Last weekend I met with a group of family and friends for our quarterly meetings where we make merry and sharpen one another. Saturday’s discussion was on Retirement Planning. This is a topic not many Ugandans want to think about let alone talk about at the height of their prime. In his submission however, our speaker gave an insight on what retirement looked like to the unprepared. Being on the slippery, steep slope to forty – I was rather attentive.
In the 1990’s the Government of Uganda in a bid to reduce on the size of the civil service carried out massive retrenchment. Coupled with the privatization of many of the government parastatals, the new owners were more profit driven and the first thing they often did was lay-off the staff. This sent many people into involuntary retirement. As you can imagine they were ill-prepared on many fronts. The now retired civil servants quickly went into depression and its related complications, some took to the bottle while many died as a combination of numerous factors stemming from their new and undesirable circumstances.
The new breed of civil servants having seen the plight of their predecessors were not ready for that kind of humiliation. Many of them who didn’t have high morals took to planning for their uncertain exit by amassing wealth using any means necessary. This my friends, is what possibly gave rise to the new breed of corrupt officials that have no shame in plundering state resources. This to them was the only way they could plan for their retirement. I had a discussion with my father who retired 17 year ago and to learn that he was paid 8 million Uganda Shillings as NSSF benefits after nearly 50 years of hard work was eyebrow raising.
At the end of the meeting I left with a strong belief that if we planned better as individuals, and the government works at establishing sound institutions in the area of retirements planning we can begin to seriously break the back of corruption.
How to plan better for retirement using the 5 capitals;
Having both long-term and short-term investments for both capital gains and and cash flow. Money is a great to have when purchasing the kind of future, we all want. Many people want to retire and finally get the time to do the things they’ve been suspending because of numerous work commitments. Financial stability is a critical component of retirement planning.
As you invest for the future, remember to invest in yourself. Learning more about the areas you intend to investment in is great. Also the best asset you have is your brain and in case of any disasters you are your greatest asset. It is the only thing that cannot be stolen/ robbed or even taken away!
The greatest killer of the retired people is the lack of social connections. When people are employed and don’t have connections beyond their work place it is a recipe for disaster. Often those that didn’t have a life out of work seem to become misfits in society. They quickly begin to feel like burdens to themselves and to family. It becomes very expensive to maintain social networks that are in-organic.
Regular excising and eating right is advised. It was observed that we lose our health in our pursuit for money and then spend all the money trying to get out health back. It is possible for a medical condition that can be avoided to wipe out your retirement wealth.
Having a spiritual connection with God is absolutely vital, when planning retirement. This comes in handy especially for those who have children and helping them finding their spiritual campus can help them in turning out to be the right stewards of our investments when we move on.
The 5 capitals are a great tool through which one can measure our growth and the things we aspire to have. It caters for things more than money because there’s’ more to life than money!