Grandma Ibadan, as Mrs. Abiodun Coker was popularly called, was a very loving and generous woman who spent her retirement years giving and spreading joy to anyone and everyone who met her.
Mrs. Abiodun was known as a lady who lived life to the fullest. She hosted monthly parties for children on the street and the widowed. She saw these as an opportunity for her and the other ladies to be a source of comfort to each other. The women also found a level of fulfilment from hosting the kids on the streets.
During one of such parties, Grandma Ibadan noticed one of the widows looking sad despite all the joy that filled the room. “A penny for your thought,” she said, as she bumped into her slightly from behind. “Ah, Grandma. Good afternoon ma Mrs. Tunji replied, slightly startled.
“Good afternoon, my dear. How are you? You look so lost, what is the matter?”
Mrs. Tunji sighed deeply, “Grandma, I’m not happy. I have so much in my life to be grateful for. I enjoy coming over for these parties but, it also gets me thinking about my life. Mama, I was a successful young woman. I had cars and I could go on trips whenever I wanted. I lived the life but look at me now. I can barely afford the day-to-day running of my life. I even had to sell off the last of my cars last week just to stay afloat”, Mrs. Tunji said.
“Walk with me to the garden, let’s talk,” Mrs. Abiodun said.
“Mrs. Tunji, I’m going to ask a few uncomfortable questions and then share a bit about myself with you. I hope that’s okay?”.
“Yes, ma. It’s fine.”
In all your days as working-class lady, did you consider and prepare for retirement and old age? Did you have a pensions account or even a savings targeted towards your old age?
Mrs. Tunji, looking down at her feet with shame, “No ma, I didn’t.”
“Look at me, my dear. While I do not applaud you for your decisions, I do not judge you either. It is very easy to get carried away when we are young, we forget that we cannot be young forever. Let me tell you a bit of myself.
“Just like you, I lived quite the life. I travelled around the world on vacations and bought properties for myself. You know I like beautiful houses, but if there was also something I loved to do even more, and it was saving. So, while my employer opened and funded an RSA account for me, I saved quite a lot by myself.”
“Hmm, grandma, how did I not know to save like this? I had a pensions account but what I get paid monthly is barely enough to my needs. I did put some money aside from time-to-time, but I always ended up spending it when I wanted to take a trip or throw myself a big birthday party. I wish I had done better. I look at my son now and I worry about his future. He spends a lot of his money clubbing and buying the latest power bike. I know he has a pension account, but I fear it might not suffice in taking care of him late in retirement.”
“I think you should talk to your son about planning for retirement. I hear that you can make additional voluntary contribution to your RSA these days. I also heard ARM Pension has a Retirement Lifestyle Planner that helps you plan and prepare for your retirement according to your lifestyle”, Mrs. Tunji concluded.
“Grandma, thank you for this talk. I will in turn have a talk with my son about this. This has been such a productive conversation. Thanks again, Grandma.”
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