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Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4992 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jun 25, 2024

Ramalingam Kalirajan has over 23 years of experience in mutual funds and financial planning.
He has an MBA in finance from the University of Madras and is a certified financial planner.
He is the director and chief financial planner at Holistic Investment, a Chennai-based firm that offers financial planning and wealth management advice.... more
Asked by Anonymous - Jun 24, 2024Hindi

I’m 36year old working female. I’m living a comfortable life and ensure one international vacation annually. I plan to retire by 45 years of age and continue with similar lifestyle. I have following savings, please suggest what adjustments should I make and whether my savings are reasonable for my age. I have no kids, no loans and no property in my name. I live in my family home. Equity- 88lac Savings account- 48lac PF+EPF- 35 lac Gold 9 lac Insurance policy - 2.5 lac Crypto 1.5 lac

Ans: Firstly, it’s fantastic to see you so proactive about your financial future. Your current financial position and the clarity about your retirement goals are commendable. Living a comfortable life, enjoying annual international vacations, and planning for early retirement at 45 is ambitious but achievable with the right strategy. Let’s assess your current savings and suggest adjustments to help you meet your goals.

Current Financial Snapshot
Let’s summarize your current financial position:

Equity Investments: Rs 88 lakhs
Savings Account: Rs 48 lakhs
Provident Fund (PF) + Employee Provident Fund (EPF): Rs 35 lakhs
Gold: Rs 9 lakhs
Insurance Policy: Rs 2.5 lakhs
Cryptocurrency: Rs 1.5 lakhs
Analysis of Current Savings
Equity Investments
You have Rs 88 lakhs in equity investments. This is a strong component of your portfolio, given its potential for high returns over the long term.

Savings Account
Having Rs 48 lakhs in a savings account is a significant amount. While it's good to have liquidity, savings accounts offer low returns, which may not keep up with inflation.

Provident Fund and EPF
Your PF and EPF holdings amount to Rs 35 lakhs. These are crucial for your retirement as they provide stability and guaranteed returns.

Gold worth Rs 9 lakhs is a good hedge against inflation and adds diversity to your portfolio. However, its returns are generally lower compared to equities.

Insurance Policy
You have an insurance policy worth Rs 2.5 lakhs. Ensure this is purely a term insurance policy for adequate risk cover.

Your cryptocurrency investment is Rs 1.5 lakhs. This is a highly volatile and unregulated market. It’s essential to be cautious with this part of your portfolio.

Steps to Achieve Your Retirement Goal by 45
Increase Equity Investments
Given your age and the time horizon until retirement, continuing with a strong equity exposure is advisable. Equities generally provide higher returns over the long term.

Diversify Across Sectors: Ensure your equity portfolio is diversified across various sectors and industries to reduce risk.

Regular Monitoring: Keep an eye on the performance of your stocks and make adjustments as needed.

Rebalance Savings Account
Having Rs 48 lakhs in a savings account is quite high. Consider reallocating a portion of these funds to higher-return investments.

Emergency Fund: Maintain an emergency fund of 6-12 months of your expenses in a savings account or liquid funds.

Invest the Rest: Reallocate excess funds into mutual funds or other diversified investment options for better returns.

Maximize Provident Fund and EPF
Your PF and EPF are safe, low-risk investments. Continue maximizing your contributions to these funds.

EPF Voluntary Contributions: If possible, consider voluntary contributions to EPF for additional tax benefits and secure returns.
Evaluate Gold Holdings
Gold is a good investment for diversification but doesn’t generate income. Consider the following:

Hold or Reallocate: Evaluate if you need to hold the entire amount in gold or reallocate a portion to higher-growth investments.
Review Insurance Policy
Ensure your insurance policy is a term policy providing adequate coverage.

Term Insurance: If it’s not a term insurance policy, consider switching to a term policy with adequate coverage for your needs.
Assess Cryptocurrency Investment
Cryptocurrency is highly volatile and unregulated. While it can offer high returns, it comes with significant risk.

Limit Exposure: Keep your exposure to cryptocurrency minimal to safeguard against potential losses.
Adjustments for Better Financial Health
Consolidate and Reinvest Direct Stocks
Direct stocks can be high-risk if not managed properly. Consider consolidating and reinvesting in mutual funds.

Actively Managed Funds: Invest through mutual funds managed by professional fund managers. This provides better risk management and diversification.

Regular Monitoring: Regularly review and rebalance your mutual fund portfolio to align with your financial goals.

Increase Monthly Investments
If you have surplus income, consider increasing your monthly investments.

SIP in Mutual Funds: Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) in mutual funds are an excellent way to invest regularly and benefit from rupee cost averaging.

Diversified Portfolio: Choose a mix of large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap funds for a balanced portfolio.

Planning for Early Retirement
Estimate Retirement Corpus
To maintain your current lifestyle, estimate the corpus required. Consider factors like inflation, healthcare costs, and lifestyle expenses.

Retirement Corpus: Aim for a retirement corpus that generates enough returns to sustain your lifestyle without depleting the principal amount.
Retirement Investment Strategy
Once you retire, your investment strategy should shift towards preserving capital while generating income.

Balanced Funds: Consider balanced or hybrid funds that offer a mix of equity and debt for stability and growth.

SWP (Systematic Withdrawal Plan): Use SWPs from mutual funds to generate a regular income post-retirement.

Professional Guidance
A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) can provide tailored advice and help you navigate complex financial decisions.

Customized Plan: A CFP can create a customized retirement plan based on your unique goals and risk tolerance.

Regular Reviews: They can also help in regular monitoring and rebalancing of your portfolio to ensure it stays on track.

