By Mohit Nirula, CEO, Columbia Pacific Communities
Retirement planning from a financial point of view is about creating a corpus that provides adequate returns to allow individuals to enjoy the lifestyle they desire. At the same time, care should be taken to ensure that this corpus supplements / complements the insurance cover individuals have to provide for any expenses that age-related health issues or medical emergencies might necessitate.
At the appropriate stage in one’s life, the endeavour should be to reach the age of retirement with all responsibilities towards parents and children completed. This would ensure that one is responsible only for their own wellbeing and expenses post-retirement.
Improved access to quality healthcare and better nutrition has led to an improvement in life expectancy. This means that the number of years of life post-retirement has increased with a consequent impact on the size of corpus required at the time of retirement. The historic thumb-rule of spending around 4 per cent of the corpus every year no longer holds good.
It is hence imperative that one start providing for the retirement corpus early in one’s working career in order to take advantage of the power of compounding. Assuming that one’s lifestyle is a function of one’s earning, a prudent thumb-rule is to put aside 15 per cent of monthly income towards the retirement corpus.
Pandemic boosts demand for senior citizen housing
The pandemic exposed how much seniors living on their own and ostensibly “independent lives” were actually dependent on external resources for virtually every single daily activity.
The average Indian middle-class / upper middle-class home has so many people who deliver services that make life comfortable. Whether it is housekeeping, cooking, shopping, security, gardening and even garbage removal, Indian families have always been able to count on someone else to do these activities for them for a price.
However, any time these service providers do not turn up for reasons genuine or otherwise, it does become very difficult for seniors to be able to find replacements or be able to do these activities themselves.
The pandemic was a very rude wake up call for seniors and their children living in different cities and far away countries. The consequent upshot has been a dramatic increase in demand for homes in senior living communities.
Ready to move in communities have a waiting list of potential residents who wish to take homes on rent or by buy a home on resale. These customers tend to be older in age, have an immediate need and do not wish to wait for another project to be ready in 3 – 4 years. On the other hand, customers for newly launched projects have become younger, as individuals in the fifties are seeing senior living communities as the ideal solution to all their needs of the future.
It is no surprise then that both the children and their parents who are not staying together are now very open minded and actively looking at senior living communities as the preferred option for seniors to be able to live a fulfilling and worry-free life. At these communities, residents can leave all the worries of daily chores to the service provider while devoting themselves to their interests and passions.