In this article you will read about The Hospital Ward Is Not Your Heritage, Plan For Your Retirement
THE HOSPITAL WARD IS NOT YOUR HERITAGE, PLAN FOR YOUR RETIREMENT
For newly grad Nurse Jacinta, It all started with an offer of employment at shield prime hospital, a private hospital located in portharcourt, she was just 25 years old back then in 1998. After due orientation, she was immediately deployed to the ICU on the 5th floor.
As the years rolled by, she aged gracefully; her stride and energetic youthful charisma spiralled down. This downward trend didn’t go unnoticed by the hospital Management.
10 years later, they reassigned her to the 4th floor citing some flimsy excuses but Nurse Jacinta knew it was because the newly employed nurses were smarter, tech savvy and more adventurous and had an insatiable appetite for constant stimulation and clinical challenge. The management was sacrificing experience for youthful traits.
15 years down the line, Jacinta now looks frail and has now found herself on the ground floor in the hospital OPD. Old age was knocking at her door steps. The ominous truth was all too glaring. She was on her way out of an employment after having given the best 25 years of her life. She could vividly remember the interview day in 1998 and her first day at work, how time flies?
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It began to dawn on her that retirement was imminent. Anxiety began to set in as she began to worry that she didn’t have any other means of income. This was new to her, like menopause she didn’t know what to expect or feel. She has never been the type to go for leave or sit at home. She couldn’t boast of any new trade or any other skills outside nursing. WAHALA!!
The SMS alert from union bank did not provide any succour either. Her balance was nothing to write home about cos just last week she had even taken a pay cut just so she wouldn’t be disengaged from work after management deemed her surplus to requirements. She started selling puff puff and donought to supplement her declining income
Checking her first bank account balance was heart breaking, no savings, nothing to show for all the work done in the past 25 years under the employ of Dr Osunike. The salary was poor but that didn’t justify the fact that she would be retiring with next to nothing after all these years of dishing out ‘QUALITY NURSING CARE’
Now she remembered chinwe the lady from mutual benefit life assurance who kept disturbing her to open a retirement savings accounts. She always responded ‘retirement na today? Tomorrow still far abeg’, Tomorrow has finally become Today, infact tomorrow is NOW!
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The future looked ominous, her rent is due in November; she wasn’t able to build herself a home all the while she was working. She would be at the mercy of the landlord at a time when her cash inflow is not only reduced but unpredictable!! Remaining in portharcourt would be suicidal because the city is too expensive.
She always thought Pension was for only those in government employment but she just found out on the internet that it was legally binding on employers of labour to remit pension on all their employees. Meaning, Dr Osunike was supposed to contribute 10percent while she contributes 8percent to the national pension fund, this would have made her pensionable at retirement. Had she done this contribution, she would have even been entitled to 25percent of the total sum atfter a certain period. The thought of confronting Dr Osunike crossed her mind but again she knew it was all too late at this time.
Her children were all grown up, she invested all training them up to masters level but they are yet to get good paying jobs to fend for themselves talk less of sending her monthly stipend. It was all too obvious that children are not retirement investments. It was she against the world; everyone now has their own responsibility to cater for.
Life after retirement was going to be boring; she didn’t have a hobby or any other marketable skills. She never invested in the stock market, she doesn’t have any shares to reap dividends from. All she knew was NURSING NURSING NURSING.
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All the MCPDP and conferences attended during her professional practice wouldn’t count now. Mama Chioma once told her about a skills acquisition program like farming, rearing catfish and snails, but she didn’t take it serious.
For someone who has been very active for so many years to go sit in one place at home seemed ominous. A passive life style could spell early demise. She always used to wonder why so many retirees die early but now she knew why.
She was not mentally prepared for retirement, she didn’t have any savings or investments, her precarious situation was putting her under undue financial anxiety and psychological pressure that she had begun to feel depressed and of late started experiencing elevated blood pressure levels. She didn’t have any retirement plan. No hobby she could engage in or marketable skills she could sell. She was going to be another statistics in the early death rates recorded amongst nursing retirees
Mrs Jacinta has since then like every other nurse opened up a chemist, struggling to make ends meet and engaging in medical treatments far beyond her professional scope of practice just to survive.
Her personal diary lay on the table in her chemist kiosk and Scribbled on the last page she wrote:
Dont think you still have time and retirement is still a long way , Time Flies
Learn a new trade or a skill outside of nursing
Open a retirement savings account
No matter the poor salary, make a commitment today to save a certain percentage. This saving could be the difference between a life of misery after retirement and longevity after work
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Get a pension identification number (PIN) and submit to your employer requesting that he remits his part and yours to the national pension account. It is a legal requirement by law.
Your children are not a retirement investment.
If you have a passion for teaching and impacting knowledge, get involved in organizing conferences, trainings etc.
SOURCE: NURSING WORLD NIGERIA