There is a wealth of meaning in the phrase “ghode bechke sona”. Presumably in medieval times, it referred to a “horse” trader, who having cashed out , now enjoys a well deserved siesta. We are envious about people who can achieve this state, but each one of us knows of friends/ relatives who after attaining the age of 60 + “carry on investing”.
I refer to Senior Citizens who continue to dabble in Real Estate, when they would be better off consolidating their Wealth and “enjoying” their riches rather than “transacting”. I am a professional in the Real Estate space and presently have two “elderly” clients who have invested money in Real Estate and hit by a sudden need for liquidity are desperately trying to knock off their Real Estate holdings. The irony is that these were investments, made recently (after the age of 65) which were strictly avoidable. They made their choice without proper counsel and while they chose a good project, they chose apartments on higher floors, which are difficult to sell in a slow market. It has been a good twelve months, but no headway has been made. In the meanwhile, one of them has been diagnosed with Cancer, adding to the woes.
Paradoxically, as we try to sell desperately, prospects become more suspicious instead of grabbing a lucrative offer. What is even more surprising is that the money which they invested was sufficient by itself to look after their needs for a very long time. The ideal situation would have been for them to invest in Bank fixed deposits and avoid the tension and running around for which they are clearly ill equipped. When they pass away, it will be easier for their heirs to handle the money.
The rest of the family does not share their enthusiasm for Real Estate and complex dealings. The situation becomes worse if their Children are abroad, and they make it clear that they have no interest in India or Indian Real Estate. We can safely assume that a tremendously large number of real estate is held in the names of people who have passed away, leaving behind valuable assets for which there are no claimants . The accumulation of this Real Estate would have been made by making enormous sacrifices.
There was a recent news item about an elderly gentleman was found murdered along with his secretary, neighbours and family say they had told him repeatedly to be careful. Reportedly, the buyer has offered Rs 45 crore for it. While the seller was thrilled about the deal, people around him were wary “No matter how good the property was, it wasn’t worth more than Rs 20 crore. We had tried to tell him that the buyer didn’t seem genuine as the amount he was offering seemed excessive. But the seller told us everything was under control,” said a friend who did not wish to be named.
The family has told the police that the gentleman was very money-minded and seldom kept in touch with them. “The family said that despite having so much money he would wear old, tattered clothes and eat in cheap restaurants.
“He was very stingy with money” said an officer. Though he did not mingle much, either in Pune or Mumbai, he would tell his close friends about how he had acquired a lot of wealth by investing smartly in real estate and disposing some of his ancestral property.
After reading the news item, one wonders at the stupidity of people. At the age of 83, with all the wealth at his disposal, he should have been chilling out. Instead, he met with a sad and violent death.
We are all mortal and decisions have to be made keeping this is mind. At the other end of the spectrum , we also get to see extreme passivity. Here, I refer to assets kept idle. Frequently, the elderly move to other cities/ countries, leaving their real estate unattended to. One of my Uncles passed away two years back. His flat in Navi Mumbai has stayed vacant for the last five years, the estimated loss in Rental Income alone is close to Rs 9 Lacs. It would have been so easy to put it on rent and give away the rental income in charity. If all the apartments in the city which are vacant are put on rent, we can see a fall in rents which will benefit the economy as a whole .
Author – Prakash Natarajan is a Chartered Accountant with expertise in Real Estate
Our Director Mr. Prakash Natarajan was quoted in an article in the Indian Express, Delhi:
For every deal that goes through, there are several other big-ticket deals that fall through, says Prakash Natrajan, director of Mumbai-based brokerage firm Realty Gyan, citing the case where actor-turned -parliamentarian Vinod Khanna paid an astronomical sum as token money for a Citibank property in South Mumbai, but then changed his mind about buying it.
There is no fixed pattern to very expensive deals as they take a long time to fructify, and a lot of market manipulations go into such deals making them far more expensive than they should be, says Natrajan. “Why these properties are priced so high remains a puzzle,” he adds, “but yes, there is a lot of snob value attached to these big ticket land deals.”
