Trends affecting us – Charlene Van Onselen

By Charlene Van Onselen Retirement brings with it many new challenges and fears to be faced. The spending power of money is lessening requiring larger sums to maintain a middle market lifestyle, there are more taxes and levies to be paid than our parents did and we live in a global village where no border is closed. This open border status has resulted in South Africa allowing the manufacturing layer which creates jobs and beneficiated goods for sale and/or export to become thin; whilst boost...

Australian government recognises importance of older workers for the economy

– $1,000 bonus paid to hire a worker over 50 Businesses in Australia have been encouraged to find ways older workers can bring experience and value to their teams after the Government introduced a new $1,000 bonus for companies that hire workers over the age of 50. The move comes as the Australian economy continues to deal with an aging workforce, creating skills gaps, as it also attempts to deal with the number of workers who prefer to work part-time in less demanding roles to supplement ...

SA women neglect financial planning at their peril

Jenny Gordon, Senior Legal Advisor, Legal Services Department, Alexander Forbes Financial Services calls this the Prince Charming syndrome in which many “smart, sophisticated and often high earning South African women believe that somehow the men in their lives, either now or in the future, will take care of the family’s financial needs.”Unfortunately, most women only realise that they should have taken planning for the future more seriously when a life crisis like unemployment or a divorce jolt...

How Changes to the National Retirement Funding system could affect you

Few of the country’s working population will retire with sufficient savings to enjoy the same lifestyle they enjoy while working. In addition, poor investment returns and longer life expectancy are working against the odds of you enjoying the retirement you dreamed of. But the government is determined to change this while simultaneously widening the net to those who have never saved for retirement. A joint task team of National Treasury and the Department of Social Development are about to table...

Quick SA Retirement facts

South Africans spend 75% of their take-home paying off debt. Almost 90% of South Africans spend more money than they earn. 58% expect to continue to work for pay after formal retirement and for the majority, this will be due to financial necessity rather than choice. 62% of South Africans say they are not coping in the current economic climate. 4.7 million South African adults gamble at a casino, at least occasionally. The average South African smoker spends R4 562 per year on cigar...

Insufficient retirement savings

Changes made to retirement savings in the 1990s have left many employees worse off, according to the results of the Sanlam Employee Benefits 2011 benchmark survey. In the 1990s the risk and responsibility of retirement savings was shifted from the employer - known as defined benefits - to the employee - known as defined contributions. Members are still not accepting responsibility for their own retirement savings - and many members aren't actually aware that they carry the risk. The research ...

Quick facts – The latest on retirement

In Sickness and in Health How one long-married spouse fares emotionally and physically can greatly impact the other. Recent research discovered a strong association between such depressive symptoms as loneliness, unhappiness, and restlessness, and physical limitations (i.e., cooking, climbing stairs). The link has been found among individuals, but never before to spouses, and suggests practitioners consider the health of the other spouse when treating their patient. Calculations for Couples ...

The death of retirement

A combination of factors – including inadequate savings, high product costs, combined with the likelihood of muted future returns – means the vast majority of people currently working will be obliged to continue doing so for longer than they might have liked or risk outliving their savings. In an ever-tightening global labour market that’s a daunting prospect. The statistics are sobering. Less than one in 10 of us will retire at 65 – commonly accepted as a “normal” retirement age – and be in ...

Visit the family or save your money?

Having children or family on more than one continent is now almost normal. This trend is challenging families to stay connected. How do we balance the books, continue to save and at the same time feed our “emotional tanks” with a healthy dose of family time? Mary and Tom have two children who are both living outside of South Africa. As they head for the last few years of their work life before formal retirement they are challenged with many questions. Do we sell up and follow the children? Do...

Check Your Balance. Can You Be Trusted?

As the recession hits us in our wallets and bank accounts, we feel more vulnerable and less trustworthy. We find that, increasingly, we have to take more personal responsibility to secure a future that is not built on quicksand. The cornerstone of this is trust, trust both in ourselves and in others. But how much do you trust yourself? This article explores the benefits of a positive emotional bank account built on a relationship of trust. The economic downturn has caused many to be fearful a...