Retirement is that time of life when a person chooses to permanently leave the workforce behind. In Nigeria, the average retirement age for those in the public sector varies between 55-60 years while some retirees who are fit and healthy often opt for a private employ when they retiree to either keep busy or meet up with expenses.
Retirement can last for decades these days due to increased life expectancy and typically consists of multiple phases.
Phases of retirement
According to Late sociologist Robert Atchley who was around in the 1970s, retirement can come in six phases.
Pre-retirement: This is the planning phase where a person starts to think seriously about the life they want for themselves in retirement and whether they’re financially on track to achieve it.
Retirement: This phase is the transition from full-time work to retirement.
Contentment: This is a happy phase where the retiree enjoys the fruits of their lifetime hard work. People call it the honeymoon period and if the retiree saved enough money, this phase could last a lot longer.
Disenchantment: Once the honeymoon phase is over, some retirees may experience some of the emotional downsides of retirement like loneliness, disillusionment, and a feeling of uselessness.
Reorientation: When in this phase, people try to understand who they are at that moment and figure out their place in the world as a retiree.
Routine: During this phase, retirement now becomes more familiar, and one tends to accept their situation and settle into a new set of routines. For some, this means discovering a new sense of purpose and taking advantage of the opportunity to enjoy life; for others who didn’t save enough and need to supplement their income, it can mean getting a part-time job.
Retirement in olden-day Nigeria
Not many people in Nigeria had grand or great grandparents who planned for retirement. It is typical to see children being the retirement plan for a certain number of aged parents who once they get to a certain age, depend solely on their children for their financial needs.
It can be argued that back then most of our parents didn’t do blue-collar jobs that allowed them to have a pension plan and that entrepreneurship was not as lucrative due to the absence of the technology that is available today to enable traders to save ahead. However, that argument may still be shaky considering that only a small percentage of Nigerians consider the benefits of saving for retirement.
Retirement in present-day Nigeria
Today, while some Nigerians are still stuck in the age-old mentality of expecting their children to be their retirement plan, more Nigerians are taking retirement more seriously.
Nigerians who are employed in public and private sectors have the mandatory contributory pension scheme which is a combination of deductions made from their salary matched with their employer’s contribution into their retirement savings account to ensure they have something tangible to fall back to in retirement. Aside from this, more Nigerians are opting for additional contributions to their retirement savings as they look forward to a retirement where they don’t have to be financially dependent on anybody.
In the most recent past, entrepreneurs have also been given the opportunity to start saving for retirement through the Micro Pension scheme which was not previously available.
Nobody likes to be a nuisance to another especially at a time in your life when you should relax and enjoy the rewards of your years of hard work. Hence, the most important part when you think of retirement should be planning – both for the financial and emotional impacts of retiring to ensure that you get a comfortable retirement.
Experts advise that as you plan for retirement, you should think about what it looks like. Talk to your friends. Write about it. Create a storyboard and be imaginative. Your financial plans and your day-to-day retirement plan should go hand in hand.