Western India retirement index dips to 46, health remains an area of concern: Max Life’s survey

by Rahul Devi

Max Life Insurance Company recently released the findings of its India Retirement Index Study (IRIS) 3.0, conducted in collaboration with marketing data and analytics company KANTAR. The study reveals interesting insights about retirement preparedness in different regions of India.

According to the IRIS 3.0 findings, western India’s Retirement Index has dropped from 47 points in the first edition of the study to 46 points currently. This negative movement is in contrast to the other regions of India, which have shown positive index movement. Northern India’s index rose from 41 to 44 points, eastern India’s index significantly moved from 44 to 52 points, and southern India’s index improved from 40 to 46 points.

V Viswanand, Deputy Managing Director of Max Life Insurance, highlighted the challenges facing the urban population of western India in retirement planning. He stated that the region feels least secure in retirement, with 9 out of 10 individuals regretting not starting their retirement planning earlier. Urgent interventions are required in western India to emphasize the importance of timely retirement planning through proactive savings and investing.

The study also found that western India demonstrates the least sense of security towards retirement compared to other zones. Only 6 in 10 individuals in the region are aware of the funds required to maintain their current lifestyle during retirement, indicating a gap in financial knowledge. Additionally, nearly 8 in 10 respondents believe the retirement age in India should be extended beyond 58 or 60 years, highlighting concerns about longevity risk.

The IRIS 3.0 findings also shed light on the regret over delayed retirement investments in western India. An overwhelming 90 percent of respondents wish they had started retirement savings earlier, emphasizing the significance of proactive financial planning. The aspiration for a stress-free retirement life has declined from 19 percent to 10 percent, reflecting a growing realization of the challenges associated with retirement preparedness in the region.

In terms of health, there has been a significant increase in individuals who have undertaken health check-ups in the last three years. However, there is a decline in those with regular health check-ups, indicating room for improvement in sustaining regular health monitoring. This shift in behavior has led to a decrease in the proportion of people who feel confident about being fit and healthy during retirement.

The Financial Index has seen a gradual increase, suggesting an improved understanding of financial matters among respondents. There has also been a surge in awareness regarding government-backed financial schemes like the Atal Pension Yojana and annuities. Life insurance remains the most well-known financial product, while ownership of assets such as real estate and gold has increased. Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIP) and traditional insurance ownership have also grown, indicating a diversified approach to financial planning for retirement.

One noteworthy trend is the emotional dependence on children during retirement. The study found that individuals in western India have an increased inclination to rely on their children for care and financial assistance. However, only 42 percent of respondents express a sense of security regarding family support during retirement, the lowest across all regions. Half of the individuals surveyed wish to stay with their children during retirement, indicating a strong desire for close familial bonds and the belief that living with children will provide both emotional and financial support as they age.

Overall, the IRIS 3.0 study provides valuable insights into the retirement preparedness of different regions in India. It highlights the challenges and progress of western India in terms of retirement planning and emphasizes the importance of proactive financial planning, health monitoring, and family support for a secure and peaceful retirement life.

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