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Esther.Dumbiri

Preparing For Retirement, Living Happily Ever After

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Retirement happens whether you want it or not. Even as a business owner, you will not be able to run your business effectively at some point in your life time because nature will naturally rob you of your youthful zest, zeal and vigour.

You may try to remain involved in your business but, except you want to use your hands to tear down what you have built, you need to peacefully and graciously retire to tea drinking and vacationing.

Worse if you are an employee, at 65, or after at most, 35 years in service, you would get a letter and the content would be something like ‘thank you for your service, you deserve some accolades…’ summary, go home and rest!

Unfortunately, many suffer heart attacks when such letter is received. Why not, nothing to fall back on, strength falling, probability of getting another job almost zero, how will the sundry bills be paid? medicals nko? And so on. Easy way out – heart attack. How sad.

But this doesn’t have to be your tale.

Imagine receiving the letter with pomp and pageantry and the next morning off to Zanzibar beach resort with madam (or oga) on a 10-day pleasure trip. Bills? No wahala, all sorted. Medicals? Insurance in place.. and this is not a fairy tale. It’s all about planning.

But I’m too young, I just started work, I haven’t even clocked 5 years on the job… whatever your stage in life - relative youth (aggressive growth); middle age (moderately aggressive); retirement in the next 10 years (income and moderately conservative), retirement is only few years away!

So let’s debunk some myths

Myth 1. I’m too young to save for retirement. Actually, the younger the better. Starting early makes retirement better because you have a significant opportunity to become truly wealthy thanks to the power of compound interest.

Someone who invests N25,000 by age 25, with a 12% rate of return, will have more than N2 million by age 65—even if he or she doesn’t add another dollar after age 25. If that same person waits until age 30, he or she will have to contribute more than three times as much to achieve the same outcome. So start while you’re young.

Myth 2. I’m too old to save for retirement. Yes, you may be starting late, but not preparing at all is worse. While it’s true that you’re better off starting at age 25 than 50, it is also true you’ll be better off starting at age 50 than, say, 70.

Then again, 70 is a better start than 90, isn’t it? The past is the past. We must stop peering at the rear-view and instead look ahead toward the horizon. As long as you’re still breathing, it’s never too late to start. It’s never too early, either.

So no matter what stage you are, START.

Myth 3. I don’t make enough money to save for retirement. Actually, there is no reason you shouldn’t retire a millionaire. Virtually everyone, even N18,000 minimum-wage earners, have the opportunity to be a millionaire when they retire. It sounds too good to be true, but the math proves otherwise: a 25-year-old who sets aside only N100 per week will retire with more than a million naira if the money is invested properly with just 12% rate of return.

If you are above 25, well, set aside more than N100 weekly. You may try N1,000 or N10,000 depending on your age so you can catch up.

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I think you have to plan well for your retirement as you have to live the life ahead in a prosper way. The retirement funds play a crucial role in this regard. All the countries have good focus on these funds and you can take advantage from them as well. Have a happy retirement folks!

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