Retirement Starts at 30
Almost 30 years ago life was as simple as, go to school, get a degree, get a job and get married. But somewhere in between came the dotcom bust and then the millennium goals. Things start to change, people dropped out of school to become entrepreneurs, or went on studying and getting one PhD after another. Some got married quickly and have teenage kids now; some are still waiting to get married. Some got great jobs and are happily married and own at least one car if not a house. Some got into business and now are globetrotters seeking new adventures. Whatever the case, life went from being simple to being complicated.
The biggest shift has been the exposure to Western culture both socially and professionally. They are primarily known to put career first and make a difference to the world through business or a social change. In other words even religions were challenged and the idea of why are we here, what are we to do and how are we going to leave things were the talk of the town. Things are still changing and there is more spiritual consciousness in the air more than ever. The “Secret” happened and most started questioning what it is that I really want for my life? Thus, the concept of retirement has changed.
In our parents time, retirement meant working hard, cashing out at the end of the job or handing over the daily running of the business to the son as the successor. Few have continued to work in service because of capability or need to pay bills. Few have continued to manage their businesses because of interest and lack of capable successors. They are however lucky that they at least have in most cases decent children and maybe a few grandchildren who will take care of them after they stop their income. But what about my generation?
We are utterly selfish human beings who are so wrapped up about “poor me” that we are really not learning from lessons of our elders and watching some peers who are creating great solutions. For example not all of us will have the chance to work for Mark Zuckerburg (creator of Facebook) who is giving 4 months parental leave to his employees. So you really have to get serious and think about the options you have, I am talking especially to the 20 year olds, because what you do now will impact you forever.
Choose your career wisely. In Kenya the employer still has the upper hand and if you are wrongfully terminated there is unfortunately no court of law that will support your rights. Get real and think how much income do you want, why and for how long? What is it going to take for you to get to that level, for example is becoming a doctor so important to you versus having a stable income quicker by becoming an accountant? These are difficult things to accept especially when education anywhere in the world is so expensive and the choices are closing in on you. That’s why your retirement starts at 30, that is when you must buy your car, your house and start building a future for you and your family. Retirement benefits schemes will help you but remember if you can’t learn how to manage your money by 30 then the times we are living in are not going to help you at the real retirement age of 60.
If you have secured yourself with the above suggestions, you will have a life after 60. This life can be looking after grandchildren or having a new adventure in life. Nowadays you can choose any new career easily, for example if you want to become a singer, actor, painter or even learn a new profession, it is possible. With this digital age and new social trends. It is possible to make your Picasso at 70 or a new viral YouTube song. It is up to you, how do you want to spend your time and hard earned money? Do you want to drink it up at Karoga nights, gossip and create hell for the ladies circle or really make a difference with the wisdom and experience you have earned in life?
You can work as long as you want for whoever you want. Just know nothing is impossible.