Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 39, Tuesday October 7, 2008




Retiring Rich

Relaxing on a reclining chair in the balcony on sunny mornings, sipping glasses of chilled herbal tea, listening to some favourite music on the CD player and planning month-long cruises on the European coast... this is what everyone imagines their retirement days to be like. With the right planning and pre-calculation, your retirement days can be everything that you had ever pictured, and even more. All it takes are the right moves and the right mind, and retirement can be a breeze for you!

Retirement planning should be started early in life, instead of putting it off till the last few years right before retirement. Monthly expenditure should be budgeted and a little bit of savings every month can build up a healthy bank balance at the end of a pre-fixed term of several years. The amount of savings every month should be determined in accordance with the years left to retirement. Set a target for yourself, an amount you would like to have in your bank account when you retire. That will make sure you are totally focused on what you are trying to achieve and you will be able to devise your plan accordingly.

Most banks in Bangladesh offer fixed deposit schemes that give a high rate of return. These deposit schemes have different tenures and can range from anything between a couple of months to several years. The higher the time span, the higher the interest rate offered- this is how these deposit schemes work. Dutch Bangla Bank Limited has such a scheme named DBBL Deposit Plus Scheme (DPS) which has 4 maturity time spans of 3, 5, 8 and 10 years (Source: www.dutchbanglabank.com). A mere sum of Tk 500 as deposit every month can have a maturity value of Tk 100,660 at the end of a span of 10 years.

DBBL also offers FDR schemes, which can be availed for 3 months, 6 months or 1 year. For an initial amount less than 10 lacs, the interest rates are 11.25% for 3 months, 11.50% for 6 months and 11.75% for a year. “For any amount over 10 lacs, the percentages will increase by 0.25%,” confirmed Md. Nazrul Islam, Senior Executive Officer in Dutch Bangla Bank Limited. So you might want to keep your money in a deposit scheme, which offers an interest rate that seems satisfactory to you, and relax while your money increases by several folds within the tenure of the deposit scheme. For more information on the different deposit schemes offered by DBBL, feel free to drop by at any of their branches; they will be more than ready to offer help and information.

Some banks also offer schemes specially designed to secure their clients' future after retirement. The Pension Plus scheme of DBBL claims to secure an individual's future life through a series of monthly returns/pensions, against initial investment and monthly deposits or installments. (Source: www.dutchbanglabank.com) The tenure for this scheme is 10 years and the initial investment can be Tk 5000 or any of its multiples up to Tk 5,000,000. The maturity value will be 250% of initial investment at the end of 10 years. HSBC also offers such a plan. According to Shamma Mustary, Credit Officer, Consumer Credit Risk, HSBC has a Retirement Savings Plan that offers benefits like attractive interest rates, with no sign up fee and no penalty for missed installments. The tenure of the plan is 3 years and any Bangladeshi between 18 to 60 years of age is eligible to apply for a Retirement Savings Plan. Bonuses are paid at the end of the tenure if all installments are paid on time.

If you are interested in Islamic banking services, AB Bank has established its Islamic Banking Wing and the branch is situated in Kakrail, Dhaka. Under this wing, AB Bank offers Mudarabah Deposit Pension Scheme, where money can be deposited for terms of 3 months, 6 months or 1 year. “The profits may be shared according to the percentages of 11.25% for 3 months, 11.50% for 6 months and 12% for 1 year,” said Mahmud Hasan, SAVP of AB Bank, Head Office Branch.

Insurance policies can also be a part of your retirement plan. Life insurance and health insurance plans can help cover any risks you may face after retirement or even before that. In return for small installments every month as premium, your life and health risks may be secured against any mishaps. Even though it may not be very likely to happen, it is always good to be prepared from beforehand. After all, prevention is always better than cure!

Employees of government institutions in Bangladesh enjoy elaborate retirement plans that provide them with handsome lump sums when they retire from their tenure of service. If an employee serves in a government institution for more than a period of 10 years, he or she becomes eligible for pension benefits. The pension rate varies according to the rank of the employee's job position and his or her salary grade.

Most organizations in the private sector also have detailed retirement plans designed in a way that secures their employee's financial condition after retirement. Provident fund is one such retirement policy that provides employees with a large amount of money after their retirement. AB Bank Ltd., maintains a contributory provident fund benefit for all its employees. Under this scheme, 10% of the employee's basic salary is cut off from his monthly cheque and added to his or her provident fund account. The organization also adds the same amount to the account every month.

