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How many years more? – The Nation Nigeria News

By Bola Ogunrinade



I don’t want to be one of those ‘wicked’ mother-in-laws. You know the type that looks into the daughter-in-law’s closet (without permission) and complains that she spends too much money on laces and Hayes headgears.

I am, however, amazed that when you broach the topic of retirement or death, you always see a scowl on the faces of people. They do not want to leave public office; they shudder at the thought of quitting the world, chaotic as it is; the corporate world, with its bright creed or religion. What will be its substitute when we retire from work? Hence, you see many civil servants declaring their ages every five years.

What is retirement, and at what age must one say ‘bye-bye’ to paid employment? To retire means to ‘leave the stage’ for others, to stop regular working hours and embark on that phase of life before the final curtain is drawn.

Did I hear your heart beating faster than usual? Don’t you know that anything that has a beginning must surely have an end?  Since you started work- or is it a career- in the public or private sector at 25 and you are now getting close to 60, should you not be planning your exit? Did you notice that opposite the notice ‘entrance’ was the signboard that boldly displayed ‘exit’? Those three decades and a half must have flown too quickly.

What did you do with them? Can you proudly tell the next generation your achievements? Someone told me that your surbodinates are too keen to organise a farewell party out of sheer of joy that the bells seem to be tolling for you at last. Your wife told me that she hopes you will now spend some quality time with her watching the home-videos or listening to CNN. The other side of the coin is that she worries that her stores will no longer burst at the seams with hampers at Xmas once you leave office. Such is life. Everything changes, but God changes not.

If we don’t die young, we need to plan our later years. The time to start is now. Start actualising your dreams of what your twilight years will be. Start to examine your finances, your time and health. Give serious thought to where you want to live when you retire.

Do you want to relocate outside the city where you work or stay close to friends and business associates? Will your pensions suffice for you to live on? If not, how do you want to augment it? Are you strong and qualified to pick up a part-time job? How will you spend your average day from the rising sun in the east, and its setting in the West?

My friend, there are countless issues to consider when planning for your later years. Lots of people have died out of loneliness or inability to fund the much-needed drugs to keep them alive. Indeed some have died due to the pains of frustration and desertion by spouses who dump them to tender young grand children in New York or London.

Don’t blame them; they did not receive the grace to forgive husbands who showed them no kindness in yesteryears. So now, under the pretext of taking care of grandchildren, they desert their home, leaving the retired old man helpless and forlorn.

The lesson is that we must spend our active years giving joy to others. Oprah Winfrey constantly reminds us how best to live. She would say; “One of the best ways to enhance your own life is to enhance somebody else’s.”

We don’t need to attend a convocation ceremony far away in North Carolina, but we need to constantly do self-appraisal. As we do this, we must ask for grace to act out our own purpose.

The day appears short, and the night seems long. How many more years do we have left?

  • Bola Ogunrinade wrote in from Ibadan