Importance of Diversification
Diversifying your investments across different asset classes can reduce risk and improve returns.

Asset Allocation: Maintain a balanced asset allocation between equity, debt, and gold based on your risk profile and time horizon.

Regular Rebalancing: Periodically rebalance your portfolio to maintain the desired asset allocation.

Final Insights
Your proactive approach to financial planning is impressive. To ensure you meet your goal of retiring by 45 with a comfortable lifestyle, consider the following steps:

Increase Equity Investments: Continue focusing on equities for higher long-term returns.
Rebalance Savings: Reallocate excess funds from your savings account to higher-return investments.
Maximize PF and EPF: Continue maximizing your contributions to these secure, low-risk funds.
Evaluate Gold Holdings: Consider if reallocating a portion of your gold investments is necessary.
Review Insurance Policy: Ensure your insurance provides adequate coverage.
Limit Cryptocurrency Exposure: Keep your exposure minimal due to high volatility and risk.
Consolidate Direct Stocks: Reinvest in mutual funds for better risk management and diversification.
Increase Monthly Investments: Consider increasing your SIPs for better long-term growth.
Seek Professional Guidance: A CFP can provide valuable insights and tailored advice.
By following these steps and maintaining your disciplined approach, you can achieve your goal of retiring by 45 and enjoying a comfortable lifestyle.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,

DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information to be as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision.

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Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4992 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Apr 15, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Apr 15, 2024Hindi
Hi, I am 25 years old working in a MNC. Earning arround 65k excluding taxes in Bangalore + some shift, yearly bonus etc. avg hike 20%(not every year only hike 15% promotion 25% like that). I also earn 40-50k as part time few months not every month. My living cost is arround 20-25k per month I have to give my family arround 20k per month needs full fill I use arround 30k per year like phone laptop electronic (increase 20% yearly). How much should I save to retire at the age of 45? I am not married. Have arround 12L+ in savings 70% equity and 30% debt. I plan to buy a car in 2 year and marriage, also family planning.
Ans: Here's a breakdown to help you estimate how much you can save towards retirement at 45, considering your current situation and future plans:


Monthly Salary (excluding taxes): ?65,000 (approx.)
Yearly Bonus (average): Let's assume a conservative estimate of 1 month's salary (?65,000)
Part-time Income (average monthly): ?45,000 (considering the range)
Total Average Monthly Income:

(?65,000 + ?45,000)/12 + ?65,000/12 ≈ ?91,667


Living Costs: ?25,000
Family Support: ?20,000
Electronics (Yearly): ?30,000/12 = ?2,500 (monthly)
Total Average Monthly Expenses: ?47,500

Savings Potential:

?91,667 (Monthly Income) - ?47,500 (Monthly Expenses) ≈ ?44,167

Important Considerations:

Future Expenses: You plan to buy a car in 2 years, get married, and potentially start a family. These will significantly impact your savings. Factor in estimated costs for these events.
Inflation: Inflation will erode the purchasing power of your savings over time. Consider an inflation rate of 5-6% while calculating your retirement corpus.
Here's a suggestive approach:

Emergency Fund: Aim for 3-6 months of living expenses as an emergency fund. With your current expenses, this could be ?1.42 lakh to ?2.84 lakh.
Retirement Savings: Focus on maximizing retirement savings after building your emergency fund. You have a 15-year horizon (45 - 25 = 20 years, minus 5 years for planning major expenses). Investment advisors generally recommend saving 15-20% of your income for retirement. With your potential savings of around ?44,167, consider allocating a significant portion (around ?6,600 to ?8,800 monthly) towards retirement funds. You can adjust this based on your risk tolerance and future financial goals.
Investment Strategy: Since you have a long investment horizon, you can consider an equity-heavy approach for your retirement savings (70-80% equity). However, as you approach retirement, gradually shift towards a more balanced allocation with debt instruments to reduce volatility.
Retirement Corpus Estimation (using a simplified formula):

Corpus = (Retirement Age - Current Age) * Annual Expenses * Inflation Adjusted Factor


Retirement Age: 45
Current Age: 25
Annual Expenses (adjusted for inflation at 5% for 20 years): Let's assume your expenses grow at the same rate as inflation, leading to an annual expense of ?3.78 lakh at retirement (?25,000 * 1.05 ^ 20)
Inflation Adjusted Factor (assuming a withdrawal rate of 4% and investment return slightly exceeding inflation): 25
Estimated Corpus: ?3.78 lakh/year * 25 ≈ ?9.45 crore

Note: This is a simplified estimation and doesn't account for future income growth, investment returns,


Create a Budget: Track your income and expenses to identify areas for saving.
Automate Savings: Set up SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) for mutual funds to automate your retirement savings.
Seek Professional Advice: Consider consulting a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) for personalized financial planning based on your specific goals and risk tolerance. A CFP can help you create a comprehensive retirement plan considering your future expenses, investment strategy, and overall financial situation.
CFPs are financial advisors who have rigorous training and experience in financial planning. They are held to a high ethical standard and are required to act in their clients' best interests. Consulting a CFP can ensure you receive sound financial advice tailored to your unique needs and aspirations.

By being proactive with your savings and investments, you can work towards achieving your retirement goals at 45. Remember, this is a journey, and you might need to adjust your plan as your life progresses.

