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Is Planning for your Retirement Selfish?

We Indians are weak in Retirement Planning!

Today I am going to discuss a feature in we Indians that is harmful to our Retirement Planning. I am going to discuss behavior that was observed in a certain Session on Awareness about Financial Planning awareness and, as a result of such behavior - how it affects our post-retirement life.

So, at a certain awareness session about Financial Planning, people were asked their goals and their priority of particular goals. One by one people started listing out their goals like Education for their children, their marriage, vacation, buying a house, and many such. What interesting thing was observed that nobody listed Retirement Planning as their top priority goal. When asked about this reason or why did they ignore Retirement Planning, some interesting points were answered.

One was why should I plan for my retirement? My children will take care of me. Other being Retirement Planning is just more worries, at the end the amount left after utilizing the earned income, the remainder will be my retirement savings. And the answer that interested me most was,

“Isn’t it selfish to think about my retirement planning and making it a top priority goal before my children’s goals?”

Is planning for my retirement selfish?

Why do we think planning for our Retirement is a Selfish goal? While Retirement Planning is the goal with utmost importance, this goal takes years of contribution, this goal is ignored by we Indians. We plan to not be dependent on our children when we grow old and yet we are the ones too who do no plan for our retirement. We leave it to consider in the future and when the time comes, we ultimately have to depend on our Children for our day-to-day needs for the remainder of our life. And even if we don’t consider living on our own and depending on our children, it is just an extra burden on them considering the current lifestyle. With families turning nuclear it gets worse ahead. Due to a lack of Retirement Funds, we depend on our children even if we do not desire and this leads to more friction between two generations.

With more youths now considering Retirement as a vital plan in their life, wishing to retire at 40-45 years of age, and being financially independent, we lack in Retirement Planning, it is just because we think of it as a Selfish goal. We Indians at heart always prioritize family over self even when the question arises of Self-existence. We are nurtured and brought up to always think of others first and then about us. It is in our veins that when we think about our Retirement and we plan about it, we feel selfish about putting our needs first before others. We feel bad about self and we don’t want to do that so we just try to ignore it even if we wish it.

But isn’t planning our Retirement is in a way planning for our family’s benefit?

Think about it this way if we plan for our Retirement and prioritize this goal over others, by prioritizing I mean starting as early as you start Investing, this in a way secures our future and our spouse’s and children’s future too. If we make enough planning for our Retirement and we succeed at accumulating a sustainable corpus for our remainder of life, we don’t need to be dependent on our Children or anyone's income in this case for our needs, and in a way, we help them too.

So, if we are secured financially, we shall secure their future too. So, in a way Retirement Planning is not just a personal goal but it is a family goal. Just the thought of being financially secure in our Retirement gives a feeling of happiness and satisfaction, so why wait for a day to start planning. The more early you start, the longest you survive on your own.

A Retired Couple sitting on a sofa, depicting Happy Retirement Life.
Retired Life

So, start planning for your Retirement and stop thinking of it as a selfish thing to plan. Retirement Planning should be your utmost important goal and you should have no second thoughts about it. Because this is a NEED compared to WISH and Needs are to be justified first.

Retirement Planning is the best Selfish thing that you will do for you and your family.

The Retirement concept in Finance is as long as our Retirement years so we will keep talking about this, till then this is Shreyans Shah, signing off.


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