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Indian, retired at 33 in Mumbai
Old 08-02-2009, 08:30 AM   #1
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Indian, retired at 33 in Mumbai

Hello All-

Name: Nautanki

Age: 37

Retired: 3 years back

Dependents: Wife + 1 kid (7 years age)

Place: Andheri, Mumbai, India

Monthly Expense: INR 40,000

What I Do: Small freelancing projects at my own pace from home to meet monthly expenses

Lifestyle: Moderate. Try to live within/below our means. No unnecessary expenses. Live on strict budget.

What I don't like: Office politics, Rat race, Working too hard

What I Like: Drinks (Aka Alcohol) in the evenings, Roam around different places in India, Short tours, Trekking, etc. Mostly alone when it's short trips and roaming within cities, since my kid goes to school and wife has to take care of the kid, plus she has medical condition which prevents her from eating out or get stressed.

What I drive: At present Hyundai Santro, but planning to learn bike for better fuel economy. But afraid to ride bike as it's more prone to fatal accidents on Indian roads. So for now it's gonna be Santro.

Ciao
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:38 AM   #2
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hi and welcome,

if its true, then please tell us HOW you retired in india. thanks
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:01 AM   #3
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if its true, then please tell us HOW you retired in india. thanks
Oops forgot that section..
How I became financially independent: I was in the USA and traded my youth for money. I think I got a good deal, because would I had stayed in India and even if had worked harder, I would have never 1) earn the amount of money I earned in the US 2) learned about myself and my personality and what I want in life more clearly (in India, you don't get to think about yourself and your life, when you are surrounded by family and friends all the time, you just keep on living and sometimes without knowing the purpose of life) 3) decided enough was enough and want to exit the rat race and never have to worry about getting up early in the morning, wasting life energy in commuting to/from office traffic, getting all depressed when I come back home with office work and work on weekends

So net net I like it this way and I hope it goes on like this until my time is served on the earth and is time for me to go back to my real world, back to Elohim
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:02 AM   #4
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sounds good! I did the currency conversion - under US$900/month!

Nosy curiosity - How big a place do you live in? I read that Mumbai is expensive. Are you invested in India? World-wide? Stocks? Bonds?

Just asking

Welcome to the board

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Old 08-02-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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Welcome.

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What I Do: Small freelancing projects at my own pace from home to meet monthly expenses
Did I miss something? Working to meet monthly expenses is not quite retired, is it?

Sam
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:49 AM   #6
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nautanki,
welcome to the forum! You should make many like-minded friends, as over 20% of the forums users are Indian as well! Enjoy.
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:52 AM   #7
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... over 20% of the forums users are Indian as well!
Data source?

The numbers I see show 0.47%. early-retirement.org - Quantcast Audience Profile
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:09 PM   #8
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Nautanki,

I just wanted to offer a quick welcome.

I also made the trade of youth for money. (If I die tomorrow; bad choice. However, if I live a reasonable time, probably a good trade.) But, now (just slightly older than you) I lack the courage to do what you and many others on this board have already done: Pull the plug on full time w*rk and get on with my life. I keep hoping that stories like yours will help me make the move for myself.
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:54 PM   #9
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Got photos?

I'm very curious as years ago an Indian friend looked around the neighborhood and said, "It looks just like Bombay." That particular area has two-story wooden/stucco houses and lots of restaurants.

Could you tell us where you lived in the U.S., what kind of business. Did you already have a wife and child while working in the U.S.?
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by nautanki View Post

Retired: 3 years back

Monthly Expense: INR 40,000

What I Do: Small freelancing projects at my own pace from home to meet monthly expenses

Yeah, this doesnt make any sence. Just sayin'
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:43 PM   #11
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Nautanki,

Hi. Your story is interesting. Were you / are you in IT ? Does India have state-run health care ? Do you have any health insurance ?

Thanks
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:32 PM   #12
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Data source?

The numbers I see show 0.47%. early-retirement.org - Quantcast Audience Profile
Not to hijack the thread, I used Alexa.

