On my flight from Accra to Johannesburg recently, I watched a movie titled “Going in style.” I was intrigued by the cast lineup of Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Michael Caine, whom I always enjoy watching. They are masters at their trade and a good example of what it means to excel at what you do, making it seem so natural. They espouse much of what I teach about purpose and destiny.
It was a funny though sometimes sad story about three old gentlemen who suddenly find themselves without their pensions after decades of hard work. With the threat of foreclosures on their properties and being unable to make ends meet they decide to go out with a bang and rob a bank to get some good old fashioned justice.
To find out how that mad plan goes you must watch the movie. No spoilers from me. The thing that got my attention was that this story is played out with millions of people all over the world. Having worked hard all their lives and finally retiring many hope for some much needed rest and relaxation, only to be let down by the system they trusted so much.
Pension payments do not come, and when they do they are insufficient to have any kind of lifestyle other than barely surviving. Medical care becomes unaffordable. Small luxuries have to be foregone and life becomes an ever shrinking circle of experireces.
Unfortunately, robbing a bank to get out of this situation is neither practical nor advisable for many. Western prisons may have some basic facilities and offer a decent standard of life and medical care, but that is not the case for us as Africans.
Thus it is ever more critical to plan for your old age and ensure that you have the income to be able to live well and sustain a certain quality of life. A pension is good, but for most people it is barely enough to get by. You can’t trust nor depend on it. Just because many do does not mean you should. Many can be disappointed and often are. An additional income is necessary.
Yes, children might look after you in your old age, but even if they want to and are happy to, life has its own pressures and they might just be unable to. It is better if they help when they can rather than as a necessity.
Planning for retirmeent or old age is very crirical. There is nothing worse than being poor and old, especially if you have had a reasonably okay life financially. I hate to see old people working so hard as gardeners, guards, drivers and the like, unable to quit their jobs for necessity.
Yes, no one says you should retire and do nothing. You can retire and pursue other interests and still be useful to society. You can be on hand as a consultant with vast years of experience when needed. You can write that book, paint that painting. The thing is you cannot do these finer things if you have bread and butter issues to worry about.
So do not go robbing banks. Do not go depending on someome else to look after you in your old age, as much as you can avoid it. Plan for it. Invest smartly for it. Save for it. Work smartly for it.
Old age should be your best time, having lived a full life and become all you could possibly have become.