Ten commandments of those over 40 years old.

These are interesting and practical tips for those who are above 40+. You may agree with all or some of them and it is possible that you  may not agree with any or all of them.  But when you view them,  I am sure that they will kindle your thought process, especially in the present day context.

Please click the link to view them : ten_commandments

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5 things to do before you retire!

Planning for retirement and doing something about it is something that most youth and elders detest. For the youth there is no incentive to plan for something that will come up 35 years later. For the elders, the fear that they may not have enough money in their last phase of life prevents them for doing a deeper analysis and action after that.

Retirement Planning is not only about money

There is more to retirement planning than money. Some of the key things to be planned which actually make the planning more interesting is to consider:

  1. How will you spend your time?
  2. Places to visit
  3. Tackling health related issues
  4. Sharing the wealth created
  5. And finally planning for income (of course)

In fact, most people just think of the last one without considering the first four. This leads to confusion and fear.

Tips for Retirement Planning

1. Plan Time: Many retired people are lost because they have not planned for the question “What next?” It is important to find some activity that will fill the 8 to 12 hours that one has spent at work. This is not only for the breadwinner but also for the homemaker. What will you do to manage a new person with whom you need to share 8 to 12 hours, suddenly?

  • Think Social Activities: There are so many activities that one may have thought of doing to the society and not done due to want of time or due to other priorities. Post retirement one can take them all with a vengeance. This not only a time filler but also a very good way to keep the brain stimulated.
  • Think Hobbies: Apart from filling time and keeping one mentally agile, hobbies also add to your skill sets. Taking up a new hobby and joining a hobby club is a great way to manage retired life.

2. Plan Travel: Except for the envied few who had great travel oriented jobs, most would have sacrificed their travel plans for their career. And don’t grow too envious because those jet flyers on the job are also cribbing because they had to travel on such tight schedules that they hardly got to see anything worthwhile travelling on the job. Retirement is a wonder time to plan for all those missed countries and places to visit.

3. Plan Health: Health insurance is very handy when you are retired. But if this is planned on the brink of retirement not only is the cost too high, but diseases may already have set in. This means that the pre-existing diseases will not be paid for by the insurance for upto 4 years after taking the plan.

4. Write a Will: Writing a will to efficiently pass the wealth created to our loved ones is very important. However in India, this is a commonly absent practice. Even some of the richest persons in India have not taken up this practice (think Dhirubhai Ambani). This leads to costly and lengthy process of passing our hard earned wealth to our loved ones.

5. Plan Finances for Regular Income: Though this aspect alone can be written in whole books, the basic idea can be summed up with a few point:

  • Do not to lock up funds in illiquid assets without cash flow – avoid buying a large house for you to stay and prefer a house from which you can get a rental income.
  • Do not to give away wealth too soon – having cash does not mean that you can give it away to your sons and daughters and brothers and sisters or to a temple. Give it to them through your will so that they get your wealth, and at the same time, the money works for you when you are around.
  • Do not experiment — To experiment with retirement funds in the stock market and commodities or a new business post retirement is highly risky. You may not have the time or energy to earn the money lost (if lost).

Retirement Planning:

Retired life is supposed to be fun filled and peaceful. But today we find more old age destitute homes popping up than schools, indicating a trend towards lack of retirement planning. The above tips will help those in their prime of life and those near retirement to plan for a comfortable retired life.

Source : BankBazaar.com

Increase in the element of concession to men senior citizens from 30% to 40% and reduction in the age limit for women senior citizens from 60 to 58 years.

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS, RAILWAYBOARD
COMMERCIAL CIRCULAR NO. 18 of 2011
No.TCII/2161/2011/SRC/Policy

