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Retirement Planning - Matter of Self-respect

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Do you have a Dream?

Mr. Intikhab Chougle,
Associate Vice-President,
HSBC India

Time really flies and one does not really have any accountability of the same. Almost a year back around the same time, I penned my first article for ikokani website. And let me be very honest, it has been a wonderful journey and I experienced great pleasure in writing articles for this website. I want to thank the administrative team of iKokani for supporting me and giving me a platform to share my views, my learning’s and experiences with the readers from kokani community.

This particular article would have not been possible if Mr. Shakur Tisekar had not requested me for writing on this subject. I hope my research and views on the requested subject of this article are helpful for readers. I appreciate the support from each and everyone who has written to me through the ikokani site or directly on my personal id and has been really kind with words used for appreciation & feedback.

To my mind, retirement is one of the most important life events many of us will ever experience in our professional life cycle. From both a personal and financial perspective, realising a comfortable retirement is an incredibly extensive process that takes sensible planning and years of persistence. Even once it is reached, managing your retirement is an ongoing responsibility that carries well into one's golden years. While all of us would like to retire comfortably, the complexity and time required in building a successful retirement plan can make the whole process seem very exhaustive. However, it can often be done with fewer headaches (and financial pain) than you might think - all it takes is a little homework, an attainable savings and investment plan, and a long-term commitment.

As rightly pointed out by brother Shakur, most of us are either dependent on our children in the golden years of our life or maybe if we have served a job which facilitates pension then that amount helps us take care of our needs. The million dollar question is ‘Why Plan for Retirement?’

Through the flow of my thoughts, I will try and answer few very crucial question as per my ability to explain the same and try to make it simple for all of us if ‘Retirement Planning’ holds any importance or can be neglected by us.

Why Plan for Retirement?

You cannot work and be able to generate income for your entire life, but however your wants and needs will continue to walk along with you at every step of your life. There will come a stage where you will retire from your professional responsibilities and your earnings would come to a standstill and from that day onwards you will require an alternate mode of channel which will assist you in fulfilling all your needs. This channel mostly is either the pension scheme, if we have any or our children who will provide us with the means to meet our ends.

For me, it is important that in the age where we retire we should at least be in a position to support ourselves in the years to come, be capable of managing the medical emergency if any arises post retirement, capable of managing / handling situations or changes that will come with time during our later stages of life and try never to be a liability to our children’s in our old age. And all this can be achieved only by following a regime of a long term savings plan and commitment to a plan.

How much will I need?

The amount required by each individual will depends on many factors, including your desired standard of living, your expenses (including any medical costs) and your target retirement age. It is entirely possible to determine your needs if you have answered few questions to yourself and accordingly set up a target for achieving your retirement goals.

A goal will always be individualistic and should be set-up basis on few assumptions and those assumptions should be checked from time to time basis as there are many external factors that impact your plan and they are investment & financial markets, setting up of realistic expectations and finally your current earning capabilities which allows you to save for your goal. Few pointers or questions that can help you plan your expected retirement income can be as follows:

Decide the age that you want to retire

  • Decide the annual income that you will require for your retirement years.
  • Add up the current market value of all your current saving & investments.
  • Decide a realistic rate of returns for all your existing investment
  • Also obtain an estimate value of retirement benefits that can be received from your existing company.

A better way of approaching this will be with an example, let assume Salman is a young professional at the age of 30 and is currently working in Middle East. His current annual income is at X amount and he plans to work till the age of 50 years, this means he has about 20 years to prepare for his retirement along with his normal responsibilities which will be his marriage, building a home, bearing expenses of children’s education and other such expenses.

Salman will have to first analyse post retirement what will his annual expenses be at that time i.e. he has to account for inflation in lifestyle and other expenses, the same can be safely taken at 6% annually. He will then have to calculate, other then the normal expenses of regular household needs, he will have to buffer in for expenses like medical expenses or other unforeseen expenses and the same can be taken as a lump sum amount. This will help Salman reach an amount that will be required by him for hi normal expenses plus the unplanned lump sum expense, he will then have to do a reverse calculation to find out how much contribution will he have to make to fund that amount over next 20 months. This amount will be different for different individuals and hence everyone will have to put in efforts to calculate the same.