I also sacrificed youth for money and wound up with neither! Luckily, like you I am on a better path!
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:35 PM   #13
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Welcome Nautanki.

In 2007 I spent 10 days very close to Andheri, at the Hotel Leela. I guess the offices, in Chandivali, were close by where you live and we also have offices in Andheri but I never visited.

Joe asked about pictures and I would be interested as well. Most of the pictures I have are typical tourist pictures but I did snap a few one time on my way to work which will be very similar to Andheri I'm sure. I have also included one across the back bay showing part of the Mumbai skyline.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bombay - on the way to work 1.jpg (563.1 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Bombay - on the way to work 2.jpg (582.6 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Bombay - on the way to work 3.jpg (598.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Bombay - auto rickshaw.jpg (709.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Bombay - Back Bay 3.jpg (680.0 KB, 7 views)
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:37 PM   #14
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Not to hijack the thread, I used Alexa.
Ahhh. You're measuring the spam origin index.
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:28 PM   #15
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Thank you.. Thank you.. Thank you.. all for all the responses

I will add some more details about myself, as asked by fellow members.

Birth Place: Born and bought up in Mumbai.

Education: Engineering diploma, followed by a 2 years hardcore course in computer software development.

Work history: Started working in 1996 with my first salary INR 1,500 / month
2 years in India, 1 year in Singapore, 2 years in India, 7+ years in USA.
(After a very long long time I am referring to my Resume to update this section; gosh my resume was last updated in 2005; I hate updating my resume since most of the times I have to fake most of the content. Bu that's how I got my first job in the USA. I had 3 different version of resume when I first started looking for job in the USA LOLz)

Family: All our parents and uncle/aunt siblings cousins live in Mumbai. We got married (inter-cast marriage) 1 month before going to the USA. After 2 years got a beautiful baby girl. I should mention I also got green card in the USA just 3 months before we were planning to move back to India (company sponsored) but I surrendered it, since it was of no use for us anymore. My kid is a US citizen and we are retaining that. Getting her admitted to local school here was no issue at all. Same fees as other Indian citizen.

Medical: I and my daughter are pretty healthy, she is almost a xerox copy of me, exact same behavior and exact same looks as mine when I was her age. But wife got a life long disease when she was in the USA, for which she has to control what she eats and has to take medicines everyday 3 times a day. But otherwise she is doing great. We did have medical insurance in the USA, but still have to get one here in India. It's all my fault.. I am just too lazy to go and investigate and apply for one. But I have to do it sooner than later since Swine flu is catching up here in Mumbai as well. I think you have to pay around INR 15,000 per year for INR 5,00,000 insurance for full family.

Daily routine: I work on my own terms. I do wake up early (8:00 am) the morning time is spent on walk / jog to park, tea & breakfast, play with kid and help a bit in her studies, do some work, take lunch followed by a nap. Afternoon tea, do some more work. The evenings are booked with friends, go chill out and have drinks / roam around the city, come back home by 9:00 pm, have dinner, by 10:00 pm lights off.

We live in one of the posh locality of Mumbai, and hence I feel the monthly expense is also a bit on higher side. We bought this 2BHK just before coming back to India with 100% down payment (I HATE GIVING / TAKING LOAN. I never had any plastic in my wallet and I hope I will never have to. For me it's either all cash deal or no deal)

The value of this property like most property in Mumbai has appreciated 100% in this 4 years. It's quoting more than INR 1,00,00,000 at the moment. And almost same amount is lying in cash + other investments (40% money in SEBI regulated venture capital funds, 10% in MFs, rest 50% in hard cash in bank 10 years FDs (CDs) earning average 8% returns p.a.)

