Lessons from retirees who got it right

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Possibly the best lessons on what to do to ensure a happy retirement come from those who have got things right and are now enjoying the fruits of their good sense and wise planning. Patrick Sheehy, head of product management at Glacier by Sanlam, says a recent report revealed striking similarities in retirees’ recipes for a happy retirement. “The one big theme that came through was planning: planning financially (and saving for retirement as early as possible) and planning to ensure good medical treatment. But, interestingly, the retirees all recommend […]
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New research shows exercise could help prevent Alzheimer’s

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Scientists have found that intense exercise – short bouts of interval training over the course of 20 minutes – resulted in significant improvement in high interference memory which, for example, allows us to distinguish our car from another of the same make and model. A new study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience suggests that combining intense exercise and brain training might, over time, amplify the benefits of both for the brain. Most of us are unaware of the complexity of our brain’s memory system. Memories come in many […]
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Young people making same retirement planning mistakes as their parents

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[with acknowledgement to Sizwe Dlamini in Personal Finance, 17 June 2017] Although their financial behaviour differs from that of other generations in some respects, Millennials may still be in danger of making the same mistakes as their parents when investing and planning for retirement. The stark reality is that 94% of South Africans are unable to retire comfortably, and a recent survey by 10x Investments reveals worrying insights into the saving habits of young South Africans. Steven Nathan, the chief executive of 10X Investments, says that, in addition to highlighting […]
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High cost of caring for family members with Alzheimer’s

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by Laura du Preez. [Reproduced with acknowledgement to Personal Finance, 17 September 2016] Increasing longevity means people are enjoying longer lives, but it has also led to an alarming increase in the prevalence of illnesses, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, that require long-term care. More and more families are having to pay for facilities such as frail care or hired help at home, or are losing the income of a family member who has to say home to care for an elderly relative. According to DementiaSA’s website, dementia affects […]
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Pension increases unlikely to beat inflation

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Take home pay continues to increase, but pension increases are slowing, with retirees facing below-inflation increases because investment returns are sluggish. According to the latest Bankserv/Africa Private Pension Index (BPPI), the average nominal annual increase in private pensions was 7.8 percent in February – to R5 992 per month –compared with 9.1 percent increase in take-home pay. Mike Schussler, chief economist at Economists.co.za, says it is unlikely that pension increases will continue to beat inflation, because equity market returns are barely out-performing inflation and interest rates are just above inflation. […]
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Early retirement puts your financial future at risk

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If you retire early – whether by choice or because you are forced to do so by your employer – your monthly pension could be considerably lower, creating financial hardship in later life. Retiring just 5 years earlier – at age 60 rather than 65 – after having contributed to a pension fund since the age of 20 could result in your pension being 27 percent lower. Retiring 10 years early could reduce your monthly pension by 47 percent. Pensions are significantly lower because, not only will you have saved […]
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What to do when a person dies

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When a relative or someone close to you dies, there are a number of steps you must follow Get a death certificate. A document stating the person has died is completed by the undertaker, funeral parlour or doctor. This is taken to the Department of Home Affairs, which issues a death certificate. The deceased estate must be reported to the Master’s Office. This is usually done by a person who has an interest in the estate, such as a beneficiary. The beneficiary appoints someone such as an attorney, accountant or […]
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Changing face of retirement

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Young people tend not to think about retirement – or if they do, they follow advice better suited to the reality of retirement in today’s world. But the path to retirement is changing, and by the time today’s 30-somethings retire, their realities will be quite different to those who retire today. Some of the reasons are: Self-employment is now more prevalent amongst young people Many younger people are self-employed and must make their own retirement plans without the benefit of an employer contributing to their retirement savings and providing benefits […]
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“Treasury wants you to retire better by default” by Laura du Preez

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Proposals aimed at nudging you to do the right thing and preserve your retirement savings if you leave your job and helping you to convert your savings to a pension at retirement, were released by National Treasury this week. The far-reaching proposals, contained in draft regulations under the Pension Funds Act, won’t remove your right to take your retirement savings in cash from an employer-sponsored fund if you leave your job, but will force you to think twice about doing so. This is because your fund will be obliged to […]
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Loneliness bad for elderly

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Elderly men and women with solitary lives suffer more age-related mental decline than those who enjoy lots of company. Research has shown that social isolation is more damaging than not exercising – and twice as harmful as obesity. The latest study, by Harvard Medical School in Boston, shows the effect of loneliness on the mind. Although the mind would be expected to slow down with age, the effect was accelerated by 20 percent in the loneliest people. Researcher Dr Nancy Donovan said: “Lonely people decline cognitively at a faster rate […]
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