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Financial Literacy

Common excuses people give for not making retirement plans

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Retirement plans should be seen as a security blanket for when you’re too old to do any kind of work. At this point you will at least be able to fall back on that money. If you have a white collar job right now, a time will come when you reach the company’s retirement age and it is during this time that your retirement funds come to play. What if you didn’t plan for retirement? It’s hard to think of all possibilities right?

Knowing how important it is to make plans for retirement, people still don’t comply. Typical of Nigerians to wait until the last hour and here are their most common excuses;

I’m too young to think about that

You may think you’re too young now but before you even realize it, you’ll be too old and it will be too late to start. This why you shouldn’t procrastinate, the sooner you start making arrangements for retirement, the better.

I don’t know how much to save

The amount to save for retirement is entirely relative. It all depends on your income. If you are familiar with budgeting this shouldn’t be a problem. Based on your income, set aside a pre-determined amount for savings and retirement then plan the rest out to meet your basics.

Finances are tight right now

Finances are rarely ever ‘not-tight’. Even with your tight finances you still find a way to buy the latest designer wears and buy that outrageously expensive shoe. Be sincere to yourself and make the sacrifice, money is tight so toughen up and let go of unnecessary expenses.

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I have other things I plan on saving for

This can only be an issue when you’ve not yet realized how important it is to have something set for retirement.  What else could you be saving for? While I acknowledge that it could be important, you should plan yourself so that you’re able to meet up. If your income is not enough, you’re not earning enough and it’s time to do something about it.

Old age won’t stop me from working

While the idea itself is applaud-able, it isn’t realistic. No matter how hard you push yourself; the body will start protesting at some point. Come to think of it, if there’s one thing you can’t cheat its nature. For those hoping that their children will take care of them, well, that’s a nice option but don’t forget that life is unpredictable. In fact, it is the unpredictability of life that warrants all these plans for the future.

It’s time to quit making excuses and start setting money aside for when you retire. Admittedly retirement plans and all other savings you might have to make are not exactly easy but if you manage to pull through, you’ll see that it’s all worth it in the end.

 

Chacha Wabara-Ogbobine is a Legal practitioner with over 9years post call experience. A research Consultant, professional writer and a blogger at heart,owner of four thriving websites with well over 10years of experience. Totally in love with keeping fit and coaching weight loss enthusiasts. I love my quiet time, being with my kids, watching TV series for hours on end.

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Personal Finance

10 Business mistakes to avoid post-COVID-19

With the emergence of lockdown and social distancing, businesses are now incorporating innovative working arrangements.

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The "new normal" in business and economy

Not only did COVID-19 spread globally, it also stopped all activities in almost every sphere of human endeavour.

Apart from the fact that the pandemic affected many lives, it also brought about a great disruption in the business sector.

SMEs and large enterprises have experienced various forms of contractions, and this has led to business closure for some. Many companies thrived on an existing modus operandi and were not prepared for the impacts of the pandemic. However, with the emergence of lockdown and social distancing, businesses are now incorporating innovative working arrangements like remote working, online services as well as regular variation in shifts.

While the pandemic is still being brought under control, a new order of business operations has been established and going forward, businesses must carefully plan and think out ways to thrive.

While planning on how to navigate the whole situation carefully, it is advisable to take note of certain mistakes that could hinder their progress.

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This article provides for you ten (10) mistakes you should avoid making in your business post-COVID-19.

1. Not having an online presence

The pandemic brought a halt to movement and large gatherings, and this stopped many businesses that existed mainly on physical interactions to stop and pack up. Business owners must learn that it is a huge travesty to plan their strategy without having an online presence; in fact, they would be missing a lot. They must strategically think of going digital and maximize the opportunities that come from interacting with over 4.5 billion people.

2. Limiting the business vision

The pandemic has pushed heads of enterprises to a position of mere survival. Plans and decisions are being made just for the moment without considering the long term existence of the business. Every business started off with a mission, a set of objectives to achieve and needs to meet. Regardless of the economic transition, it is important to hold those goals in mind while constantly seeking ways to attain them.