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Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4992 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on May 05, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - May 04, 2024Hindi
Dear sir, I am 52 and want to retire somewhere this year. Monthly expenses is around 30000/-. Having following savings: MF and stocks- 20Lacs, PPF: 25Lacs, EPF: 10Lacs, FD: 35Lacs. Are theses savings sufficient for post retirement life? Kindly guide. I don't any loan.
Ans: Based on the information provided, let's evaluate whether your savings are sufficient for your post-retirement life:

Monthly Expenses: Your monthly expenses are approximately 30,000/-. This is a crucial factor in determining how long your savings will last in retirement.
Savings Breakdown:
Mutual Funds and Stocks: 20 Lacs
PPF: 25 Lacs
EPF: 10 Lacs
FD: 35 Lacs
With a total of 90 Lacs in savings, and considering your monthly expenses, your savings can cover your expenses for approximately 30 months (2.5 years) without any additional income.
PPF and EPF provide a stable and secure source of income, but their liquidity may be limited.
FDs provide a relatively stable source of income, but the returns may not be sufficient to cover your expenses in the long run, especially considering inflation.
Next Steps:
Consider other sources of income, such as pension plans or annuities, to supplement your retirement savings and ensure a steady stream of income in retirement.
Evaluate your investment portfolio and consider diversifying to ensure a balance between risk and returns.
Explore options for reducing expenses or generating additional income streams to extend the longevity of your savings.
Consult with a Certified Financial Planner to create a comprehensive retirement plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.
While your current savings provide a foundation for retirement, it's essential to carefully plan and manage your finances to ensure a comfortable and secure retirement lifestyle. With proper planning and prudent financial decisions, you can enjoy a fulfilling retirement without financial worries.

..Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4992 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on May 30, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - May 30, 2024Hindi
My age is 49 and has a monthly salary of INR 291000 and expect yearly hike of 5%. Want to retire by 55 years. Has Current loan of 60K and Current savings monthly are 50K SIP, 20K life insurance, 62K PF my contribution, 25K PPF(mine and wifes), Currnet asseats are own house, 35lacs in PF, 25lacs in SIP and 40lacs in FD. I have one daughter 9 yrears. How much corpus should be enough at retirement and is this savings good enough to achieve that.
Ans: Understanding Your Retirement Goals
Retirement planning is crucial to ensure a comfortable and stress-free life after you stop working. You aim to retire at 55 years, which gives you six more years to build your retirement corpus. Your current salary is Rs 2,91,000 per month, with an expected annual increment of 5%. Your monthly savings include Rs 50,000 in SIPs, Rs 20,000 in life insurance, Rs 62,000 in PF contributions, and Rs 25,000 in PPF contributions. Your current assets include a house, Rs 35 lakhs in PF, Rs 25 lakhs in SIPs, and Rs 40 lakhs in FDs. Additionally, you have a loan of Rs 60,000. Understanding these details helps in assessing if your savings are adequate for your retirement goals.

Evaluating Current Savings and Investments
Your disciplined approach to saving and investing is commendable. Consistent contributions to SIPs, PF, and PPF are effective ways to build a retirement corpus. Additionally, your current assets are well-diversified across various instruments, which is prudent. However, it is important to assess whether these savings and investments are sufficient to meet your retirement needs.

Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs)
SIPs are a popular choice for many investors due to their potential for high returns over the long term. They offer the benefit of rupee cost averaging and compounding. Actively managed funds, compared to index funds, can potentially provide better returns because they are managed by professionals who actively select stocks. However, it's essential to review the performance of these funds regularly and ensure they align with your risk tolerance and financial goals.

Provident Fund (PF) and Public Provident Fund (PPF)
Your contributions to PF and PPF are great for ensuring a stable, risk-free portion of your retirement corpus. PF offers a stable return with tax benefits, which is an excellent way to secure a part of your retirement income. PPF, with its tax-free interest and principal, is another safe investment that complements your riskier investments like SIPs.

Addressing the Loan
It is good to note that your current loan is Rs 60,000, which is relatively small compared to your overall financial picture. Paying off this loan should be a priority, as being debt-free at retirement is ideal. The sooner you clear this loan, the better your financial health will be.

Retirement Corpus Calculation
To determine how much corpus you will need at retirement, several factors need to be considered:

Expected Monthly Expenses: Estimate your monthly expenses post-retirement, considering inflation.

Life Expectancy: Plan for at least 30 years post-retirement.

Inflation Rate: Assume an average inflation rate of 6-7% annually.

Current Savings and Future Contributions: Calculate the future value of your current savings and ongoing contributions.

Estimating Monthly Expenses
Your monthly expenses in retirement may differ from your current expenses. Some costs may reduce, like work-related expenses, while healthcare and leisure costs might increase. It is vital to have a clear understanding of your expected monthly expenses. Let's assume your current monthly expenses are Rs 1,20,000. Considering inflation, these expenses will increase by the time you retire.

Inflation and Life Expectancy
Inflation significantly impacts retirement planning. Assuming an average inflation rate of 6-7%, your expenses will grow over time. Additionally, planning for a longer life expectancy ensures you do not outlive your savings. For example, if you retire at 55 and plan for 30 years, your corpus should support you until 85.

Future Value of Current Savings
Let's project the future value of your current savings and ongoing contributions. This projection helps in understanding if your current strategy will meet your retirement goals.

Evaluating the Sufficiency of Your Savings
Given your disciplined savings approach, you are on a strong path. However, ensuring these savings are enough requires careful planning. Regularly reviewing your investment portfolio and adjusting as necessary will keep you on track.

Benefits of Actively Managed Funds
Actively managed funds have the potential to outperform index funds, as fund managers make strategic decisions based on market conditions. This active management can lead to higher returns, although it often comes with higher fees. Nonetheless, the potential for greater returns can justify the cost, making actively managed funds a compelling option for growth-oriented investors like yourself.

