The important retirement surprises and how not to be wise too late (Part 3)

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In part 1 and part 2 of this series, we have been talking about how to retire wisely and live a better and richer life than you did in your active career years. Let us dive into the next part to discuss more.

The Income Surprises

1. You are poor compared to the work that needs to be done.

One of the epiphany moments people get when they pass through our retirement planning programs is this. Their so-called high income is too weak to fund their desired retirement life. And their current privileged lifestyle only seems to be working because they are eating their financial freedom money. If the majoring of working professionals were to set aside the money needed for gaining financial freedom. They will quickly realize how poor they are.  Income is the backbone of a successful retirement plan. And creating passive income that is worth your current active income to sustains your living standard in retirement is no joke. It is even worse when time is not on your side. Thus, to plan ahead for retirement you need high and multiple incomes. And the first place to look is your savings. Unfortunately, the majority of people have savings that is woefully inadequate to fund their desired retirement life. The next place to look is your expenses. Cutting down expenses may help us gain some savings but there is a limit to how much we can cut. First, the majority of people spend less than 20% of their income on themselves. This means that the majority of their income is spent on basic needs, meeting responsibilities, and caring for dependents. This makes it difficult to extract savings from expenses. Thus, the only true option that gives you unlimited potential in creating the kind of life that you desire in retirement is to dramatically increase your income. And to increase your income to the point where it can buy you passive income that is worth the same or more than your active income. This is the only way to sustain or elevate your living standard in retirement.

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To earn multiple incomes, you need to develop high-income skills, discover high income-earning opportunities and get the right guidance. If you need help doing this, we can help you.

2. What you need to be comfortable in retirement is your income

The most common question I get asked all the time is how much money do I need to create my dream retirement life. The answer to this question is simple and not farfetched. What you need to be comfortable in retirement is what you need now to live a comfortable life today. If anything, you would need more in retirement and not less. So, the best indicator for the income that you would need in retirement is the income that you earn today, plus all the bonuses, allowances, and extra paycheck. If you look at it, this is a lot of passive income to create. To create this size of passive income you must be ready to do three things. First, you must develop high-income skills so that you can earn extra income quickly. You only need three high-income skills to earn more income. The first is problem-solving ability. That is the ability to solve problems at a higher level compared to what you are doing right now. You need Rich Relationships. That is the ability to make a relationship wealth-creating for you. And you need Marketing. That is the ability to convince and sell. Without these abilities, it is hard to create extra income beyond what you earn right now. The second thing you must do is find high-income earning opportunities. The skills without the opportunities to earn high income will still not help you. So, discovering platforms where you can earn high income with a minimal workload is key. And the best options for high income and little workload is to sell high-ticket items that are easy to sell and pay a high income. The third thing you must then do is build wealth creating relationships. That is relationships that can increase your income and wealth opportunities. To do this you need guidance and a safe place to find and connect with high-quality people. Thus, it is the combination of high-income skills, high-income earning opportunities, and rich relationships that help you move from one or low income to multiple and high incomes.

If you need help developing high-income skills, earning high income with minimal workload, or connecting with high-quality people. We can help you, send an email to [email protected].

3. You lack the skills to earn your own salary in retirement.

Earning income within a job is different from earning income in outer society and in retirement. And the skills needed to succeed in both worlds are different. Within a Job environment, certain things are already planned out for you. You are not creating wealth from scratch. You are adding value to existing value that has already been created for you. Your income is not strictly based on your performance alone. And the criteria for measuring performance are mostly vague and generic. You also may or may not directly get the customers. And you can hide behind your desk and thrive regardless of whether you are shy, timid, or laid back. In the real world, there are no organized wealth-creating systems or processes waiting for you. You will have to create your own systems and processes from scratch. And do so usually in a chaotic and uncertain environment. You also eat only what you kill and must go out and get your own customers. Also, the criteria for success are strict and clear. You will know when you are performing and when you are not performing. And the consequences of non-performance are immediate. Thus to succeed in the outside world you must develop new sets of skills. The best skills to develop are High-income skills.

When you have high-income skills, you can leverage the many high-income problems out there and convert them into money-making ventures. You can also quickly see opportunities where others see gloom and doom. The good news is problems are replete in the country that we live in. This means that in retirement they will be no shortage of what to do to earn high income. What may be in short supply however is whether you can solve the high income problems satisfactorily.

