What you need to know:
- Demographers argue that life expectancy in Kenya has been on the rise since the year 2000.
- Unlike in the past when parents used to rely on their children to provide support in old age, most young people live in urban areas and can only provide partial support.
Kenyans are now living longer after attaining the retirement age of 60, therefore, saving for the future is highly important.
In a few years’ time, thousands of retirees who are currently in their 40s or 50s will be wallowing in old age poverty unless they set aside enough money to sustain themselves.
Demographers argue that life expectancy in Kenya has been on the rise since the year 2000. Unlike in the past when parents used to rely on their children to provide support in old age ,most young people live in urban areas and can only provide partial support.
A report released by the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) indicates that barely 20 per cent of Kenyans save for pension, which means that as life expectancy continues to increase, large number of people will be unable to escape old age poverty.
Young people don't save because they believe by the time they are out of active employment, they will still be able to get jobs to sustain them. There are many things parents expect them to do. Some are expected to help in educating their siblings.
Additionally, while some young people have some disposable income that they can save for retirement, others don't have any money at all due to unemployment.
Unless something is done, the growing life expectancy may spell disaster in future. It is high time Kenyan youth cultivated a saving culture. They should stop thinking that their children will take care of them in old age because when they reach retirement age, their children will also be dealing with challenges of their own.
The government, in collaboration with non-governmental organisations, should create an enabling environment where youths can realise their potential. Where businesses thrive, staff are paid well and citizens are not taxed too heavily. If this happens, young people will be able to save millions for their future.
Aloys Michael Nyabwanga.
Student of Communication and Media Technology, Maseno University