Disadvantages of Direct Funds
Direct funds require a hands-on approach and deep market knowledge. Investing directly means you are responsible for all decisions, which can be risky if you are not well-versed in market dynamics. Regular funds, managed by Certified Financial Planners, offer professional expertise and monitoring, which can lead to better risk management and potentially higher returns. This professional guidance is invaluable, especially as you approach retirement and seek to secure your financial future.

Prioritizing Education for Your Daughter
Your nine-year-old daughter’s education is another critical goal. Education costs are rising, and planning for her future expenses is essential. Setting aside dedicated savings for her education, such as a child education plan, ensures that you are prepared for these costs without compromising your retirement corpus.

Importance of Insurance
Your current life insurance policy is a good step towards securing your family's financial future. Adequate insurance coverage is crucial to protect against unforeseen circumstances. Evaluating whether your current insurance is sufficient or if additional coverage is needed is advisable.

Your current savings and investment strategy reflect a strong commitment to financial planning. By continuing to save diligently and reviewing your investment portfolio regularly, you can build a robust retirement corpus. Paying off your loan and ensuring adequate insurance coverage further strengthens your financial position. Planning for your daughter's education and considering the benefits of actively managed funds over direct investments are also crucial steps.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


..Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4992 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jun 04, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - May 30, 2024Hindi
I am 51 yrs old woman. I have invested till now around 1 CR in MF, different Lic of about in total 10 lakhs that I will receive on maturity. I have different ULip policies which I will receive about 50 -60 lakhs on maturity, NSC of 2 lakh on maturity and negligible amount of 1 . 30 lakhs of Ppf which I invested since last 2 yrs . I have a home loan of about 3 lakhs left . 2 storey house of our own , though under loan . I have 2 children, 19 yrs daughter and 14 yrs son. How much should I save if I plan to retire at 55 . I have no pension
Ans: Planning for retirement at 55 requires a detailed and strategic approach, especially when considering your current financial situation and future needs. At 51, you have four years to build and solidify your retirement corpus. Let’s assess your current financial status and develop a comprehensive plan to ensure a comfortable and secure retirement.

Understanding Your Financial Position

1. Mutual Funds (MF)

You have invested Rs 1 crore in mutual funds. This is a significant investment and provides a strong foundation for your retirement corpus. Regular reviews and adjustments based on market conditions and fund performance are essential.

2. Life Insurance Policies (LIC)

You have different LIC policies worth Rs 10 lakhs. These policies will mature and provide a lump sum amount. This can be used to meet various financial needs or reinvested for better growth.

3. ULIP Policies

Your ULIP policies are expected to yield Rs 50-60 lakhs on maturity. ULIPs combine insurance and investment, offering returns based on market performance. Evaluate these policies to maximize their benefits.

4. National Savings Certificate (NSC)

You have Rs 2 lakhs in NSC, which is a safe investment providing fixed returns. This can be part of your low-risk portfolio.

5. Public Provident Fund (PPF)

You have invested Rs 1.30 lakhs in PPF over the last two years. PPF offers tax-free returns and should be continued for its benefits.

6. Home Loan

You have a home loan of Rs 3 lakhs left. Clearing this loan before retirement is advisable to reduce financial burden.

7. Real Estate

You own a two-storey house, though it’s under loan. Owning your residence is a significant advantage in retirement planning.

8. Dependents

You have two children, a 19-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son. Their education and other needs must be considered in your financial planning.

Your commitment to building a diversified investment portfolio is commendable. Balancing investments in mutual funds, insurance, and savings schemes reflects a thoughtful approach to financial security. Your proactive planning for your children's future is also admirable.

Analyzing Income and Expenses

1. Monthly Income

Identify all sources of income, including your salary, rental income, or any other income streams. This will help in understanding your saving potential.

2. Monthly Expenses

Calculate your monthly household expenses, including utilities, groceries, education, and other essential expenses. This will provide clarity on your spending and saving capacity.

Investment Analysis and Strategy

1. Enhancing Mutual Fund Investments

Your Rs 1 crore investment in mutual funds is a strong base. Focus on a diversified portfolio with large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap funds. Regularly review and rebalance to optimize returns.

2. Life Insurance Policies (LIC)

When your LIC policies mature, reinvest the Rs 10 lakhs into diversified mutual funds or other investment avenues for better growth.

3. Maximizing ULIP Benefits

Your ULIP policies are expected to yield Rs 50-60 lakhs. Review these policies with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) to maximize their returns. Consider partial withdrawals or reinvestment based on performance.

4. Public Provident Fund (PPF)

Continue contributing to your PPF account to take advantage of its tax-free returns. Increase contributions if possible to build a substantial corpus.

5. Clearing Home Loan

Aim to clear your Rs 3 lakhs home loan before retirement. Use any surplus income, bonuses, or the maturity amount from LIC policies to repay the loan.

Planning for Children’s Education

1. Daughter’s Higher Education

Your 19-year-old daughter may soon require funds for higher education. Allocate a portion of your investments or ULIP returns towards her education fund.

2. Son’s Future Education

Your 14-year-old son will also need funds for his education. Plan and save accordingly to ensure his needs are met without straining your retirement corpus.

Retirement Corpus Calculation

1. Estimating Post-Retirement Expenses

Calculate your annual expenses post-retirement, including living expenses, healthcare, travel, and any other lifestyle needs. Factor in inflation to get a realistic estimate.

2. Retirement Corpus Needed

To determine the retirement corpus, use the rule of thumb that suggests having 25-30 times your annual expenses. This ensures you have enough to sustain you through your retirement years.

3. Investment Strategy

Equity for Growth

Invest a significant portion in equity mutual funds for high returns. Equities can outpace inflation, ensuring your corpus grows over time.

