Retirement is the point in your life when you'll look yourself in the mirror and say, "I can't do this anymore."
For some of us, the company we work for will show us that mirror, as soon as we hit the age of 65. And for the rest of us, life itself will someday show up as that mirror. Either way, now is the time to start making up for that day. And I will be sharing with you all the makeup kits and palettes you need to look good and prepared for that day.
1. Have a Retirement Savings Account (aka Pension Account)
Having a pension account is a must for every working adult. And that includes people running their own businesses and those working as consultants. Go to Stanbic IBTC and open an Individual Retirement Savings Account, then implement a standing order to transfer a substantial amount into it every month.
A pension account is specially designed to provide you enough money for life after retirement. If you're like me, whenever you look at your RSA monthly statements, you feel like it's money that you want to invest yourself as you don't think it will ever be big enough to sustain you after retirement. Then you need to fix it, and not by withdrawing it but by voluntarily contributing more to it. I noticed that my pension account has been growing faster than most of my investment accounts. After researching the cause, as I know that it's run more like a fixed income mutual fund, I found out that the reason is because pension funds are exempted from a lot of tax and transaction charges. They are able to grow one's money faster than a mutual fund with similar portfolio.
And thanks to my boss, who explained how he diligently negotiates his pension package, I will be sure to ask about my pension package in a new job, and probably renegotiate it.
Bottomline: Have a pension account and always negotiate a cool pension pack (a 2 for 1 is great; employer comtrubutes N2 for every N1 from your gross salary)
2. Don't get caught in the wrong job
If you work at a job that you hate, and is also stressful and not well paying, you are increasing your chances of life showing up as that mirror before you are ready.
And for some, it might be working at a job you love and that pays well, but the company is dying. That was what my first job was like. Some smart guys bailed out of the company before it was too late. For some of those caught up in the retrenchment net, it was their own mirror.
Unfortunately, you'll have little control over the economy and whether your job will always be in high demand. But you should be like a sailor, steering your career ship. Don't get too close to the rocks before you begin steering. Learn to listen to the winds, and what news they carry. Learn to read the signs in the cloud. And as a Nigerian, your social security ends with your right to vote.
Pay and keep your tax documents, nothing destroys years of hard labor as fast as tax trouble.
Bottomline: Be gain(and)fully employed till your retirement.
3. Get your family work done right
For you it might be setting up a proper next of kin, (re)writing your will, having a life insurance, setting up an education fund account to cater for your children's university education, saving for a home, and building a proper family.
When you retire, your new colleagues would be your grand kids and old friends. If you don't do things right (and now), your grand kids won't want to see you and your old friends will desert you.
Retirement is fun only if you have an extended family you love and that loves you back. And now is the time to start building the type of family you like to retire into. Even if, for you, it means marrying someone you can live with for a day without arguing. Because when children and more shared properties come into the mix, you guys may end up arguing every single day for the rest of your lives. And I don't think there's anyone that will like to spend his retirement arguing non-stop.
Bottomline: You've spent your life working with colleagues you didn't choose; it's time to start choosing/building the people you'll want to spend life after retirement with.
And those are my three tips for preparing for your retirement.
Got any tip you'll like to share?