Build Your Retirement Fund Now

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life—
unless I buy something.
— Jackie Mason

Five million pesos. That’s a lot of moolah.

That was how much Manny was getting for his retirement—and he salivated every time he thought about it. He worked in the same company for 34 years and was looking forward to planting vegetables in his little garden and having quiet dates with his wife while sipping brewed coffee and doughnuts together—using their senior citizen cards for their 20 percent discount.

Of course, his P1 million debt to the company will get paid first.

Many years ago, he borrowed money to build his house and buy his car.

Manny’s heart raced with delight when he saw the P4 million deposited in his bank account. Wow, he could now do all the things he wanted to do.

First things first. He’ll restore his 17-year-old house. For the longest time, Manny wanted to fix the leaking roof, retile the bathrooms and replace the kitchen cabinets. He also added a veranda at the back (with a wooden swing set) and an extra recreation room. Cost: P1 million.

Next, buy his dream car. Cost: P1 million.

After one year, Manny had P2 million left in his bank account.

At first, he was spending P50,000 a month. Later on, as he saw his money shrinking, he began to panic. He downgraded his lifestyle and spent P30,000 a month, and later still, P20,000 a month.

Five years later, at the age of 65, he had nothing in the bank. He was forced to sell his house and move to a rented apartment. That money lasted for another five years.

When he reached 70, Manny had to totally depend on his children.

He hated the idea. But he had no choice. His children, though saddled with their own problems, had to fork out P15,000 a month for their parents.

Manny would live like this for the next 14 years, until he died at age 84.

In the previous chapter, I said that there were two problems in life: (1) dying too young, and (2) living too long. Manny had the problem of living too long.

For the first problem of dying too young, the solution is having protection or insurance. For the second problem of living too long, the solution is to build your own retirement fund now.

Friends, Manny is not one person. He’s a composite character. I created from the many retired people I’ve met through the years. Believe me, it’s a very painful sight to see, watching someone go down to poverty and dependence.

Simply because they didn’t prepare for their retirement.

According to many surveys on people above the age of 65 (rounded off figures)
1. Around 40 percent have to keep on working to survive.
I don’t mind working till I’m 90 years old—because I love working. But to have to keep on working at 70, or 80, or 90 so that I have something to eat? What if my health can’t keep up with my job? What will happen to me? But that’s the life of millions of old people.

2. Around 30 percent depend on their relatives to survive.

I think every parent I’ve talked to doesn’t want to be a burden to their children. And we want the freedom to have our own money—so that we can do what we want to do in our old age. Can you imagine having to call up your kids each month to ask for money? But that’s what millions of aging parents have to do to
live each day.

3. Around 20 percent depend only on their SSS or GSIS pension fund to survive.

My father worked for his company for 40 years. He retired as assistant vice president, so his SSS contributions were the maximum you could contribute. But to this day, he receives him each month. Thankfully, my father saved enough and doesn’t depend on his pension to survive.

4. Eight percent depend on charitable institutions to survive.
That’s why I built Anawim, our home for the abandoned elderly. You’d be surprised at the kind of people who end up in our care. We have retired laundry women, retired domestic helpers and retired farmers who grew old and penniless. That’s not surprising. But we also have retired teachers, retired school principals, retired book authors, retired mechanics, a retired TV director, even a retired dentist. After earning probably millions throughout their life, they found themselves without a home and starving to death.

5. Two percent are financially independent.
Friends, I want you to be totally committed to be part of this two percent when you reach 65. And I know of only one way to be part of this small group: Build your retirement fund now. I don’t care if you’re 30 years old, 25 years old, or even 18 years old. You’ve got to start building your retirement fund now. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, but now.

Build your retirement fund now.
Truly Rich Principle:
You’ve got to start building your retirement fund now.
Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, but now.

Author: Bo Sanchez