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India has an estimated senior citizen population (the age group of 60-80) of over 110 million. This is a sizeable chunk of the country’s total population and it is important that their needs are catered to. According to a Helpage India report, the population of the country’s senior citizens will be equal to the under-18 segment by 2050. This translates into a customer category that needs attention.

Banks and financial institutions, much like other customer-facing brands and organisations, would need to ensure that senior citizens’ needs are catered to. Banking is a key aspect of senior citizen life that needs attention. Apart from the actual process of banking, there is also the question of which investment/savings option should they be looking at, for a stress-free retired life.

Read on for some do’s and don’ts of banking for senior citizens:

Ways to bank

On the actual banking front, senior citizens have options such as net banking, banking by phone or chatting up with a bank’s chatbot/live chat window on their portals or apps. Senior citizens can choose an option most convenient for them. Doorstep banking is also an option that they can consider.

  • Never share ATM pins or netbanking passwords.
  • Any online banking transactions you take up should be done on a secure connection; avoid public spaces.
  • Passwords should be strong and logging out after every session is very important. Also, change your passwords from time to time. If you find it hard to remember, keep note of them and secure them only where you can find them.
  • Sharing bank information without checking veracity of texts or calls is a strict no-no. No bank asks for your OTP, so if you are a senior citizen, ensure that you are alert to calls or messages.
  • Don’t leave your cheque books or bank statements open and visible at a bank branch or an ATM.

Investment and savings options for financial independence

You have worked hard all your life and it is time to enjoy a financially secure retired life. However, what are your investment options?

Remember that once you retire, your appetite for risk drops. Your monthly income is replaced by a pension and in some cases, none at all, depending on where you have worked. You would need to invest in a scheme that minimises all risks while providing you substantial returns. It helps to invest about 80% cent of your savings in traditional and risk-free instruments such as a fixed deposit.

Advantages of a senior citizen fixed deposit

A fixed deposit account can be opened with a basic Know-Your-Customer (KYC) procedure. If you have an existing bank account, you can easily open a fixed deposit online. For the uninitiated, a fixed deposit offers a specific rate of interest for depositing your funds for a certain tenure. You can earn a good rate of interest and use it as an income.

  • The biggest advantage of a fixed deposit is that the returns are not linked to market variations or volatility unlike mutual funds.
  • You can choose a quarterly or monthly payout option, depending on your financial situation. You can also opt for a lump sum payment at the end of your tenure.
  • The fixed deposit booking tenure can range anywhere between 7 days and 20 years.
  • Fixed deposits also offer tax benefits under Section 80C of the IT Act. A sum of up to Rs. 1,50,000 invested in a tax-saving fixed deposit is exemptible from income tax. Your investment tenure needs to be five years, and you can’t make partial or premature withdrawals to avail of these benefits.
  • A senior citizen fixed deposit account ensures an additional interest of 0.5% per annum for any tenure. You can also choose a nominee, and partial or premature withdrawals are allowed.
  • What’s more, as a senior citizen, you don’t have to queue up in front of your banks. You can bank safely and open a senior citizen fixed deposit at RBL Bank through mobile or net banking.
  • Typically, anyone can make partial or premature withdrawals on certain fixed deposit schemes but penalties apply. However, a premature withdrawal penalty of 1% is exempt for senior citizens.

Conclusion

As a senior citizen, you should remember that it is beneficial to pick a stable and non-market linked savings/financial instrument, for steady returns. At least 80-85% cent of your investments should be in a stable and low-risk option, while the remaining 10-15% cent can be invested in tax-free bonds or other greater returns generating options. Remember that you can open a fixed deposit online from RBL Bank and don’t necessarily have to physically visit the bank. Follow safe banking measures and safe savings and investment options for all your needs.

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