There are many reasons for me to work from home, even though I don't need to, because:
Idle mind is evil's home. So to keep my family from turning into vampire evil and start sucking each other's blood, I decided that I might as well keep doing some work from home. That will bring some extra as well.
To keep other members of our close relatives from gossyping and tonting about my early retirement (that's a big reason I work, otherwise I will face many jeolous and envy relatives)
My child should not get a bad impresson that her father is some kind of slacker
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:24 AM   #16
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This is a great thread that you started, this is another Mumbaikar, plans to retire by about 50. Reasons sometimes later, currently pursuing PhD, to finish by end of next year, age, 32, have worked in India for about a year before leaving for pursuing higher education just after 9/11.

Some of my ideas/suggestions/comments below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nautanki View Post
Education: Engineering diploma, followed by a 2 years hardcore course in computer software development.
I agree to the fact that you want to work on your terms, so how about doing some kind of career consultancy or giving private tuitions. My father recently retired, at 58, and he is thinking over career consultancy (within India, as he has a lot of experience with the admission procedures in state of MH)
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wife got a life long disease when she was in the USA, for which she has to control what she eats and has to take medicines everyday 3 times a day. But otherwise she is doing great. *** I think you have to pay around INR 15,000 per year for INR 5,00,000 insurance for full family.
My friend, don't be under this belief. Indian system is following same path as that of US. Like most Indians think, everything that comes out of US is great, even the most crappy medical system. If you have insurance coverage of INR 5 Lakh and end up in the hospital for any minor surgery, all your insurance will be used up. So this is a business that is directly linked to your insurance coverage. When my relative had stroke, he was admitted to one of the well known hospitals. His treatment cost was about 6 lakh (his insurance coverage) whereas the guy next to him, in much worse condition, paid INR 1.5lakh, his insurance coverage. I checked reports of both (I have medical background) and I started wondering why the costs are so different. Talking to an insider revealed this story. So watch out while getting insurance coverage.
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To keep other members of our close relatives from gossyping and tonting about my early retirement (that's a big reason I work, otherwise I will face many jeolous and envy relatives)
You sang my tune. This is what I HATE so much and honestly, this is the sole reason that I am trying to stick outside India as long as I can. My first family is fine but the extended family is pain in the *** Talking about this to a westerner, elicits a response, why do you care, its ultimately your life but the fact is, family bonds in India are formed in so weird fashion that we just can not seep this feeling through else you are branded as firang (a foreigner, in slang) But I think you are going in right direction, to keep your mind and brain functional, as active as you can.

Some of my comments -
1. Why are you living in Mumbai? I am born and brought up in Mumbai but have no willingness to live in that city.
Reasons - the island is way over its capacity of including people, overcrowded trains, silly infrastructure, high cost of living, pollution.
Alternative - why not live in a small town, that still offers good quality of education for your daughter, good surroundings that will keep your wife's health in good condition, somewhere close to nature (since you have not mentioned what disorder she has, hard to make any guess) and you can still do the job.
2. Get yourself a small piece of land to grow your own vegetables. This may sound silly as you get almost everything fresh at reasonable costs but I am treating this more as an activity as get old and jogging or heavy exercise is not feasible anymore. (Plus, you know what you are growing, not eating spinach that was grown by the rail track and by using polluted gutter water)

I don't have anything on top of my head at the moment but lets get this thread rolling, this will be a very informative thread with fusion of hardcore Indian thinking and western thinking styles and how both can be amalgamated in best possible fashion.

Thanks again for starting this thread.
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:04 AM   #17
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This is a great thread that you started, this is another Mumbaikar, plans to retire by about 50. Reasons sometimes later, currently pursuing PhD, to finish by end of next year, age, 32, have worked in India for about a year before leaving for pursuing higher education just after 9/11.
That's brilliant, seriously. I always get amazed seeing when people study so hard. I have to admit, although I used to study so hard, I never could get better grades at school. The only time I enjoyed study was that 2 years S/W development course I did. I was topper there. But other than that I even hate reading a story book. I am just too lazy by nature, what can I say You know funny thing, when I was a kid and I had to study to hard, everyday when walking back from school, I used to look at grownup elders on the road and used to wish oh god make me a grown up fast so that I don't have to study anymore.. LOLz

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I agree to the fact that you want to work on your terms, so how about doing some kind of career consultancy or giving private tuition. My father recently retired, at 58, and he is thinking over career consultancy (within India, as he has a lot of experience with the admission procedures in state of MH)
Again that's really noble and brilliant career and service to community.

