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Ask Mint | Start a pension plan from Day 1

Ask Mint | Start a pension plan from Day 1
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First Published: Mon, Sep 24 2007. 01 40 AM IST

Updated: Mon, Sep 24 2007. 01 39 AM IST
The insurance business in India isn’t just growing, but also becoming more sophisticated in terms of product offerings. To help readers keep ahead of developments in this business, Mint features a Q&A on insurance every Monday.
My age is 35, and I have an annual income of Rs 35 lakh. I assume that if all goes well, I will retire at the age of 60. Can you please guide me as to when I should plan to buy a pension policy?
A lot of investors take pains to plan for their short- and medium-term needs such as buying a car or providing for children’s education. While this is desirable, we
believe that they must also think as much while planning for long-term needs, in particular retirement planning.
An individual’s normal working life is 35-40 years. Given mortality rates today and increasing lifespans, the average lifespan after retirement could be anywhere in excess of 15-20 years. You need to provide for those years. If you start with a pension plan today, at a low premium, you could build a sizeable corpus in time. When an individual opts for a pension plan, he has to pay a fixed premium, to the insurance company, over the term of the policy. We believe that one should start planning for retirement the moment one starts earning.
I am 22 years old and just about to finish my MBA next year. I am keen to join a life insurance company as an agent because I want to be an entrepreneur. What are the key personal attributes necessary to be successful?
I must say you are looking at a great career option because this industry is doing very well and hence offers you a great opportunity to grow along with the business. The key personal attributes that will help you succeed are discipline, customer-centricity and relationship management. The most important among these is customer-centricity. You need to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you do what you believe is right for your customer, you would have customers for life.
Readers are welcome to write in with their queries to askmint@livemint.com. The questions will be answered by senior executives from leading insurance firms.
This week’s expert is Rajesh Relan, managing director, MetLife
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First Published: Mon, Sep 24 2007. 01 40 AM IST