Retirement is a time to embrace your dreams and live a contended retirement life, but it requires meticulous financial planning and preparation. Retirement planning is even more critical for self-employed individuals as they lack the safety net of traditional benefits like PPF or LTA. Many self-employed individuals delay retirement planning due lack of knowledge or not understanding the criticality, leading to dependency on their children during their golden years. This blog is dedicated to empowering self-employed individuals to take control of their financial future and unlock their retirement goals.
The Need for Diligent Retirement Planning
Retirement planning for self-employed individuals is similar to others, but it does require specific attention to the challenges posed by inconsistent income and sudden outflows. The key is to start early and build a retirement corpus over time, allowing your investments to earn better returns to support future needs.
To achieve this, you must:
- Identify your family’s needs for a regular income flow during retirement.
- Determine a saving pattern and assess how much you can allocate towards creating a retirement corpus.
- Choose the best investment tools that offer attractive yields over time.
- Understand the risks associated with your investment choices.
- Ensure your investment portfolio is flexible enough to make changes for better returns over time.
While working towards these goals, it is essential to overcome standard hindrances that impact adequate retirement planning:
Excuses: Many people make excuses for not planning for retirement, such as being too busy or assuming they can start later. However, delaying retirement planning can make it challenging to build a substantial corpus over time. Starting early is crucial to realize the maximize benefit of the power of compounding.
Mind Block: Some believe that taking a retirement plan from any insurance company is sufficient. However, it’s essential to actively manage your investments and periodically assess the performance of your retirement funds to achieve higher returns.
Fighting Inflation: Inflation can erode the value of savings over time, making it challenging to maintain the desired standard of living during retirement. Investing in instruments that offer returns higher than the inflation rate is crucial.
Sudden Outflows/Medical Emergencies: Medical treatments can be expensive and deplete your savings in unforeseen circumstances. Hence, it is advised to create a Long-Term care fund which can help during the depleting health. Proper planning should account for medical emergencies and unexpected financial needs. Also, it is beneficial if one focuses on building and Emergency Fund of three to six months concerning household expenses to take care of job loss situation and aid during ocassional sickness.
Changing Social Structure: The traditional joint family structure is changing, and many young individuals now live independently due to work and lifestyle choices. Self-employed individuals must build their retirement corpus without relying on family support.
Retirement Planning for Self-Employed Individuals
Self-employed individuals face unique challenges in retirement planning due to the inconsistent flow of income. To overcome these challenges, consider the following investment options:
NPS Tier 1: This can be opened by anyone, and it is the best scheme available for Retirement Planning with tax benefits. Not only will it help you to retire with pride but also offer tax benefits resulting in added savings.
Individual Retirement Plan: Traditional retirement plans allow self-employed individuals to contribute up to a certain percentage of their income, providing tax advantages. Most Indian banks provide this facility for the citizens of India. To name a few, LIC’s New Jeevan Shanti, Bajaj Alliance Lifelong Goal, Tata AIA Life Insurances Guaranteed Monthly Income Plan comes under such types of retirement benefits that you can invest into.
Public Provident Fund (PPF) Scheme:
For self-employed individuals, PPF (Public Provident Fund) offers a reliable avenue to secure their financial future. PPF provides a disciplined savings approach where one can contribute regularly and accumulate a substantial corpus over time. Its attractive interest rate, currently at 7.1% (as of April 2023), compounded annually, ensures steady growth of invested funds.
Since self-employed individuals often lack access to employer-provided retirement plans, PPF becomes essential for building a retirement nest egg. The locked-in nature of the investment for 15 years ensures long-term commitment, fostering a habit of consistent savings. Moreover, PPF contributions are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, making it a tax-efficient choice.
Retirement or Pension Funds: Insurance companies offer retirement or pension policies that can help create a sizable retirement corpus while providing life insurance coverage. Such plans include National Pension Scheme (NPS) which is a government run scheme under which you also get rebate on tax. Besides this we also have pension funds that are investment options. Through investing in retirement MF, one can save a portion from their income for retirement purpose. Such funds become regular source of income once a person retires as the retirement MF provides annuity on the investment until the person has passed away. These are absolute long-term savings and preferred for self-employed individuals. IDBI mutual funds, Invesco Mutual Fund, HSBC Mutual Fund are such investment options that you can consider.
Retirement Mutual Funds (MF): Mutual funds provide opportunities to invest in debt and equity, offering the potential for higher returns. They are suitable for long-term investment horizons and provide flexibility regarding fund allocation
Stocks: Investing in blue-chip companies for the long term can yield significant returns. While stock investments carry higher risks, they can provide substantial growth over extended periods.
Achieving Life Goals through Effective Financial Planning
Personal financial planning holds immense significance in India, extending beyond mere savings and expense reduction. It revolves around realizing and attaining your future aspirations, such as:
Wealth Creation: Whether buying a better car or a new house, these goals demand financial resources. Effective wealth creation involves strategic investments in the right avenues. For realizing your long-term financial goals, equity mutual funds can be a suitable option, enabling investors to accumulate wealth over time.
Retirement Planning: Your retirement may seem distant, but prudent planning begins now to ensure a comfortable and fulfilling retired life. Building your financial safety net early shields you from uncertainties and helps you reap the benefits of compounding over the long term. By starting early, you can invest smaller amounts and still build a sizable corpus over the 25-30 years before retirement.
Child’s Education: Education expenses have skyrocketed in India and globally. To prepare for your child’s education expenses, it is vital to commence planning from the moment they are born. Calculate the amount you aim to accumulate and invest in long-term avenues that align with this goal. Seeking advice from a financial advisor can prove beneficial if you need clarification on the way forward.
Tax Savings: Yearly tax payments can significantly impact on your finances. However, you have legal ways to lower your tax outgo. The Indian Income Tax Act offers provisions to reduce taxable income. By planning your taxes, you can identify the most suitable investment avenues to minimize your tax liability. Equity mutual funds, for instance, provide tax-efficient investment options for various life goals.
If you are a freelancer or self-employed individual, you should learn to plan your finances judicially.
By starting early, diversifying your investments, and seeking technical and academic expertise from ICOFP, you can unlock your retirement goals and ensure financial security for your golden years. Don’t wait any longer; start planning for your retirement today!
Discover how ICOFP can empower self-employed individuals in mastering retirement investments through our comprehensive range of personal investment and planning courses. While you continue managing your business, our flexible courses provide an opportunity to delve into financial planning, ensuring you retire with confidence and a secure future..