New Delhi, dated 13.5.2011
The General Managers(Comml),
All Indian Railways.
Sub: Increase in the element of concession to men senior citizens from 30% to 40% and reduction in the age limit for women senior
citizens from 60 to 58 years.
As per existing provisions contained in S.No.36 of Annexure to rule 101 ofIRCA Coaching Tariff No. 25, Part-I (Vol. II), Senior citizens of minimum 60 years are eligible for concession in the basic fares of Mail/Express trains and all inclusive fares of Rajdhani/ Shatabdi/ Jan Shatabdi trains. The element of concession is 30% for men senior citizens and 50% for women senior citizens.
2. As announced by Hon’ble MR in Budget Speech for 2011-12, it has been decided to reduce the minimum age for availing concession from 60 years to 58 years in case for women senior citizens. However, the element of concession will continue to remain at 50%.
3. It has also been decided to increase the element of concession in case of men senior citizens from 30% to 40%. The minimum age will, however, continue to be 60 years in case of men.
4. There will be no change in other terms and conditions.
5. This concession will be admissible on tickets purchased on and after 01.06.2011. In case of tickets already issued for travel on & after 01.06.2011, refund of difference of fares will not be admissible.
6. This issues with the concurrence of the Finance Directorate of the Ministry of Railways.
7. Wide publicity through various media may be given at regular intervals. Necessary instructions may be issued to all concerned immediately including PRS/UTS and compliance ensured.

sd/-
(Dr.Monica Agnihotri)
Director Passenger Marketing
Railway Board.

AI offers 50% discount if you are 63.

Air India’s Maharaja may be critically ill but he still knows how to take care of fellow senior citizens like no other Indian carrier. The national carrier has now made anyone over 63 years of age eligible to a 50% senior citizen discount on basic fares.

Earlier, only women over 63 could have availed of this benefit while men had to wait to turn 65 before getting a similar discount.

The two other full service carriers, Jet and Kingfisher, offer senior citizen discount to people above 65 years of age. Low cost carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet do not have any such scheme for the aged.

In a statement, AI said the uniform age of 63 for both men and women for availing senior citizen discount had been implemented from last Saturday. “Now, any person who has crossed the age of 63 years can avail a discount of 50% concession on the basic fare component of the normal economy class fare under the scheme,” it said.

Meanwhile, AI has extended the discount it offers to personnel of paramilitary forces to the employees and family members of the BSF, ITBP, Coast Guards, CISF, CRPF, Assam Rifles, RPF, Intelligence Bureau and Sashastra Seema Bal.

“Other than on apex fares, a discount of 50% on the basic fare component will be available on all fare levels in economy class for domestic sectors only. The discount will be available on production of official ID issued by the unit commandant of the concerned establishment of the government,” the statement said.

Similarly, AI extended the 50% child concession on basic fare to all levels of economy class except apex fares on domestic sectors from Monday. “Children who have completed two years but have not completed 12 years of age are eligible for the discount on the basic fare component,” the airline said.

Senior citizens get help to write their will

New Delhi, Aug 23 (PTI):

Here is good news for senior citizens who are struggling to write their will and searching for a safe place to keep it.

 An NGO working for the older citizens has launched a scheme to provide legal assistance to them to write their will and keep it in safe hands.

 “It has been seen that when family members and relatives of old people came to know of their will details, they make it a bone of contention. This leads to family quarrels and tension in their lives leading to discomforts in many ways,” says Himanshu Rath, founder of Agewell Foundation who has launched the initiative.

“Senior citizens always fear about safety of their will as it may fall in unwanted hands. Many opt for bank lockers or their solicitors to keep them safe which costs them a lot for longer periods. And in absence of assurance of safety, older persons prefer not to write any will  causing family feud later,” says Rath.

 The helplinne run by Agewell for older persons was flooded with inquries related to making a will and its safety.

“So we thought to launch our initiative in this regard,” says Rath.

There are legal advisors to help senior citizens in making the will and a lifetime fee of Rs 1500 will be charged. The draft can be downloaded either from the NGO’s website or its available through post also.

Sealed envelopes with the final document can be deposited with Agewell Foundation for safe custody by willmaker in person in presence of 2 witnesses. It will be handed over to the desired person either after the demise of the will maker or whenever he wants.

The will-maker can ask for his document for making changes as and when required in the presence of the two witnesses.

A locker has been taken in a bank where all the documents will be kept.
Satish Jain, a former bank-employee, says he is relieved after making his will and assued of its safety.

“I have toiled hard whole life to earn some property. I have made my will and I am done with my final responsibility. My children will see my will after I am gone and will stay happy and in peace,” he says.

Experts say that its most advisable for senior citizens to make a will.

“A person earns through out his life and its important that his property is inherited by the people he wants to give it to,” says Delhi-based lawyer Sanjeev Singh.

