How to retire wealthy

Retirement is something one rarely thinks about when young but if you would take some time today to think about it, you will remember me when your time comes. Dr. Edward Odundo, Director of the School of Pension and Retirement Studies says that many do not give their retirement plan the attention it deserves. He also emphasizes that the priority list when planning for retirement changes as compared to what most people think is important.

He says “Most of the time you will hear people saying pension is the first or most important thing for anybody who is going to retire but I’ve repeated several times in my lectures that pension is not the most important, the most important is medical cover.”

When we try to make sense of it all, the key thing in planning for retirement is to be secure in your golden years. You must put into consideration that it is nothing like being in your 20’s or even 40’s. There is the appreciation that life is and in fact slowing down, although it does not mean that it is the end of you making income.

It is said that 80% of Kenyans are retiring poor, and that is a sad fact especially if you think of all the years the average human being puts in at work vs. the number of sunset years one has.

But just to keep this short and sweet here are 5 things to have in check before the time to say good-bye comes:

Medical Cover: (With a bias scenario to the employed person) for most people when employed, your employer is the one who takes care of your medical cover. Dr. Odundo says that it is advisable to start young in paying for post-retirement medical cover, which you stop paying when you finally retire, and covers you in your later years.

Pension: This comes second and is helpful in terms of having a monthly income when at retirement stage, but is also not enough, so what can one do at retirement to increase sources of income? The next point answers this.

Liquidity: It isn’t enough to have land which may be a good asset but does not put immediate cash in your pocket. Real estate is good but you may encounter a lack of tenants at one point or the other. Starting a business that is focused on what you are passionate about and can easily do with little effort will give you some cash in the pocket, where your tap is rarely dry.

Be close with family: Invest in your family relationships and close circle of friends. Dr Odundo shares that “You find that when you retire everyone is gone. It is important to be close with family. Women have an easier time because of how they socialize but for men you find yourself alone.”

Be closer to God: I would have put this first, but I’ll leave it here so that it is the last thing you see and the first thing on your mind. The best way to emphasize the importance of this is in Dr. Odundo’s words that say, “Where I’m going is nearer than where I’m coming from.”

Enjoy your retirement, by starting today!


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