Tac­tics for liv­ing on in­ad­e­quate pen­sion (1)

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS -

There is no doubt that ma­jor­ity of pen­sion­ers in Nige­ria are not paid ad­e­quate monthly pen­sion due to sev­eral fac­tors. The low rate of sav­ing for the De­fined Con­trib­u­tory scheme (DB) and the very low in-built rate for the Pay-As-You-Go, or De­fined Ben­e­fit (DB) va­ri­ety, are the key fac­tors.

Those who de­fined the rate of pen­sion un­der the DB sys­tem were so nar­row in their def­i­ni­tion that pen­sion­ers un­der its um­brella mostly get less monthly pay than those in the Con­trib­u­tory Scheme fam­ily. This is a se­ri­ous dis­par­ity, al­though it is not the topic for re­view here. The is­sue to­day is about what pen­sion­ers can do to live well re­gard­less of their low monthly pen­sion.

Hap­pily enough, there is much of what they can do to ad­e­quately meet their monthly ex­pen­di­ture with lit­tle stress. There are count­less le­git­i­mate ways to earn money to sup­ple­ment their take-home monthly stipends

Many fi­nan­cial man­age­ment spe­cial­ists have sug­gested hun­dreds of steps, ac­tions and tac­tics that can make it pos­si­ble for pen­sion­ers in this coun­try to live in more than the prover­bial min­i­mum com­fort.

The ex­perts of­ten sug­gest that where it is pos­si­ble pen­sion­ers should work in the post-re­tire­ment years to earn some in­come that could pay their bills and even save a lit­tle. This sug­ges­tion could be seen as over flogged by many. How­ever, it is pos­si­ble for any pen­sioner in this coun­try to earn more than his last salary if the pen­sioner en­gages in care­fully cho­sen ac­tiv­i­ties.

For in­stance, a re­tired jour­nal­ist who has the flair or skills for writ­ing can be­come a writer for a lead­ing news­pa­per. By writ­ing well­re­searched ar­ti­cles, the man­age­ment and ed­i­tors of the pub­li­ca­tion can re­ward him or her to sup­ple­ment the monthly, even if ir­reg­u­lar, pen­sion. In fact, there are many sites on the In­ter­net where pub­lish­ers are look­ing for free­lance writ­ers for dif­fer­ent sec­tors of life.

With the pro­lif­er­a­tion of FM ra­dio sta­tions in the coun­try and the scarcity of com­pe­tent, pro­fes­sional and ex­pe­ri­enced broad­cast jour­nal­ists, a re­tired broad­cast per­son with suf­fi­cient ex­pe­ri­ence and ap­pro­pri­ate pro­fes­sional ori­en­ta­tion can ac­tu­ally be se­lec­tive in de­cid­ing a broad­cast out­let to work for. It can be on full time, or just say, twice-a-week, ba­sis.

In this era of do­ing busi­ness on the In­ter­net, a pen­sioner can earn huge amount of money by con­duct­ing re­search for clients on the In­ter­net. This is very re­al­is­tic. The clients can be lo­cal or in­ter­na­tional. All it ba­si­cally re­quires is gain­ing pro­fi­ciency through ap­pro­pri­ate train­ing in the ap­pli­ca­tion of the ap­pro­pri­ate tools in In­for­ma­tion Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy and de­ploy­ing them to do the job.

The op­por­tu­ni­ties are repli­cated in other var­i­ous fields: ad­min­is­tra­tion, branches of en­gi­neer­ing, teach­ing, agri­cul­tural ex­ten­sion, live­stock herd­ing and for those who have the strength and pas­sion for it, chauf­feur­ing, that is, driv­ing.

Driv­ing im­plies trans­porta­tion. A re­tiree with a good car can com­mer­cialise it and se­lect a route to ser­vice in any city. I did not in­tend to make this write up per­sonal, but some of my friends and col­leagues in the civil ser­vice can re­call that I was us­ing my car for com­mer­cial rides be­tween Area One and Asokoro on some week­ends in Abuja. Three or four re­turn trips in­vari­ably yielded more than enough money to cover the cost of in­gre­di­ents (ce­fane) for the fam­ily and fu­elling the car. This was in the tail end of the 1990s.

A re­tiree with qual­i­fi­ca­tions and ex­pe­ri­ence in plant sciences (Botany) was at a loss on what to do at the end of his salaried life. He was ad­vised to start a plant nurs­ery, be­come a florist and work with ar­chi­tects and land­scap­ers to see won­ders. He heeded the ad­vice. He started one. And the re­sult: he earns in profit more than his last monthly pay in a fort­night.

De­ter­mined re­tirees can be suc­cess­ful like our Botany re­tiree in their own ar­eas of spe­cial­ism.

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