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Because one day you will retire

by Wanjiku Mbugua

One day you will retire.  It is therefore time to understand what the reality of retirement will be for you. You won’t be going to work, you won’t have steady cash flow, no influence or at best, a reduced influence.

Your children cannot be your retirement investment. Don’t bank on your children’s support or the support of friends or relations. That’s a BIG risk. Everyone has his own responsibilities. They won’t be able to help you that much. You will also risk lose your dignity and respect if you adopt a life of begging. Be ready to take care of yourself because retirement also means that you will lose the ability to generate an income.

Here’s what you need to consider when planning for retirement

Where shall you retire? Build yourself a home. Don’t retire and start to rent a house or refuse to vacate government house. You will be at the mercy of your landlord at a time when your cash flow is not only reduced but unpredictable!!

Who shall be your dependants? By the time you retire, your children should be above 18, and self-reliant.

Don’t retire and stay in a big city. Unless you can truly afford it; you can’t continue living in a big city after 60 with limited financial resources. The language and the hustle will be hard for you. Where possible, relocate to a less expensive town where your reduced take home (pension) can go further.

Have property which can be rented or converted into cash. Have shares that pay good dividends. Plant cash trees, rear goats, cultivate vegetables etc. Such activities will not only give you income but will also keep you healthy.

Live a simple life. If you never built a house at your rural home, don’t use your retirement package to build. It is unwise unless you plan to live there on a permanent basis or you are super rich and therefore can afford the luxury. The choice is yours.

Always pursue opportunities of self-improvement. Whatever you do during your free time, is what you will be doing when you retire. If all you do is to sleep or watch TV, then that’s what you are likely do in your retirement.  Watching TV will not save you heartache in retirement. Learn a trade or a skill during your free time. It will come handy. Don’t spend it sleeping, Gossiping, watching TV!! Same goes for your weekends. Make them productive. You will thank yourself for spending your time productively.

Start a hobby early in your working days to take you along when you retire. Rearing chicken, farming or own a shop. Acquire marketable skills (not only paper certificates) etc. It is worth noting that many of retirees die early because they are not mentally prepared to retire, and  face financial pressures which often leads into Depression, Hypertension or Diabetes as a result of worry, anxiety and uncertainty.

Keep your friends and social circles. You cannot teach an old dog a new trick. This is sure true about the ease of making new & lasting connections as you grow older. It will be great to have friends to socialize, exchange ideas and share fun times with.

Author: Joseph Owino, Financial Consultant at Enwealth Financial Services. Contact: Jowino@enwealth.co.ke


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