LIFE IN RETIREMENT A PAPER PRESENTED BY GBOLAHAN I. OYEGOKE (PRINCE) B. Sc. (Ed. )Econs. , MBA (Mktng. ) ABR, ACTI, ACA HEAD OF PRACTICE Gbolahan Oyegoke & Co Chartered Accountants AT THE POST RETIREMENT SEMINAR ORGANISED BY T. A. AMUSSAH & SONS LIMITED (CONTRACTOR TO CHEVRON NIGERIA LIMITED) DECEMBER 6, 2006 PREAMBLE Retirement simply refers to the fact of stopping work because you have reached particular age or set criteria. Such criteria may be health, performance at work, conduct, options, takeover etc.
Retirement can be delightful or devastating… a dream come true or a dreadful nightmare. It depends on how one prepares for it. In Nigeria, the private sectors have a relatively better reputation for taking seriously their obligations to retiring and disengaging employees through the prompt payments of severance benefits and gratuities. Happily and commendably, the uncertainties, poor-record keeping, frustration and trauma which are common feature of pensions and terminal gratuity payments in the public service continues to be very minimal in the private sector.
However, after putting 40 – 45 years of ones productive age in service of one company or the other, a research finding revealed the following: |Situation/Position at 65 years and above |Rating | |Very rich |1% | |Financially independent |4% | |Struggling to survive |5% | |Died in Service |36% | |Dependent |54% | |Total |100% |
This trend could be traced to failure or deficiency in human capital development of many organizations. Corporate organizations often spend huge sum of money on capacity building that will benefit their business while neglecting the need for empowerment for “life after retirement” of their employees. In other words, corporate organization does not prepare their employees for retirement, from commencement or date of employment. Until very recently, post-retirement education was considered as personal issue of the retiring individual. There is a need for change towards this attitude as retirement or disengagement (forced or voluntary) is REAL. CHARACTERISTICS OF EMPLOYMENT You are always in financial need and this makes you depend on and look forward to your salary. • You are under constant threat and fear of losing your job or being desolate. • Prior to your retirement, you would have invested the most profitable prime time of your life in employment for a “take home”. • Often, you are in a company of over 90% of other employees returning to the work they hate to go to, and to see faces they are not too comfortable to put up with. • You are compelled to live in a vicinity and neighbourhood you wouldn’t have chose to live in as your employment location has always determined where you live – if you will not be late to work. Your employer determines your leisure time and how to spend it. As a necessity, they must approve your leave/vacation time. They determine when you leave home, when you get back home, when you wake up and when you go to bed. In some cases, they determine when you procreate. • Employment hardly makes your rich and your employer is not responsible for making you rich anyway. • What you get paid as retirement benefits hardly cover your living expenses at old age. Most of the time, we allow our employers to plan (when and how) for our retirement. • Most importantly, your capacity to earn declines over time. You get to a certain age, you will be consider unemployable (experience, or lack of it).
It is important that we remind ourselves that this seminar is organized for retiring employees who may not have had the benefit of pre-retirement enlightenment. We shall therefore concentrate on what is required of them to remain happy and comfortable, even while in retirement. In our clan and environment, there is always fear of retirement. To an average Nigerian, whether in self or paid employment, retirement connotes failure; it brings torment; it is consider shameful; it is often seeing as failure; many view it as weakness, especially if it is the decision of a self-employed person; many consider it as punishment; others sees it as bad luck; it simply remind us of loss of power and influence. We often get agitated and often raise questions on: • What will I do after retirement? Where will I live in retirement? • I do not have retirement plan, so how do I survive in retirement? • Though I have a retirement plan, what if it fails? While the views above are fallacies, the fear, the questions and many other issues often lead to criminal act such as fraud, stealing, falsification of age etc. THE DONT’S OF RETIREMENT Several private sectors retired and disengaged employees who were well and promptly catered for on retirement have ignorantly and recklessly slipped into the poverty circle within a very short period of their severance. This may be avoided if we attempt to desist from any of the following acts: a)Desire for new wife/(wives)
Do not marry a new wife: running a new home, raising another set of children and coping with marital demand may assert on your resources and health. Your previous wife (or wives) and their children may loose confident in you and may not show necessary understanding. b)Projects Do not engage in constructing a new house, especially if you own your current place of residence. Returns on estate (rent) may not be able to sustain you and your financial obligations. Financial outlay on construction of property is terminal with little or less recurring benefits, except you are in real estate business. Fanciful and sentimental projects often lead to loss of money. c)Cash Handling Do not keep cash beyond your immediate transaction need.
This could encourage robbers or thieves to attack you and dispossess you of your hard earn money. It may also encourage all manner of people to come seeking for loan without intention of repaying, and your ability to say no may be weak. As much a possible, let your bank be close to your house and transact business through bank so as to avoid movement of large cash (what you consider as small is certainly a fortune to another person). d)New Business Except you are currently engaged in one form of business or the other before your disengagement, never start a new business as it could turn to be a draining pipe. All manner of people will come to you with various shades of business proposals.