In a country swarming with 20-somethings, another generation is having the time of its life — courting risks and forging a new identity. ET on Sundaydiscovers why 40-somethings never had it so good:: Kamya Jaiswal
For some time now, it seemed only 20-somethings have a right to audacious dreams. Perhaps it is the din that surrounds everything they do that drowns out every other sound. This generation even dreams loudly. Understandably so, for some of its members have managed to value their dreams at over a billion dollars. But amidst their sound and fury, another lot is making some inconceivable aspirations come true. The generation now in its 40s is quieter about it. Battle-hardened after roughly two decades on the grind and wizened from a strategic perspective on India’s economic history, they don’t Instagram every switch or blog about every move. They just do things.
Success to Super Stardom in 40s
Francisco D’Souza – 43, CEO, COGNIZANT
In His 40s… Spurred 40% and over 33% growth in revenue in 2010 and 2011 respectively Pushed performance to outclass Wipro and become 3rd largest IT company in India Expanded company’s clientele base to West Asia, Europe, Latin America, etc
On Evolving Idea of Success
Success is a different proposition now. Size and scale have been trumped by speed and agility. The landscape is changing rapidly, driven by macroeconomic uncertainty, dramatic secular change in major industries and a new wave of social, mobile, analytic and cloud technologies. How quickly businesses anticipate and adapt to change will define future success
On Motivations at this Stage of Career
The excitement comes from new challenges. As difficult as it is to navigate change, solving a bevy of new problems is incredibly motivating. Every day brings something new and different.
On Personal Goals for Future
I have a passion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and support Cognizant programmes like “Making the Future” which inspires young learners to pursue STEM disciplines and “Program Outreach”, our worldwide associates’ grassroot volunteer effort in the field of education. My goal is to keep nurturing and growing this passion
Both Barot and Mathur are go-getters. But feeding their hunger is a first-of-its-kind socio-economic condition that encourages, even nurtures risk, irrespective of age. A long list of celebrities found their mojo in their 40s: think first-generation entrepreneur, Gautam Adani or chairman of Bharti enterprises, Sunil Mittal. And now, smack in the middle of this same decade of his life, Francisco D’Souza is busy creating history by pushing Cognizant ahead of legendary IT peers like Wipro and soon, Infosys.
What drives this zeal and high-risk appetite? Personal attributes aside, it is a profusion of opportunity. Straitjackets are out and careers are no longer linear. Barot didn’t even know she wanted a job. Yet she chanced on one custom-fit for her. Mathur was experienced in drilling oil, not brewing beer. Yet he convinced conventional banks to fund 35% of his start up cost.
Such professional daredevilry is the leitmotif of our times, in part because this is a society dominated by the young. Is it their optimism that has infected the system, worked its way upwards to the 40 somethings?
“These are people with roughly 20 years experience who have travelled the world and worked in various profiles. Many have already reached the vice-president level but still have 15 years of work left in them. Not everyone can become the CEO. How will they grow? That’s what propels the risk takers,” says E Balaji, managing director and CEO, Randstad India, a recruitment agency.
You can argue there’s nothing special about this situation. Anyone who has lived out 20 years of his life is likely to be at such a crossroad. Some people cruelly brand it as a mid-life crisis. What’s unique about the current crop of 40-somethings?
It’s the detail of their journey: the stark contrasts of landscape and the distance they have travelled. This generation was in its 20s when liberalisation opened up the economy and the first boom cycles occurred. Their personal growth mirrored the fast-paced expansion. In the same time frame, they saw more than the current 50 somethings did or the 30-somethings will — nascent industries, new job profiles, higher salaries, bigger assets and new measures of respectability.
As a result, many of them have built large financial cushions, larger from their perspective as they don’t necessarily contextualise wealth with today’s benchmarks. Admits Prakash, 48, an ex-senior manager at HDFC: “I was at a career dead end and staring at 6-7 years in the same designation. So I decided to move on, but it would have been impossible without the backing of my investment portfolio.”
