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Bajans urged to make early plans for retirement

Elsa Webster

Elsa Webster

Barbadians are being urged to take planning for retirement very seriously while they are employed.

Newly appointed executive director of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons, Elsa Webster, told media at the organisation’s first press briefing of the year this morning that they were trying to tackle this issue head-on.

She noted that already they had been invited to address some businesses, but they welcomed the opportunity to talk to people who are not members, and certainly those who are young and employed.

Stating that retirement planning was not something to be taken lightly, Webster said: “There is no reason why a person’s standard of living should deteriorate substantially on retirement.”

“Many people either underestimate the amount or type of resources that are required for their retirement, in some cases some persons are just unable to plan adequately or plan at all for their retirement,” she said at the press conference at BARP’s Collymore Rock, St. Michael headquarters.

The economy, she said, was making it harder and harder for persons to plan as they should for retirement and the organisation was encouraging more retirement planning sessions to be held in Barbados.

“We are at the moment taking part in and encouraging the conduct of retirement planning sessions which target persons from an early age and to impress on them the need for retirement planning not just from the financial aspect but also from a standpoint of health.

“What are the living arrangements? What are you going to do when you get to a certain age? What are you going to do if you get very ill? Who are you going to live with? All of these things need to be considered now, not at the time that they occur.”

Noting that Barbados and the Caribbean had some of the highest rates of non-communicable diseases, Webster said this too needed to be factored into planning for retirement.

President Ed Bushell said this was one of the reasons they were forming relationships with organisations like the Diabetes Association and others to have a more all encompassing approach to retirement that also actively tackled NCDs. (LB)

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