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Demographic trends reveal that ageing population is on the increase globally. People now retire and live longer thereby increasing Pension Funds obligations, funded from Governments’ (Federal, State and Local Governments) already lean purses. The consequence of this is inability of various Governments to immediately meet up with these increasing obligations.  The resultant effect is that retirees are left in the cold for the first two years (or even more) to face life in without any source of income.

It is very discomforting and worthy of note that a great number of people retire from work (Service) without planning ahead for it. This is in spite of being aware of the exact date they will be due for statutory retirement right from the date they got the job.

Different folks, different strokes!

A number of people talk and worry a lot about what will happen to them when they retire from service but end up not taking any step to address their fears before entering into this timeline. Some other people just take every day as it comes without even giving it any thought whatsoever.

What is your excuse!

People fail to plan ahead for retirement because of different reasons;

  1. The nature of work is very laborious leaving them with no quality time to think of any other thing. They work so hard and earn so little and thus must put in long hours daily to make ends meet. They just resign to faith;
  2. The nature of work is very busy and rewarding, hence they are very comfortable as it is and thus would forget to spare a little time to plan for the years coming ahead;
  3. Procrastination! They have every opportunity to prepare for the raining day but rather kept postponing until it becomes too late;
  4. The belief that tomorrow will always sort itself out;
  5. I have trained my children, they will take care of me;
  6. My family inheritance is there for me;
  7. Etc, etc, etc……………

What is your excuse? 

 

Arc (Mrs) BamideleFalako
Post Service Lifestyle Consultant
MSME Business Coach/Trainer

Intellectual fulfillment has to do with putting your brain to work effectively in such a way that you
achieve self satisfaction. Have you seen how many retirees burst forth in book writing as though it had
always been in them but was being limited by active service and job. These same retirees that those of
us outside the box might originally have felt have brains that should no longer be &;alive&39; as it were.
As long as you are not retired in the body, then your brain should not go into hibernation because
awakening it when needed might not be that easy. You can obtain this intellectual fulfillment by trying
any or all of these:-
1) REMAIN HAPPY
Do you know that being happy and joyful increases cortisol level which kills stress. Put your brain to
intellectual work that would make you happy. If you always like calculation, then challenge yourself to
some sums that could also involve deductions. Make budgets to keep yourself financially safe. Were you
an accountant working somewhere before ? Even after retirement from active service you
remain an accountant so do not take your brain to the &39;mortuary&39;. Get intellectually involved with what
makes you happy. From intellectual involvement you would transcend to intellectual fulfillment.

2) MAKE EFFORT TO READ
It is often said that we stop to learn when we die. Always try to make efforts to keep reading. Widen the
horizon of the knowledge you had acquired. Stay abreast on current issues. Remain relevant as a retiree
by reading intellectual books. In knowledge, you are intellectually fulfilled. I am sure with this act and art
of reading, &39;Mr. Brain&39; would smile and say thank you for it.
3) EAT RIGHT
The state and strength of our brain is partly attributed to what you eat. Eating right brings intellectual
fulfillment by helping to reduce the risk of dementia, amnesia and other brain malfunctions. Eat foods
rich in Omega 3 fatty acids like walnuts, flaxseeds and salmon fish. Also reduce refined sugar intake,
natural sugars found in fruits are more beneficial. Eat right, eat well and your brain will be well fed
towards being intellectualy fulfilled.
I am running off again. See you sometime or anytime later on the &39;word page&39;.
Stay intellectually fulfilled.

There is a first part to this topic. Try to read it up so you could flow along as we move ahead to the
concluding part of this topic.
And now to the next point as continued from the previous article,
3) SEARCH OUT YOUR PASSION
When sowing your seed money, it is very important that you look for something you enjoy doing. That
thing that does not make you feel punished or coerced when doing it. Something you are happy to do in
real physical life and even in your dream. Everybody in life has a passion, that thing which they love
doing. Some might not have pursued their passion in active Service and now is that opportunity to
pursue that passion, use and harness it towards profitability. This very point leads to another point
which we would be discussing next.
4) YOUR PASSION MUST BE RELEVANT
That passion can only be relevant if it meets a need around you. Your investment would amount to
almost nothing if your &;money investment scheme&39; does not meet a need. To a drowning man, water is
his enemy unlike to a man dying of thirst. Sometimes an environment determines what needs to be met,
so starting off will require you to be very sensitive to the needs that can be met in your immediate
environment.

5) DO NOT SWING YOURSELF AROUND
I remember quite well when a close relative of mine was going to retire. A friend of hers who had retired
gave her this advice which is the basis and ground for this point. The advice is as thus, "A lot of people
know that you have retired and would want to be your financial advisors as they would present various
offers and business ideas to you. Do not move with the motions. Think of what you would want and love
to do. Have a plan for yourself or an idea of what you want, so that nobody would plan for you because
many are after their own selfish interest".
Now I can step down and conclude on this note because I am sure I have helped a bit with the question
that births this write-uo &39;FRESH IN , MONTHLY SALARY ALERT STOPPED, WHAT NEXT?&39;.