Do not invest in any new business or projects (no matter the projected returns) as it may result in loss of money. Be conservative in all your transaction. Never mind been referred to as “Old School”. Avoid dubious and illegal businesses with promise of abnormal large returns or money-doubling transactions. e)Politics Do not actively engage in political activities by using terminal gratuities to contest elections into political public offices as well as sponsorship of candidates for political offices. f)Social Activities Do not engage actively in social and communal activities which require regular expenditures and subscriptions. Do not encourage people to believe that you have arrived or that you are rich, it could lead to demand for favour.
Do not extend your generosity to the point of loosing your hard earn money. g)Ostentatious Life style Do not indulge in ostentatious living such as drinking, partying, spraying money at parties etc. Except you do not have a good or a refurbish-able car, acquisition of car (new or old) should be out of your priorities. Basic electronics is your requirement not the trendy or expensive ones. What you need is a functional and decent mobile handset and not the overpriced ones. It is important that you watch-out on your telephone bills. Where you can afford it, please send text messages to greet rather than outright calling. In all cases, consider the cost-benefit. h)Stay out of Debt This is a command rather than advice.
Whatsoever you cannot afford within your recurrent income (in retirement) should not be attractive to you. i)Others Don’t let anger rule your life. As much as possible, avoid confrontation. This is an imperfect world, and people make mistakes, even when they are to do their best. Do not assume that age makes you wise and that the world is waiting for your advice. If your friends or relatives want advice, they will ask for it. Do not live in the past. The past may be where you are most comfortable, but it is the present that most people, especially your children and grandchildren really care about. Do not miss your opportunities. Go where you want to go! (However, with caution). THE MUST
Retirement can be fun if certain rules are observed and adhered to. Such rules include: a)Set your house in order Again, this is a command not advice. You must be at peace with your wife (or wives). Where you have more than a wife, you must ensure that you resolve any differences that may exist between them. Your children, no matter their number or mother must be at peace with each other, their mother(s) and yourself. This is your duty that must never be delegated to anyone. It must be bear in your mind that you brought them forth to give you JOY and not sorrow. Prior to your retirement, you hide under the guise of “going to work”, now there is no hidden place.
You must also resolve any differences that may exist between you and your extended or large family. Verily, verily I say unto thee, be friends to everyone in your family, you will need them now than ever and they need you. Boredom and loneliness breath depression and this may lead to stress, stroke etc. b)Be at peace with your GOD You certainly have less time to live than you have stayed on mother earth. Now that you are drawing nearer to your God, it is important that you resolve issues with your God. Forgive God for whatever, you consider unfair to you and forgive yourself of any short-coming in your life. Forgive your fellow human being for their “sin”. Pay attention to your religious tenets. c)Be Active
Choose a retirement activity you really enjoy. It can be a part-time job, working as a volunteer, a hobby, or even a sport. Make that activity the focus of your life. It is wonderful to be able to spend time doing something you really like. Exercise regularly. It is good for the body and also for the mind. Exercise helps reduce tension and anxiety, and provides a sense of physical well-being. Eat healthfully. At age one to forty, we eat for taste and at forty and above, we are to eat for our health. Stayed tuned into the world around you. It is important to stay mentally alert. Newspapers, books, magazines, and television shows can keep you up to date on the issues of the day.
Do maintain your physical and mental independence. For as long as your health and finances allow, try to handle your own affairs, do things for yourself, and live by your own schedule. Never be pushed by the expectation of others. Draw from your inner strength when personal or family trouble arises. You spent a life time learning the strategies of survival. Use your knowledge to help others. Do keep your sense of humour. Make small mental lists of jokes you can tell to friends. “Laughter is the best medicine”. Laugh, the world will laugh with you. Grump, and you will grump alone. d)Prepare your WILL Speak to a trusted lawyer and seek his advice on WILL. Preparation of will nsures that you set your house properly the way you want it to be when you might have gone to rest with your creator. It helps you to protect your household against themselves. Enjoy your birthday! Growing old is not a right, it is a privilege. Take good care of yourself for you may live more than you expect. INVESTMENT IN RETIREMENT The gratuity of any retiring individual has several competing necessities, needs and frivolous requests which we consider important now and in the nearest future. It is an established fact that our reasons for keeping cash and the volume kept can be broadly classified as: • Transactional: we keep cash to meet up with our day-to-day needs (not want). Precautionary: we also keep cash to meet up with emergency needs that we do not envisage. • Speculative: cash can also be kept to meet with “opportunities” that has returns which we consider satisfactory. In this light and as retiring persons, my humble counsel would be as follows: 1. Ensure you put in fixed deposit account, a sum that is not less than =N=2million or 33. 33% (whichever is higher) of your gratuity at a rate not less than 9%. This will assure you of minimum income of =N=15,000. 00 per month. 2. About 33. 33% may be set aside for investment in shares. You will need to secure the service of a stockbroker with integrity to manage your investment. 3.
The balance of your gratuity may be apportioned to unit trust fund, investment in your spouse’s business, investment in your hobby (if you are sure it is capable of yielding good returns), investment in your current business, if any etc. At any point that you require to make investment decision it is important that you seek the advice of professionals. Ensure to document and legalize your transaction, no matter the partner you are dealing with. I pray that you will live longer than your expectation in prosperity and good health. God will grant you mercy and favour in your future endavour. Thank your for your time and audience while I beseech you to “keep thinking”.