For most folk, when you talk about or ask about their personal finances, their responses put the responsibility for its success away from them; you hear people hoping for God’s blessing, or just hoping that someday a big pay-off or windfall will materialize in their space. People who place their responsibility for their own life in the hands of God, are irresponsible. Your prayers and hopes won’t materialize if you do not take the necessary steps. The question is, what are you doing to ensure that your confessions don’t hang in the air forever? A research/survey was carried in the most powerful nation on earth, 100 people were profiled and studied from the age of 25 when they started working until they retired at 65. The results were both surprising, alarming and instructive.
After 40 years of working and then retiring, the following statistics were discovered:
- 54% of them were still DEPENDENT – this simply meant that at retirement, they still needed the help of the government to subsist; they needed their children, the church, the mosque, a charity, etc to sustain them from day to day. Unbelievable, right? What do you think the percentage is in Nigeria? #okBye
- 16% of them were DEAD – sad, right? Resulting from depression and disillusionment, inability to afford medical care, food and nursing homes, etc. Its a pitiable situation. Coming to Nigeria, what do you think the situation would be like with the incessant looting of the pension fund and the queuing up of elderly men and woman endlessly? Travelling from their states to Abuja or their state capitals? The picture in Nigeria is gross, they actually die on the queues. Experts have said that the pension system of America is bankrupt, that all of the world’s biggest stock exchanges can’t pay for the pension of America. Working hard to get a good job with good pay and a secure pension does not exist!
- 24% of them were still WORKING – this simply meant that they could not afford to take a rest after retirement. Imagine putting 40 years of your life into an organisation, and after working so hard, you retire and then to your alarm, you realize that its too expensive; your 40 years of investing your sweat, tears, blood and time, cannot afford a retirement – rest is too expensive! So you have to work! Here in Nigeria, you see a retired policeman take up another job as a security guard, you see a retired secondary school principal take up a job as a headmistress, you see a retired senior staff of a multinational running after tissue paper contracts in their former organisations and so on..
- 5% of them were INDEPENDENT – This simply means that at the age of 65, they didn’t need to depend on government or their families but were still commanding incomes of at least $35,000 per annum. They weren’t financially free but they were independent. They could live a comfortable life maybe because they had a good enough business that paid them well at the age of 65, but they couldn’t really stop working.
- 1% was FINANCIALLY FREE – that means 1 in 100 was financially free. They had enough passive income to cover all of their living expenses, they did not have to work ever again to generate the income they need to live their preferred kind of life style for the rest of their life.
What does this portend for our personal lives? What lessons can we draw from this statistics gotten from a first world nation? If just 1 person out of 100 people in the USA is financially free at 65 years, what do you think is the ratio in our dear beloved Nigeria?
It is clear that leaving things to the odds of life will not deliver our desired results; we can be sure that if the odds do not favor most people in the USA, will it then suddenly, randomly favor us in Nigeria? I think not! It is only weeds that grow without wetting – it is only the negative trend that trends without much help. If we desire to be in the 1%, we will be wise to wake up and begin to take financial education and responsibility for our lives.
Financial freedom is when your passive income exceeds your living expenses, in other words, you do not have to work to earn the money to live the life you want to live.