Lipunga during the seminar at Protea Mount Soche Hotel
* There is more to retirement preparation than just pension fund and savings
* People retire from their jobs but should not retire from working
By Duncan Mlanjira
People retire from their professional jobs but they should not retire from working, said financial analyst Jimmy Lipunga at a seminar on Tuesday when he delivered an inspiring retirement planning seminary at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.
The seminar was hosted by Malawi’s leading financial services institution NICO Group with a theme of ‘Practical Guide to Preparing for Retirement’ and Lipunga fascinated the delegates that there is more to retirement preparation than just pension fund and savings.
Televised live on Times TV and streamlined live on NICO Facebook page, Lipunga said as they approach their retirement age, “some people have that fear of how they would meet their financial obligations — even for those who might have prepared for it”.
“It’s because people retire from their professional jobs but I say they should not retire from working. Planning for retirement is very important because you set goals and targets of what you should do instead of just sitting in front of the TV, doing nothing.
“When people see me with a briefcase, they always ask me, ‘didn’t you retire?’ This is a wrong mentality. Plan for a meaningful occupation that will keep earning you more money.”
He said the planning should not necessary start as one approaches their retirement age but to set the goals as early as possible by chronicling the goals and targets set to assess if they are working or not.
Lipunga, who has engaged Malawians on how to build a better future for themselves, said it is terrifying for people to lose the trappings that go with the job they hold, thinking retirement is the lowest point of their lifetime.
“But this is a positive turning point towards a better life and as you plan for it, you set personal vision and mission and at the same time plan on how you would enjoy your life.
“I teach at a university for free because that keeps me focused and I enjoy doing it as it occupies me emotionally.”
Some of the plans he suggested included family size, family home investment, children’s education, holiday dreams, health requirements, retirement income and spiritual well being.
“If one is well occupied in retirement, they still need to go on dream holidays just like they used to do when working,” he said.
He also impressed on the delegates to sustain their health and well being as they grow older by exercising a lot, eating healthier food and to always maintain their spiritual ways.
He also asked never to make enemies along the way because those are the same people one shall need in retirement through other businesses.
After delivering the ‘Life Map’ presentation, Lipunga also went through understanding financial instruments and products such as personal contributions to one’s pension and how to religiously maintain a saving culture.
In all this, Lipunga advised that spouses and the children must be involved, saying just as employees hold management and operational meetings at their various work places, so too should they hold regular family meetings.
He said such family meetings can help to assess if the goals and targets set have been achieved or not and how they can be revitalized if they have drifted from the original plan.
“Do not exclude your children, you will be surprised at how much they know. Include them in your plannings — they do have positive ideas for the future.”
In closing remarks, NICO’s subsidiary, Asset Managers’ Chief Investment Officer, Daniel Dunga took through what NICO as a group offers which can assist people on how to plan for retirement.
He added credence that it is prudent for employees to make their own personal contributions to their pension funds which their employers deduct from their salaries on their behalf.
He also advised people to make regular follow ups to their pension funds to assess if their employers are indeed remitting their month deductions.
A similar seminar was held on Thursday at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe and Dunga assured the public that this is not a one-off event as NICO Group is geared to engage with the citizenry on how they can access various products from their “one stop financial service institutions”.
NICO Group, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, include NICO General, NICO Life, NBS Bank, Asset Managers and ICON Properties at 67% shareholding.
Other investments include Protea Hotels at 34.3%, Mwaiwathu Private Hospital at 18.8%, Chibuku Products at 21.6% and Standard Bank at 20%.”
NICO’s international strategic alliances include Sanlam Pan African, Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited, Eris Property Group and Rabo Bank.