Affluent urbanites give least preference to retirement planning

K. R. Srivats New Delhi | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on January 15, 2012


Retirement planning ranks lowest in the priority of affluent urban Indian professionals. This is one of the key findings of a survey commissioned by US-based financial planning company Ameriprise Financial, which has entered India last week.

Nearly 700 working professionals across major metropolitan cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore were surveyed to better understand the urban Indian professionals' attitudes towards managing personal finances. Each of the respondents had an annual income of over Rs 12 lakh.

Family goals remain the most important objective for such consumers irrespective of the age, income or geography. Family-centric goals such as providing for children's education, parents' care and financial security for their family in case of earner's death or disability takes precedence over even personal ambitions and aspirations. This pattern refutes the common notion that the upwardly-mobile urban professional classes are drifting away from traditional Indian family values and increasingly moving towards individualism and consumerism, the survey has found.

“Unlike in the US, retirement is not the main focus here in India. What we thought of when we did the study was that retirement would be among the top goals and it was not”, Ms Kim M Sharan, President-Financial Planning & Wealth Strategies, Ameriprise Financial Inc told Business Line here. Planning for a comfortable life in retirement is negligible or non-existent in the minds of most of the survey respondents.

Ameriprise Financial, which is America's largest financial planning company, had a few days back started operations in national capital region and Mumbai. This New York Stock Exchange listed entity has 10,000 financial advisors operating in the US, with nearly one-third of them being certified financial planners.

To begin with, Ameriprise India will focus energies on providing financial planning and wealth management services. It will provide financial planning services for individuals with annual income of over Rs 20 lakh.

“Our growth strategy for India is quite simple. We want to be one of the top five (financial planning companies) in the next five years,” Mr Bimal I Gandhi, Chairman, Ameriprise India Private Ltd, said. Mr Gandhi said that Ameriprise in the US acts as a fiduciary for the client and that is the way it wants to play in the Indian market as

well. The other main findings of the survey are that people buy what their neighbours buy. Many buy the right financial products but for the wrong reasons. Also, Indians want an advisor and consumers are looking for professional services they can depend on.

Published on January 15, 2012
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