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When my relative had stroke, he was admitted to one of the well known hospitals. His treatment cost was about 6 lakh (his insurance coverage) whereas the guy next to him, in much worse condition, paid INR 1.5lakh, his insurance coverage. I checked reports of both (I have medical background) and I started wondering why the costs are so different. Talking to an insider revealed this story. So watch out while getting insurance coverage.
Can you elaborate more on this please? Are you saying don't get an insurance?

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but the fact is, family bonds in India are formed in so weird fashion that we just can not seep this feeling through else you are branded as firang (a foreigner, in slang)
To those who retired early: Do you feel guilty? (vacations, moving, acquaintance) - Retirement - City-Data Forum
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Why are you living in Mumbai?... Get yourself a small piece of land to grow your own vegetables.
I was also thinking along the same lines. Moving out of Mumbai. We infact started the process and visited Pune last month, but that city is even more crowded and as much polluted as mumbai if not less. Bangalore is also the same. Do you have suggestion about better cities? As long as schools are great, I would love to move out of this city.

I also wanted to ask everybody about option to put the kid in Boarding school. We have some great boarding schools in Panchagani. But not sure if boarding school is right decision.

What about selling / keeping this current apartment that we live in? Should we rent it out or sell it off? In either case we will buy a smaller apartment in near by area where it's not too costly (We don't need to live in such posh area anyway, we are very down to earth and we sometimes feel stranger in this community, surrounded by film and TV actors)


Another side topic about Indian corruption.

There is huge amount of fake currency notes circulated in India's economy, TV channels are claiming that Pakistan is doing it.
By an estimate per Indian citizen there are atleast Rs. 2000 worth fake currency notes in the system, and more and more are coming everyday.
You will be shocked by the amount of corruption that's going on in India. The frequency of corruption has increased in recent past. You will be shocked to hear the following: There has been multiple police raid across India where they found
1. people buy reputed co's sealed milk bags, mix regular tap water in in there and then reseal it and sell it back in the market.
2. people manufacturing synthetic milk using different chemicals and milk essence. It is manufactured so precisely that it can only be lab tested to find out it's not real milk. You can even make curd and other milk products with this synthetic milk
3. people manufacturing synthetic milk mawa, again can only be tested in lab, a novice customer will not be able to find out at home that it's not real
4. synthetic desi butter, made from dead animals' bones and fats
5. steroids given to vegetables and fruits and soak them in chemical waters to make them look fresh and green and grow faster
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:28 AM   #18
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Career as counselor or giving tuitions -
That was my recommendation for you, if you want a bit easy career and on your terms. There are loads and loads of fake counselors coming up in Mumbai (if you just read TOI daily) and there are enough who fell prey to them. These idiots know only money and have no good intent of student at heart. (Proof - fake colleges and degrees in Australia and the UK) Why not experienced, like us, step in and offer a right direction. Job as well as social service.

Insurance -
Honestly, I can not elaborate more that what I said. The moral of the story is, at an event, you may not be able bargain milk for INR 25 a liter but you can essentially bargain your health procedures. I didn't dig much into it as all my relatives are covered by their work insurance so it doesn't matter them much, they pay a fix amount for any procedure, may it be cataract or bypass.
Just do home work before buying insurance. Just don't fell prey, talk to as many as possible. Insurance business in India is no different than that of in the US. (Agreed, that there are more numbers who abuse the system with the help of the medical practitioners, as they charge 30% of the claimed insurance)

