3 retirement planning lessons from Sharmaji Namkeen’s recipe for life

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In his swansong ‘Sharmaji Namkeen’, the late Rishi Kapoor essayed the role of a middle-class widower, Brij Gopal Sharma who is pushed into retirement by his company at the age of 58. Still lively and gung-ho, he finds it hard to come to terms with his retirement. To slay his boredom, he takes up catering and turns his passion for cooking into a small business.

He starts catering for a kitty party, which is hosted by a bevy of ladies, and serves mouth-watering delicacies. He pursues his passion for cooking with tremendous relish and in the bargain, strikes up friendship with a bunch of fun, interesting people.

So, can we take a leaf out of Sharmaji’s delectable cuisines and add some ingredients in our retirement planning. Here are my observations:

Follow an investment recipe to extinguish retirement risk

Sharmaji washes and peels a raw potato, cuts it into 4 small pieces and adds them to the ‘dal’. The ‘dal’ is then cooked with potatoes to absorb the extra salt. The potatoes are then taken out once the ‘dal’ is ready for serving. Similarly, the objective of investing in a retirement fund or a corpus is to mitigate the risk of no or inadequate financial corpus when one is retired.

The investment from an early age in a retirement corpus reduces the risk significantly and one doesn’t have to worry about finances for monthly expenses and other responsibilities after retirement. Just like potatoes are taken out when the ‘dal’ is about to be served, one gets the entire corpus – depending on the scheme/plan – at the time of retirement.

‘Dal’ is enjoyed after potatoes serve their purpose of absorbing extra salt. Similarly, the purpose of retirement is achieved, when the corpus matures with the right earnings flavor, after the ingredients of investments are well mixed, for strong risk-free income.

Mix investment ingredients for perfect retirement chutney

When asked about how his ‘chutney’ is so distinct and delicious, Sharmaji names a string of ingredients such as black pepper, chilli powder, salt, cumin, ginger, fennel seeds, tamarind, crushed coriander, raisins, cashews, asafoetida and jaggery, which he carefully picks and puts them in ‘chutney’ to make it flavourful.

Choosing a wholesome retirement plan is paramount. You should be able to consider multiple factors before zeroing in the plan. Your ability to plan effectively also depends on the kind of lifestyle you want to pursue post retirement, your appetite for risk, whether you want a lump-sum amount at the time of retirement or a fixed monthly pension after the retirement etc.

There are multiple investment products available for retirement planning such as National Pension Scheme (NPS), EPF, Direct Equity exposure, ETF, pension plans etc that offer income options from guaranteed to market-linked ones. It really depends on how you want your investment ingredients to mix for earnings to be as scrumptious as Sharmaji’s ‘chutney’.

Ensure investment snacks carry variety for peppery, carefree retirement

Sharmaji likes to have a variety of snacks with his evening tea and relishes them to the hilt. After making a range of cuisines during the day, his evenings are mellow and relaxed.

Similarly, after slogging through life, you want to have a joyful life after retirement. A robust retirement plan ensures that you indulge in the activities you are passionate and care about, in your retired life. After all, you want to spend the sunset years of life sipping your favorite beverage with the snacks you want to munch on, at the destination of your choice, in the lifestyle you dream.

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Views expressed above are the author’s own.