You might not be thinking about this right now, in fact, this might be the last thought to cross your mind considering all that we are experiencing globally at the moment. I wish I could argue the same, but I’m experiencing the complete opposite. The scare of the COVID-19 pandemic has me wondering about my future and how I could better secure it. With the hit of the coronavirus taking all economies for a ride, one has to wonder about all the insecurity there is still to be experienced. If most sectors have been heavily affected by a simple virus, then sure there indefinitely will be other scares that will arise that will leave us to feel more crippled if not concerned about our financial future.
There is not much that we are in control of in this world, but fortunately for us, there are measures that we can look into now that will help us feel more secure and in control in the future. One of the things that I have been pondering on lately is a retirement plan. I know it seems so far fetched to think of at the moment, but honestly, this could be a little monthly commitment and contribution that could change your future now. There was once a TED Talk that I watched by Paula McMillan titled: Retirement: Longevity and Security, it emphasized on the idea of planning your retirement and the benefits of a financial security plan. Followed by this, there was an event that I attended, and one of the guest speakers was a world renounced financial investment expert who spoke about the greater benefits of looking at retirement plans while still in your youth.
The most important concept to understand when looking at retirement plans is the idea of it being an act to invest, an investment in your future. It is a low-risk and long-term investment that could largely assist you in the later terms of your life when you join the pensioner’s group. There are many ways to look at this concept. If you think about the fact that there are other insurance policies, such as life policies, funeral policies, etc., that could financially assist you the older you get, retirement plans are honestly one of the best ways to secure yourself with time. It is the idea that they can be low cost, the earlier you start of course and could run for many many years. What is mostly so attractive about this plan is the fact that it is not based on fear but rather on courage. The idea that you feel sure of the fact that you will see many years and that your future will be insured is honestly so exciting. Unlike life policies, which are great for when you enter full adulthood and at your hands is the responsibility of other people’s lives.
For example, I once received a call from an insurance broker attempting to sell to me life and funeral cover. I am 25 years old by the way. I’m pretty sure that some of us are used to the routine by now, the phone rings, and we instantly wonder of who could be calling you, you pick up and immediately realize that you wish you didn’t. You sit through the call nonetheless already sure about your answer but do not want to be rude, eventually, you politely let them know that you are not interested, and they persist through those declines. I can’t even begin to share how many policies I’ve signed myself up to, and then realized that I made a mistake. All because I felt pressured to, I was guilt-tripped into believing that I may die soon and the policies were a reassurance that my parents (considering I have no other human responsibility) would be well looked after once I died. All of these policies are based on fear and responsibility that does not need your energy or concern because that is not what we are working towards. If you are working towards a long and successful life the fear of death should not be used to manipulate you. Focusing our energy on what we wish to manifest is what we should be doing. Which makes me wonder why I haven’t received any calls regarding my retirement.
Where to start? Do your research. According to Alexander Forbes South Africa, one of Africa’s leading financial services, ‘the rule of thumb is that people should consistently save between 15% to 20% of their monthly salary while aged 20 to 60 to retire comfortably’. It is essential to understand that this is a long-term goal and cannot be achieved in the last couple of years before you reach your retirement stage. There are plenty of financial institutions in South Africa dedicated to provide retirement plans for you, such institutions include Old Mutual, Sanlam, Allan Gray, Hollard Group, and Investec, all offering different retirement packages and annuities. Start planning, investing, and securing your future now, your future you will definitely thank you!