In an ideal situation, Salman should try and save anything between 12-15% of his annual income for his retirement planning and the same should be invested in instruments that yield high returns or allow the principal to multiply / grow for next 20 years, only then he will start reaping benefits on the amount saved post his age of retirement.

Where will my money come from?

Many of us are employed and are currently working with different employers, few of us have the advantage of retirement benefits like Provident Funds & Gratuity and many of us who work at international locations, do not have that option in the current times. Here it becomes crucial to analyse how much you will actually require for life after retirement and it will be worthy to do some real calculations.

There could be other ways of getting some unexpected income or funds that can be safely added to your retirement funds to secure maximum benefit from the same. The other source could be an alternate income through additional resources like rent of property or side business opportunities etc. All these and many more can really add up to your long term plans of saving for retirement.

Where should I invest the money?

There are many investment tools or instruments that can be used to your benefit but the safest can be instruments with institutes which are stable and have been around for longer time and are also strictly governed by the rules / regulations. One such instrument that comes to my mind is the ‘Public Provident Fund’ account, this can be opened with any of the nationalized bank and for the targeted number of years you may want to deposit money without the fear or insecurity of losing the same to market fluctuation etc. This instrument also gives a stable and high rate of returns and comes with a lock-in period where you would not be allowed to use the funds before a stipulated time period.

There can be many such instruments with short term and long term plans one of them could be an investment in Gold or real estate with the intent of earning returns from a long term prospective. It will be unfair to draw a particular formula and share with the readers as what might suit one person’s requirement might not be feasible for the other.

This is the sole reason that I have always requested readers and re-iterate the same here also, that one should analyse and calculate the requirements for future as per their individual aims / goals. It is essential for us to do the ground work basis our past experiences and the best market feedback available, but the ultimate decision should always be yours and it should be something that you believe that will work for you.

I remember in one of my past articles I have mentioned, that success consists of a series of little effort on daily basis and hence it cannot be achieved overnight, similar is the situation where we prepare for the most important event of our professional life. It as to be done in small bits, month after month with dedication and the focus needs to be maintained as this plan is according to me for your self-esteem if you stay to enjoy the same and for some reasons if you are not around it will become a support system to the survival of your family members for a good time to come. It is hence essential that we look at retirement planning with seriousness and do our best in terms of whatever we can.

My strong belief as always is ‘the barometer for my success or failure cannot be somebody else’s success or failure, as we are 2 different individuals facing different situations in life and have different set of responsibilities.’

To be successful you must accept all the challenges that come your way. You can't just accept the ones you like.


Mr. Intikhab Chougle, is Associate Vice President with HSBC Group in India and has been a retail banker for past 11 years. He has completed his Bachelors in Commerce from Mumbai University and is currently pursuing his MBA with major in 'Banking & Finance'. With a total working experience of close to 15 years in Mumbai, he has been an active member in social service in Mumbai for promoting causes like 'education for girl child' and promoting medical assistance for old and deserving people. He has also traveled to Malaysia, Paris, a part of UAE market for professional reasons and has acquired vast market knowledge about investments and business approaches adopted in different markets.

He believes, it is very important that we must return back to the community what we have earned and learned from the society and hence is willing to extend his support to the people who would want to seek his expertise in setting and achieving their financial goals.

He can be reached on his email id This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER: As part of our mission to provide our users with valuable information about matters of job, health, investments etc., iKokani actively seeks a diversity of viewpoints in its columns, consultancy, commentaries and other opinion-based content. Opinions expressed in these articles are not intended to represent iKokani editorial policy and do not necessarily reflect the views of iKokani's staff, members or supporters.

Comments (5)
Retirement Planning-Matter of self respect
5Tuesday, 08 November 2011 13:56
Ashfaque Wagle
Assalam Alaykum

