men not to believe that their wives would be automatically taken care of. Ms Dalal drove home the point that using public sector and large banks is much safer than co-operative banks that keep failing each day.
She also spoke about unregulated offers which the elderly should avoid and also shared tips to keep their money safe. She discussed how there aren’t many good health insurance policies in the market catering specifically to senior citizens. She also made the participant aware of phishing, vishing and identity traps which are rampant online these days. She asked them to keep all conversations with banks documented, store phone numbers and email IDs of relationship managers and managers, at least two levels above them. "Since relationship managers are the ones who push the most unsuitable and toxic products at you, you should deal with them very very carefully", she added.
Ms Dalal explained the difference between insurance and investment and asked senior citizens to stay away from any products which provide these dual benefits. She urged the audience to make use of Moneylife’s Insurance Helpline, our free help tool, where we take up genuine cases to fight with insurance companies for their wrong doing. She told the audience about various cases that have come to the Foundation through this helpline, involving forged signatures, fake ID proofs and fake witnesses.
While speaking about retirement communities and tips on choosing suitable retirement homes, she said, “You should keep language, culture, climate, amenities and distance from friends and loved ones in mind when looking for old age homes”.
Ms Dalal closed her talk with giving examples and explaining why nomination is important and why one should keep them updated. She highlighted how forgotten nominations are harmful and how much, needed assets land up in the hands of unworthy relatives and acquaintances. She told the participants about legal protection they get under Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 in Dec 2007 - monthly maintenance, faster complaint disposal and levying fines if children do not take care of them.
Mr Basu, also the editor and publisher of Moneylife magazine, discussed many unknown truths that people face just before retirement and post retirement. He said that while before retirement, you would be more concerned about your future as a retiree and would want to save and grow these savings. Post retirement you would be more concerned about spending these savings smartly so as to make them last longer. Mr Basu advised the audience to make sure they neither buy long-term investment products nor put their money into risky investments-their savings would erode. Mr Basu gave a lucid presentation that benefitted every participant, since he discussed asset mixes suitable to all age groups.
Mr Basu enumerated investment choices that financial planners and managers usually hawk at senior citizens-immediate annuity plans, senior citizens’ savings schemes and Monthly income plans, and said that none of these are great options for them. These investments would not be able to beat inflation and thus eat their corpus away. He advised the audience to create a two-part portfolio. One, containing 60% of the total corpus to be invested in fixed income securities such as bank and corporate fixed deposits and bonds to garner safety for the portfolio. And the second, containing 40% of the total corpus should be invested in safe equity mutual funds, which would work towards beating inflation. He illustrated this plan with an example, where he took an initial corpus of Rs1 crore and depicted its growth through graphs and charts, over a 20-year period.
The second part of his discussion focussed on how to withdraw wisely so that the corpus lasts longer. He introduced the audience to the concept of reverse mortgage and explained how senior citizens can use their property to their benefit, in case they do not have any other alternative. According to Mr Basu, “Reverse mortgage is most suited to the ‘asset rich but the cash poor’. You make an agreement with a bank or a housing finance company, where they value your property and pay commensurate amount to you monthly. This amount can cater to your expenses. In case your legal heirs want the house to go to them, they can repay the amount. Or else, the bank sells your property, takes its money back, and pays the rest to your legal heirs.” Mr Basu ended his session with a comparison of both these options.
Describing BJP as pro-reforms, its president Rajnath Singh has defended the party’s decision to oppose FDI in multi-brand retail
Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh, while asserting his party's readiness for more foreign direct investment (FDI) in India, has said that FDI in multi-brand retail would aggravate the unemployment problem in the country.
Singh, who is on a visit to the US, told reporters, “We believe that retail trade is a traditional sector, which provides employment to 50 million people. They have traditional skill in retail trade. So bringing in FDI in multi-brand retail would result in unemployment problem in the country. So we have reservations related to FDI in multi-brand retail sector."
Singh refuted the allegations that the Congress-led UPA Government cannot carry on major economic reform ahead of the next year’s general elections because the main opposition parties like the BJP are not letting the Parliament function.
“It is not the case that Parliament has not functioned in the past nine years,” he said in response to a question.
During his stay in Washington, Singh met a host of leaders of the US corporate sector and listened to their concerns about India.
In his meetings, Singh raised the concerns of Indian IT industry sector on certain provisions, in particular those related to the H-1B and L1 visas in the comprehensive immigration bill.
Despite a 10% decline in vehicle sales, Maruti Suzuki reported 49% higher net profit in June quarter on lower raw material cost and favourable yen
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country's largest carmaker on Thursday reported a 49% growth in its first quarter net profit mainly on better realizations coupled with lower raw material cost, favourable yen and higher other income.
For the quarter to end-June, the carmaker said its net profit rose 49% to Rs631.6 crore while its total revenues, including sales, declined 5.1% to Rs10,441.64 crore from Rs10,890.5 crore, same period last year.
However, the company, a unit of Japanese Suzuki Motor Corp, said, "The increase (in net profit) was due to focussed cost reduction efforts undertaken by the company, favourable foreign exchange rates and the benefit from the merger of Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd with the company last fiscal".
During the June quarter, the company's sold 2.66 lakh units of vehicles, down 10% compared with 2.95 lakh units during the corresponding quarter a year ago. Exports also fell to 21,088 units from 32,632 units in first quarter of FY2013.
The fall in unit sales was in line with the overall industry, and the company was able to maintain its market share, Maruti Suzuki said.
Maruti Suzuki shares closed Thursday marginally down at Rs1,414 on the BSE, while the 30-share benchmark index ended 1.4% down at 19804.7.