When the employee reaches 59 years of age and retires, he or she is paid the whole amount that has accumulated in his provident fund throughout his or her tenure of service. However, should the employee resign from the organization before he or she reaches retirement age, the individual will only be given the amount that has been added to it from his or her basic salary every month, not the organization's contributions.

Investing part of your savings in the share market or in various lucrative businesses may also bring you satisfactory returns that will ease your retirement tensions. If calculations are done correctly and planning is done accordingly, way before retirement arrives, retirement shouldn't be a worrisome matter for you. Rather, it will be a time you can enjoy travelling to exotic destinations with your loved ones and sipping on fruit cocktails, just like the colourful advertisements you so often watch on television, and just like the way you had always pictured. Trust me when I say, planning can take you a long way!

By Wasia Mehnaz

South African Lamb Sosaties (Kebabs)
"This is a traditional South African (bbq) dish that can also be prepared using venison or beef. This dish is best if meat and vegetables are allowed to marinate overnight before grilling."
1 cup plain yoghurt
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion
1 cup cubed lamb stew meat
12 oz dried apricots
8 kabab skewers

Make the sauce by mixing together the yoghurt, curry powder, sugar and oil in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

Peel and cut the onion into 1inch cubes. Thread skewers alternating lamb cubes, onion dried apricot halves. Place them into a large resealable bag and pour in the sauce. Make sure the kababs are evenly coated. Refrigerate and allow to marinate overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Preheat grill to medium heat and lightly oil grate.
Grill the kababs over medium coals for 8 to 10 minutes on each side, or to your desired doneness.

Garlic Fried Chicken
"This is actually used with my breading for Chicken Fried Steak-my friend suggested we try it with chicken breasts, and it was delicious!"
2 tsp garlic powder, or to taste
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves- pounded thin
1 cup oil for frying, or as needed.

In a shallow dish, mix together the garlic powder, pepper, salt, paprika, breadcrumbs and flour. In a separate dish, whisk together the milk and egg.
Heat the oil in an electric skillet set to 350 °F (175 °C). Dip the chicken into the egg and milk, and then dredge in the dry ingredients until evenly coated.
Fry chicken in hot oil for about 5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove from the oil with a slotted spatula, and serve.


Buying from Nilkhet

The number and variety of resources it offers seems to be infinite. Nilkhet is a book lover's paradise. It seems to have everything. Here are some suggestions to get the most out of it.

Even though you have in mind what kind of books you are going to buy, don't stop the shopkeeper when he is also showing you books that you are not looking for. Let him show you a wide array of books and magazines on different topics. Also check the huge piles of books they have on the shop- you are likely to find something that will definitely be worth your search. Also, don't get appalled or discouraged by seeing some books covered with dust or their shabby and threadbare appearances- after all, you can't judge a book by its cover. However, do briefly check whether the books have all the pages in the right order.

Another factor attractive about Nilkhet is, of course, the low price. But how far have you exploited it? Nilkhet can offer prices lower than you think it is possible. So sharpen your bargaining skills. Before you buy, first visit several stores to get an idea of the price of the items you want. Be tough on the bargaining part, don't give up and be ready to walk away if you are not satisfied; several other rivals will be too happy to offer you the same stuff. You'll be surprised at how low the price can go. For example, a friend of mine once bought a few Reader's Digests at Tk 5 per magazine only! Another wise thing would be to buy several books from just one store as the shopkeeper would then be more interested to sell to you at a cheap price. You can also promise to give the book back after you are done with it, which is another incentive you can use to let the seller let go off his books.

By M H Haider

check it out

Introducing DesignDhaka

The main aim of DesignDhaka is fusing western and local fashion. The secret to its success was service and honesty to its clients. DesignDhaka caters for the needs of both male and female- T-shirts, shirts, shorts, denims, saris, panjabi, fotua, shalwar kamiz and fashion accessories.

DesignDhaka, 2nd floor, Navana Tower, Gulshan #1, Dhaka-1212; BNT, Skyline Galleria, Plot #21, Road # 7, Sector #4, Dhaka-1230.



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