3 Retirement Planning Lessons From Sharmaji Namkeen’s Recipe for Life


In his swan song ‘Sharmaji Namkeen’, the late Rishi Kapoor tried out for the role of a middle-class widower, Brij Gopal Sharma, who is pushed into retirement by his business at the age of 58. Always lively and enthusiastic, he finds it difficult to accept his retirement. To get rid of his boredom, he went into the restaurant business and transformed his passion for cooking into a small business.

He begins to organize a cat party, which is hosted by a crowd of ladies, and serves mouth-watering food. He pursues his passion for cooking with immense pleasure and, in addition, befriends a group of fun and interesting people.

So can we take a leaf of Sharmaji’s delicious cuisines and add some ingredients in our retirement planning. Here are my observations:

Follow an investment recipe to turn off retirement risk

Sharmaji washes and peels a raw potato, cuts it into 4 small pieces and adds them to the ‘dal’. The “dal” is then cooked with potatoes to absorb the excess salt. The potatoes are then removed once the “dal” is ready to be served. Similarly, the objective of investing in a retirement fund or a corpus is to mitigate the risk of absence or insufficiency of financial corpus when one is retired.

Investing from an early age in a retirement corpus greatly reduces risk and one does not have to worry about finances for monthly expenses and other responsibilities after retirement. Just as the potatoes are taken out when the ‘dal’ is about to be served, one gets the whole corpus – according to the diet/plan – at the time of retirement.

The “Dal” is enjoyed after the potatoes have performed their function of absorbing extra salt. Likewise, the purpose of retirement is achieved, when the corpus matures with the right flavor of income, after the ingredients of the investments are mixed well, for a solid income without risk.

Mix the investment ingredients for a perfect retirement chutney

When asked how his “chutney” is so distinct and delicious, Sharmaji names a series of ingredients such as black pepper, chilli powder, salt, cumin, ginger, fennel seeds, tamarind, crushed coriander, raisins, cashews, asafoetida and jaggery, which he selects carefully and puts them in “chutney” to make it tasty.

Choosing a healthy retirement plan is essential. You should be able to consider several factors before settling on the plan. Your ability to plan effectively also depends on the lifestyle you want to pursue after retirement, your risk appetite, whether you want a lump sum upon retirement or a fixed monthly pension after retirement, etc.

There are several investment products available for retirement planning such as National Pension Scheme (NPS), EPF, Direct Equity Exposure, ETF, Pension Schemes, etc., which offer income options, ranging from guaranteed to market-linked. It really depends on how you want your investment ingredients to mix together so that the earnings are as scrumptious as Sharmaji’s ‘chutney’.

Make sure the investment snacks are varied for a peppery, carefree retirement

Sharmaji likes to have a variety of snacks with his evening tea and savors them thoroughly. Having done a range of cuisines during the day, her evenings are balmy and relaxed.

Likewise, after going through life, you want to have a joyous life after retirement. A solid retirement plan allows you to do the things you love and care about in your retirement life. After all, you want to spend the last years of your life sipping on your favorite beverage with the snacks you want to munch on, at the destination of your choice, in the lifestyle of your dreams.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


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