Often it is common to see ex- high-income professionals settle for low-income producing work.  Most times they are settling for blue-collar work, menial work, or survival work in retirement. These works are a far cry from what they did or would be willing to do during their active career life. These works are also physically draining and affect their health and lifespan. Yet they settle for it because they lack the skills to rise above that level. Most times they are also losing money in these businesses due to poor financial decisions. And the over-reliance on career skills and common sense. To succeed in business and in the outside world, you need more than career skills and common sense. You need to develop high-income skills.

The outside world is no respecter of titles. A former General Manager, Director, or Vice President can become abased in retirement. And a “Nobody” can be lifted to the throne. The outside world respect and rewards problem-solvers. Being a former Vice-president, Managing Director or CEO will not help you in retirement. It is the quality of the problem that you solve that will elevate you. Thus, without high-income skills, you are relegated to a low-income lifestyle with back-breaking work in retirement.

4. You have not created opportunities, bridges for yourself.

Wealth is not money. Wealth is creating many channels of opportunities that can produce money for you. And the best way to create these channels is through strategic relationships. That is strategic relationships that make your peers, the older generation, and the younger generation indebted to you or want to favour you.

I am amazed at the people who worked for 25 or 30years and have not created any opportunity bridges for themselves. They can’t facilitate any major decision, influence any major action or enjoy certain favours in retirement. Once they retire, they are forgotten and archived. And they can’t even facilitate a job or internship placement for their own children. These people have simply done what everybody else is doing-face your job and mind your business. The result is a relegated retirement life with no opportunity bridges linking you back to the career world.

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There are only two worlds that will lead to your financial success. The first is the business world and the second is the career world. Each of these worlds is related and linked. The business world is the world you would most likely be in when you retire. This world is new to you and you have little or no advantage there. The career world is where you have been for 25 or 30 years. And the business world depends on the career world to earn income and create business opportunities. Alas, if you have not created any opportunity bridges for yourself before retirement. You will struggle for long in the business world. When you start your business, you would be coming into the career world as a stranger rather than an ally. And this will make things ten times harder for you. Imagine for example what your retirement life would be like if you know and are in favour of the Human Resource Manager and Corporate affairs manager of the top three multinationals in Lagos. Can you see how this can become a great opportunity for you, your business and your loved ones in retirement?

Who do you have in the corporate world that is willing to open doors for you? What have you done to make other people outside your family indebted to you? Who would still be in the career world many years after you have left that will be willing to do you some favors? Who can truly elevate your life and make things happen for you in retirement and how can you build bridges with them?

Favour, Luck, and opportunities can be created and manufactured. If you wait for them to happen to you, you would wait very long. There are things that you can deliberately do today to create your own favours in retirement. And if you want to have a restful retirement and become a valuable asset to your loved ones. You must build strategic opportunity bridges for yourself. And there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it is the right thing to do.

There is a great story in the bible that illustrates the concept of building opportunity bridges.

It is called the story of the dishonest manager.

A dishonest manager was caught by the master to be dishonest in handling money and was told he would be sacked.

The manager said to himself what must I do now see I do not want to beg or be stranded when I leave. He came up with a plan that will make others indebted to him and here is what he did

He called up each one of his Master’s debtors


And told them to slash the price of their debt by half.

He did this because he knew that the favour would be reciprocated when he leaves.

His actions were unjust and dishonest but the Master commended him for his shrewdness.

Now I am not saying you should do dishonest things or be dishonest in any way. The key lesson in this story is clear. If you want people doing things for you in retirement you have to do things for people today. Creating opportunity bridges is simply thinking Long-term and assisting a few people to succeed. And in return request that they help you and others succeed just the way you have helped them.

The mistake I see many people make is to create these opportunity bridges within their families. If all your opportunity bridges are within your family, you won’t get much returns. While helping family members is great your chance of getting a great return is slim. If you have parents or siblings that have dedicated their lives helping family members you have an idea what the returns might be. The structure and nature of family relationships do not encourage payback. Rather it encourages entitlement, ingratitude, and doing things without expecting a return. So, if all your bridges are built within the family you will see little or no return in retirement.

The best people to build opportunity bridges with are close relationships and verified strangers. This is why you must build Rich Relationships and expand your network. The more people you can connect with, access, and qualify the higher your chances of finding people with great potential, integrity, and the seed of greatness within them.  These people will be forever grateful to you and they will bring you more joy and benefit in retirement.

