As I grow older (and wiser), retirement starts to hit home a lot harder than it did when I was 25 years old. It has moved from being a vague possibility to a definite reality. There are several issues associated with this big and unavoidable life stage. What would I like my life to look like by the time I retire? Am I doing enough to prepare for it? Do I have enough time to prepare for it? And of course, the big one, why should I even prepare for it?
Last year, I attended a Retirement Planning Seminar organised by NICO, where Jimmy Lipunga was the guest speaker. Mr. Lipunga shared what I can only describe as profound and fascinating insights about retirement. All the participants agreed that the seminar was exceptional, to say the least.
It is common for most of us to listen to something important and at that given time, feel motivated to act on it. However, after a short period of time, we forget. That is why I have been inclined to share the lessons learnt from the seminar with everyone through the story of my neighbours, The Ndalamas. I will take you through their experience as a result of participating in the seminar and how this has largely impacted their perceptions of financial planning.
Pemphero Ndalama is a typical 35-year-old family man who got married to his college sweetheart, Mercy, when they were both 25 and have two lovely children, aged seven and five. He and his wife know that planning for their children’s future is of high importance, and so is their future. Because of this, they grew a curiosity for a financial management. Ideally, this plan would enable them to comfortably raise their kids to the best of their ability and allow them to invest in their retirement.
What is retirement?
Retirement can be defined in two ways. Firstly, when one is out of formal employment but is still economically active (still generating an income), and secondly, when one is out of employment and is not economically active (no longer generating an income) and living off their pension money. Mr. Lipunga shared with us the concept of a life map which he said involves the body, mind and soul adding that preparation for retirement should involve all these three faculties. He said it is possible to accumulate so much and discover that you are empty. In other words, have a purpose.
Regardless of your age at the time you are reading this piece, you must accept that it is your responsibility to determine your destiny (mind); you must enjoy life, not waste it on empty pursuits (body) and as is the main purpose of this piece, be intentional and focused as you approach retirement (soul). You must take care of yourself.
Mr. Lipunga dwelled on these three faculties and emphasized that people should not only see retirement planning as having enough money to sustain you during that time. Your plan must get your mind ready to switch to a purpose meaningful to you; prepare your body for not being as active as you are in your younger years and prepare your soul to accept that you have indeed achieved what you wanted to achieve by the time you retire.
To do all of this, you need to meet a comprehensive financial adviser such as Nico Asset Managers Limited to ensure that you are making the necessary informed decisions and taking the necessary actions. Pemphero and Mercy have been in touch with NICO Asset Managers Limited (NAML) who advised them to include a financial plan to help them enjoy the retirement they deserve.
Why is it important to plan for your retirement?
· There is a lot you do not know. You might be aware of a magnitude of things during the time you have been ‘doing life’ but there are several unknown factors that could affect your ability to be financially secure. By planning, the Ndalamas would be at a better position to identify and answer all the important questions that should be deliberated upon before they retire.
· It eases your anxiety for the future. As we grow, money becomes a factor that constantly causes stress and uncertainty for the future. An advisor at NAML informed Pemphero and Mercy that preparing for their retirement would lead to overall financial wellness which in turn would contribute to better physical and emotional health. They would also be able to follow a budget that could sustain their current needs while saving for their future needs.
· You will not be a burden. It is possible to be thecool grandparent by not being a burden to your kids. If the Ndalamas follow through with a well-designed plan, their retirement would mean that their two kids would not have to worry about covering all of their parents’ expenses and would be granted the liberty to remain financially independent after their retirement.
Having a successful plan for your retirement aids in overcoming any hurdles that may be thrown your way as far as your finances go. Ultimately, you will find your retirement to be a blissful time to reflect on your professional career with utmost joy and peace, knowing that you gave it your best.
Be sure to read the next article, as we explore how Creating a Budget is an important process in the Pemphero and Mercy’s plan for a pleasant retirement.
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