The minute and hour hands of the clock are just coming close to pronouncing the time 6.30am Mr. Kilowe draws his ensuite master bedroom curtains apart and gazes far into the distance where mother nature caresses his eyes with beautiful green Mpingwe scenery. Yearning for more, he opens the window and a fresh breeze of morning air blows across his face, sending him to draw a deep breath of relief.
An aura of comfort surrounds his mansion with birds chirping songs of joy in a language so gracious worthy enough to send angels rocking. He sees the garden boy getting close to the swimming pool where Egyptian flora and fauna thrives. This is the company house he has lived in for over 10 years of his being marketing executive for this conglomerate. ‘What else would one need dear?’ the voice of his wife interrupts him from behind—a true reflection of a spouse who could read the husband’s mind having shared with him the same bed sheets for over 15 happy married years. The question sends Mr. Kilowe into another cloud of thoughts—yes, what else can one need? Without much thought, he mutters to the wife in the most manly love gruttle ‘I desire this same comfortable life or even better when I retire, Patronella.’ The wife smiles and holds him tighter, ‘you mean when you retire from this mortal life? Yes, I also desire a better life in the life hereafter – kwathu si padziko.’ The pious husband realises he was misunderstood. He then sees the company’s Lexus pulling into the yard– time to hit the road for the office.
For many, life after retirement can be as dreadful as death itself. Living a comfortable life in one’s retirement years is an undisputed desire. It is, therefore, to retirement planning that we turn to next. Most people look forward to a time when they can relax and enjoy themselves without the need to work. The chance to do just what you want, when you want to do it, is a strong motivator. Admittedly, some people still choose to work simply because they want to work—they enjoy it. In fact, lots of successful small business owners keep working into their 70s and 80s. However, the vast majority of people look forward to retirement. Many strive to make it happen sooner rather than later.
The likes of Mr. Kilowe who are about or have retired, know it takes a lot of money to retire and live comfortably.
It is never too late, nor too early, to begin planning for retirement. You may have vague dreams about how you want to spend those ‘golden’ years — resting comfortably on a ndalema chair besides your house’s swimming pool, changing digital TV channels while on your vast modernised farm in the Viphya hills, traveling the world to see where Jesus was born and fled to as a little baby, and all that you desire when you have the free time. These dreams, however, can’t materialise unless you actually take the steps necessary to make them a reality. And that requires adequate planning.
It has been the norm in our society that a person worked for the same company for 30 or 40 years, retired at 55, collected the employer-provided gratuity and then lived few post-retirement years (if not months) in relative comfort before they come begging again to be re-employed on part-time basis or even just coming to stay with their children in town as they never built a house of their own.
Start thinking of viable business ideas to pursue when you retire – by the way, retire while you are still strong so you can run your own businesses with a sharper eye. Wakutsina khutu ndi mnansi. Have a blessed week-end!