Never too early to start ‘Planning for Tomorrow’
Dr Ashwell E. Thomas is urging people to plan early for retirement.
The founder and director of AT Consulting and Associates (Jamaica) recently launched Planning for Tomorrow, a retirement planning guide intended to assist individuals at all levels to adequately prepare for their retirement years, preparation for which, he says, can never be too early.
According to Dr Thomas, planning for retirement is not just when you get into retirement age; retirement planning has to begin from the very first day you start working. “You have to create an integration between your career planning and your retirement planning based on the experience that you would have had with older persons in your family, including your mother, father, grandmother, grandfather or other persons,” he said.
Dr Thomas said the book is intended for person who want to plan properly for retirement, so that they can be economically [and] psychologically independent, as well as getting rid of what is considered to be golden days woes.
This is the second edition of the book, with the first edition published 25 years ago in 1998. The research-based book presents information from people who have attended retirement planning seminars and the experiences of retirees throughout the English-speaking Caribbean, including Jamaica, Antigua, Barbados, St Vincent, St Lucia, and Grenada.
“We particularly wanted to know what were their experiences, both in planning as well as in retirement, [was]. This is an area that many people have not paid the required attention to. But for those of us who have our grandfathers or mothers, our grandmothers, elder siblings, or aunts or uncles, if we take a good look at how they live their lives in retirement as against what life they used to live while they were working, you will ask yourself the question, how would I like to live my life when I retire?” Dr Thomas said.
The lifestyle you live today, he said, determines the quality of life that you have upon retirement. “You have to recognise that you are going to be at the stage when you are not going to live forever. There is a time that you are going to [pass on] and when you go, you have assets to be distributed. Do you allow someone else to make that decision as to who should benefit from your assets? Or should you want to make that decision yourself, when you can,” Dr Thomas said.
He indicated that there is an audience for everyone in the book. “I am talking about the employee, the employer, the business manager, the human resources manager, the independent contractors, or employees of all ages. Whether you are 20, 22 to 45, or even 60. There is something in it for the retirees as well, and young adults who have the responsibility of providing care for their loved ones. This book can be read within half of a day,” Dr Thomas said.