On the Money Series by Old Mutual: Retirement Planning Lessons from the Leopard


Old Mutual Ghana – a subsidiary of pan-African investment, savings, pensions, insurance, and banking group, Old Mutual – introduces a new financial security education series dubbed ‘On The Money’ that seeks to educate and inform readers on how to save and invest money for the long-term to live a fulfilled life in later working life and/or upon retirement.

The series focuses on major African animals including the elephant, leopard, lion, buffalo and rhinoceros, and how each of these animals offer powerful retirement planning advice which can help you live the best retirement life.

Retirement Planning Lessons from the Leopard

This week, the focus is on the Leopard.

Have you ever seen a leopard hunt?

The leopard’s hunting technique is to either ambush its prey or to stalk it. It focuses on a specific prey, and continues to watch it. Begins moving toward it step by step, and then finally it leaps in an explosive charge (up to 65km/h) – pouncing on its prey and dispatching it with a bite to the neck.

What lessons can we draw from the leopard?

Planning, planning, planning. How many times did you read the word ‘planning’? Three times – but it cannot be stressed enough. When you plan, you are already halfway through to success; but when you do not plan you have already failed.

No one starts a long road trip without a map of how they are planning to get to their destination. Saving is the same; you need to have a clear objective of what you are saving for. When committing to your savings plan, you need to:

  1. Write down each goal/objective you have
  2. The amount you want to save
  3. The target date for reaching your goal

While you work on these three key points, you must always make these realistic so that you can ensure your success. No matter how exciting it is, the Leopard will not take on a game it cannot pursue or hunt down. Despite being a large cat that is expected to hunt down any animal for food, the leopard knows it is very difficult going after animals such as elephants, lions and cheetahs. And so it would rather go after antelopes and hares which are more realistic targets.

Have a vision and sense of direction (it all comes down to planning)

But does the leopard just see an antelope and go after it? No, not at all. The leopard focuses on a specific prey, continues to watch it then begins to move toward it step by step, and finally it leaps on it and takes hold of the prey.

There’s a strong lesson we can learn from the leopard here, and that lesson is the secret of planning. To enjoy a peaceful retirement life, we need to plan well. Often, we tend to be careless with money because we do not have something that is driving us in a good direction. It is important to have a powerful financial plan driving our behaviour.

Envision your preferred retirement lifestyle and plan adequately for it. The Leopard teaches us that if we have strong, powerful visions; that is a starting point for us to begin changing our financial behaviour positively. The leopard starts by focusing on a specific prey and then begins calculating how to approach it, and then at some point grab and eat it.

In the same way, you can also start by focusing on your dream retirement lifestyle. Do you want to retire and still be able to drive the latest Mercedes S Class or BMW 7 Series? I believe you want to still go on holidays with the family to the newest locations as when you were in active work. Then you must plan toward it now, so you can enjoy all the luxuries of life even in retirement.

Take it step by step

Just like the leopard would do, begin to break that down into a broad financial plan which has very clear steps on the things you want to do and how you want to achieve them. It’s not enough to just have goals. There must be a strategy to achieve it. And this is the secret of the leopard. Someone said if you aim at nothing, you’ll surely hit it. So why not aim at something purposeful? Start with the end in mind and plan well.

Old Mutual Retirement Salary

Like the leopard that plans steadily, comfortably and delivers its meal, a major financial tool that helps you adequately plan your retirement is the Old Mutual Retirement Salary. It is designed such that you can achieve the comfortable and luxurious retirement desired because there is a guaranteed stream of income for the rest of your life in retirement.

The Old Mutual Retirement Salary is meant to help retirees have a sound and fulfilled retirement. To qualify for the Old Mutual Retirement Salary, an individual has to be 50 years and above and should have invested a minimum lump-sum of GH¢20,000 upfront.

But here is the best part, you need not make the lump-sum available at once. When you choose your preferred retirement style, the Old Mutual Retirement Salary allows you to start saving toward the lump-sum; or those on retirement can simply make the payment and plan for the monthly retirement salary they will be receiving.

In addition to the retirement salaries for retirees, couples can also enjoy joint spousal benefits when they take the policy together. There is also a funeral cover for all policyholders. The guaranteed term ensures that regular retirement salary ceases after the customer’s death. Nevertheless, an annuitant is allowed to select a minimum period of years when the product is initially purchased for which the income is guaranteed to be paid even after death. The nominated beneficiaries can also receive the remaining income in the guaranteed term.

Closing comments

To sum up, one must learn these few tips from the leopard.

  1. Leopards find a high vantage point in a tree or on a hill, and from there they plan their day. First, they figure out what they want to eat (vision).
  2. Then they identify which animal they are going to bring down (set a goal).

You too can do much better on the hunt for the prize in your life: financial security, good money management, wealth – if you have great vision. Use your vision to help you remain focused on making your dreams come true.

Most of us, to tell the truth, don’t have these powerful visions. We may have some idea of what we want. Sometimes our ideas are unrealistic, but even when they are realistic we don’t often make them happen. Often, they are unsupported – we’ve got no one backing us to make them a reality; and, in truth, we don’t even have a back-up system. This lack of any kind of vision is exactly why so many of us do so much unplanned spending, and that must change.

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