Published Article Details

5 personal finance aspects to think about when your life goals change

Posted by: Uma Shashikant on May 07, 2018, 11.52 AM IST

The amount of money you need after you stop working full-time can alter with every change in plan. 

This week’s story is about a 50-year old single woman, who is making plans for her retirement. She is a case study of an ideal manager of personal finances. She has saved regularly, invested diligently, owes no debt, has sensible spending habits and lives life by her terms. 

What is the story then? She has a dramatically new goal that turns everything she has done so far on its head. Before this change in plans, she had bought a house at a premium retirement village. She had imagined living there in the safety and security of a gated community, amidst like-minded people, eating at the multi-cuisine dining area, with medical facilities available on call. She had saved enough to manage her expenses and take holidays around the world as she had always dreamt of. 

But she has now changed her mind. Inspired by the social work that young people in her building did that she decided to volunteer for an NGO over weekends. As she travelled with the youngsters to the interiors of India, teaching young children, working with rural women, and talking to underprivileged people who held tremendous indigenous wisdom, her view of the world altered dramatically. 

She thinks that opting for the comfort of the retirement village she has invested in would be an act of selfishness. She believes that there is work to do, and she would like to plunge into volunteering activity full time, without waiting to retire. She now wants to rearrange her finances so that it can support her new life goals. What are the personal finance aspects she needs to think about? 

First, her new life choices will modify her expenses and she will be surprised at how little she will spend on herself on a regular basis. Exposure to social work brings with it the responsibility for sustainable living and a minimalistic view of life. She will find that expenses on clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery and the like will become superfluous. Her joys will come from her work, rather than material objects money can buy. 

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