Have you ever trailed a path you have never been on before? I am sure it would seem to you as if
the road was farther than it actually is because it is unfamiliar and a new road to you. So is this journey
of uncertainty for the retirees. It is a new road you have never traveled on before, those end of the
month salary alerts you received in your account are gone, the little tips, side allowances and benefits all
over. It would seem so scary, cannot be budgeted and you would even almost feel as though you would
not survive as some workers would feel if payment of their salary is being delayed.
This &;money gist&39; is actually one of the scariest things after . I believe you my readers are
not one of those who are fearful but rather those who would take planned and calculated steps into
financial certainty. After retirement, every retiree is given a certain &39;lump sum&39;. With the lump sum you
could invest money into any profitable and credible business. When planning and aiming for this,
carefully take note of the following;
1) Avoid Investing In Ponzi Schemes
Do not rush into ponzi schemes that we call &39;fast fast&39; (hyperbole for speed) because it would only lead
you to &39;fast fast&39; loss. These schemes usually look very enticing but the danger they present ahead is
tremendous. The most devastating part of ponzi schemes is that when you lose your money, there is
absolutely nobody to be held responsible.
2) You Can Start Small
Whatever amount it is you have to invest, always remember to start small, otherwise, that money you
thought you once had would amount to ‘NOTHING&39; within a very short time. The secret of money is that
if it is not put to work, it would never grow nor remain static, but would rather diminish till you will end
up with nothing. Finally, be very cautious of the activities of emergency financial experts who must have
carefully positioned themselves to rid you of your retirement fund at the slightest opportunity.
Though your new monthly income might not amount to as much as you used to receive while in Service,
that would gradually increase with time as you gain more expertise in whatever you’ve invested into.
Have you ever sown a seed and expect it to grow to a tree the following day? With proper nurturing,
discipline and patience, that which was once small may even become more than what you received
while in SAervice.
On this beautiful note, I would step aside on this page. Hope to meet you on the page of the part 2 and
the concluding part of this discussion. You would not want to miss out.

Retirement in Nigeria has become a permanent nightmare courtesy of our inept and kleptomania like ran governments at all tiers. It beats my imagination that politicians most times aided by top civil servants (example ministry of health official in trying to rope in Professor Grange and her minister of state) would steal billions of our money year to year and yet nothing tangible comes out of it. Instead mockery of the rule of law takes the place of summary trials with the culprits grinning, looking as fresh as ever instead of being manacled. Which nation abhors old age? Which nation treats the elderly with contempt? Why are we proud to bring out the aged under the sun from year to year all in the name of phantom verifications? When shall we employ a better method of doing these verifications? When would the news “pensioner dies waiting on cue” leave the pages of our newspapers? When would the relevant trade unions from where these pensioners retired stand up and say enough is enough? Unless we stand up, this government would do our pensioners no justice. Every single working class person is a potential pensioner. It is not enough to say that we are not involved; someday we would directly or indirectly.

Time and again we have been inundated on the plights of several pensioners ranging from civil servants to military men. On several occasions, we have read that pensioners are owed several months of pension arrears with no hope for immediate payment. We have read of how pensioners die as a result of stress during the verification exercises as organized by our inept government. It is saddening to note that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s eight locust years in office did not provide any hope to our suffering pensioners (himself also a pensioner). We parade and pretend to be the giant of Africa yet pensioners, the aged and the infirm die year to year as a result of lack of care occasioned by in depth corruption. Most of the suffering pensioners are people, who worked within the rank and file of civil and military service and honest persons who did not loot our treasury blind as to secure their future, some others who may not be particularly honest, had no opportunity to loot the treasury. If we are serious as a nation in fighting corruption, shall we allow our pensioners to be passing through hell whilst those who are still in service look on? Be assured that mindless looting of our commonwealth would never abate in the face of this maltreatment that is crying to high heavens for justice.

