THE Ministry of Labour and Social Security through the National Council for Senior Citizens officially launched its second annual series of retirement planning seminars aimed at encouraging persons in the informal sector to start planning for retirement while working.
The islandwide seminars, which ends this Thursday, is expected to benefit persons ages 18 to 55 years old who will be sensitised about setting and achieving realistic goals and objectives for the future.
Minister of Labour and Social Security Derrick Kellier said the seminars represent the kind of conversations that the Ministry must continue to have with the society, if both the Government and its social protection agencies are to remain relevant and effective in advancing the goals of nation-building.
"Failing to plan for retirement is perhaps the biggest mistake any citizen of this country can make ...with proper planning, the thousands of Jamaicans entering, passing through or having completed mid-life, can look forward to a life of material and emotional stability," said Kellier who was addressing participants at the launch held at the Cardiff Hall Hotel in Runaway Bay, St Ann, last Thursday.
Pointing to a study which was undertaken by the Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre in 2012 entitled: 'Ageing in Jamaica today and the implications over a one year period', Kellier said it was discovered that globally, persons 60 years and older represent eight per cent of the world's population in 1950 and jumped to 10 per cent in 2000. This figure is projected to soar to 21 per cent
He further explained that the study indicated that in Jamaica, in particular, senior citizens now constitute some 11.3 per cent of the population and this is projected to rise to 25 per cent by 2050.
"In addition to resulting factors from the above studies, we also need to recognise we are also living longer, which means that many of us will also have a longer period of retirement. Consequently, the issue of how to retire successfully need not delude us and have never been more pressing as the 'baby boom' generation evolves into the 'retirement boom' generation," Kellier said.
He noted also that many employees are starting to focus on the possible benefits of staying at work longer.
"The seminars are to help Jamaicans facing retirement to ultimately plan for a rewarding, productive and emotionally fulfilling life," Kellier told participants.