When I think about growing old a number of thoughts spring to my mind: Grey hair, Arthritis, Denches, walking stick, strollers, flat flexi-shoes, copious amounts of medication/suppliments, thick-lensed eye glasses, frail fingers, sagging ear lobes, wrinkles, slow-motion body movement, talking gibberish, forgetfulness, old people’s home, intensified OCD, grumpiness, long naps, chicken soup, tomato soup, brocolli soup, cauliflower soup…well if you haven’t got teeth at 80 and you don’t want to get food stuck in your denches then soup’s what you’ll probably lean to reluctantly…it’s a scary thought.
It doesn’t mean I want to die young and still have a fine looking corpse. I want to have children, I want to watch them grow, I want to guide my children through life and ensure they grab opportunities I missed in my youth, I want to attend their weddings, I want them to have my grandchildren, I want my children to take care of me but not to point where I seem like an absolute burden, I want to have my whole family close by, I don’t want to be alone when I die…
Before you return to Nigeria it is important that you weigh all your housing options: ‘Do I have relatives I can lodge with for a while?’ ‘Do I have a friend who could accommodate me for at least 6months?’ These are cheaper options than finding a hotel or guest house. Ideally, you want to land a job and save enough to pay 2 years rent before you consider moving out.
With regards house rent in Nigeria most landlords or property agents ask for an upfront payment of 1-2years rent. In some cases you can pay down for a longer period if you so wish. The good thing is that for this length of time you do not have to worry about rent. Ensure that you get a stamped official receipt as proof of payment and/or a letter to that effect.
Do your research if you are unsure of what part of Nigeria to relocate to. Lagos is a commercial hotspot so the tendency is for people in neighboring states to apply for jobs there. If you think you want to work in Lagos then consider the travel distance between your (prospective) home and the office. If you work on the Island i.e. Victoria Island (V.I), Lekki, Ikoyi, etc and you live on the mainland i.e. Ikeja, Apapa, Ogba, Festac, etc then you have to travel through Third Mainland bridge or Carter bridge. There are varying levels of traffic depending on the time you venture unto these routes.
Generally properties are more expensive on the Island compared to the mainland. You also tend to get better value on the mainland. For instance, a 1-bed apartment in V.I could fetch a 3-bed apartment in Ikeja. Also consider living in residential estates so you can be part of a community. They are usually more secure and well-serviced (e.g. street lighting, security guards, etc.)
When choosing your new place, also make sure that you are close to key locations. For example, pharmacy, hospital, mini-mart/shop, supermarket, etc. This would mean you could make those emergency stops and save money on your transportation costs while you’re at it.