“It also helps in keeping peace in the family. Once a will has been made, senior citizens should get it registered as well so that a parallel record is available with the Government,” he adds.

In the absence of a will, a deceased male’s property is inherited by his mother, wife and children while in case of a female, it goes to her husband and children

“A retired husband is twice the husband at half the salary.”

 
Once a person retires from active business, he finds it difficult to maintain the same lifestyle or at times, even to make both ends meet.

However, this can be mitigated if you invest wisely during your working life — planning it such that you receive a suitable amount of money on retirement.

Financial independence becomes more significant in these times when children do not fend for the parents — sometimes out of compulsion, sometimes out of choice. Moreover, parents also find it embarrassing to ask for money from their children.

It is advisable you start thinking about retirement in, say, your early 30s. Do not think that you still have lot of time to retire and therefore, can plan later — sooner the better in this matter.

Also, after retiring from your active earning career, your ability to take risk on financial front almost becomes nil, therefore you should invest your money carefully and wisely otherwise you may loose the savings of a lifetime. There have been numerous cases where people took voluntary retirement and then burned their hands by speculating in stocks or invested the same in some business ventures and lost the all the money. Today, these ‘retired’ people are burdened with debts.

Let us now have a look at investment options for retired people and have received a lumpsum such as gratuity or provident fund dues. These investments will ensure a reasonably good income every month, while ensuring the safety of your capital. Here I am not referring to retirement planning, but planning for a risk-free flow of income to meet your day-to-day expenses post retirement.

Senior citizen scheme: You can invest up to Rs 15 lakh in this scheme. Any person who has completed the age of 60 years can open a senior citizen saving account with the post office, State Bank of India or specified branches of nationalised banks.

People who have taken voluntary retirement and whose age on VRS is 55 years or higher too qualify for this scheme. Interest is paid at 9% p.a. In case both you and your wife are above the age of 60, you can invest up to Rs 30 lakh in aggregate. This investment of Rs 30 lakh will fetch you monthly interest income of Rs 22,500. The money is required to be deposited for a period of 5 years.

Interest under this scheme is paid quarterly in March, June, September and December. You can furnish the bank form No 15G or 15H for non-deduction of tax on such interest in case your total income is not taxable.

Post Office Monthly Income Plan: Here, you can invest up to Rs 4.50 lakh per head and in case of joint account, you can invest up to Rs 9 lakh at 8% p.a.

There is no age restriction for this investment, but there is lock-in period of 6 years. On maturity, you receive a maturity bonus of 5% of the amount deposited. This investment of Rs 9 lakh will give you a monthly income of Rs 6,000 per month. There is no tax deduction of income tax on such interest.

Cash leftover still? The above two investments can bring you a monthly income of Rs 28,500 on investment amount of Rs 39 lakh.

Part of the balance amount can then be invested in fixed deposits (FD) in various banks which give cash interest on monthly basis. Presently, the interest rates vary between 7% and 8% p.a. if invested over a period of two years.

Moreover, the banks give an additional 0.50% interest to senior citizens. These FDs will give you flexibility as you can withdraw the money prematurely at an interest penalty of 1%.

It is advisable that you open a few FDs of varying amounts so that in case of any emer-gency, you can prematurely withdraw only that FD which will cover your needs, rather than having to break a big FD and bear penalty.

If you are still left with some money, you can invest the same in mutual funds which will fetch you higher returns as compared to a bank FD. This will help you in enhancing the fixed flow of income by taking inflation into account.

The writer is CFO, ApnaPaisa.com, a pricecomparison engine for loans, insurance and investments. He can be reached at balwant.jain@ apnapaisa. com

WHEN A WIFE BECOMES WIDOW AND FINDS HERSELF SUDDENLY ALONE – PREPARE DISASTER MANAGEMENT PLAN NOW

 By now you have seen on TV, the widows of the men who were killed in terrorist attacks in New York , Mumbai, Delhi and London.  They tell of hardship coping with confused, upset children and looming financial distress during a period when their grief makes it difficult to complete the most ordinary tasks let alone sort out the estate of beloved, terribly missed husband.   Many in USA and England helped these women.   All govt. agencies  helped them to expedite the issuing of death certificates making it easier to get insurance benefits.  They are getting free legal aid.

