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This is a guest post from Shilpa at Under the Rainbow. Though Shilpa claims that “she knows zilch about financial planning,” her post below proves the opposite. This story-style post on personal finance is the first of its kind on this blog and is the perfect complement to my posts on EPF.
In 1993, Mr. and Mrs. Parasher, aged 45 and 43 respectively, both government employees had just paid off their home loan. They had three children — a son studying in class eight and twin daughters studying in class five. Although Mr. Parasher was setting aside small amounts for retirement for some time, it was now that he thought is the right time to start serious retirement planning.
At that point, Mr. Parasher’s basic pay was about Rs 5,000 per month. 12% of his basic was being cut from his monthly gross towards EPF, his company was contributing an equal amount, with the total contributions being compounded at 8-9% every year (variable annually).
The first step Mr. Parasher took to secure his retired life was to voluntarily contribute to his EPF account over and above the standard 12%. He increased his contribution to EPF to about 18% (12% EPF + 6% VPF) of his basic. The company still contributed 12% of the basic. With time came promotions and salary hikes. He took advantage of this and gradually increased his VPF percentage.
In 2000, Mrs. Parasher took a voluntary retirement from service and that fetched her a sum of rupees seven lakhs. At that time, their son was pursuing Engineering degree and the daughters were still in school. The Parashers set aside this money for their daughters’ education and marriage.
Early last year, in 2008, Mr. Parasher retired. At that time, his basic pay was about Rs 25,000 per month and his VPF contribution was about 80% of the basic. He now draws a pension amount of over Rs 22,000 a month — good enough to lead a decent lifestyle.
VPF or Voluntary Provident Fund is not applicable only to pensionable jobs. Since the PF interest is compounded annually, it is a good idea to contribute over and above the EPF and transfer the account when you move across companies. You will have a sizable sum at the end of your work life.
Tip Tuesdays is my initiative to share practical personal finance tips — every Tuesday. I’d be delighted if you could share a tip or two from your own experiences. Drop a comment to submit your tip. And, as always, do spread the word if you find this useful.
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