Debt for Stability

Allocate funds to debt instruments for stability and regular income. This balances the high-risk equity component and provides a steady income stream.

Diversified Portfolio

Choose diversified mutual funds with a mix of equity and debt. This provides growth potential with reduced volatility.

Tax Planning

1. Maximizing Tax Deductions

Utilize Section 80C for tax-saving investments like ELSS, PPF, and insurance premiums. This reduces your taxable income and increases savings.

2. National Pension System (NPS)

Consider investing in the National Pension System (NPS) for additional tax benefits under Section 80CCD(1B). NPS also provides a steady post-retirement income.

Health and Life Insurance

1. Adequate Health Insurance

Ensure you have comprehensive health insurance for yourself and your family. This covers major medical expenses and critical illnesses, reducing financial strain.

2. Sufficient Life Insurance

Opt for a term life insurance policy covering at least 10-15 times your annual income. This ensures financial security for your family in case of any unforeseen events.

Regular Portfolio Review

1. Annual Review

Review your investment portfolio annually. Adjust investments based on performance and changing financial goals to optimize returns.

2. Rebalancing

Rebalance your portfolio to maintain the desired asset allocation. This involves selling high-performing assets and buying underperforming ones to maintain balance.

Consulting a Certified Financial Planner

1. Personalized Advice

A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) provides tailored advice. They help navigate complex financial decisions and optimize your strategy.

2. Regular Consultations

Schedule regular consultations with your CFP. This ensures you stay on track and make informed decisions based on changing financial circumstances.

Actively Managed Funds

1. Professional Management

Actively managed funds offer professional management. Fund managers make informed decisions to maximize returns.

2. Market Adaptation

These funds adapt to market conditions. They can outperform passive funds, especially in volatile markets.

Disadvantages of Index Funds

1. Lack of Flexibility

Index funds replicate the market. They lack the flexibility to adapt to changing conditions, which can limit growth potential.

2. Average Returns

Index funds typically provide average market returns. Actively managed funds aim to outperform the market, offering higher returns.

Regular Funds Over Direct Funds

1. Professional Guidance

Investing through regular funds provides professional guidance. A Mutual Fund Distributor (MFD) and CFP ensure your investments align with your goals.

2. Regular Reviews

Regular funds offer periodic reviews and adjustments. This maximizes returns and manages risks effectively.

Expense Management

1. Track Spending

Monitor your monthly expenses. Identify areas where you can cut back and save more. This helps in increasing your savings rate.

2. Budgeting

Create a budget and stick to it. Allocate funds for savings, investments, and necessary expenses. This ensures disciplined financial management.

Long-Term Focus and Patience

1. Stay Invested

Remain invested for the long term. Market fluctuations are normal, and staying invested ensures you benefit from compounding.

2. Avoid Impulsive Decisions

Avoid making impulsive decisions based on short-term market movements. Stick to your long-term plan for better returns.

Diversification Across Asset Classes

1. Equity, Debt, and Gold

Diversify across equity, debt, and gold. Each asset class performs differently, providing stability and growth.

2. Balanced Approach

A balanced approach reduces risk and enhances returns. Diversification ensures a robust portfolio.

Tracking Progress and Adjustments

1. Financial Planning Tools

Use financial planning tools to track your progress. These tools help monitor investments and net worth, providing a clear picture of your financial health.

2. Make Necessary Adjustments

Adjust your investments based on changes in financial situation, goals, and market conditions. Stay flexible and proactive.

Staying Informed and Educated

1. Financial Knowledge

Stay informed about financial markets and investment opportunities. Continuous learning empowers better financial decisions.

2. Regular Updates

Keep up with market trends and updates. This helps in making timely adjustments to your portfolio for optimal returns.


Your goal of retiring at 55 is achievable with a disciplined approach. Focus on increasing your investments, managing debt, and staying diversified. Regular reviews and consultations with a Certified Financial Planner will ensure you stay on track. By following this comprehensive plan, you can achieve financial freedom and secure a comfortable retirement.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


..Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4992 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jul 12, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jun 08, 2024Hindi
I am a 52 year professional working in a pvt company. I have 2 daughters aged 21 and 14. Currently my savings are as follows. Rs 9 cr worth of shares, Rs 1.8 cr worth of MF, 50 lacs worth of FD and 1.5 cr in PF. I also have 2.6 cr worth of home loan. Two questions that I have to ask. Considering that I have to take care of my daughters edu and marriage and thereafter our retirement how much more savings I need to accumulate? Secondary should I look to restructure my savings?
Ans: You have done an exceptional job of building your financial portfolio. With Rs. 9 crores in shares, Rs. 1.8 crores in mutual funds, Rs. 50 lakhs in fixed deposits, and Rs. 1.5 crores in provident fund, you are in a strong financial position. You also have a home loan of Rs. 2.6 crores. Let's delve deeper into your needs and the steps you can take to ensure your financial security.

Assessing Your Financial Goals
You have mentioned two main financial goals: your daughters' education and marriage, and your retirement.

Daughters' Education and Marriage:

Education: The cost of higher education is rising. For your 21-year-old daughter, you may have immediate expenses if she is pursuing further studies. For your 14-year-old daughter, you have a few years to prepare.

Marriage: Indian weddings can be expensive. You need to plan for significant expenses over the next decade or so.


Lifestyle: Your retirement planning should account for your desired lifestyle. Consider your expected monthly expenses and how they might change over time.
Evaluating Your Current Savings
Your current savings are diversified across various asset classes. Let’s evaluate each component.