 Let us see what happens to a similar situation in India.   No help whatsoever comes in the  wake of terrorist attacks, in Delhi and Mumbai, natural disasters as in Mumbai, Orissa or in Gujarat, no Govt., Municipal or legal advice, no financial help.  Yes, lot of VIP visits and empty promises, empathy but no concrete help and this difference in attitude makes the task of Indian widow onerous one.

 This note has been prepared with the fond hope that husband when alive, will take certain actions, which considerably reduces the chances of harassment when wife is alone.   In this respect sensible financial planning can be crucial.

Anticipating a tragedy may be one of the most important bits of financial planning a wife can do.  Thinking ahead to protect yourself and your children in the event of a disaster, while perhaps emotionally difficult, need not take a great deal of time or be very complicated nor very costly unlike in USA, and you could some day be very grateful you did it.

 WILL power

 First step – you and your spouse should make separate WILL and get them registered.  In India(Delhi)getting a WILL registered cost less than Rs. 21/-  Abroad it may cost $ 1500-2000.  It’s a myth that people in their late 20s  and early 30s are too young to worry about a WILL.   Indeed that age group suffered most on September 11 attack in NY and most died intestate or without a WILL.  Lack of WILL makes the process of recovery  lengthier and complicated resulting in court cases.

 It’s also a myth that you need to have substantial amount of money and assets including immovable property to make a WILL.  If you fail to make your WILL, your property will be distributed by law to your legal heirs – including your mother,  widow, children(s) etc. as in the case of Indian Hindu male.In the case of hindu women, property goes to husband, daughter and son.

 Legally speaking there is no difference in registered and un-registered WILL.  However, if one goes by experience, there are lesser chances of people going to courts, if WILL is registered.   It is also essential that a copy of WILL should be available with YOU OR your lawyer/friend/relative so that it is easy to get same in the event of your or spouse death.

 Step II  Keeping records 

Step two in your disaster management plan costs nothing but time.  You and your husband should gather all of your key records, a copy of WILL and information where original is kept, account numbers, safe deposit locker information, insurance, PF, PPF beneficiaries and the like.   Keep them in one place but definitely not at where you work.  All documents in twin World Trade Centre were lost.

All those in employment in high positions depend too much on their Offices and/or on PAs to keep such records without  may be without the knowledge of wife. Can a better system be devised by such persons.

 Step III  Keeping Records updated

You should also update your records and files every month so that you are not caught up with unpleasant surprises.

Amar Pandit, Financial Analyst, Mumbai says that in his experience only 5% have proper financial records.

Keep an ASSET REGISTER.

Step IV  Stay Informed

If you have opened an account in Bank, PPF, or taken a life policy before marriage, do remember to change your nominee in Bank, PF, PPF, Insurance Policy etc.   Ensure that after marriage, nominee and beneficiary under the WILL is your spouse in all instruments. 

Step V  Keep track of following

House and Flats:-  Original sale deed, if on power of attorney the original POA, original documents given by DDA/Housing Agency to original allottee, payment receipts, allotment letter, Vth and last payments, possession letter, letter of physical handing over of house/flat, registered WILL of original allottee, sale deed, special and general power of attorney, etc. (a word of caution – never part with your original/photocopy of documents to anyone), house tax receipts, bank account numbers, cheque books, locker number and bank, FDRs of bank, companies and other financial instruments nomination under GPF, PF, PPF, Post Office accounts, car papers and insurance, income tax files, insurance policies including life, house hold, medi-claim, etc.   Pension file, legal cases file if any, DVB, DJB payments, passport and their numbers if any, property on rent – original lease deed and host of other documents.

Step VI – Write Name of Helpful Person

 Write down the name of person(s) who will be helpful in  period of distress.

 Step VII – (Final piece of emergency planning) Write Power of attorney in favour of your Spouse

You and your spouse need to give each other power of attorney over the other assets in the event that one of you is severely injured but does not die.

All this may sound gruesome but sudden death of your spouse is something you might have to face one day. The bottom line in disaster management planning is to help the surviving partner and make the transition to a life without you. 

 N. AHUJA

MA.,LLB, P.G.Dip (Manchester Business School), AIPM ( London)

Management Consultant & Retirement Planner

Advocate

 Mobile: 9312234825

Courtesy RREWA and Thanks to Mr. N.Auhja