Quote of the Week:"There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want."~ Bill Watterson.

plan for retirementRetirement, we think we will never get there, but chances are eventually we will. Often times, we do not even think about retiring leave alone planning for it. We start planning when it’s too late, even those who really want to start saving for their retirement when they are young think they cannot afford it, so they wait. However, when it comes to retirement planning, waiting is not the best strategy since you will always be racing against time. The reality is that you get closer to retiring every passing day. When exactly is the ‘right time’ to get yourself a pension plan then?

I’m Still Young

To answer that question, we must first understand what stops us from starting early. For most people, it is because of age. They think of retirement as something that only older folks do. Over the years, retirement planning has been branded and packaged as something for middle aged people. Maybe it’s the images of older people in most pension plan advertisements that has subtly driven this narrative. Or maybe it’s the fact that the younger generation’s false belief that they have all the time in the world to plan for retirement. While new parents believe they have other responsibilities that should take precedence over retirement planning, whatever the reason, when we are young most of us tend to believe that we have enough time to start saving for retirement and catch up.

I Can’t Afford It

Another reason that stops us from taking retirement planning seriously is the fact that we think we cannot afford it. Maybe we cannot afford monthly contributions due to the nature of our work. Not everybody is employed. Some people are self-employed and may have periods of irregular income more frequently. Some days you have a lot of money, other days you don’t have anything. We understand that. Others, especially young people, just don’t have enough money to save towards retirement. We understand that too. However, that shouldn’t stop you from opening a Zimele Pension Plan account today, which will allow you to save as little as Ksh.250 at any time you want. The Zimele Pension Plan does not require you to make fixed monthly contributions, you save when you have the money. If you don’t have it in a particular month, no problem, and no penalties, we understand and will wait until you are ready.

So, When Should You Start?

The best answer is, today, because now you have no excuse. . If that still sounds vague, how about going to www.zimele.co.ke/join to register as a member and send your first contribution of ksh.250 via M-Pesa immediately thereafter?

The thing about retirement planning is that the sooner you start, the bigger your returns will be when you finally hang your boots many years down the road.

Consider a 25 year old who saves Ksh.2,000 every month at an average interest rate of 7% until she retires at 55. She will have Ksh 2.35 million when retiring. Now consider a 35 year old saving Ksh.3,000 monthly at an average interest rate of 7% until he retires at 55. He will have just Ksh.1.53 million when retiring. To get Ksh.2.35 million, the one who started late will have to save Ksh.4,600 every month.

So instead of waiting for a regular or higher income to start saving for retirement, why not start with what you have today and increase your contribution over time?

You can send your comments or questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit our offices at Ecobank towers, 7th floor, Muindi Mbingu street for more information on personal financial planning. You can also follow us on Facebook and twitter @ZimeleAM