Finance

CAN YOUR RETIREMENT PORTFOLIO DEPEND ONLY ON FIXED INCOME RETURNS?

Several individuals look forward to their retirement days. Why? Retirement is the time that allows individuals to do what their heart desires – take up on their hobbies and activities that didn’t find a place in their working life. No wonder, it is referred to as the golden era of an individual’s life. However, there is one harsh reality concerning retirement that everyone needs to face – your earnings might stop, but your expenses won’t. You might feel that your expenses might decrease, but you must factor into account the rising costs of health industry, effects of inflation, etc. One of the common types of investments that helps investors earn stable and guaranteed returns is fixed-income investment options. Though these investment options provide investors the safety and stability of investing in mutual funds, are they enough? Can your retirement portfolio depend entirely only on the returns generated by fixed-income investment options? This article aims to answer that question for you.

FIXED INCOME RETURNS

Equity funds have a higher potential of generating substantial returns over a period of time than fixed-income investment options. If you consider long-term returns, equity funds generate better tax efficiency than debt funds, you can no longer overlook equities and equity-related securities as a major contributor in your investment portfolio.

Why are fixed-income securities not enough to build your retirement kitty?

Back in the good old days, several savings schemes and fixed deposits (FD) successfully generated high single digit returns to investors. In fact, some schemes even generated as high as early double-digit returns in some cases. These were the times when generating 10-12% assured returns per annum through savings certificate or PPF (public provident fund) or FDs was a reality. Of course, as you might know, this is no longer the case.

Today, these investment options generate fixed and assured returns at around 5-7% per annum, which is pre-tax. After tax-returns might go down by further 1-2% per annum. And the annual inflation rate in a growing economy like India is somewhat the same. In essence, you are actually left with almost nothing once you consider the tax aspects and the effect on inflation on your investments. As you might have calculated, investing in just fixed-income securities for your retirement portfolio might not fare well for you.

Enter equity

If you wish to cater to all your retirement needs without compromising on your desired and lifestyle, equity is the solution. Experts suggest investing highly in equities at least up to two years before you decide to retire. As retirement portfolio usually have a higher investment horizon, this gives your equities ample time to adjust to market volatilities.

Once you are nearing your retirement, you can systematically transfer your funds in debt funds through systematic transfer plans (SWP). This helps you to preserve the wealth that you have accumulated until now. Debt securities are ideal for providing a cushion to portfolio in cases of uncertain events. It is a good idea to find the right balance between equities and debt securities based on your investment goals, investment horizon, and risk appetite. However, remember to not let go of equity as an asset class even post retirement. Happy investing!