Track news concerning your assets, especially the stocks and the real estate that you may hold in your portfolio
The Atmanirbhar Retiree is a rare bird, there is a certain uniqueness about him that sets him apart. His confidence is supreme, his body language is unbeatable, his social media posts inevitably elicit envy. Friends and family acknowledge the rarity, for such a status are extremely difficult to achieve in today’s world, marked by challenges that are nearly impossible to meet by most people.
“Atmanirbharata” – self-reliance, for want of a more compact word in english – does not come easily. You have to work hard, and only the luckiest among us can attain it. But, once attained, it can well sort you for the rest of your life, assuming of course that you enjoy decent health and bear normal physical conditions.
I am, of course, alluding mostly to financial self-reliance in this context. And that is a direct result of a formidable retirement plan, one that allows a retiree to live a peaceful life as a senior citizen, free from intolerable nuisances like high-cost debt. No unpaid bills. No unpaid taxes. No perturbed creditors, and, therefore, no threatening calls from muscular payment collectors at odd hours for such an individual.
As I indicated earlier, a stable plan is not a one-day wonder, nor is it a gift from extra-terrestrial powers residing in far corners of outer space. For all you know, it has happened because the retiree had a single-minded dedication, reflected in his investment strategy. The latter has been initiated fairly early in life. It has also been executed quite methodically over a pretty decent period.
A couple of words used in the previous paragraphs merit repetition – “early” and “methodically”. The latter, for instance, can be viewed against the backdrop of several time-tested principles of investing. These include systematic investments, which may have been made with the help of mutual funds.
Self-reliance can be achieved with the following:
Perfect asset allocation, marked by correctly determining your risk tolerance.
Rebalancing a portfolio based on major changes in your life, whenever such a step becomes necessary.
Securing an income stream, perhaps with the aid of fixed-income assets. The latter will also add a dash of stability to your portfolio. A few well-managed debt funds can perhaps be considered here.
Marking a key part of your portfolio in favour of market-driven, variably-performing asset classes. These can include equity and commodities.
In addition to these, the Atmanirbhar Retiree will have to mind the following:
Be fully aware of the risks associated with the chosen asset classes. By definition, equity is very risky, while debt carries a comparatively lower risk
Keep an eye on the cost of investments – leash the latter by not indulging in too many needless transactions and paying large amounts by way of brokerages and commissions
Track news concerning your assets, especially the stocks and the real estate that you may hold in your portfolio. Consult professional advisors if you are short of time or patience; they will counsel you on what to retain, what to acquire, and what to avoid.
You may want to engage a financial planner (the kind that charges you fees for his advice, and not the kind that typically sells you financial products); he may well have a lot to do about your asset allocation style.
An individual who is truly independent in financial terms will never have to delay gratification even for a single day, retirement is damned! However, he must always be vigilant about risks. The latter, as the wise investor will know only too well, may eat into his valuation, and even destroy it over some time. Newer forms of risks may emerge, and tackling these may pose a fresh set of challenges.
All I am saying at this stage, by way of the last word, for the time being, is that the self-reliant retiree has a well-defined task right ahead of him. Preservation and enhancement of his hard-earned self-reliance are of utmost significance.
If you too are exactly like such an individual, or even remotely relate to him mentally, simply do not take your eyes off the radar. Watch out for systemic perils at all times. Determination is everything, and no force on earth can defeat you. The world is now at your feet, enjoy it till you finally say good-bye. Tyag, or sacrifice, or giving it all up voluntarily, maybe the next milestone. But till you reach it, or be a self-driven Tyagi, do not bother too much about Nirvana. The latter, for all you know, is for losers.
The author is Director, Wishlist Capital Advisors