It was around half-past two in the afternoon. I just stepped out from the restaurant having downed a plate of rice with fish stew. I had to walk a bit back to my cosy office on Ajose Adeogun, Victoria Island. The sun was high and I couldn’t wait to get back to my desk to complete my weekly report.
I had barely taken a few steps when a man approached me. From a distance, he hailed me like he had known me from somewhere. I first thought he was trying to reach someone else, but then as he got closer it became clear he really meant to talk to me. I was alarmed at first, but then, calmly composed myself.“My Son”, he had started, “could you please help me. I am a responsible man. I came to see my son in VI here based on the address his friend had given me. He hadn’t spoken to me in a long time and I came to find him. However, the office claimed he no longer works for them”.
As a Lagos boy, I immediately thought to myself that this must be a “format”. “Format” is slang for a known script used by scammers to beg you for money. On second thought, I decided to use my church mind.
“I am stranded, and I need to go back to Port Harcourt today. Any amount you could help me with is fine. I beg you in God’s name”.
I’ve seen enough of this format to know when someone just wants to scam me. I usually tell them off. However, there was something different about this man. He looked old, a little rough but not untidy. His spoken English was impeccable. He seemed to have had it good earlier in his life.
I felt sorry for the old man. It’s his lucky day today however, I thought to myself. I had some loose change from my lunch. I gave him a N2,000. He thanked me profusely and we parted ways.
While I felt good with myself for helping the poor old man, I began to wonder how my own life would be after I stopped working, when I get old and retired. I couldn’t help but question what the man had done all his life. This definitely isn’t a retirement I desire for myself.
At retirement, I would love to be able to afford all the necessities of life and much more. I definitely do not want to be jumping buses in my old age. Even after my kids are all grown and have gone on to make a thing for themselves, I want to be able to take care of myself without being a burden to the people around me. I also wish to retire early, at most by age 40. Do my own thing and not rely on a salary.
I questioned whether my savings would be enough. I wondered if my pension contribution today would afford me the lifestyle I wanted or deserved. Investing would definitely work. However, where does one start? For the rest of that day, I couldn’t focus anymore. I figured I had to make the rest of my working years count.
Have you thought about how you would like to retire?
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