Shares (Rs. 9 crores):

Pros: High potential for growth, especially if you have invested in strong companies.
Cons: High risk due to market volatility. It might be prudent to gradually reduce exposure as you near retirement.
Mutual Funds (Rs. 1.8 crores):

Pros: Diversified risk, professional management, and potential for good returns.
Cons: Market risks, though less than direct shares. It’s essential to review the performance periodically.
Fixed Deposits (Rs. 50 lakhs):

Pros: Low risk, stable returns, and liquidity.
Cons: Returns are often lower than inflation, which can erode purchasing power over time.
Provident Fund (Rs. 1.5 crores):

Pros: Stable returns, tax benefits, and low risk.
Cons: Limited liquidity until retirement age.
Calculating Future Financial Needs
Education and Marriage Costs:

Education: For your elder daughter, immediate funds might be needed. Estimate the costs for your younger daughter's education based on current trends.
Marriage: Depending on your preferences, plan for significant expenses. Factor in inflation to estimate future costs.
Retirement Corpus:

To maintain your lifestyle, calculate your monthly expenses post-retirement and estimate the corpus needed. Consider healthcare costs, travel, and inflation.

Steps to Enhance Your Financial Plan
1. Diversify Investments:

While you have a substantial amount in shares, consider diversifying further to reduce risk. This could include reallocating some funds from shares to more stable investments.

2. Review Mutual Funds:

Regularly review your mutual fund portfolio. Ensure you have a mix of equity and debt funds to balance risk and return.

3. Increase Fixed Deposits:

Given the stability they offer, consider increasing your fixed deposit holdings. This can provide a cushion against market volatility.

4. Optimize Provident Fund Contributions:

Maximize your provident fund contributions for tax benefits and stable returns. Consider voluntary provident fund (VPF) if you can afford additional savings.

Restructuring Your Savings
1. Reduce Share Exposure:

As you near retirement, it’s wise to reduce exposure to high-risk assets. Gradually shift some funds from shares to more stable investments like debt funds or fixed deposits.

2. Focus on Debt Funds:

Debt mutual funds can offer better returns than fixed deposits with relatively low risk. They can be a good option for rebalancing your portfolio.

3. Increase Emergency Fund:

Ensure you have an emergency fund equivalent to 6-12 months of expenses. This fund should be in a highly liquid form like a savings account or short-term fixed deposit.

4. Estate Planning:

Create a comprehensive estate plan. This includes writing a will, setting up trusts if necessary, and ensuring all investments and assets are properly documented.

Planning for Daughters' Education and Marriage
1. Education Fund:

Open a dedicated fund for your daughters' education. Invest in a mix of equity and debt funds to balance growth and stability.

2. Marriage Fund:

Create a separate fund for their marriages. Consider investing in long-term debt funds or balanced funds for stability and moderate growth.

Preparing for Retirement
1. Estimate Expenses:

Calculate your expected monthly expenses post-retirement. Include living costs, healthcare, travel, and leisure activities.

2. Create a Retirement Corpus:

Based on your expense estimation, calculate the corpus you need. Ensure it can sustain you through your retirement years considering inflation.

3. Healthcare Planning:

Healthcare costs can be significant in retirement. Consider purchasing a comprehensive health insurance policy that covers a wide range of medical expenses.

Regular Review and Adjustment
1. Annual Review:

Conduct an annual review of your financial plan. Adjust your investments based on performance and changing financial goals.

2. Rebalance Portfolio:

Rebalance your portfolio to maintain the desired asset allocation. This ensures that your risk exposure remains within acceptable limits.

3. Monitor Economic Changes:

Stay informed about economic changes and market trends. Adjust your financial plan accordingly to mitigate risks and seize opportunities.

Working with a Certified Financial Planner
A certified financial planner (CFP) can provide expert advice tailored to your financial situation. They can help you with:

Goal Setting: Defining and prioritizing your financial goals.
Investment Planning: Selecting the right mix of investments to meet your goals.
Risk Management: Identifying and mitigating financial risks.
Tax Planning: Maximizing tax benefits through strategic investments.

You have shown remarkable diligence in building your financial portfolio. Managing the financial needs of your daughters and planning for retirement is complex. Your dedication and foresight are commendable.

Final Insights
Your current savings put you in a strong position. However, careful planning and restructuring can help you achieve your goals with greater certainty.

Diversify your investments, reduce high-risk exposure, and plan for future needs methodically. Regular reviews and adjustments to your financial plan will ensure that you stay on track.

You have built a solid foundation, and with prudent planning, you can secure a financially stable future for yourself and your family.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


..Read more

Latest Questions

Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4992 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jul 18, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jul 14, 2024Hindi
Is unrated safe to invest Sbi advantage Icici pru opportunities????
Ans: Unrated funds, like SBI Balanced Advantage and ICICI Pru Opportunities, lack official ratings from agencies. This doesn't necessarily mean they are bad options. It simply means they haven't been evaluated by rating agencies yet. This could be due to the funds being relatively new or less popular.

Risks and Considerations
Higher Risk
Unrated funds come with higher uncertainty. They do not have a track record to assess their performance and risk profile. This makes it challenging to predict their future performance.

Potential Rewards
Despite the higher risk, unrated funds can offer potential rewards. New funds often aim to attract investors by performing well initially. However, this is not guaranteed and requires careful consideration.

Investing in Funds with Better Track Records
Proven Performance
It is advisable to invest in funds with a proven track record. These funds have historical data showing how they perform in different market conditions. This provides more confidence in their future performance.

Stability and Reliability
Funds with better track records have demonstrated their ability to manage market volatility. They offer more stability and reliability, which is crucial for long-term investment goals.

