Hello. In just few minutes, I intend to address active workers and in particular, those that seemingly have genuine reasons as to why they are not doing much in retirement planning. It is true that we live in a country where planning is difficult but truth is also that, it is in such an environment that planning becomes extremely important as much as compulsory. Let me touch on facts that must be on your agenda as top priority, if you Must survive in a country like Nigeria.
1. Don’t Take Early Planning For Granted: In Nigeria, it is true that our governments could be said to be irresponsible or whatever way you might choose to describe them at all levels; the principal reason why we do not get retirement right is the fact that most of us do take planning for granted and I can tell that the reasons for this differ from one individual to another; while yours might be procrastination by thinking that you still do have lots of years to plan thus differing the planning, it could just be mere indiscipline on money matters for another- many Nigerians like to spend money as it comes not minding the fact that money has wings, can fly and only would stay with only those who know and understand its management and I can tell; in Nigeria we do waste money even in the midst of scarcity.
Can you please sit down one day and calculate how much you spend from that inadequate resources or what you call meagre salary on telephone calls? Can you sum the cost of all the telephones you currently use and see how much you have invested on that project alone? What about your wardrobe? You might just be surprised that you have a two storey building as clothing items right in there particularly if you are a woman. A comedian jokingly said the other day that there are women whose cost of hairdo alone is enough to buy two plots of land? Think about all these when you complain that things are difficult thereby making retirement impossible. Easter celebrations had just ended with all the fanfare and spendings, have you taken the time to calculate the entire amounts that often go with such celebrations in your household? Who says that festivities must of necessity be an elaborate celebration? Must you save from January to December of a year just to blow everything off within just two weeks in the village at Christmas? Must you even travel to the village at all for Christmas? Can’t you make your trip home sometimes middle of the year as a policy so as to spend less? All the monies so spent on these and many more that you know yourself is a way of taking retirement for granted, meanwhile taking retirement for granted simply means pushing it far below in current life’s scale of preference.
Let’s face the reality; those who are not planning for their future aren’t even those who could be said to be unemployed but workers at different levels of the ladder. Will you be surprised if I tell you that our bankers are the least prepared for life after work? Take the statistics and you will marvel at the numbers of bankers that are indebted to their banks; painfully, the so much borrowed funds are devoted to the accumulation of dresses, shoes and other items that will soon fade, go out of vogue and become unusable. That is why one of the major businesses that thrives in the new Nigeria is travelling to Dubai or Turkey; it could also be to UK or US to get ladies’ wears and in some cases, wears for the men’s folk; at that, all you need do is target different offices and you are bound to make huge gains so long as you have enough capital to enable you sell on credit. Retirement will be difficult if you misplace your priorities by spending your unearned income on frivolities. Most bankers and other workers in the financial market that I know can’t afford to lose their jobs all because they are driving cars on car loan, training their kids on loan, use expensive phones on loan in fact they live on loan simply because they do not get the priorities right; that was why a banker would commit suicide when the appointment was terminated. Why placing the cart before the horse? Retirement is the horse that will drive the cart of your life in the future, why not stop all these irrelevant spendings now and make your retirement a priority? Why not rearrange your life’s scale of preference and make retirement savings and investment the first before any other expenditure?
2. Don’t Despise Financial Literacy: Simple financial illiteracy might be the undoing of many and I can tell that financial illeteracy doesn’t connote not being able to read or understand financial writings but seeing the need or having the urge to act proportionately and I give you an example here. I think it was sometimes in 2003 that I went to deliver a lecture at the Uthman Dan Fodio University in Sokoto on stocks as a tool of retirement planning. I can remember that a tall and slim professor approached me for a private discussion after my session and the first statement he made was that he regretted not to have met me fifteen years before then as he was just for the first time in his life sitting to learn and understand what the stock market and the essence of planning was. He had always read financial pages in newspapers but knew not much about the use. He had always thought that his pension could take him all through life after retirement for which reason he had always turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to issues pertaining to planning and so he never knew about anything called investment. Please read up, keep learning, keep listening, attend empowerment programs in your church, get connected to websites on empowerment. What you will gain in all of these is a renewed mindset, empowered being and strategy to achieving your retirement goals.
3. Don’t Ever Depend on the Efforts of Another, Be Independent: Numerous Nigerian workers have fallen by the way side in retirement planning owing to the wrong mindset of building a dependence tendency of my father, mother, husband or children will do it for me syndrome. Your parents, husband and wife might be rich, look away from such and make your independent plans.
4. Shun Extra Marital Affairs: I’m a good listener and I learn in the process and because of that, I do often bring up issues for discussion so long as the other parties are willing to respond. What you are about to read might sound offensive or somehow in a way because it bothers on private living but I’m sorry, it’s necessary too. I was discussing with some artisans working somewhere just a few months back, the topic was on family and issues relating to relationship and I can deduce from their responses that an average young man within certain age bracket would have dated at least two ladies before a certain age; in the words of these men, ‘all married men in Nigeria also have one or two mistresses outside’. These men, because of who they are might not be accurate in their analyses but they cannot also be said to be out rightly wrong because they cited themselves as examples more so as I can see this play out even among ‘mallams’ that are employed as security guards and food vendors. The question is, where does the funding of these classes of frivolities come from? I ask those artisans this same question but permit me as I’ll request to keep their responses to myself. When i I see a young girl sending a ‘hi’ message to me on the social media, I do respond but I do always know that what such want is the money and nothing more. Helping others is advisable but be careful. In the same vein, multiple marriages are major impedance to successful retirement planning. Keep your home, remain focussed and plan your life well.
5. Excess Pleasure is Pressure On Finances: There were some issues to be trashed out one weekend with someone so the principal partner on the issue described where to meet him on a Saturday evening. I traced the place in company of a friend who was also a party to the issue and was dumbfounded at my findings as the place was like a market square on a market day; it is a leisure centre, though not far from where I live, it was as if I had lived in a distant world because I do drive past the well fenced big compound every time but during the day so I never knew such do take place there at night. Every of such gathering is money guzzling. Moving around Lagos at weekends also will tell you that one profitable venture where you can quickly recoup your invesment is the establishment of relaxation centres or a club so the question is, where do the funds for this relaxation come from? I strongly believe that we all our designers and the shape of your life is essentially a product of how we designed it; if government irresponsibility would not stop you from being promiscuous, if that would not stop your drinking habit then government’ irresponsibility and harsh economic climate shouldn’t stop you from planning for your retirement. If you stop wastages, you will have enough for savings and investment. If you cultivate a bad habit then don’t blame anyone when the reality is dawn on you.
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