There is nothing wrong if you want to be wealthy. Life brings us several opportunities and often we fail to grab it due to our conservative upbringing and belief that you can’t be rich and honest at the same time. Taking risks to be rich is not dishonesty. Everybody in India wants to be well to do and comfortable in life, but few want to be very rich and famous. We somehow have this peculiar middle-class mentality that looks to attain mediocrity and considers it as a path of virtue. From Raj Kapoor to Satyajit Ray we have been told that the poor are simple and good. That the rich are evil and exploiters. That the middle class has heroes with education and courage who can save the poor from the designs of the rich.
The socialist upbringing of the nation has put it in our text books and our minds that to be rich is to be evil. This is something we have learnt through our teachers, our parents, our movies and our political leaders. It creates a good and evil mental block that incapacitates us to take risks needed to really attain global heights. In reality the good guys are gentle and are great like Nari Contractor, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, who can take it on the chin and fight on. But it is the aggressive go-getters like Kapil Dev, Saurav Ganguly, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli who can really counter punch and lead the team to victory.
Once you reach your forties you are at a stage where you can evaluate the investment of your past twenty years. You can look at the present and future and plan your end innings. Ask yourself the following questions. Have your early investment risks materialized? Has it brought you to a position that does not need much effort to realize your retirement goals. A goal that we discussed earlier in this series. One that would leave you with a retirement income greater than your last drawn salary. Or have they not done justice to your effort? Do you want to make a last ditch effort to grow really rich? Or do you want to play safe and secure minimum retirement benefits.
If your early risks have materialized, then it is time to build on them and grow further. Though rent seeking retirement is not considered noble or worthy, it is the most safe and secure investment in India today. Property will keep appreciating for the next twenty years thanks to the lop-sided supply demand situation in India. It will go through ups and downs as the market gets more and more regulated but will not dip in the real sense. As you grow in age and responsibilities it is worth replacing risky stock investments into rent paying property investments.
In case your investments have not done justice to your efforts, you have two options to follow. The first is to make a last-ditch effort to get rich. For people who have been unlucky with stock or property investments the other way is to get a foreign job. Once you have 15 to 20 years of work experience under your belt you can start planning for a foreign posting either from your present company or by joining a foreign company. The process is not so difficult when you find that most immigrants to nations like Canada and Australia today are not youngsters but middle aged people doing well in their jobs in India. Going abroad for around 10 years to Europe, US and some Middle East nations gives you enough wealth to career professionals to spend your retirement in India in comfort.
However, what if you are neither keen nor comfortable to try for a foreign job nor lucky with high risk stock investments and properties. The best way then is to understand your limitations and live a sedate existence. Invest in safe and secure bonds and pension funds that can cater to your future needs even if at a lower scale.