I have been privileged to listen to several church testimonies in which people testified of the goodness of the Lord in touching the hearts of our irresponsible government towards paying a couple of months of pension arrears. I want to state categorically that since pension and gratuity are part of the conditions of service, it is an inalienable right of the individual not a privilege. I have observed the conspiracy of silence as practiced by several trade unions. As at now with the exception of ASUU, NUPENG, PENGASSAN and a few others, the rest exist merely in name not action. If the unions are what they should be, they ought to tackle this irresponsible government on these pension matters and if possible down tools until the needs of their comrades are totally met. The time to canvas for a better tomorrow is now. If they continue to turn a blind eye, they should know that someday, they would be pensioners themselves and be subjected to the same terrible conditions. Freedom can only come by struggle. Nobody negotiates with terrorists. Our repressive government has become one in attitude. They must comply- pay pensions as at and when due. Several government workers engaged in pension offices nationwide participate in all sorts of demeaning activities designed to fleece the poor pensioners to no end. I have it on good authority that some of these disgruntled elements request the retirees to pay them a certain percentage of their expected gratuity before their documents would be processed. What a crying shame? What an injustice crying to high heavens? How could a potential pensioner do this to a fellow human being? I am reliably informed that where one fails to cooperate, it may take up to five years before the gratuity would be paid. Even at that, no interest is calculated, taking into consideration that the money has been withheld for that long. This is pure wickedness. I have also noted that sometimes the pension starts coming several months after one must have retired and the arrears may never be paid. Is this fair? How do we expect our elders to guide the youths in this perverse generation when they are literally hungry? What legacy are we leaving for the younger Nigerians? Is it to tell them that old age is a blessing or that it is a curse? How then do we tackle this corruption that has crippled every aspect of the Nigerian life including the revered judiciary? Everyone wants to be sure of what to eat tomorrow; therefore thieves would continue to loot our treasury until we take action. The time is now. As at present, a lot of people dread retirement because of all the woes associated with it. A lot falsify their documents as to stay longer on the job. How can we as a nation provide employment for the teaming Nigerian youths when the people in service would not retire? Nobody blames them for staying on well above the retirement age. Someone once told a story of how some of the children of retired railway workers could not further their education to the tertiary level simply because pensions and gratuities of their expected sponsors where withheld. Is this fair to all concerned? What patriotism would one expect from the victims of this wickedness? None at all I suppose.

These endless pension verifications must come to an end. I refuse and would continue to refuse to accept the injustice of bringing out the elderly under the scorching sun or cold weather for phantom verification exercise. I refuse to accept the wickedness of engaging a handful of staff to carry out the kangaroo verification for thousands of retirees. I refuse to accept that able-bodied young men and women would waste man-hours and scarce funds assisting their aged parents to get their documents verified when they ought to be at work if things were working right. It is therefore time for all the trade unions to stand up for their rights. If it will take industrial action, let it be commenced without further delay. Innocent men and women would not have worked only for touts, jobbers and thieves in government to enjoy our common wealth. To add insult to injury they award national honours to themselves and their cronies. When we talk about billions of stolen funds by ex-government officials, we realize that the monies would have been more than enough to keep the retirees in excellent shape. To provide quality healthcare for them and other suffering Nigerians and all other amenities of life. While all these are going on, influential people, religious leaders and bodies, traditional rulers, trade union leaders and the general public have conspired knowingly or unknowingly to remain silent, thinking that things would resolve on there own. Make no mistakes; until we agitate and by agitating we commence industrial actions to cripple every facet of the Nigerian economy and make all aspect of the Nigerian life insecure, these beasts in government would do us no justice. Our retirees are only asking for their entitlements as agreed with this wicked government. Obasanjo, his officials, his family members and all their cronies must return every single kobo stolen from us. All past leaders must be probed if we are serious towards fighting corruption. I am of the opinion that the anti-corruption campaign is a farce until we arrest all these people parading as respectable members of the society including as members of the lower and upper chambers.

Recently the erudite scholar Professor Chike Obi passed on at the age of 87. It was only last year that Governor Obi of Anambra State appreciated the late scholar’s wizardry in mathematics. All previous governments did not see that, why? We give honours to the dogs instead of real achievers. I understand that Chike Obi retired as far back as 1985 from the University of Lagos. The scholar ought to have been engaged by the government to give talks to students in schools on mathematics nay the sciences. This was a living legend ignored by irresponsible governments. If Chike Obi had been in a civilized nation, thousands of mathematicians would have arisen as a result of inspiration drawn from him. Having conquered the field of mathematics, he died without a single national honours paraded even by animals in human skin. What a sad story. Today we still have retired living legends in all fields of human endeavour that would go to their graves without passing on the torch of great achievements, courtesy of failed governments. This is no time to pray for change any longer. We have to stand up for our rights. This repressive governments founded on the altars of political illegalities and headed by semi-humans including stack illiterates must do us justice. The time for indifference in political issues has come to an end. We have to do our civic responsibility of voting and where we have voted and they still go ahead to rig the election as they did in April 2007, we must make Nigeria ungovernable for the riggers. Freedom comes by struggle. Instead of asking elderly people to continue to furnish the so-called verification teams with disused documents, I would suggest that Nigeria must provide thousands of fingerprint machines. I have it on good authority that fingerprints remain consistent throughout one’s life. If we start now to collect this relevant information for all our workers, we would definitely not require the time consuming, money wasting, wickedly designed to decimate the population of pensioners through stress verification exercise. One’s fingerprint is enough. Let our retirees be treated with dignity just like there colleagues all over the world. This struggle is my life. I lay no claim to Solomonic wisdom.