3. Poor marketing strategy

With the emphasis placed on marketing, especially on digital marketing lately, and the importance it holds for any business, it is not only a mistake for an establishment to limit its marketing strategies but a business taboo as well. Many products and services have emerged during the pandemic which poses competition to already existing providers. It is a necessity to brush up the marketing game in order to gain relevance in the business sector and source for more leads as well.

4. Building on hope

Optimism is good, but planning is better. We are moving into an era of intense technological integration which has influenced various business operations. E-commerce, as well as remote working, has become a norm and businesses will have to move with the flow. There are quite a number of entrepreneurs who are waiting for the tides to calm so they can paddle their boats. The trick is in planning while waiting. It is okay to place one’s bet on hope but mapping out plans for sustenance is more advantageous.

5. Unplanned redundancy

It will seem like the way out for most enterprises to lay off some of their workers in order to survive the disastrous financial situation they may experience. However, one key factor in adopting this strategy is to carefully examine the effect it might have on the growth of the business. Over time, there might be a need to hire new workers which will incur a cost in recruiting and training new employees. Low man-power influences productivity. As such, measures must be put in place to make up for the labour pool that will be cut off.

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6. Pouring new wine in old wineskins

Innovation has been on the rise on account of the pandemic. New commercial and industrial techniques are sprouting paving the way for longevity. Holding onto old and familiar methods that are no longer effective could constitute a big mistake for any business. Entrepreneurs and managers have to embrace the reality that comes with post-COVID-19 with a sense of focus.

7. Ill-suited rigidity

Flexibility is one of the keys to thriving after the transition. Understand that the pandemic has affected the world economically and otherwise. Hence, it is crucial to adapt to the changes by inculcating new plans, being versatile and multifaceted rather than being inappropriately unbending.

8. Neglecting creativity

Neglecting the power of creativity is a costly mistake every business should avoid making. The post-COVID-19 period will be a salient time to be creative and innovative. Establishments should be on the lookout for how to meet the needs of consumers, ways to improve their services in order to stay in vogue. Teachers are resorting to virtual classrooms; traders are integrating e-commerce; companies are investing in work-from-home technology. It is all about creativity.

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9. Ineffective communication

With much regards given to remote work and other emerging working arrangements, it is important to devise means to ensure effective discharge of duties by members of any business. The ineffective flow of communication can retard the growth of businesses which is one of the mistakes to avert. When workers understand that it takes collective effort to ensure the continuity of the business, it becomes easy for them to efficiently invest their energy.

10. Poor assessment

Disregarding the place of systematic evaluation of the performance of any enterprise is one of the business mistakes to avoid post-COVID-19. There should be a feasible assessment carried out to ascertain where the business stands in terms of labour force, expenditures, cash flow and returns on investment.

Conclusively, there is no green light as to whether a post-COVID-19 will exist or not. However, as the virus lingers, each business owner must adjust to make sure they do not make the above-mentioned mistakes or other possible business mistakes that may not have been mentioned in this article.

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Financial Literacy

Five things to consider before securing a loan

It is important to consider these five tips before securing a loan.

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Financial security is when you know you do not have to worry about the basic needs of life. It also involves having the courage to comfortably withstand any emergency life throws your way.

The outbreak of COVID-19 was unexpected. Apart from the health implications it caused, the global economy has suffered greatly.

The outbreak of the virus resulted in job losses and business closure. The situation is so worse that even stable sources of income are no longer guaranteed.

As a result, many people have had to reduce their expenses, and the need to seek loans to enable sustainability or survival is on the rise.

While many may consider taking loans to meet their current needs, here are five (5) tips on what to consider before taking that step.

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1. The lender

With different financial institutions willing to offer loans, it is crucial to find the right lender. At a critical time, such as this, securing a loan can come at significant risk and cost. It is, therefore, essential to get it from a source that will provide acceptable terms. It could be from a friend, family, community fund or a microfinance bank. Ensure you secure the loan from a lender willing to give you the best possible conditions and a well laid out repayment plan.

2. Do Your Homework

Research is key. Do your homework and be well informed about it. Ensure you have a realistic means of repayment. Look at the viability of the loan and ensure that you have a realistic chance of paying back on its due date.