Active vs. Index Funds
Benefits of Actively Managed Funds
Actively managed funds can outperform the market. Skilled fund managers make strategic decisions based on market conditions. This can lead to higher returns, especially in volatile markets.

Regular vs. Direct Funds
Advantages of Regular Funds
Investing through a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) provides professional guidance. CFPs help with fund selection and portfolio management. This ensures your investments align with your financial goals.

Final Insights
Investing in unrated funds like SBI Balanced Advantage and ICICI Pru Opportunities carries higher risk due to the lack of track record. It is generally safer to invest in funds with proven performance and a stable track record. Consulting with a Certified Financial Planner can help you make informed decisions and build a diversified portfolio.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP

Chief Financial Planner,


...Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4992 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jul 18, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jun 14, 2024Hindi
I am 30, married 2 years back. I earn around 1.08 lacs and wife earns around 70k. House rent is 30k. Car rent is 18k pending for 4 years more.Have almost no savings just emergency fund of 3L. Invest only in MF 18k pm and LIC 5k per month. Give 30-40k to parents monthly. Possible to generate 2 cr in 15 years? If yes then pls suggest
Ans: Current Financial Situation

You and your wife have a combined monthly income of Rs. 1.78 lakhs. Your monthly expenses include house rent of Rs. 30,000 and car rent of Rs. 18,000 for the next four years. You have an emergency fund of Rs. 3 lakhs and invest Rs. 18,000 per month in mutual funds and Rs. 5,000 per month in LIC. Additionally, you provide Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 to your parents monthly.

Goal Assessment

You aim to generate Rs. 2 crores in 15 years. This is achievable with disciplined savings and strategic investments.

Income and Expenses Analysis

Your combined income is Rs. 1.78 lakhs per month. After deducting rent (Rs. 48,000) and parental support (Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000), you have around Rs. 1 lakh left for other expenses, savings, and investments.

Current Investments

Mutual Funds: Rs. 18,000 per month
LIC: Rs. 5,000 per month
Investment Strategy Recommendations

Increase Monthly Savings

Try to increase your savings rate. Even a small increase in monthly savings can significantly impact your long-term goals.

Maximise Mutual Fund Investments

Continue with your mutual fund investments. Consider increasing the amount gradually. Mutual funds, especially equity funds, can offer higher returns over the long term.

Review LIC Policy

Review your LIC policy. If it is not yielding good returns, consider surrendering it. Reinvest the amount in mutual funds. Consult a Certified Financial Planner before making any decisions.

Emergency Fund

Maintain your emergency fund. Ensure it covers 6-12 months of expenses. This fund should be in a liquid or easily accessible account.

Debt Management

Car rent will continue for four more years. Once completed, redirect this amount to your savings and investments. Reducing debt will free up more funds for investments.

Retirement and Contingency Planning

Consider investing in a mix of equity and debt funds for a balanced portfolio. Consult a Certified Financial Planner to tailor this mix to your risk tolerance and goals.

Action Plan to Achieve Rs. 2 Crores

Increase Mutual Fund SIPs: Gradually increase your monthly SIPs in mutual funds. Aim to invest a higher portion of your surplus income.

Review Insurance Needs: Ensure you have adequate health and life insurance coverage. Review and adjust your policies as needed.

Long-term Investments: Focus on long-term equity investments. These can provide higher returns compared to other instruments.

Monitor and Rebalance Portfolio: Regularly review your portfolio. Rebalance it to align with your financial goals and market conditions.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Control Discretionary Spending: Reduce unnecessary expenses. This will help you save more.

Joint Planning with Spouse: Work together with your spouse on financial planning. Joint efforts can amplify your savings and investments.

Final Insights

Achieving Rs. 2 crores in 15 years is possible. Increase your savings and strategic investments. Regularly review and adjust your financial plan. Consult a Certified Financial Planner for personalised advice.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


...Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4992 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jul 18, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jul 13, 2024Hindi
I am 41 years old , with In-hand salary of 1.26L , Wife salary 79K , Home loan remaining 22 Laks for 11 years , Started Saving recently in Mutual Funds with Target of 40-50K investment per month , Invested 40K in HDFC small cap fund direct , Quant Focused 30K , Quant infrastructure 35K , quant small cap 60K , 50K in Quant ELss. Please suggest the Investment proportion and suggestive investment amount for comfortable retirement and Child Higher education
Ans: Overview of Current Financial Situation
You are 41 years old with an in-hand salary of Rs. 1.26 lakhs and your wife earns Rs. 79,000. You have a home loan balance of Rs. 22 lakhs for 11 years. You have recently started investing in mutual funds with a target of Rs. 40-50k per month. Your current investments are:

Rs. 40k in a small cap fund
Rs. 30k in a focused fund
Rs. 35k in an infrastructure fund
Rs. 60k in a small cap fund
Rs. 50k in an ELSS fund
Investment Proportion Analysis
Your portfolio is heavily skewed towards small cap and sector-specific funds. This strategy can be risky. Diversification is essential to balance risks and returns. Consider a mix of large cap, mid cap, and hybrid funds. This approach provides stability and growth.

Actively Managed Funds
Actively managed funds can offer higher returns compared to index funds. Fund managers use expertise to navigate market conditions. This advantage can outweigh the typically higher expense ratios.

Regular vs Direct Funds
Investing in regular funds through a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) has benefits. CFPs offer professional advice, ongoing support, and portfolio adjustments. This guidance can help you achieve your financial goals effectively. Direct funds lack this personalized service and can be challenging to manage alone.

