What Are You Retiring Into? – A classic guide to purposeful living in retirement


Life is like a house that is built. If you fail to build a house, you remain a tenant paying rent to those who built houses forever. Life is like a house, if you build it well with solid materials, you enjoy living in it for a long time and if you chose inferior materials, possibilities of a collapse become high. Just like in the process of building a house, life is divided into stages; at each stage, there is always a future whose foundation is built in the current stage.

Let’s look at it this way; to a fetus, the future is for lizard-shaped mammal to be born to becoming an infant. If a fetus can talk, the principal desire is to quickly get off the restriction of the womb and be welcomed into the free world of humans. When the fetus is eventually born, as an infant, the future immediately becomes being a toddler as the fetus of a few months back begins to look forward to walking freely as others on the two legs without being carried, feeding self with food like mum and dad against being fed as well as developing the capacity for proper communication instead of having to cry to express self. The foundation of becoming a toddler is laid by the parents and the rate of response of the baby. As soon as arriving at the stage of being a toddler, the future immediately changes to becoming a kid who can now ride on bicycle within the vicinity, carry a small bag at the back for school and naughty enough to exploit contrary to mom’s opinion and in the process, get a few things damaged or even hitting the head or any other part of the body all in the name of being adventurous. The essence of the much adventurous endeavors of the fetus of a few years back but now as a kid, which often results into destructive tendencies if not checked, is often to quickly grow into an adolescent and on like that, till adulthood is reached.



Can you recall your growing up stages? How you so much eagerly desired and in fact attempted to hasten the developments of relevant pubic features like hair, breast- as a woman and all such? What about sneaking out to attend an all-night party, the urge to drive a car and the many times you hit all because you wanted to drive early? I don’t know how you grew but didn’t you dodge or hide in a corner to taste cigarette and even alcohol earlier than your parents would have approved? What about the rush to just gain admission into the higher institution for total freedom? And starting a relationship regardless of what the parents feel? The rate of desiring the next stage of life as life progresses is alarming which really got a number of people ruined till date.



Funny enough, life does get to a stage when the urge for the next phase slows down so rapidly. How do I mean? How do you feel when you begin to see strains of grey amidst your shinning black hair? What about wrinkled skin and generally diminishing capacities? Only few will be comfortable, leaving behind the youthful, agile and vibrant age into the slow styled, weak and frail natured old age. Of the few that might even accept the reality of getting old with grace, only few would look forward to the reality of death until it suddenly comes. Consequent upon the fact that the last stage of life is often not so desired relative to the rate at which the previous stages were, it is also often not planned for hence when the reality is dawn, confusion creeps in.



Until a plan is set in motion, every movement in life tends toward failure. The plan on how to live is not best designed at retirement but long before. In other words, the longer your plans toward retirement, the better the reality at retirement. Have you seen a coach that begins the training of the athlete on the pitch on the day of the event? Such coach and team can be best described as sure failure before even arriving on the pitch. The focus of this discussion isn’t building the nest egg but what to do to keep the body and soul together.

If you recall, we have in discussions on this column touched on a few activities that retirees can be engaged in, the fact is, how does such come to birth and sustained? Let’s see how far space would enable us tackle the issue.


  • KNOW YOUR AREA OF COMPETENCIES: The best is to determine what you really intend to do long before retirement comes and follow up with this over the time. Are you a banker for example? Even if you own the bank, your retirement age is set so, your exit day too is marked. I spoke with the Managing director of a bank who retired last day of June this year. One of the take home from the discussion is that he knew the exit date from the very day he took up the appointment. If you are banker like the man that just retired, what do you think you can do after banking? Please be guided. Your areas of concentration at retirement should hinge basically on the skills acquired during the active work life as follows.
  • If you work in oil and gas division of the bank or in an oild and gas related outfit, long period before your retirement, set your eyes on establishing yourself in that line by building relationship, taking the pain to understand the structure and every other basic requirement to making things work in the industry. Take the time to build your capital.
  • If you currently work in say the accounts department of your organisation, setting up and audit or consulting firm would be appropriate. At that, you will of necessity build your clientele by offering similar services to a number of institutions while in active service even if for free just to retain the relationship for the future use.
  • If you work in operations department of a bank for example, setting up micro-lending scheme would be appropriate.
  • If you work in marketing, lucky you I will say in the sense that a trained marketing can easily find self in any business and make a head way because marketing the remains the backbone of businesses. Ensure that your heart is into whatever that you are marketing as this would become helpful at retirement either as a marketing consultant or practitioner on your own
  • If you work in credit and corporate finance for example, your best bet is to engage in such at retirement. LPO and other such financing would always be in vogue.
  • If you are in the military or related force, depending on your division, setting up of intelligent and security outfits anywhere in the country will be appropriate, if you are in the police in particular, setting up a security outfit and being a lawyer would be most appropriate.
  • Are you currently a teacher or lecturer? Provision of education materials is the best bet. The next, though requiring huge capital and long gestation period is schools. This Nigeria you know, the government is not becoming responsible relative to population flow. That is to your advantage. Seeing that the capital requirement might be on the high side, long term savings and strategic partnership would be required. Please note that being a school proprietor is a fantastic retirement job considering the fact the principal is the active head of a school.

The summary of all these is that, you don’t need to deviate, just stay on your existing line at retirement. All that I’ve tried to preach here is that you must of necessity know all that you will be engaging in at retirement, long time before your retirement and not when you are retired.


The discussion continues next week.

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