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It's never too early to save

By unknown | Dec 01, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

MOST of us dislike change, but the only constant thing in life is change itself. This is reflected in the different phases of our lives.

MOST of us dislike change, but the only constant thing in life is change itself. This is reflected in the different phases of our lives.

l The first phase in this stage is when your parents try to take care of all your needs. Hopefully, you were advised to save part of your birthday and pocket money from an early age and these savings came in very handy for a deposit on a car or even paid towards your studies.

l The second phase is when you completed your studies and probably left home. Now you may have a job or be self-employed. At this time in life, it's all about enjoyment and the pleasures that earnings can provide. Sadly, very few consider saving for retirement as it seems impossibly remote at this stage. But it is never too early to start saving and the eighth wonder of the world, the power of compound interest, is your best friend.

I would suggest that you consider making monthly payments towards unit trusts, endowment policies and retirement funds. It is also essential to have life assurance, disability and dread disease cover, plus some form of medical insurance in the form of a hospital plan, at the very least.

l During the third phase of your life you get married and the children come along. Having children is financially onerous and it will make your life easier knowing you have savings set aside for schooling and tertiary education.

l Both you and your spouse need to draft a will to ensure that financial dependents left behind are well taken care of and free from financial worry.

l The final phase would be considered the best part of life. Children have left home, you have worked hard all your life and you are now ready for retirement. Your options at retirement must be understood so that you ensure the best possible outcome for you and your family. Now is the time to sit back and enjoy the savings for which you have worked so hard during the last decades.

As you have saved so consistently and for such a long time and because of the power of compound interest, you will not have to lower your standard of living.

Let's summarise the most important points relative to the above.

l We insure our cars and homes, but we tend to neglect insuring ourselves and our loved ones.

l We send our cars for regular services, but we overlook and, often, ignore having regular medical check-ups.

l Life cover needs to be re-assessed on a regular basis and, as lifestyle changes, the necessary adjustments should be made.

l Our worst enemy is inflation.

l It's much easier to spend than save but, with a little discipline, a small amount saved today could go a long way by the time you retire.

l Use a dependable financial planner who can hold your hand in the years ahead to ensure you stay on track and that you regularly reassess your situation as you move from one phase of your life to another.

l The writer is a director of Bryan Hirsch Colley.


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