If you have a long way to go for retirement but are already thinking about it, you are one of the few that actually understand the importance of retirement planning. In the process of achieving near-term financial goals, the long-term ones like retirement planning are generally left behind in the early years of life.

In most cases, people generally start thinking about what their life would be after they stop working and don’t earn a regular income once they cross 40-45 years. In most cases, they then don’t have enough time to plan their retirement in the way it should be done. Time plays a very crucial role in your post-retirement planning, and this makes your 20s and 30s the right time to start working towards it.

One of the most important things that you will need to know to effectively plan your retirement is how much money you will need to retire comfortably. Even after retirement, you should be able to maintain the same lifestyle that you currently have. But with no monthly income, you will have to rely on your retirement corpus to manage your post-retirement expenses.
So, what should your retirement corpus look like? Let us have a detailed look-

How Big Your Retirement Corpus Should Be?

Once you retire, the retirement corpus should be able to generate adequate returns on an annual basis so that you could continue maintaining your current lifestyle even after retirement. Now, the corpus you will need will abundantly depend on the type of lifestyle you have. We are considering an average middle-class urban lifestyle to better relate to the young working professionals.

So, even if you are aiming for an average middle-class lifestyle after retirement, it'd still take at least 20-30 years for you to build a retirement corpus. This is the reason why it is crucial to start post-retirement financial planning and investing when you are in your 20s and 30s. This ensures that you have adequate time to build the corpus while also taking care of your near-term financial objectives and retire comfortably around the age of 55-60 years.

How to Estimate Retirement Corpus?

Needless to say, as you are planning for something that would occur 20-30 years from now, the calculations would be an estimate. However, your assessment should be as close to reality as possible.
So, how much money do you need to retire at 60? What should be the size of your retirement corpus?
There are three simple steps to get this estimate-

1. Calculate Monthly/Annual Expenses

Knowing your monthly/annual expenses after retirement would play an integral role in the planning process. So, give special attention to this step. To understand how much money you will need each month or year, you first need to know the biggest post-retirement expenses. In most cases, there are a few major expenses that you will have to take care of after retirement.

These expenses are-

  • Healthcare
  • The healthcare costs will increase as you age. Moreover, even the cost of quality healthcare is consistently rising in India. If you can stay reasonably healthy after retirement, you'd still end up spending around Rs. 1 lakh per annum on your health.
    If unfortunately, you suffer from health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, etc., the annual healthcare expense could be up to Rs. 2-3 lakhs or more.

  • Home-Related Expenses
  • This is generally the biggest expense for most people post-retirement. Home-related expenses would include utility, food, clothing, furniture, home repair, and renovations. While you can keep the home-related expenses to a minimum after retirement, it can still cost at least Rs. 3-5 lakhs per year.

  • Insurance Premium
  • You will also be required to continue paying premiums of insurance policies like health insurance, life insurance, car insurance, etc. While health insurance and life insurance would seem like an added expense when you are in your 20s and 30s, they are must for the later years of your life. The premiums can cost around Rs. 50,000-75,000 in a year.

  • Emergency Expenses
  • You will also be required to have an emergency fund in your post-retirement financial planning to take care of unexpected expenses. It is better to start building and using an emergency fund right from the moment you start earning. It will protect your savings from emergency expenses. After retirement, you should at least have Rs. 1 lakh per year for handling emergencies.

  • Taxes
  • As you will not earn any monthly income after retirement, you will not be required to pay any taxes on the same. But the taxes would be applicable to the income that you receive from your investments. No matter if you have invested in real estate, mutual funds, or any kind of pension scheme, there would mostly be some kind of taxes on the income.
    Apart from this, there will also be other taxes like property tax, municipality tax, etc. Together, these taxes could cost Rs. 50,000-1 lakh per year.
    Based on the expenses listed above, you’d at least need Rs. 6 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakh annually for managing your expenses after retirement. You can also look for an online ‘how much money do I need to retire’ calculator for calculating these expenses.

    For better estimation, let us consider an average of Rs. 8 lakhs as your annual expense after retirement. It means that your investments should be able to generate this amount every year for you to live a comfortable retirement.

2. Expected Returns from Retirement Corpus

When you are young and working, you can be an aggressive investor and prefer options that carry a higher level of risk but greater return potential too. But once you retire, it is better to prefer safer investment options, preferably the ones that offer fixed returns. This will allow you to make sure that you will be able to generate returns which will be adequate for managing your expenses.

