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Saturday, August 23, 2008

The cost of living

    Inflation has hit all of us very hard mainly due to external factors like sharp rise of commodities and food prices. What affects us the most is the high price which we are paying for essential items like vegetables, grains and cereals. The sharp rise in these food categories has affected us more adversely than anticipated. It affects the retired people more intensely, since even at the best of times they had to struggle to make ends meet at times.

    Since they have retired and no new source of income is generated, they have to depend on their savings and pension which they have accumulated during their working years. They have to stretch their investments so that it sees them through their retirement years. I can think of two options to mitigate this dilemma.

    The first option is that: People should be made aware in their earlier years about various investment avenues, so that they can plan out their retirement years. This will help them accumulate a large corpus of money which can be used to maintain similar lifestyles which they are used to these days. This financial safety net is extremely vital for all of us.

    The second option to financial security is in a second career after retirement. Quiet a few companies around the world are realising the potential the elders can offer. The enlightened companies are trying to woe them back with flexi-hour work timings. Exposure to digital tools can help the retired folks achieve optimum productivity in today’s work environment.

    On a closing note, if you know someone who is about to retire/or has already retired give them the proper guidance so that they have an opportunity to enjoy their retired life. If they are able to update their skill set, then they will be more marketable and earn a little extra income. This will make them more confident and they will feel that they are still useful members of society. Teach the young ones to save before it’s too late. Take a look at your financial portfolio on a regular basis so that you know that you are getting optimum returns on your savings. If you are able to do so, then you will have less financial hassles later on.

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