Prakash invested in property before the boom period of 2003-08. The real estate now generates enough rental income to take care of his family expenses. “Anyone who put in money at that time pocketed huge returns. My friends often discuss how lucky we were that the boom happened when it did — we had saved enough money to invest and build something substantial, ” he says.
Now a real estate adviser, Prakash can afford to think beyond money: “It is only a small part of my motivation. I enjoy other aspects of life more — spending time with the kids and working with 20- and 30- something, energetic clients.
Click here to read the entire article
In what might seem anachronistic to youngsters, earlier generations saw their employer as “masters” to be served without question. In this piece, I attempt to chronicle the life and times of a dear friend of mine, Prof Keshav Rao.
Prof Rao retires from an MNC Pharmaceutical company this week after putting in 38 years of meritorious service . He is every company’s dream employee , putting in long hours uncomplainingly, bubbling over with ideas and enthusiasm. He carries his team and duties on his broad shoulders , so much so that he is an apt example of Murphy’s law , namely that “ If you are too good to be replaced , you probably will not be , and therefore as a corollary, you will not be promoted much. In the early part of his 38 years’ career itself, it would have been apparent to the top brass of his organization, that Prof Rao would superannuate from the company itself and therefore could be taken for granted. I have had the good fortune of knowing Prof for a good ten years now, and was privy to his finances as well , being a sounding board for his financial planning.
We got talking at the time of his retirement and he was stunned when he worked out the sum of his earnings over the thirty eight years of slogging. Well, the sum was a pittance and just was not enough to take care of his post retirement needs.
The meagreness of the amount caused him to question the rationale of this entire career. All is not gloom and doom , however. The redeeming part of the story is well, the real estate story of Prof Rao. By a combination of good decisions, luck and an ever supporting spouse, Prof Rao has the following assets :
1. Two apartments in a Mumbai Suburb Valued at 2 crores
2. One unit in Navi Mumbai , valued at Rs 55 Lakhs
The three dwelling units will have the following uses :
1. For Self Occupation.
2. For Renting Out; fetching him a rent which will meet his monthly expenses. He will also be able to get an increase in the rent with time , which will keep pace with inflation.
3. The third unit at Navi Mumbai can act as his financial tool to generate income by way of capital gains.
Prof Rao is therefore in a happy state of affairs , post retirement, thereby giving him the financial freedom to do what he loves , namely travelling and teaching . The following streams of income will accrue to him
1. Income from deploying his retirement corpus .
2. Capital Gains income from his 3 rd unit , can be atleast Rs 7 Lakhs per annum , conservatively.
3. Rental Income of Rs 30.000 per month.
The real estate income alone will exceed his last drawn salary. Passive income wins hands down over his active income ( 38 years , gosh ).
There are lessons to be learnt for youngsters who are taking their first career steps. As with every story .there are aspects to be emulated and aspects to be rejected outright. From Prof Rao, we should learn not to obsess about our “ Job”. Cynical as this may sound, a “job” is a “job”; Nothing more, nothing less. Work –Life balance is critical , as the years lost can never be made up. It is important to pay attention to one’s family and health , even as one puts in long hours. Learning to say no to long hours, is a critical skill that one must acquire early in one’s career. Another skill that all of us must have is to create a nest egg for ourselves. This could possibly enable us to fast forward our retirement plans so that we can have a richer, fuller life. If we spend the prime years of our life, stuck behind a desk and hunched over a laptop, even as we deal with stress and bad bosses, we have only ourselves to blame.
Prof Keshav is a very good example of a wonderful real estate story , that I love to recount to my inner circle as the perfect way to let their real estate portfolio generate income, without making any demands on their time. Taken to it’s logical conclusion, it can act as a springboard to creating the one resource that we all crave; namely “ time”.Truly, Real Estate has set him free.
When customers are pushed to the wall by uncaring Corporates, most of them take it lying down. Dave Caroll chose to be different. Read on and view this. Extremely enlightening and very entertaining.
United Airline breaks his guitar; he pays them back. What a great way of protesting. Beats camping out in parks and interfering with everyone else.