There is no doubt that retirement planning is a big and serious business. There have been pension reforms in most countries of the world in recent times because anything concerning the future of man cannot be left to chances. It was the same importance attached to planning for retirement that culminated in the enactment of the Pension Reform Act 2004 in Nigeria.
The Pension Act provides that no contributor under the contributory pension scheme established by the Act shall be entitled to make any withdrawal from his retirement savings account before attaining the age of 50 years.
The questions begging for answer here is that how many Nigerians can afford to retire at the age of 50 years if they have the chance.
In as much as most people would have preferred to retire in their 50s if the opportunity were available, we must still ask ourselves some salient questions. These questions range from how much money an individual need to retire to where the retirement money will be coming from. Investigations have, however, revealed that majority of the populace neither knows how much will be sufficient to take care of themselves at retirement nor where such regular income will be coming from. Thus, the best bet will be to start planning for your future today. Procrastination they say is a thief of time.
You need to take retirement planning serious now, more than ever before
With recent falls in the value of shares the world over, as employees you may be facing a retirement that is far from the ideal image that you worked towards for many years. If you are nearing the age at which you would like to leave your current work, it is important that you design your retirement lifestyle. This will enable you to build into your lifestyle the elements that will make your life fulfilling and enable you to develop plans to overcome your personal financial concerns.
To design your retirement lifestyle so that it genuinely meets your needs, you need to take the planning as seriously as you did (or perhaps should have) when you were first deciding on a career. This next phase of your life could potentially be as long as your working life if you have good health. It should be a period of “payback”, of reward for a life of working hard and doing what had to be done.
Sadly for many that is not their current reality! The Global Financial Crisis has shaken profits out of the share market, with many investments worth just a small proportion of the money invested initially. Retirement savings are eroded, retirement plans in tatters. It would be possible to absorb the gloom and doom and react negatively to it, but that isn’t going to get you anywhere.
Who should plan for retirement?
Often time when we talk about retirement, people attribute it to salary earners only, forgetting that a time will come when age will constantly knock at their door and they won’t be able to do as much as they are currently doing. Everyone who is aspiring to live a comfortable life when he or she is old MUST plan for retirement. Think about it, what will become of you if after decades of your hard work you are still enriching a smart worker’s pocket through payment of house rent? Stop working hard, start working smart. Plan for your future and that of your offspring.
Invest in properties
Nothing compares to Real Estate Investment Opportunities in Nigeria if you can engage in it. There are many business opportunist but so far property investment brings back your capital with profits sooner compared to other businesses in Nigeria.
Let us have a look.
There’s a reason why ‘safe as houses’ is a well-known phrase: it’s true. Of all investment plans, property investment has proven to be the safest of them all. “When you factor in the return and risk associated with buying property and shares, property wins hands down,” says investor, university lecturer and author Peter Koulizos. “Shares have [marginally] higher capital growth, but the difference in risk is huge. The risk is measured in variation in returns and capital growth (or loss) on shares can range from +40% in a year to -40% in a week! You don't get that sort of variation in property, hence it is considered a safer investment.”
You can also have a good control over your cash flow if you invest in properties in Nigeria that fetch you rental incomes month after month. If you go through the statistics, rental incomes have always been much greater than the dividend incomes you get by investing in stocks.
If you are keen enough, you may have observed that the real estate investments in Nigeria appreciate to a reasonable extent over a period, in every 3 years, the rental dues doubles depending on the area in which your property is situated. If the property is situated in a developing area like Igbesa, Mowe and Ajah where many projects are coming up, the appreciation will be quite high.
Another reason why you should invest in Real Estate is that Rental income will act as a good protection against inflation. Even if inflationary trends prevail, when you get rental income from your real estate investment, it will act as a cushion because your mortgage payment will not undergo a change due to inflation.
You don’t need specialist knowledge to start investing in property: in fact, many property investors didn’t start off intending to make their fortune through property. Instead, they just bought a house to live in. It’s only after seeing the value of their home increase – and realizing how much wealth you can generate – that many investors take the leap and start proactively investing.
Playing the stock market and other investments requires a lot of education. You have to understand how the system works, understand the complex world of trading (not least the different kinds of financial instruments used), as well as research brokers and fund managers. Once you’ve done this, you’ve then got to get to grips with the companies on the market – which involves trawling the financial press, annual reports, other company releases and so on.
Investing in property, meanwhile, is much simpler: at its most basic, you can simply buy a genuine land and start building right away.
Retirement provides a chance to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor. However, a pleasurable retirement requires proactive and thorough planning.