Also read this article by the editor if you can't save, but simply have to:
Stand-out individuals set the standard for other South Africans to emulate and retirees provide top financial tips to the youth…
Based on a series of focus groups and face-to-face conversations with everyday South Africans — employees and retirees from all walks of life — the 2012 Sanlam Benchmark Survey confirms that most South Africans are struggling to put extra cash aside for the future as they face uncertain employment and a higher cost of living.
However, among a broad spectrum of consumers, the research also found "savings heroes"; individuals to emulate for their consistent dedication to long-term financial objectives.
"In the face of a challenging financial environment, most South Africans are not where they thought they’d be financially and struggling to earn enough money to set aside funds for the future," says Victor Kambule, Regional Manager, Sanlam Employee Benefits.
"However, in the face of numerous challenges, there are 'savings heroes' who are forgoing instant gratification in favour of long-term gain."
The ongoing struggle
According to the research, among employees earning less than R10 000 per month, any savings put aside rarely last more than six months due to present financial difficulties.
This reflects findings from the quantitative element of the Sanlam Benchmark survey that found among those who cash in their retirement policies early, the most popular reason for doing was to settle short term debt (36 percent), followed by pay mortgage bonds (29 percent), home improvements (29 percent) and "living expenses" (24 percent).
Retirees’ top-four financial tips to SA youth
Based on interviews with retirees from across the financial spectrum, the following advice is offered to the youth of South Africa to prepare for a comfortable retirement:
- Start saving as early as possible. However small, put something aside when you can (and leave it alone for as long as you can).
- Limit the amount of debt you take on. Debt is a slippery slope and it can be a crippling financial burden if you spend beyond your means.
- Take retirement seriously. Don’t wait to get advice from an accredited financial advisor. According to the Sanlam Benchmark Survey, 65 percent of retirees receive retirement advice only 15 years before retirement.
- Prioritise health and medical care when saving for retirement. Without your health, you have nothing. The majority (65 percent) of retirees use state medical facilities to deal with a shortfall in medical aid contributions.
Article continues on page two: inspirational, real world examples of "savings heroes" that put us with our excuses to shame…