I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket as I showed a new customer an array of complete sitting room sets in my workshop display room. I gestured to the workshop manager to continue with the customer so that I could take the call. The caller identity showed an unrecognized international line.
“Hello”, I said in my most professional and engaging voice.
” Hello, son!”
“Dad?” I was puzzled. “How are you calling with an international line?”
He laughed and I could hear the excitement in his voice as well as some giggles in the background. Who was that? If it’s mum, it was strange to hear her giggling like a child, so I proceeded to ask for clarity purposes.
“Dad is that mum I am hearing her voice in the background?”
“Your mother and I are holidaying at Kenya! You need to see this place!”
I began to stutter. How? When? It would be rude to ask him how they both could afford a holiday trip to another country now that they are retired.
Then he explained.
They had cashed in on the ARM Annuity Plan that I introduced to dad 10 years ago! He said he told mother too to get on board and together they have been able to save for their retirement. In fact, they planned to visit Egypt next to see the pyramids and the Nile.
I had a huge lump in my throat. I stood there stunned and emotional even after the call had ended. It is just so beautiful that my parents can live out their retirement having fun instead of getting constantly worried about monthly pension or working themselves to the grave.
At that moment, a delivery guy arrived with a specially packaged lunch from Chicken and Spices restaurant. I smiled automatically as my stomach growled in anticipation. Chicken and Spices is my wife’s restaurant that has been opened for four years now with the lump sum payment she got from ARM Savings plus . I opened my dream carpentry workshop last year too and took an early retirement from my stressful banking job after I got my own lump sum from the same plan.
“Good afternoon sir!”
“How are you Jeff?” I asked him cheerfully.
“Doing well sir. Madam made a special dish today and asked me not to hint you.” He looked excited and was almost bursting with the secret.
His smile was infectious when he added, “I asked about Chinedu and Nifemi, madam says they have returned to college.”
“Yeah! They went back last week.”
My mood improved even more when he mentioned my kids.
Please include how many years ago the son introduced his dad to the annuity plan to give people a sense of how long the process of cashing in could take. [CO1]