Retirement planning is a very important aspect, Everyone is aware of it and try to plan for it to the best of thier capabilities. No surefire remedy available for it. Its again based on a individual's need (present & future) and needs to be planned accordingly.
Its vey difficult to arrive on a formula for the same, it seems and as pointed out by Mr Shakur T there is a lot of market reasearch ,manhours and efforts by Mr Intikhab C after which he has come out with such a balanced view on this subject.
The basic needs of a individual like marriage,house and medical requirements are taken as examples and as its evident in so many cases the medical needs do grow as we grow up and our resources are dried up to cater to our medical needs, so this should be considered very seriously.
Judicious Investments in real estate/gold are also the need of the hour as pointed out by Mr Intikhab and so is the time tested PPF schemes. The ideal thumbrule in terms of 12 to 15 % savings is something which I feel is a realistic figure (Same can vary as per the individual)
All and all it is again a very important subject taken up by Mr Intikhab and he has thrown much needed light on the same. He should continue with the good work.
Matter of self respect-- What an apt Subtitle.
4Wednesday, 02 November 2011 12:13
Shakur Tisekar
Bit of a background behind this article. As you can see that brother Intikhab Chougle is an Associate Vice President of HSBC bank. We can imagine how busy his life must be considering his high level position, but his passion to serve Kokani community force him to write excellent articles in iKokani website. Of course, credit goes to Abu Yasser for maintaining the quality of this website by uploading useful & relevant matters time to time for the benefit of community. I became instant FAN of brother Intikhab when I read few of his articles. I realised that he has written good article on investment but nothing is available for retirement saving so I requested brother Intikhab to do research and write article relevant to Kokani life style as the available articles on retirement planning & thumb rule used are relevant to western life style. He indeed come up with thum rule for Kokani people that we need to save 12 to 15% for our retirement. He has not copied this thumb rule from any website. This means, he must have done many calculation for various scenarios & iterations to get that magic number. In short , it takes lot of personal efforts & time to produce well researched article. In that sense, he has personally obliged me because of my personal request. It is now in our interest, that we all encourage our other brothers to read this article & take benfit of free knowledge. In developed countries, you have to pay lot of money to financial advisor to get this type of quality advice. And don't just read it like a story. It is a sound advice. Act on it. If you need personal help to calculate tailor made formula for your case, ask help. I am sure, if it is a reasonable request, brother Intikhab will not mind helping given his track record of his passion.
Thank you brother Intikhab.
Hats off to you once again.
Thank You
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 17:47
Intikhab Chougle
Dear Shakur Bhai,

Thank you for your kind words and appreciation , I surely do not deserve it all. The passion to reach out to our people and work towards bringing in a change is pretty high within me and I thought this was an excellent oppurtunity.

As mentioned by you, I am always around to help/ support initiatives by contributing towards the end objective being the development of Kokani's and Kokan Region.

Jazzak Allah Khair :)
Investment with respect, Islamic way
3Tuesday, 01 November 2011 20:28
Gaus Abdulla Tisekar
Dear Intikhab,

Indeed, it's good professional write up. Two things are well explained. First, Why retirement plan? And Second, each one to determine his own requirement. But, the main concern in India is to invest in Islamic Investment Products for Muslims. And on this point, I am adding my views to your article. I would advise all my bros. not to invest in any interest based Investment products including Public provident fund, Term Deposits or debt products. Having said that what alternatives do muslims have in India to invest in Islamic Way. Salim Desai, I suppose have posted his article on Islamic Finance on this website itself for the information of Kokani bros.

Sometimes, in future I will dedicate one full article on this. Always think to invest as an Investor and not as a lender. Investor carries a risk and is a owner, Lender lends money and gets fixed return in the form of interest which everyone here undisputedly will agree with me that Islam does not permit that. That is calling war against Allah (s.w.t).

So the best options are:
(1) Invest in real estate, house property, office property which will bring rental income for your retirement
(2) Buy gold ornaments for your wife, daughter as and when the gold drops (so they are happy and it keeps on building your investment portfolio-it is sort of tangible cash in your hand, provision for your daughters marriage)
(3) Equity based fund, in equity markets. Now a days you can make your own Islamic based fund SIP ( dont invest in banking sector, liquor, Cinema, television companies or entertainment based cos.) You choose your companies such as real estate sector, phrmaceautical, infrastructure, power sectors etc) Take guidance from our people for selecting such cos. Like highest dividend consistingly paying cos, Book Value, PE ratio, etc. a mixed bag portfolio. Which will give capital growth as well as regular return at an average of 8%+ You can create your own SIP and ask your banker such as HDFC who charges yearly nominal fees. Each month it will deduct from your account as per your request amount an buy shares for your on pre agrred terms.
(4) make equity investment for long term investment as well as for trading purposes.
Always keep 30% of the portfolio in cash. This is a sound investment strategy.
(5) Invest in land and develop it in village

These are enough to take care of your retirement plan and to be read and followed with Bro. Chougules advice.

