When I attend family social gatherings, it provides an opportunity for my uncles and aunts to question my unmarried state. You would likely think I have the plague from their reactions ranging from shock to outright disapproval. I have had different members of my family matchmaking me with various eligible suitors as they say. However, nobody has actually taken out time to ask me why I’m not yet married.
I clocked thirty this year and every morning I wake up, I am happy I made the right decision to postpone marriage. I got my first job at the age of 27years and right now my net worth is inching closer towards the N6mn mark. I realize now how lucky I am because I have been able to achieve this within 2years and five months. If I had gotten married much earlier (right after graduation), I would be struggling financially. Based on my calculation, by retirement, I will have N32mn socked away in stocks and mutual funds.
I decided to wait this long to secure my future and that of my unborn children. Currently, I earn more than $1,000 monthly and I invest 90% of this amount in stocks. I am a long term investor. This half year, I have decided to invest in IBTC ethical funds rolling over the dividend income for 15years. I will be 45years then getting ready to retire. So I have between now and retirement a total of 15years to secure my future bearing in mind the following factors that will aid me: promotions with current workplace which will have a direct bearing on my monthly salary, other benefits/perks and possible job movements.
One of the issues I have raised with my intending spouse to be is the issue of finances. I have realized money is a thorny issue among couples. To avoid conflict during marriage, it is better to iron out any issues we may have regarding our finances.
Based on our backgrounds, we possess different attitudes towards money due to what we learnt from our parents.
If our parents imbibed financial indiscipline, then it is possible that our personal financial struggle will be at par with our parents.
To avoid this, the first thing I did was to share and communicate my goals for financial freedom which are: early retirement, opportunity to travel and see the world (ongoing), financial ability to give my unborn children access to quality and affordable education (intend to offer partial support towards my children’s education at international top rated management schools, if they choose to go); early retirement will afford me the opportunity to pursue other interests such as photography, pottery and jeweler designing.
Secondly, we have also discussed on the number of children we intend to have. We have decided on two (actually I decided on two, he wants four – I had to use my persuasive and negotiating skills as a marketer to sell the benefits of having two children). Benefits such as quality education, opportunity to travel together, provide an inheritance for our unborn children e.t.c. the list is endless. The UNDP released a report indicating that 60% of Nigerians were living under $1 on a daily basis. I think it is selfish for couples to have children that cannot adequately cater for.
Thirdly, the neighborhood we intend to live in as a couple. When a man allows a woman to choose the house and neighborhood both couples will live in after marriage, there won’t be a need for complaints. I remember when my sister got married, her husband had paid for the house and today she complains about the distance of the local market to the house which is a negative. Our neighborhood choices range from Anthony Village to Magodo.
Adoption- I intend to adopt a child as a way of providing love and security for an abandoned child. This I have discussed fully with my spouse and he totally agrees with me.
We intend to keep our extended family out of our martial affairs to focus on providing a solid and secure future for our children and ourselves. The less they know about our finances, the better for us. We also intend to strictly abide by our budgetary plans.