The Citizen (KZN)

TikTok can help you save

HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO SURVIVE WHEN YOUR GOLDEN YEARS ARRIVE? You should have saved 17 times your annual salary.


Do you really know how much you need to retire and how to ensure you save enough – and did you know that a TikTok trend can help you? Having enough is especially important since 89% of South Africans plan to work part-time post-retirement due to insufficie­nt savings with 40% relying on asset sales, family support and social grants.

This concerning trend is primarily attributed to the absence of a savings culture along with other contributi­ng factors such as a lack of retirement planning or insufficie­nt funds for retirement, says Brad Winstanley, commercial director at Devmco Group, a team of over 60 skilled profession­als from various industries.

“Although the prospect of saving may seem daunting, planning ahead for retirement ensures the lifestyle you desire at the end of a hard-earned career.”

Sanlam says you should have saved 17 times your annual salary after working for 40 years.

Discovery says many financial planners use a replacemen­t ratio of 75% of your current salary and to set a target goal for this replacemen­t ratio, a good estimate is to multiply your monthly salary by 200.

The total you get is the amount you will need if you retired today at a 75% replacemen­t ratio.

So if you are earning R40 000 a month, which covers your living costs with some money to spare: R40 000 x 200 = R8 000 000.

Therefore, R8 million is about the total amount you will need to have saved at retirement in today’s terms.

However, Discovery says the replacemen­t ratio of 75% is a rule of thumb and is based on the assumption that you will not have a home loan or any other large debt by retirement age. This means that your monthly expenses will be lower.

But people are living for longer and medical expenses tend to rise after retirement, which can affect the replacemen­t ratio.

However, the journey to retirement is far from standardis­ed, says Winstanley.

“The path is unique for each individual with the required retirement fund based upon personal circumstan­ces, goals and an array of external factors including lifestyle choices, health considerat­ions, inflation rates and anticipate­d investment returns.”

As the question of how much you need to retire remains subjective, it is crucial to consider these 10 key aspects when planning for a comfortabl­e retirement:

Define your retirement goals, outlining your desired lifestyle and financial objectives;

Calculate your anticipate­d expenses and consider factors like housing, health care and inflation;

Assess your current financial situation by evaluating your savings, investment­s and debts;

Develop a realistic budget that aligns with your retirement goals;

Create an emergency fund for unexpected expenses;

Research and plan for health care costs, including health insurance premiums;

Understand potential income sources such as pension benefits;

Strategica­lly invest your portfolio and consider the impact of taxes on your retirement income;

Remember inflation’s effect on your buying power; and

Regularly review and adjust your retirement plan to adapt to changing circumstan­ces.

Winstanley says it is imperative to think about what you envision retirement to look like before entering this chapter to ensure you are prepared.

Apart from the financial aspects, many people search for a solid investment when retirement age nears and often prioritise quality health care.

How do you save enough money for retirement?

Heather Bell, business developmen­t manager at Just SA, says the days are gone of silently trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Now “loud budgeting” is taking centre stage and highlights that the truth about finances should be shared openly.

“This is particular­ly true when it comes to the money you save towards your golden years,” she says.

“Loud budgeting” started as a joke but has become a TikTok trend and is now going global.

“This new mindset helps to ensure we stop living beyond our means and are totally honest about it,” adds Bell.

“While this does not mean limiting our aspiration­s, it does link to the realities many of us face.

“In South Africa especially, with a low economic growth and a relentless­ly rising cost of living, having enough money to get by and to put towards your future requires a delicate balance.”

Bell says it is important to be honest with yourself, your friends and your loved ones about your financial means to ensure you have enough money for your future.

Some tips:

The first thing to remember is that saving money for retirement may require some sacrifices.

“Whether you are relying on your employer to help you save for your golden years or doing it through a retirement annuity or tax-free savings account, the reality is that you need time for wealth to compound. This will help you accumulate enough funds.”

Declaring “loud budgeting” to your family, friends and colleagues represents your ambition to make ends meet.

“Instead of overspendi­ng, you are proudly prioritisi­ng crucial financial factors like your retirement contributi­on.”

“Loud budgeting” is a healthy alternativ­e to being unable to afford to save, going into debt or having to live more frugally because you have run out of money, Bell says.

“While there are many temptation­s to part with your hardearned cash, it is better to be in control to help you save enough for your needs down the line. To complement this, a written plan is a good way to approach retirement with confidence.”

What must you then consider about your golden years? Bell says many people avoid dedicating time to financial self-care.

“While spoiling family members or travelling are common, addressing crucial questions like whether you want to leave money behind for your family, or how much of your pre-retirement income you will be able to replace when you retire, should be considered as early as possible.”

A financial advisor can help you to tackle these and other questions and consider which post-retirement products will work for you depending on how much you have saved.

Bell says many retirees find themselves hesitant to risk “losing” their hard-earned capital in the event of their death – a risk associated with life annuities, although we are living longer and these pay an income for life or give you capital protection for an appropriat­e term.

“As a result, many retirees opt for a living annuity instead and quietly end up drawing down too much of their capital to sustain their pre-retirement lifestyle, which often results in running out of money too soon.”

She says a blended annuity may be a better option, as it includes life, as well as living annuity, features in a single product, empowering you to tailor a well-balanced combinatio­n over time.

A financial advisor can help you to choose the most suitable annuity product for your individual circumstan­ces to optimise your retirement income but depends on how you managed your budget before you get there.

“To make the preferred choice about your retirement income, you will need to be strong in your resolve to not waste money now and remember that silence is not golden. Be proud about your goal to save, embrace loud budgeting for the sake of your future finances and reap the rewards when your golden years arrive.”

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