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Get aggressive about saving for retirement! - Pension adviser urges ...

Published:Thursday | April 13, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Retirement doesn't necessarily mean retiring, if you should ask retiree, Roy Parkinson.

At age 61, the JN Individual Retirement Scheme (JNRS) pensioner neither looks nor acts in a manner associated with golden agers; and, therefore, when he retired from his job at a freight company in Montego Bay, St James, staying home and being inactive was not an option.

The former cargo handler created new opportunities for himself as an entrepreneur by investing his pension savings in a lucrative pig-rearing business. The farm, located in an adjoining parish, is populated with more than 20 pigs, and he markets them to local butchers and restaurants.

"I've been able to expand my home and I'm relaxed," the pensioner mused from the comfort of his veranda in Montego Bay.

He spoke enthusiastically about his grandchildren and his youngest daughter, whose university education he has been financing with the proceeds from his new venture. And now he's looking forward to expanding his operation with the inclusion of biogas as a value-added component of his pig farm.

"I would encourage anyone to join a retirement scheme," Parkinson, who started saving with the JNRS in 2013, commented.

'It's not about age'

And Sharon Smith, senior manager, JN Bank, encourages others to accept Roy Parkinson's advice.

"Saving for retirement is not about an age," she says. "It's about the income you will have after you stop earning.

"If you think about retirement in that context, then it means you could retire tomorrow morning if you choose," she comments, emphasising the need to save for retirement.

"However, unfortunately, circumstances such as unforeseen accidents and mayhem, force some people to retire before they plan to," she said.

"Therefore, more adults in the workforce need to be conscious and serious about planning for their retirement," the licensed pension adviser with responsibility for the JN Individual Retirement Schemes comments. "Our people need to be more aggressive about the matter of retirement!" she continued, also pointing to the fact that the economy benefits from high levels of pension savings.

Smith maintains that retirement isn't simply about surviving after you're unable to work. Pointing to Parkinson's case, she noted that it is also an opportunity to pursue new ventures and build your personal wealth.

"In addition, it means that your life is now your own, to do as you please, to go where you please and simply live and work the way you desire," Smith said. "And the best time to start planning for retirement is now because the greatest obstacle that will prevent some persons from achieving a good retirement is time.

"Start your pension plan now!" she emphasised. "Don't wait until it's too late!"