So, now that you know that you will need Rs. 8 lakhs for your post-retirement planning, the next step is to know how much money you'll have to invest to get the required returns. As you may mostly prefer safer investment options, let us assume that you will be able to generate returns at the rate of 7% per year.

So, to estimate the corpus size, we will use a formula which is-
Corpus Size= Annual Expense x 100/ Rate of Returns
So, based on this formula, the Corpus Size= 8 lakhs x 100/7 (investment should generate 7% annual returns)
This equals to Rs. 1.14 crores.

So, how much money do you need to retire comfortably? If your annual expenses are up to Rs. 8 lakhs after retirement and your investment delivers 7% annual returns, your retirement corpus should be worth Rs. 1.14 crores. But that is not all. You also need to consider inflation.

3. Inflation Adjustment

Note that the calculation above is based on how much money you will need today if you were to retire tomorrow. If you are looking for how much money do you need to retire comfortably after 20 years, everything would surely get more expensive due to inflation.

So, what will be the size of the corpus you will need after retirement?
We can use a formula here- Corpus(x)= Corpus (a) x (1+Inflation) ^ n
Corpus (x) is the corpus required after 20 years
Corpus (a) is the corpus you will need today
n is the total number of years
Inflation would be considered as 6% for the next 20 years
Corpus (x)= 1.14 x (1+6%) ^ 20
Corpus (x) = 1.14 x 3.21
So, Corpus (x) = Rs. 3.7 crores

This means that if you want to earn an annual income of Rs. 8 lakhs from your investment at the rate of 7% per year 20 years from now, you will need a retirement corpus of Rs.3.7 crores. To make the calculation easier, you can also use an online 'how much do I need to retire comfortably' calculator.

Planning Your Retirement: One Step at a Time

As you can see, you'd need a massive Rs. 3.7 crores by the time you retire to generate an income that could take care of your expenses. For generating such a huge amount, there is no option other than saving and investing from an early age. In fact, you should start setting aside at least some amount from your monthly salary right from the time you get your first job.
While you might not be able to save a huge amount in the initial years, something is still better than nothing. But where will you invest your savings for retirement?

The Right Investment Option for Retirement Corpus

One of the best options for long-term goals is investing in equity or diversified equity funds. If you have around 20 years for your retirement, a monthly SIP of about Rs. 20,000 in a decent equity or diversified equity fund can help you achieve this target. If you have more than 20 years, the monthly investment can be lower.

You can find an online mutual fund returns calculator to know how much you need to invest to achieve the target. Once the target is achieved, switch to safer options like debt mutual funds that generally deliver around 7%-8% per annum so that post-retirement, you are still able to easily manage your expenses, from the returns itself, without using the invested capital.

Also, do not miss purchasing health and life insurance at an early age. The health insurance will help you mostly eliminate the major healthcare expenses pre and post-retirement, and the life insurance would ensure that your family has financial protection in case of your demise. Know that the policy premium increase as you age.

So, it is better to get them when you are young.You can also consider options such as ULHP and ULIP, which combine health insurance and life insurance with investments. With this, your health and life insurance policies can also help you earn decent returns.

Click here to visit our Retirement Planning Calculator


The information contained herein is generic in nature and is meant for educational purposes only. Nothing here is to be construed as an investment or financial or taxation advice nor to be considered as an invitation or solicitation or advertisement for any financial product. Readers are advised to exercise discretion and should seek independent professional advice prior to making any investment decision in relation to any financial product. Aditya Birla Capital Group is not liable for any decision arising out of the use of this information.

Trending Articles

Popularly Searched Terms

How to Retire at 40

Life After Retirement

Retirement Age

Retirement Corpus

Retirement Planning

Latest Articles


A Simple Guide To Making Your Retirement Budget

Read More
Posted on 06 May 2020

Bank Benefits for Senior Citizens in India

Read More
Posted on 27 April 2020

Benefits of Senior Citizen Card in India

Read More
Posted on 26 April 2020

Featured Articles

image abc-of-personal-money

Are Millennials Any Different When It Comes To Planning Financials?

Read More
Posted on 05 February 2020

Relevant Articles

image themoneyproject

What Cost Are You Willing To Uphold Your Traditions?

Read More
Posted on 04 June 2020
image abc-of-personal-money

Thinking about a Career Change During the Coronavirus pandemic? Here are 8 Things to Consider

Read More
Posted on 04 June 2020
image abc-of-personal-money

What Is a Credit Card Penalty Interest Rate?

Read More
Posted on 04 June 2020