Retirement comes at the end of a person’s active working life.
I know a lot of people (friends and family) who had worked and served in many capacities in the Corporate world, Civil Service and the Academia for a minimum of 25 years.
While in service, they worked tirelessly to serve both country and various organizations without thinking of what they would do when they retired from active service.
By active service, I mean
– hectic work schedules from as early as 8am till 5pm or much later.
– travelling for lectures, conferences, seminars both within and outside the country
– not going on annual leave to rest and relax. Some even monetized their leave.
– taking work home on their laptops
– some took project files home for review and they worked till very late in the night.
Many were overly focused on their jobs and before they knew it, they had attained the retirement age of 55 years (for early retirement) or 60 years, the official retirement age in Nigeria. Furthermore, because of brain drain, many Nigerian Professors had left the country for greener pasture in U.K, Europe and the U.S.A. Due to shortage of Professors in our higher institutions, the Federal Government raised the retirement age of Professors to 70 years.
Many Professors stayed on because they had no life or hobbies outside their laboratories, offices and classrooms. I am sure did not have hobbies. To crown all, upon attaining the age of 70, some of these Professors who are in good health were once more engaged by the institutions on contract basis to continue their research work or to teach students. Many enjoyed their life in the classroom.
EFFECT OF LATE RETIREMENT
Many people are unable to pursue their dreams to engage in what they loved or had passion for when they still had some strength left in them. I know people who retired and just did not know what to do with their time. I advise some to take a well deserved rest by travelling abroad for about 2 to 3 months. They are to visit places of interest, botanical gardens, parks, museums etc. This was to enable them wind down and relax their minds and soul.
I shall refer to 4 retired Professors (identity protected)
– Professor A returned to the country after just 2 weeks. Reason – he said he was jobless and found the whole exercise of holiday boring.
– Professor B travelled to visit one of his children who was married with two children aged 7 and 4. This was his first time of meeting his grandchildren face-to-face. They recognized their grandfather as they had spoken with him on Face time several times. He accompanied his son on school runs and attended many activities in the children’s school. When it was time to return home, the grandchildren cried and requested he stayed. The man will be back in April after 6 months. He can’t stay more than 180 days in the country he visited according to visa regulations.
– Professor C went abroad and after 6 weeks, he secured another professorial job.
– Professor D visited an ice rink. He decided to give ice skating a try and he broke his leg, sustaining multiple fractures on both legs. He is still in hospital. We expect him back as soon as he is fully recovered.
In the past, potential retirees used to be anxious as their retirement dates loomed. This is due to the fact that they were not too sure if they would get their benefits (gratuities and pension). There were too many obstacles in their way especially the documentation process which could be very cumbersome.
However, the Federal Government introduced the Contributory Pension Scheme some years ago. Both worker and employer made monthly contributions into a Retirement Savings Account (RSA). This has reduced anxiety among the retirees.