Rest duaa

Gaus Tisekar
Shariah Complaint & Islamic Way - To move forward from here
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 08:24
Intikhab Chougle
Dear Gaus Bhai,

Thank you for adding up your view to the article and I appreciate the way it has been added.

I will surely look forward to a detailed article from your end as I believe 'experience sharing' is a best methodology for learning the market practices and it helps you prepare better for your future. I am in total agreement with you when you mention the point that 'We must invest as a investor and not as a lender'.

I strongly agree with your recommendations made through point number 1, 2 & 5 but my views are slightly different when it comes to point no 3 & 4 and I have my own reasons for it which can be discussed at length in some other forum In-sha Allah.

Also I would like to add here, we are a large community, with people from many walks of life, with many talents possessed and scattered in many locations. The expertise that all our people have can be bought together on a table and the same can be used to develop products that are more 'Shariah Centric'. A Investment product developed by US, for the benefit of US and totally controlled / defined by US will be a better situation to be a part off.

I know I might be sounding too ambitious by recommending the above but somewhere we have to make a move for the benefit of our people from Konkan region. If we analyse, all of us are on different platform trying to make efforts in our own individual ways for the development of our region & our people, so why not do it through a stratergy & planned approach. The key to do this will be a transparency of activities communicated to each and every individual involved but lead by a team of selected & qualified people to do the same.

To be honest, I have liked your 5th recommendation a lot and that is something very close to our hearts. Developing Konkan and generating opportunities for Konkani brothers. Also I would like to add, in my view education still holds the key to all the success and the focus should not be lost, we must encourage the same at different levels as much as possible.

Jazzak Allah for your update and will look forward to your continues encouragement.

Duao ki Darkhwast
May Allah keep you in good health and wealth
2Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:28
Mojibullah Duste
Bissmillah Al Rahman AL Raheem

Brother Intikhat Chougle

1st of all thanks to Allah that he gave you knowledge of finance, and then "tawfeeq" to serve the humans and specially Muslims, Kokaneez.

Your article is informative and thoughtful to all of us who are slowly reaching to retirement from our existing job due to the age limits.

In Islam we do not have anything like retirement but to struggle till our death with good deeds, and surely we need to plan "tadbeer" for our upcoming life here and hereafter, by day to day survival, as you have very well mentioned that "nothing comes overnight".

So let us make a nice physical group to handle this situation for our kokaneez for their retirement purpose, and you may lead us, I WILL BE THE 1ST MEMBER in this group under your leadership, for securing the retirement life.

May Allah Ta'la keep all of us self sufficient and not depend on others, and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'la is The Only Source of Giver.

Once again Jazakallah khairan, wa salaamualaikum.

Mojibullah Omar Duste
Al Madina Al Munawarra
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
+966 504424856
Thank You for your Duas
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 14:52
Intikhab Chougle
Dear Mojibullah Sahab,

Thank you for your kind words, praises and all your duas.

I appreciate your views and would love to be a part of such a initiative, however I am not really sure If I should be leading the same. I would like to request Mohsin Bhai and people like yourself to take the initiative and I will support the same completely with my experience and whatever little expertise I possess.

I am really very happy and glad to reach out to our kokani people and be of help / assistance, if at all they think I can add value to their already existing expertise. I might have limitation of time while doing so but I will be committed to the cause for sure and will try to deliver on expectation with all honesty.

Once again I want to thank you for your kindness and I assure you of my complete support on any initiative planned.

Jazzak Allah Khair
1Tuesday, 01 November 2011 10:40
Ghaus Wanjwarkar
A nice article, a good literary piece of work and broad guidelines with a few practical advices by you Sir. Very well appreciated. In brief, wise investments of savings in different instruments (of course, which should be permitted in Islam) after living comfortable today will, inshallah, generate regular income to secure our retirement without us being dependent on our children.
Thank You
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:06
Intikhab Chougle
Dear Br.Ghaus,

Jazzak Allah for your feedback and praises.

In-sha Allah, a better and a planned approach of course under the guidance of Islam will not only prepare us for a better retirement but also for a better tommorow.

All of us, surely do try and do things in the best of our capabilities but at times they are not stream-lined or planned well. This one extra step of planning will In-sha Allah keep us prepared for the worst in Life.

Duao ki Darkhwast - Ah

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