#RETIREMENT is a fluid concept because it connotes different things and it offers different experiences for different people. While some individuals feel it’s something that would be worried about at a much later time, others view it positively and anticipate it with all wistfulness and some others dread it with great anxiety. Thus, it could be said that it is not a homogenous experience for everyone, but being as it may, someday in the life of every worker, he would be facing the reality of retiring days and the only underlining factor that determines retirement days, is the conduct of a person’s present lifestyle.
With the extravagant lifestyle of workers in civil service across the nation, it seems that only very few number of workers think about their positions some 30 or 40 years from now. It’s a concept so many assume to be so distant and as much as possible; would prefer to avoid the subject entirely. This avoidance could stem from a lot of factors which include fear of the unknown because growing old is a grey issue and the fact that nobody wants to grow old. Women deny their age, and so do men. For those who value their youthfulness and still hold on in the hope of discovering the fountain of youth in beauty products, surgery, natural remedies to avert physical ageing, retirement and the senior life would really be a frightening proposition, some would resort to colouring the grey hair, use skin tightening procedures to maintain young-looking skin, and other countless procedures.
Retirement is a time of significant transition as far as the use of time is concerned. However, it’s importance is made more glaring by the fact that the retired person is made to face some challenges because of his/her new status (as a retired person), hence one’s present lifestyle has a long way of affecting retirement days. It has been noted that retirement is a stressful experience for many because of its associated decision change in the matter of life arrangement generally. And most times, the moment retirement comes knocking on the door of a worker, it enters with challenges and expectations.
It is typically associated with stress for the average civil servant in Nigeria as retirement in Nigerian civil service is guided by Decree 102 of 1979 which deals with pensions and gratuity. The statutory age of retirement of public officers is 60 years while it is 65 years for judicial officers and 70 for academic staff of universities. However, with the reform of the civil service decree, No. 43 of 1988 retirement age has been put at 60 years or 35years in service whichever comes first. It must be stated here that irrespective of the type of retirement, the transition is associated with some stress situations like economic, social, psychological and occupational stress. These stress could emanate from different sources which include money, health, aging, search for a meaningful activity, caring for other family members, e.g. grandchildren or elderly parents, relocation amongst others.
Hence it presents a worse situation when the retiree is not adequately prepared to face this ultimate phase of life. Retirement life demands great managerial ability, and this would be best achieved with early preparation, it wouldn’t be too early to begin as soon as one gains his/her first employment. It has been observed that the retiree in order to experience a pleasant post-retirement lifestyle would have to device effective means of managing some challenges inherent in retirement as he will soon be confronted with the challenge of managing insufficient retirement benefits that come at the end of the month to cater for his needs especially if he still requires to securing residential accommodation, the challenge of a new and low social status; difficult health and declining health condition.
Planning for retirement is a necessary and important part of everyone’s financial plan as making positive plans at an earlier life with little savings reserved purposely for retirement, the better off since to live a comfortable life after retirement demands little sacrifice all along working days. Adequate financial preparation for retirement thereby would ease incidence of retirement adjustment failure. Also, there is an innate need for every worker to adopt a meaningful lifestyle that would not affect the future years of retirement because trying to adjust to low social status will pose a more difficult problem
Therefore, retirement planning should reflect every individual’s dreams, hopes, and aspirations in addition to meeting day to day obligations. It is essential that all prospective retirees should begin with a personal goal setting exercise that reflects how the individual wants to spend the last days of his/her life. Besides the financial preparation, one’s family style can equally affect retirement days, as loneliness is a major fear, but people who recognized the importance of good moral upbringing and have reared their children well, taught them the right values of respect such as caring for the elderly, love for parents, etc. would be most likely cared for by their descendants until their last days, as they would not be abandoned to lonely lives.
Hence to avoid the independence and physical challenges associated with seniority, individuals should ensure that in all life expense, they should consider the future financial freedom and independence, the challenge of living alone, retirement home, medication, health, and others. So the best option is for everyone, irrespective of income, to plan ahead by investing properly. Get creative in planning for retirement by collecting things for the sole purpose of selling them at a high return for extra money upon retirement.
Cut down on huge cost and avoid living an extravagant life that leads to squandering income as it comes. It would be great to have some positive influence on the life’s ultimate destination. This is why, despite the not so nice picture usually associated with old age, retirement, seniority, and related issues, the need for adequate concern for some 30-40 years ahead is indispensable.