Kwamena & Penelope: How Ghanaian couple who never used retirement money saved enough to start a business

Kwamena & Penelope: How Ghanaian couple who never used retirement money saved enough to start a business

- US-based Ghanaian entrepreneurs, Kwamena Cudjoe, and his wife Penelope Cudjoe are founders of Amac Foods

- Amac Foods is a food company that produces packaged jollof rice which can be found on Amazon and at some whole foods locations

- The couple shared their experience about how they handled money during retirement to start a business

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US-based Ghanaian couple, Kwamena Cudjoe, and his wife, Penelope Cudjoe, have shared their experience about how they handled money during retirement to start a business.

Cudjoe immigrated to the US from Ghana in the 1970s and was later joined by his wife.

Before retiring from active work, he worked as a university professor and then as an international relations officer for the US federal government.

Kwamena & Penelope: Ghanaian couple who'd never used retirement money saved enough to start jollof business
Kwamena & Penelope: Ghanaian couple who'd never used retirement money saved enough to start a jollof business. Image: crabbimedia
Source: Instagram

When he first started working in the US, he didn't know much about the types of retirement plans he could get through his employer.

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As an immigrant, many of the financial systems in the US were far different from those of his home country but he learned about concepts related to retirement planning and insurance policies.

Kwamena eventually heard about a tax-advantaged retirement account called a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) that was offered through his employer.

His initial plan was to save money so that he could build a home in Ghana.

The first year, he began by contributing 7% of his salary to the fund. By the third year, he was maxing out his contributions.

In 2015, Cudjoe and his wife started working on turning their love for cooking West African food into a company in their retirement years using the $3,000 from their savings account.

The couple of six kids now owns Amac Foods, which sells packaged jollof rice.

Amac Foods can be found on Amazon and at some whole foods locations.

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"My whole idea of contributing to the TSP was to save enough to go and build a house in Ghana. Now that I'm here, my thinking was if I build a business and the business becomes successful, I can build the house I want in Ghana," Kwamena told Insider.

After demand for their rice began to pick up, Kwamena Cudjoe withdrew over $30,000 from his TSP to allow them to produce more jollof rice.

Amac Foods can be found on Amazon and at some whole oods locations.e the couple feel comfortable using some of Kwamena's funds as start-up money.

Amac Foods has become a recognised brand with its well-packaged and delicious jollof rice.

"We are working like we are young. We are working like we just started life. So there's no age for anybody to see their dreams," Penelope said.

Earlier, YEN.com.gh reported on a video of a business-minded German lady hawking drinks on the streets of Accra that has surfaced on social media.

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The young white lady was spotted carrying a plastic bucket with the drinks walking through the street to sell despite the risk.

In the video that has been sighted by YEN.com.gh, the lady could be seen in a colourful sleeveless straight dress and a flipflop.

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Source: Yen

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