Government is Doing its Bit to Make Life After 60 Better, Are You?
Senior Citizens in India
According to Indian law, any citizen of the country above the age of 60 is considered a senior citizen. Most of the people in this category are retirees from their respective jobs and professions, looking to start the second phase of their life. According to statistics by Vikaspedia, there were about 90 million senior citizens in India in 2011. This number is expected to reach 173 million by 2026. According to another report by the United Nations Population Fund, this number is expected to grow to 300 million by 2050. This means that there will be triple the number of people over the age of 60 by 2050, as compared to 2016. This particular report also suggests that there will be a seven-fold increase during the same time the number of people over the age of 80.
These rising numbers are a matter of concern, since the present policies do not as yet accommodate the huge growth predicted in these reports. To add to the concerns, the reports also show that by 2050, elderly women will outnumber the men and will in turn be more vulnerable in the Indian society. The overall population of the country set to reach 1.6 billion by 2050, as compared to 1.2 billion in 2016, which will make India the largest nation in terms of population. It will be interesting to see how the government equips itself to take care of the rising number of senior citizens while harnessing the most out of the surging younger generation.
Current Benefits for Senior Citizens
Considering the fact that senior citizens are the ones who worked through their life and contributed a lot towards the development and progress of our country, there are a lot of benefits offered to them by the government. These are offered in order to make the second innings of their life peaceful and secure, and as a mark of respect for their hard work as well. According to 60PlusLife, some of the benefits that every citizen of India over the age of 50 automatically gets are:
- Transportation: Two seats are allocated for senior citizens in the front row of all State Road Transport undertakings in India. In addition, 40% concession in fares for males over 60 years and 50% for females over 58 years is available. Also, 50% discount is available for men over the age of 65 for males and women above 63.
- There is a special priority category for seniors while taking care for faulty communication lines.
- The government also entitles a senior citizen to a higher tax exemption limit. The exemption limit is up to Rs. 2,50,000.
- Central assistance is provided under the National Old Age Pension Scheme for people over the age of 65.
- Special clinics and reservation facilities are available for senior citizens in matters of health care.
Things that Make Life Better After 60
With a majority of the population in urban settings seeing an average rise in annual income at 10.7% in 2015, it is the duty of every individual to plan for their life after retirement. Plan accordingly to make the retirement years a time of blissful rest and enjoyment, say experts. It is only fair to ensure the right retirement planning at your end to support the government’s initiatives in making life better for people over the age of 60. Adequate investments that will reap you benefits once you are no longer actively employed offers the perfect financial security, saving you from the dreadful financial pressure that one would otherwise experience in the lack of a regular income.
Also, planning well ahead of the age of 60 can help you build a sizable corpus that would last throughout your post-retirement years. This retirement planning should be started early in your career, not making the overall saving process a financial burden while you fulfill the various responsibilities towards your children and aging parents. This way you also get the freedom to choose your own retirement age and do things that you haven’t found the time for while actively employed.