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‘I call my financial plan for retirement—safety at 60’

LiveMint logoLiveMint 17-09-2017 Kaveri Nandan

Life after retirement is often not what one expects it to be. And inflation can make things doubly difficult. Kolkata-based Tuhin and Tandra Paul took steps just in time to avoid the effects of inflation. “I retired last year, in January 2016. Some years before that (in 2013), I had attended a financial awareness campaign. It was an eye-opener,” said Tuhin. The session was conducted by Uttam Kumar Sen, who later became the couple’s financial adviser. While listening to the session, Tuhin realized that he should think about his fast approaching retirement. He contacted Sen, and over several telephonic discussions and face-to-face meetings, decided to consult him.

The first thing that Sen did was put the retirement corpus in a liquid fund, till the time a comprehensive financial plan was made. “I wanted to invest in such a way that it was safe and the returns were more than from a bank or post office fixed deposit,” said Tuhin.

At next step was an extensive exercise to determine current expenses and goals. “There was meticulous data gathering. Newspaper bill, ironwala... everything was included,” said Tuhin. 

As part of future plans, the couple had earlier decided to buy an apartment for investment purpose. “This was an alarming area of the portfolio’s asset allocation (as it meant a heavy tilt towards real estate), and my risk profile and liquidity would not allow it, so I cancelled that,” said Tuhin.

Sen also explained how inflation had to be considered. “If inflation is at, say, 7% or 7.5%, and I get 10% (returns), it’s good. If it’s above 10%, then it’s very good,” said Tuhin. 

The other important consideration was age. On his own, Tuhin had formed a rough plan till he turned 70. “But Sen said what will happen if you live beyond 70. So the plan was made for 60 years to 80 years. From 61-65, 66-70, 71-75 and 76-80,” he said, adding that he calls his retirement plan “safety at 60”.

Other goals were also factored in. As keen travellers, the Pauls want a foreign trip every few years, “till my health permits,” said Tuhin, and a trip within India once a year. Their medical insurance was enhanced, and a contingency fund was created for medical or other emergencies. Their 28-year-old son Tiyash’s marriage was also factored in.

“Managing a retired person’s portfolio can be difficult because inflation, tax and health concerns have to be taken into account,” said Sen, adding that the Pauls cannot draw only on the interest income from investments and must use both interest and capital. This was why the Pauls did not invest in a property; the money was invested in mutual funds instead. “Equity benefits in the long term. I have experienced this myself,” said Tuhin. He used to buy stocks of blue chip companies earlier, and which he held for many years. “I bought my flat by selling only half of my shares (in 2007),” said Tuhin.  

Having a financial plan in place also means that the Pauls, especially Tandra, has a proper view of their finances. On a lighter note, after the asset allocation was determined, Tuhin informed Tandra about it, and her response was—“but you told me kuchh nahin hai, kuchh nahin hai... (but you told me there’s nothing)”—according to Tuhin.

“I knew a little bit of his investments, but not everything,” she said. Now the couple are on the same page, and want their son also to start investing in a planned manner.

After seeing the benefits of having a financial plan, the couple feels things would have been even better if they had started planning maybe “5 years sooner”, said Tuhin. “But it is better to go to a financial planner than having to do it all on our own,” said Tandra.




Name: Tuhin Paul

Age: 60

Profession: Retired as a sales and marketing professional from a pan-India paints company after being with it for 31 years

Name: Tandra Paul

Age: 54

Profession: Homemaker

Financial planner: Uttam Kumar Sen, certified financial planner, blogger at

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