Wills and women

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According to an article in Personal Finance [25 August 2018], the acclaimed soul singer, Aretha Franklin, who died on 16 August, did not have a Will. Her death was not sudden. She had been battling pancreatic cancer for months. Her lawyer had repeatedly urged her to make a Will. But, despite having assets worth around $80 million and four children – one of whom has special needs – she apparently didn’t see the need for one. Instead, she will join the ranks of other stars like Prince and Ike Turner, […]
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Look on the bright side to live to 100: study

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We have been told in the past that the key to living to a ripe old age is a healthy diet and plenty of exercise – but it seems the sheer determination to carry on could also keep us alive. Researchers from the University of Rome and the University of California San Diego (UCSD) studied 29 people aged between 91 and 101, who were unsurprisingly found to have worse physical health than their family members aged 51 to 75. But when it came to mental health, the oldest inhabitants of […]
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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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