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Hansi Mehrotra, a CFA with global experience and founder of The Money Hans, is a celebrity in the world of personal finance in India. A powerful influencer on in the corporate/banking/finance circles. She creates fine personal finance content that simplifies complex issues into easy-to-understand stuff which lay people can identify with.
A - Your retirement is your longest goal, right? Apart from maybe leaving a legacy, or philanthropy, which you do only after you retire well.
So, you have the longest time horizon, and therefore you can afford to invest in equities. If you lock your money up into a retirement account, even if the waters are choppy, which means equities go up and down, you do not get to panic and withdraw the money.
So, I think you should be fully invested in equities, as much as possible. The NPS allows you to do that. So I think that's a better investment option.
The PPF is guaranteed, I agree. But the trustees get to decide that return on the basis of government bond yields, which should always be lower than equities in the long run. So, I'd say ditch the guarantee, and go to the NPS, invest in equities and ride it out.
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