Living away from Mumbai (and related issues) -
1. I would not put my son in a boarding school, till at least he passes his 10th standard. Panchgani is no way the solution. If you claim that those schools ARE good, why I don't see any kid from those school showing up in a merit list? (Correct me, if I am wrong) I don't want my son to behave as those kids of rich parents. I want him to learn, what is life and what is the 'cost' of money. If I want him to be a responsible citizen, then I have to instill a different attitude in him than that is observed at the moment in most of the 'high-class society'. I hope I am making my point clear here.
2. Where can you move? In an ideal world, I would move to Himachal Pradesh but I don't know anybody there. So buying a property and nobody to keep an eye on, is not a smart idea, at least in India. I pointed HP, b'coz our lifestyles are really hectic and stressful. Once I retire, I want to stay away from corporate culture and rat-race and live peaceful life in the middle of nature. Nature is becoming rare in India, except some parts of northern India.
Pune, not really my choice, unless you choose outskirts of Pune. I am a Marathi speaker and I have loads of relatives in Pune, so I preferred outskirts of Pune. If you consider any metropolis or megalopolis, it will be the same story. You have to come down with the points, those are very essential with regards to your move or the points, you will not compromise on and surely few places would come up. Since I have no plans in near future to return to India, I am looking at this as more of an investment for retirement.
3. What to do with your current apartment? If you are living in Andheri, Versova, Bandra or Worli, you will always find somebody to rent out to. ALWAYS make 11 month contract while renting it out. I will NOT vote in favour of selling the apartment.
4. You are stressing on 'good' schools for your daughter. Of course, that should be a criteria but if you are qualified and 'retired', why not step into home schooling as well (rather than tuitions) I am not in favour of leaving everything to the schools to educate my son. Once, my son starts going to the school, I will make an every effort to keep an eye on what my son is studying and how he is developing. I, personally, don't want him to grow as a bookworm but we will make efforts to grow him in all directions. IMO, Indian schools lack this perspective. We are really good at theory but lack practical application miserably (and westerners are brilliant at exactly this point)

Other issues you mentioned, its a part and parcel of the society. Its very easy to point fingers but the system is not developed to accommodate everyone. A small percentage of Indian population is really satisfied with their lifestyle (that includes financial, social and mental stability) We could list numerous causes and solutions of this but lets keep it out of this forum. IMO, the folks at [moderator edit] are addressing these questions very well.

As before, I again thank you for starting this thread and I am looking forward for best fusion of western and Indian thoughts. To make it happen, it will really good if you could come up with the points, that you are looking answers for (and that being the reason of starting this thread). That way, this conversation will include everybody, rather than just a dialogue between two Mumbaikars.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:34 AM   #19
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Joe asked about pictures and I would be interested as well. Most of the pictures I have are typical tourist pictures but I did snap a few one time on my way to work which will be very similar to Andheri I'm sure. I have also included one across the back bay showing part of the Mumbai skyline.
Alan, no offense but the pictures you posted do not 'represent' Mumbai or even Andheri (I know, you didn't say so) Mumbai has its own taste and culture. Its a money making machine and at the other end, dire poverty. Its called as US of India, everybody wants to run to Mumbai, as its said, nobody sleeps hungry in Mumbai. I really don't know how truthful that is.
Anyways, IMO, Mumbai is not a tourist destination, its rather a money destination. If you are on business trip, you stay in Mumbai, if you are on tourist trip, you get out of Mumbai ASAP. (at least thats I tell to my colleagues who want to visit India)
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:59 PM   #20
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Alan, no offense but the pictures you posted do not 'represent' Mumbai or even Andheri (I know, you didn't say so) Mumbai has its own taste and culture. Its a money making machine and at the other end, dire poverty. Its called as US of India, everybody wants to run to Mumbai, as its said, nobody sleeps hungry in Mumbai. I really don't know how truthful that is.
Anyways, IMO, Mumbai is not a tourist destination, its rather a money destination. If you are on business trip, you stay in Mumbai, if you are on tourist trip, you get out of Mumbai ASAP. (at least thats I tell to my colleagues who want to visit India)
Maybe you have some better photos you can share. I enjoyed my trip to Mumbai and would like to visit India sometime in retirement as a tourist.
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