Suggested Investment Allocation
Large Cap Funds
Large cap funds provide stability. Allocate 25-30% of your monthly investment here. They are less volatile and offer steady returns over time.

Mid Cap Funds
Mid cap funds offer a balance between risk and return. Allocate 20-25% here. They have the potential for higher growth compared to large caps.

Balanced or Hybrid Funds
These funds combine equity and debt. They provide a cushion against market volatility. Allocate 15-20% of your investments in hybrid funds.

Small Cap and Sectoral Funds
Limit your exposure to small cap and sectoral funds to 20-25%. They can be volatile and should be balanced with more stable investments.

ELSS Funds
ELSS funds offer tax benefits under Section 80C. They also provide growth opportunities. Allocate 10-15% here, considering your tax-saving needs.

Monthly Investment Plan
Given your target of Rs. 40-50k per month, here is a suggested allocation:

Large Cap Funds: Rs. 10-12k
Mid Cap Funds: Rs. 8-10k
Balanced or Hybrid Funds: Rs. 6-8k
Small Cap and Sectoral Funds: Rs. 8-10k
ELSS Funds: Rs. 6-8k
Planning for Retirement and Child's Education
Retirement Planning
Estimate your retirement corpus based on your current lifestyle. Aim for a corpus that can sustain you comfortably. Consider inflation and rising expenses. Start a systematic investment plan (SIP) in diversified funds. Regular reviews with a CFP can keep your plan on track.

Child's Higher Education
Calculate the future cost of education. Consider inflation and rising fees. Start an SIP in diversified funds focused on education goals. ULIPs or other insurance-linked investments may not be ideal. Mutual funds offer better returns and flexibility.

Final Insights
Your current investment strategy is aggressive. Balancing it with large cap and hybrid funds will reduce risk. Investing regularly and reviewing your portfolio periodically is crucial. Consult a Certified Financial Planner for tailored advice. This ensures your goals of comfortable retirement and child's education are met.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP

Chief Financial Planner,


...Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4992 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jul 18, 2024

Hello Sir I am Naveen and i am 31 years old, I am planning to retire at the age of 50 with 5 Cr and monthly income 1 L My Investment is PPF 400000 ULIP 250000 FD 100000 EPF 300000 NPS 200000(every year 50000 ) Stock 800000 MF 700000 Child plan Own house, taken Health insurance 20 L and Term insurance 1 Cr . Please advise me how much i need to increase my investment for my better retirement
Ans: Assessment of Current Financial Situation

You have diversified your investments across various financial instruments. Your goal to retire at 50 with Rs. 5 crore and a monthly income of Rs. 1 lakh is achievable with proper planning.

Current Investments

PPF: Rs. 4,00,000
ULIP: Rs. 2,50,000
FD: Rs. 1,00,000
EPF: Rs. 3,00,000
NPS: Rs. 2,00,000 (Rs. 50,000 yearly)
Stock: Rs. 8,00,000
Mutual Funds: Rs. 7,00,000
Child Plan: Amount not specified
Own House
Health Insurance: Rs. 20 lakh
Term Insurance: Rs. 1 crore
Financial Goals Analysis

Your goal requires disciplined saving and strategic investments. Let’s evaluate each aspect:

Public Provident Fund (PPF)

PPF is a safe investment. It offers tax benefits and guaranteed returns. However, its limit restricts the amount you can invest yearly.

Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP)

ULIP combines insurance and investment. It may not be the best for high returns. Consider reviewing its performance and charges.

Fixed Deposit (FD)

FDs provide security but lower returns. Inflation can erode their value. Consider keeping only a portion in FDs.

Employees' Provident Fund (EPF)

EPF is a stable option for long-term savings. It provides decent returns and tax benefits. Continue contributing.

National Pension System (NPS)

NPS is beneficial for retirement. It offers market-linked returns and tax benefits. Your current contribution of Rs. 50,000 yearly is good.

Stock Market

Stocks can yield high returns but come with risks. Regularly review and rebalance your portfolio. Diversify to mitigate risks.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are good for wealth creation. Choose funds based on your risk appetite. Consider consulting a Certified Financial Planner for advice on fund selection.

Child Plan

Ensure the plan meets your child’s future education needs. Evaluate its performance and adjust if necessary.

Health and Term Insurance

You have sufficient coverage. Ensure to review and increase if needed with inflation.

Additional Investment Recommendations

To achieve your retirement goal, you need to increase investments. Here’s how:

Increase Mutual Fund Investments

Mutual funds offer potential for high returns. Increase SIPs in diversified equity mutual funds. Consult a Certified Financial Planner to choose the best funds.

Review and Adjust ULIP

Evaluate the charges and performance of ULIPs. If returns are low, consider surrendering and reinvesting in mutual funds. Consult a Certified Financial Planner for advice.

Maximize NPS Contributions

Increase your NPS contributions. It will enhance your retirement corpus and provide tax benefits.

Invest in Stocks Wisely

Continue investing in stocks. Diversify across sectors and regularly review. Stay updated with market trends.

Emergency Fund

Maintain an emergency fund. Ensure it’s 6-12 months of your expenses. Park it in liquid funds for easy access.

Retirement Corpus Calculation

Without specific calculations, aim to increase your investments by 10-15% annually. This will help you reach your Rs. 5 crore goal.

Final Insights

Your current investment strategy is strong. However, regular review and adjustments are crucial. Consult a Certified Financial Planner for personalized advice. Stay disciplined and focused on your goals.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


...Read more

DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Investment in securities market are subject to market risks. Read all the related document carefully before investing. The securities quoted are for illustration only and are not recommendatory. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information and as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision. RediffGURUS is an intermediary as per India's Information Technology Act.


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