3. Work Out Your Payment Plan

Many focus on planning on how to spend a loan and determining how much they need to secure. While this is essential, it is equally important to plan on how you will repay a loan. It would be best if you decide whether you will be paying on a weekly or monthly basis. These factors will guide you in choosing a loan with favourable payment terms to avoid unplanned costs.

4. Credit History

Having a good sense of your credit history is also very important. Know your cash flow and be sure of your income and expenses. Know the precision in terms of what you can get and when you can get it, so as to draw up an excellent and reasonable payback strategy.

5. Terms and Conditions

Ensure you read the fine print and understand the various terms and conditions of a loan before signing any legally binding documents, including a personal loan agreement. In some instances, you may find it difficult to understand certain things regarding the loan you are about to secure. Try as much as possible to clarify all doubts before taking the final decision.

Financial strain may not be the sole purpose of taking a loan. However, whatever the reason may be, it is crucial to consider these five tips before securing one.

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Personal Finance

10 things to adopt in your business to adjust to the new normal

As scary as the thought might be, the new normal might last for a very long time.

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Nairametrics Financial literacy, invest intelligently, portfolio diversification, treasury bills, Your next of kin, or not?, Investing in uncertain times, Things to accomplish during COVID-19 lockdown

Towards the end of 2019, many businesses wrote their plans, strategies and goals for 2020 and were ready to dominate the market. However, the year did not start as many thought it would. The COVID-19 pandemic brought about new ways of doing things, which is now known as the ‘new normal’.

As scary as the thought might be, the new normal might last for a very long time. Therefore, businesses need to find a balance between what worked in the past and what needs to be done to adjust to the new normal. While some businesses were forced to shut down, many businesses had to change their strategy in order to adjust to the new normal.

Any business can survive the pandemic and adjust to the new normal just by pivoting to a new business strategy. As a business owner, you have to think about growth and look for methods you can adopt in your business to adjust to the new normal and remain relevant. Keep reading to discover ten (10) things you can adopt in your business to adjust to the new normal.

1. Accept the changes 

The first and most important thing to do for your business to adjust to the new normal is to accept the changes and embrace the new normal. Waiting for things to go back to normal before you continue your business is the wrong move because things might never go back to the way they were.

2. Think Technology 

Innovation and the use of technology in businesses have been on the rise, before the pandemic. Technology is the future of the business world. The latest trend since the pandemic started is to replace manpower with technology. With this, the business continues without endangering the lives of the employees.

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3. Change your business model

Reinvent your business, align your business strategies with society’s changing needs and develop a low-cost business model that would help you to stay in business while delivering your best.

4. Involve your employees

The business world has reached a level where you have to involve your employees in the decision-making process. This gives them a sense of responsibility and makes them more involved in the growth of the organisation. Involving your employees will help the business to adjust well and experience growth.

5. Focus on your customers 

Listen to your customers. Make an effort to meet their increasing demand and take advantage of their changing attitudes and behaviour. You can do this by conducting a survey and requesting feedback. This is the best time to conduct market research and get all the information you need. This way, you would know if you are on the right track.

6. Stay connected

Transitioning from the current state (Covid-19) to recovery state (Post Covid-19) requires staying connected to the outside world. The question; ‘what is working or not working for other businesses?’ should be asked as often as possible.

7. Adopt a mobile strategy

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the majority switched to remote working, which might have brought about a reduction or lack of communication for some businesses. Business owners should work on their communication system during this period by employing a mobile strategy to get employees up and running.

8. Focus on advertisement and marketing

To cut costs, many businesses are cutting their advertising and marketing budgets, so any business that focuses on advertising and marketing will get all the attention it needs now.

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9. Collaboration, flexibility and accountability

The best time for flexibility, collaboration and accountability in business is now. Adopting systems such as informal interactions and remote work would help build a flexible, accountable and better workforce. Not only will this make your employees happy, but it will also give your business the exposure it needs.

10. Risk management systems

Businesses should take advantage of this opportunity to set up a risk management system. The pandemic is enough enlightenment for businesses to know that they should put measures in place to identify, assess, monitor and mitigate the impact of risk on their business in future.

If your business has been affected by the pandemic, you can get back on your feet and begin to break new grounds. All you have to do is adjust your business to the new normal by thinking differently and being strategic in all dealings.

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