Written by Teboho Makoetlane
Produced & Design Noto Noto
Many people are disconnected from the realities of retirement until they hit age 50, which usually comes with the realisation of opportunities lost in the past that would make the truth less scary. You may have been fortunate to participate in your employer-sponsored pension or provident funds. However, it would help if you took full responsibility for the decisions you will make the 5 to 10 years before retirement.
Ignoring some of these decisions will cost you and abort your ambition to pass wealth to the next generation. Whether you have worked for an organisation as an employee or your own company, retirement is coming. Yes, it comes manicured differently, but it is what it is, RETIREMENT! Apply your thoughts to the following before you retire:
1. Play Catch-up and get into maximum savings mode:
There are years of your life when you made enormous sacrifices for your family. Sometimes paying off loans and meeting these family needs takes so much away from the possibility of a comfortable retirement. At your age, we believe that you have honoured most of these obligations, and you can now focus on contributing as much as possible to supplement your employer-sponsored plan.
2. Maximise your after-tax withdrawals at retirement:
It is essential to learn the tax pros and cons of each investment product that you buy at this age, both contributions (accumulation) stage and when you make withdrawals. As you decide which investment product to buy, make sure you understand how you can save on tax now and in the future when you most need a higher after-tax income.
3. Budget religiously with precision:
While you are working, it is essential to be certain about how much you earn and how much you spend. Because financial resources are generally limited at retirement, you will have to be precise about your budget so that you can evaluate how long your accumulated retirement resources will last beyond retirement. You might want to start practising how to leave on a lean budget at least five years before you pull the retirement plug.
4. Re-evaluate the risk of your investments:
By looking honestly at risk and return characteristics of all your investments, you are less likely to experience unnecessary losses or mismatches of investment outcomes to your retirement needs. As you approach your retirement, it is important to ask yourself the following questions.
Are you invested in the short term or long term? Do you need some or all of the money now or later? Are you a safe investor or a risky investor?
5. Pay off debt:
Depending on your retirement objectives and goals, paying off debt has a significant impact on the outcomes of your retirement plan. If eliminating debt is your retirement goal, seek advice on the best ways of reducing debt without suffocating other obligations. Understanding the cost (interest rates) of each debt facility you have will help you...