When I was young, it was all work. More work and hard work until old age caught up with me. Luckily or to be exact about it legally, I was entitled to a lifetime pension. If you are working in the private sector, the law gives you the Social Security System (SSS) and if you are in the public sector, the law gives you the GSIS (Government Service Insurance System). These laws were enacted to give the workers protection and security in the twilight years of their life, when the worker can no longer work and earn a living. I was very happy when my pension started. I just have to go to the ATM every month and thereafter, to get it.
Most of us would find the transition, from working very hard to earn a living then suddenly doing nothing but receiving a monthly income, a welcome relief. The first year would be very satisfying, as you very well know that you are going to receive a certain amount monthly and you would do your very best to live within that budget. Most would reason that, there is no longer any room for extra expenses or out-of-budget spending. But after getting adjusted to the situation for a while, the pensioner can well balance his expenses to include saving for the unexpected emergencies. You would always be thankful of the lifetime pension.
After retirement, I have lots of free time, and I have more time to go in the malls and out in the parks. I befriended a lot of people, mostly old folks who just wanted someone to talk to. You would be surprised that not all retirees have pension, and this made me ask why. It seems that not all people prepare for their old age. Many had work experiences but were not informed well or had thought that they will not live long or simply ignored the obvious fact that we will get old and can no longer work someday. Some of these people consider me as lucky. I think to myself that yes, luck was very good to me but that is another story because I have two (GSIS and SSS) pensions to enjoy, which we would discuss later.
Having no pension would not be a problem if you are already rich when you grow old or just when a son or daughter has become very successful and decide to take care of you. But these are very few and seldom in our country. This made me think, and I resolved that information about retirement and pension must be available for everybody. I have since tried my best to impart my experiences and observations about retirement and pensions to all who cares to listen. The government is doing its part, with the concerned agencies GSIS and SSS have doors open for people who want to get information, while radio and television programs are widespread reaching all parts of the country. The young generation is better informed with access to the Internet, where all questions can be researched and answered.
Pension would make you enjoy your retirement better, no questions about it. Better pensions would make it best. How then could we have better pensions? How come that some pensioners have two, three or more pensions? Why do some people enjoy their pension in dollars or foreign currencies? I would like to answer these questions next time.