There are generally three kinds of opportunities bridges you should seek to create. The first is Money-saving opportunity bridges. That is what can you do today that can save you huge amounts of money in retirement? The second is wealth-creating opportunity bridges. That is what can you do today that will expand your income and opportunities in retirement. And the third is Relationship opportunity Bridges. That is who do you need to know and be in favour with to open certain doors in retirement etc.

If you need help creating multiple opportunity bridges for yourself before retirement, we can help you. Send an email to [email protected]

The essence of your job and position is not just to earn income but to build opportunity bridges that can serve you tomorrow.

5. You lack the currencies that produce money

Over 80% of the population thinks that there is only one currency in the world-Money. The wealthy and the upper class know that there are several life currencies. And that money is the least of them. If money is all you have then you are very poor. Money is the universal currency, but money is the fruit of other currencies and not the source in itself. Trading with money alone is a guaranteed way of remaining poor and broke in retirement. And this is why. There are certain levels or realms where all the people there have money more than you. Trading with money at this level is a disadvantage. Second, it is very likely that you will lose most or all of your money at least once in your life time. When this happens money will not save you. You need the other currencies to help you bounce back. Thus, if you lack these currencies you will struggle in retirement.

There are two broad types of currencies you need to thrive in life and in retirement. The first is the fruit currency. Money is a Fruit Currency. And the second is the root, source, or seed currencies. This is the only type of currency that can manufacture money from scratch. Unfortunately, many working professionals spend their entire career life pursuing money. And failing to see how they can build the other currencies. The disadvantage of this is that money is never enough when you lack the other source currencies. So, if you do not have the other currencies to create your own income in retirement. The only option you have is to live off what is left of your savings and this is usually not much.

So, what are these life currencies?

There are about ten of them in all. The first is money, which is the popular currency. The second is Relationships. That is relationships that are wealth-creating in nature and can pull you up to the upper class. The third currency is skills. That is your problem-solving ability and whether you can solve high-income or low-income problems. The Fourth currency is Human Capital. This comprises your wealth-creating team, employees, and strategic partnerships that can enlarge your income and advantage. The Fifth currency is Media. People must know you to do business with you. And the only way for people to get to know you is if they see you on certain media or platforms doing the things that are of interest to them. Thus, the only way to gain visibility and for people to see the good work that you do is to be in, possess or control media.

These first five currencies are all trading currencies that can produce money. The last set of currencies are currencies that can help you become a high-value person. And the person that can attract income-producing opportunities and relationships. Here are the five other currencies

The sixth Currency is Health. Everything halts when health is attacked. Thus, health is a critical currency, and success-minded people pay great attention to their health. Without good health, you cannot create wealth or make a lasting impact. And no one will be willing to take a risk on you. The seventh Currency is Pain Tolerance-the ability to withstand pain. And go through series of disappointments without giving up. All successful people have high pain tolerance and the more fragile you are the less likely you will create wealth or achieve success. The eighth Currency is Growth. Growth is an essential part of success and when you are not growing you are dying. Growth is about developing the right skills and competence you need to earn a high income. The Ninth Currency is Discipline. The difference between the success of any two people with the same knowledge and opportunity is discipline. Discipline is what makes person A achieve more than Person B. And without discipline, you cannot accomplish your goal. The Tenth currency is Integrity and Character. Without Integrity and Character, no one wants to do business with you or favour you in any way. The last five currencies are personal to you and there are common currencies all successful people possess. Without these currencies, you will only produce a limited quantity of the first five currencies.

The key here is to go into retirement loaded with many of life’s currencies and you will thrive.

In Retirement, you do not choose the consequences. The decision You make today decides the consequences you would experience. 

About the author

Grace Agada is the most sought-after Financial Planning expert in the country and is quoted frequently in leading Newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Grace is a Renowned Keynote Speaker, Author, and Column Contributor in Punch Newspaper, This Day Newspaper, Vanguard newspaper, Business Day Newspaper, Leadership Newspaper, The Tribune Newspaper, and Online Platforms like Nairametrics, Proshare, and Bellanaija. Grace is the Founder of “The University of Wealth” The author of “The Financial Freedom MBA Program”, “The Better Life in Retirement Planning Blueprint” and “The Wealthy Business Blueprint”. Grace is on a mission to shrink the middle class and populate the upper class. She has been featured on BBC Africa. Business Day TV. Inspiration FM. and inside Naijatv. And she consults for Numerous Top Organizations, Company Directors, CEOs, Senior Executives, and High-Income Professionals.

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