Retiring soon? Some financially sound options to keep yourself occupied
– by Priya Sunder
When we think of retirement, we think of an unfettered life — free from the constraints of a clock and being subservient to people at work. A happy retirement is about having a fulfilling life for the thirty or so years that you will live after you retire. It’s not just about keeping yourself occupied but, if possible, making it a financially sound option. As you start thinking about your retirement plans, here are some ideas that you may find useful.
* If you have always wanted to be the captain of your ship, now is the time to make that dream come true. You can turn your interest or passion into a business. One of our clients recently left a senior management position in a large company to start an accounting partnership firm. Another good friend has set up a firm that makes and sells traditional Indian games and toys. You can even set up a small scale manufacturing unit from home and retail your wares through the myriad e-commerce sites. The large reach and low overhead costs make this an attractive proposition.
* Retired professionals are a treasure trove of knowledge in their respective fields. Consulting is, hence, a favourite occupation among new retirees. Many people undertake assignments with their previous employers as a stepping stone into the field. Consulting offers you the flexibility to work at your own pace and can be lucrative once you have built a reputation and acquired good clientele.
* If you worked in a bank or in other parts of the financial services industry, you may already have the expertise needed to be an independent financial adviser. You can qualify yourself with the necessary licences and become an adviser and distributor of financial products and services. It will not only enable you to interact with various people, but also give you the satisfaction of helping people meet their life goals.
* When my aunt retired as the creative director of a leading advertising company, she combined her writing skills with her passion for exploring new places to become a travel writer. She visited the most delightful places in the world and couldn’t believe magazines were paying her for having the time of her life. If you passionate about something, think of ways to leverage it to make it a rewarding career.
* One of my retired customers pursued his life-long desire to be an educator. He is now a visiting professor at one of the leading business schools in Bengaluru. If you have retired as a teacher, you can keep busy by coaching students privately. If you are a good teacher, you can design curriculums and test papers that you could market online. With advanced technology, such as Skype and webcams, you can communicate with students from anywhere in the world.
* If generating income is not your main objective, use your expertise and wisdom to volunteer with non-profit organisations. Several charitable organisations need expert help to further their causes. Not only will you get recognition, but also feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
* Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, blogs or other websites, engaging with social media encourages networking. Blogging can be a good way to express your opinions or interests. You can create one too. If the blog becomes popular, it can generate healthy revenues.
Spending your time productively is crucial to a happy retirement. An active mind also ensures your physical and mental wellbeing. It is important to write the next chapter of your life before you close the current one. You will have then turned your silver years into the golden years of your life.
(The author is Director, PeakAlpha Investment Services)