How to live Happily after retirement—by Dan Okwiri

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Dan Okwiri has penned a story on what he did after retirement to live happily. This story will help even those who are about to retire on how to adjust and live comfortably after age 60:

Every once in a while, think about your retirement.

Penning🖊my journal. My mobile buzzed last week Thursday late in the black of the night. Watched it as clang for a full minute. It was from an ex-colleague which I hadn’t chatted to in 5 years. Debated whether to pick it, don’t usually take late hour calls, too weary to bubble a chatter.

I nulled it, & sms’d him to write a text. Then came the banger!

“Mr. X your former colleague in KQ passed on in Nairobi last week. His funeral is tomorrow morning.”

It popped in thunderbolt, had known Mr X 30 years and I began to reminisce a banter we once had together. He had just been retrenched from KQ a little over 2 years ago. One diligent man, he bought house in Komorock, & completed the mortgage.

On retrenchment received Kes 8 million, hard cash in stash. That’s a princely sum if you know what to do with it. Tell me, unfortunately we only get to know the value of money once you are out of employment!

He had come to see me about life after retrenchment 3 years ago, and we had several discussions. My advice to him was simple with no pimple. Move out of Nairobi, rent your house. It will fetch you an income stream of Kes 30,000 monthly. Take your Kes 8 million buy treasury bills. At 10% yield a year ( the TB rates keep changing so use the current rates & calculate the yield) using 10% you will rake in Kes 800,000 per year. Divide this by 12 months, it’s an income of Kes 70,000 per month. If you add your rent income to it you will have a total monthly income of Kes 100,000. Not a bad income for countryside living.

The most difficult thing here is that you must accept a change in lifestyle, most struggle to concede to change. If you fail to accept the change you immediately begin your journey in soil from your toil to the next world. Few from the corporate/ government sector are still around 5 years after retiring. Interestingly one group have observed handle retirement pretty well are teachers. They live simply & do simple businesses that actually work.

“Wuod Baba, I can never live in the village, wasn’t born to live in the boonies, I will die. Tell me more about the business world?”

“My brother, you have worked for 30 years for someone else, now cheese this, employing others & paying them is 10 times more stressful despite the fantasy of being your own boss. Let me give you a story that happened 20 years ago whilst I was still at KQ.

Handling customers is not everyone’s kettle of fish, especially for an introvert. It requires shock absorbers. There was this European customer flying economy class from Nairobi to London. He hollered to the flight stewardess that he found a house fly in his food. He threatened to go to social media & spill the beans. KQ to appease him, offered a complimentary first class ticket to his next destination plus accommodation on the house. Europe was KQ’s cash cow & the last thing it needed was bad publicity from a European national.

Strangely, on his next trip the customer again found a cockroach in his plate. For KQ it was a double stroke of bad fortune. The bloke was ranting & panting, hurling obscenity disrupting the flight in rabid angsty. KQ to wash down his ire again opted to dish him more goodies to bubble him back to fizzle. KQ grilled NAS, the airline’s caterers, accused it of incompetence. NAS staff were boiling in cockroach soup.

Coincidentally, there happened to be a an airline event where BA was attending. Somebody mentioned to a BA staffer the tribulations KQ suffered. Then the BA staff said, hold on, we have had the exact same incidents from the same passenger twice and we have sent out an alert & banned him from our flights. Beyond the pale, every time he complains he gives threats & demands freebies. On establishing the deceit of the client, the passenger was banned from KQ.

Now Mr X, this is the world of business. You will get rough customers, lauding how much business they give you & wanting to cheat you. On the flip side you will get great customers too. You will have to take every mobile call in hand, for each one can bring your fortune or misfortune. Take it all in stride, business is no easy ride for pride. You will work 24/7. If you can swallow this as you delve into your 60s’ then come on board.”

Beautiful people. Mr X gazed at me in pore, had no comment in moment in gore.

“The other option is to start a business or build rentals. The former has start up risks as you go through the learning curve, the latter is a more stable. Whatever you choose remember that all cats are grey after dark.”

Sadly my butter didn’t melt in his mouth. Mr X received the cash but the ins & outs after that he never called me till he received our good Lord’s summons, that’s our destiny.

Back to the salt mines, when he received his tidings he opted to stay in Nairobi in hanging fire. Am told he died from high blood pressure & diabetes complications.

Did not attend his burial, notice was sudden. Am still convinced comparing apples & oranges that if he opted to come to the countryside he still would be alive but again it is said we don’t decide our checkout.

Brazen it, retirement is not for the faint hearted. If you are still in the saddle take a moment everyday to paddle about your life in retirement. Daddy come home, a hefty retirement package without a plan dwindles faster than mist.

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