Retirement: Over 80% urban Indians fear running out of money in retirement


Worried you will outlive your retirement savings? You are in good company. More than 80% of urban Indians fear they will run out of money in retirement, according to the India Retirement Index Study (IRIS) conducted by Kantar for Max Life Insurance Company.

The second edition of the IRIS shows that 59% urban Indians believe their savings won’t last even 10 years in retirement. The survey had 3,220 respondents across 28 cities, including six metros.

The study underlines the serious value-action gap in retirement planning. Urban Indians have a very rosy view of retirement, tinted with more time for family, travel and reduced tensions, but very few people have taken steps towards that goal. “Our study indicates that a vast majority dreams of retiring in comfort, and yet 37% have not even begun planning for retirement,” points out Prashant Tripathy, Managing Director and CEO, Max Life Insurance.

What’s stopping Indians from planning for their retirement? Nearly 68% say they have enough wealth or their children will take care of them, 29% don’t have enough surplus while the remaining 23% don’t know how and where to start.

Interestingly, the runaway inflation has pushed many people to start planning for retirement, with 29% of the respondents listing it as a key trigger. In 2021, only 18% had inflation on their minds. Other key tiggers for retirement planning were recommendation by spouse (50%), realisation of health issues (47%) and recommendation by financial advisor (43%). These numbers will not add up to 100% due to multiple choices.

On a positive note, however, awareness of the need to start early is catching on. 86% of respondents wished they had started saving for retirement early on. Most of them (around 44%) see retirement planning as one of the first things to do when you start working.

Data suggests that by 2031, India’s elderly population is expected to soar 41% to 194 million. And in what is indicative of increased emotional and familial dependence, one in every two Indians are certain they want to live with their kids post-retirement. Naturally, a significant chunk, around 39% are relying on their children to take care of them in their later years.

However, as Tripathy puts it, “expectations of emotional support from kids are ill-placed, especially when the nuclear family structure, where kids live seperately from parents, dominates the urban culture”.

The study also threw a spotlight on the dichotomies of what Indians want and the actions they take towards those goals. While 79% Indians believe they would be healthy whilst entering their retirement, only 40% do regular physical activities to remain fit. In fact, 45% of those surveyed had not undergone a medical check-up in the past three years.



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