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The average income of Indians has increased significantly over the past few decades. Senior citizens in India are also joining the rave by becoming increasingly independent in financial matters. They are now able to efficiently manage their retirement savings without any support.
If you are also planning on post-retirement investments, there are two crucial points to consider. First of all, you need to have a health insurance plan which covers all common health issues. Secondly, your investments must ensure a steady flow of income after retirement. In this article, we discuss some of the best schemes which cover both these aspects.
You must focus on stable and risk-free investment options for your post-retirement period. Lets look at some of such schemes:-
Life and Healthcare Insurance
With a dedicated health insurance policy, you can get the best available treatment without having to depend on anyone. Insurance companies like Religare, Max Bupa, UTI, and Star Health have specially designed health insurance options for the golden-agers. These come with covers such as annual health check-ups, pre-hospitalization expenses, post-hospitalization expenses, day care treatment (for selected ailments) and more, depending on the policy chosen.
Senior Citizen Saving Scheme is a popular savings scheme that has been introduced by the central government. It covers senior citizens under its ambit who are at least 60 years of age and comes with an impressive interest rate of 9.3% per annum. It is available for early retirees within three years of receiving the retirement fund and has a maturity period of 5 years.
Post Office Saving Schemes
You can also consider saving via the Post Office wherein you are entitled to a regular monthly income. The rate of interest is fixed at 8.4% per annum instead of a floating interest rate. This is applicable for deposits, not exceeding 15 lakhs and comes with a maturity period of 5 years. If you need the amount before the maturity period, you can opt for premature closure. With premature closure after 1 year, 1.5% of the total deposit is deducted; and after 2 years, 1% of the total deposit is deducted.
Although a bit risky in nature, mutual funds are also great investment options. Investment in mutual funds is analogous to primarily investing in debt instruments and a small part in equities. Some of the popular providers in this category are Tata Retirement Savings Moderate Direct-G, Aditya Birla SL Tax Relief 96 Direct-G and DSP BlackRock Tax Saver Direct Plan-Growth. By investing in mutual funds, you can get a regular flow of income through dividends. You can also explore the Fixed Maturity Plans which are close ended debt mutual funds.
Bonds with Tax Exemption
You can also consider the option of buying bonds issued by institutions which are government-backed like the National Highways Authority of India, Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO), and the Power Finance Corporation Ltd. These are long-term investments and require a minimum of 10-years to mature. A major benefit of these is that they are completely TDS and tax exempted. However, you should be careful while investing in bonds and consider the option only if you have some extra cash in your hands.
This investment scheme is the most popular one, simply because it is risk-averse in nature. The ROI on fixed deposit schemes is slightly higher for senior citizens - 0.25% - 0.50% more than the normal rate of interest (7.5%), for a maturity tenure of 1 - 10 years. Some offer even higher ROI (around 7.75%) on fixed deposits of a longer duration (exceeding 10 years).
There are different investment options available to choose from for post-retirement saving plans. Before deciding on your plan, you have to evaluate the resources available to invest, the ROI involved, the frequency of returns and the risk factors involved. While selecting a health insurance plan, make sure to verify that it covers the basic medical expenses and is also available during years that you might need it the most.
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