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Planning for retirement starts with every single coin

MAXWELL Phiri.

Analysis: MAXWELL PHIRI
RETIREMENT planning is the process of setting goals for your retirement years and then creating a plan to fulfil those goals.

Executing a retirement plan requires most people to put aside some of their current income for long-term savings and investment.
Planning for retirement starts with every single coin you come across in life. That coin, if you put it in good use, can secure your future way after retirement. Building for retirement calls for early planning.
There are three things that are inevitable in everyone’s working life. It’s either you resign, you are retrenched or retire. My concern is the latter one, which is retirement. Whether you want it or not one day you will retire, be it from the formal or informal sector.
In life the only thing that does not go down is your age. You can camouflage yourself to appear younger and we may not know your exact age, but at least we know that when you are alone you know how old you are. Why don’t you start planning for retirement early.
In Luke 14:28-30 the Bible says:
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it?] {14:29} Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish [it,] all that,” behold [it] begin to mock him {14:30}.
From the above scripture you will notice that God loves planning. Even right from the time the heavens and earth were created God had planned. He planned the number in which to create the universe thereafter planned to rest, he also planned building the nation of Israel. If God can plan, where is your retirement plan?
One common mistake people make is to entrust their retirement plan on third parties. Do not entrust your retirement plan in the hands of a third party because it is absolutely difficult and a serious lapse to have someone plan for your life after retirement without your involvement.
There are three seasons of life which human beings must pass through:
1. Morning season – the learning stage
This is the period between the ages of 5 to 25 years. During this period a person goes through different learning stages in various disciplines depending on the strength of the particular individual. Some of the disciplines might be academic life , social life , talent management life (skills building).
At 25 years of age in an African set-up at least one should have attained a first degree. In the Western world, this is the stage during which someone is working for his/her first PhD or second Master’s.
2. Afternoon life season – the earning stage
This is a period between 26 to 50 years. At this stage a person is availed the opportunity to earn a living and invest heavily for future retirement. This is the crucial period where a person works hard against all odds to earn for the future whether in the formal or informal sector. If you miss this stage you will be classified as leaving under mid-life crisis where you want to patch up the holes. During this period you work for the money. My hope is that you are in tandem with this stage, otherwise “mwashala imwe” (you are behind schedule).
3. Evening season – the turning stage
This is the age of 51 years and above. During this period money should start working for you using the various investment engines you established during the afternoon season (the earning stage, 26 to 50 years of age). You should also start impacting others through personal social responsibility by giving to the vulnerable or underprivileged.
You should not be a tenant at the age of 55 and not ready to work except they want to contract you on short-term basis arising from your expertise, and the terms of the contract should be negotiated and mostly working to your advantage.
It is very surprising that in this modern society a retiree, at the age of 60, if you call for a security guard job, he will apply. This should not be the case.
If you are one or two steps behind the above seasons, the good news is that it’s never too late. You can catch up. But if you are three years behind and you have been earning an income, I am afraid you are behind schedule and dead whilst liveth.
Planning for retirement should be a 360 degrees assessment; even the way you are producing children, family planning should play a critical role in order to prepare for retirement. How can one be producing babies every year when you cannot afford to train and feed them? Every year you are the only one announcing to friends that there is good news, ‘I have a baby’, good news to your friends but bad news at home. How can you be producing babies every year, are you in a marathon to get an award and are the babies for sale? Of course we thank God for the gift of life for the babies. This reminds me of a certain fmeeting I attended way back which was addressed by a well-to-do and prominent person in short the person. When addressing the gathering, most of them came from the middle class, he said,” It was so funny he came out like if I, an elite person, I have one child and I have provided the child with the best education, how about you who is still in the middle class with more than five children, how are you going to train your children?
Find more details on how to plan for your retirement will be availed during a seminar we are organising next month
Do not end up and retire like an empty vessel earning the name “Stranded Millionaire”.
It’s never too late, you can start now!
The author is director-human resources and administration at the Rural Electrification Authority.

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