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i T'S NEVER TOO EARLY for womEN to plan for the golden years

By Zenoyise Madikwa | Feb 18, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

IT IS estimated that over the next 20 years more than 40million women will reach retirement age.

IT IS estimated that over the next 20 years more than 40million women will reach retirement age.

Many of them will have no savings, retirement plan or other resources to help them enjoy the golden years.

If baby boomers and Generation X'ers (people who are born at the end of World War II in the 1940's, and those after them from 1961, respectively) are counting on the Department of Social Services to get them through, the golden years may not be so golden.

Clement Makhaza, financial adviser at Metropolitan, says it is predicted that 30percent of South Africans who plan to retire at the retirement age of 65 will have to carry on working to be able to live well, and about 40percent will depend on spouses or their dependants.

"It's important for women to have their own financial plans in place," Makhaza says.

"In the past, many women relied on their husbands to organise finances for retirement.

"Despite both being breadwinners in many homes, the emphasis is often still placed on men to provide for their families,wherewomen continue to work without investing for their retirement."

Makhaza says current demographics mean that there is a massive pool of soon-to-be retirees, putting a strain on government support for seniors.

He says that in the past, many relied on social security benefits to fund their retirements, but this won't go far enough.

"Women, in particular, tend not to have long-term financial plans in place.

"Considering the overwhelming longevity of women versus men in retirement, it is even more important that they plan for retirement."

Despite the growing financial independence of women, Makhaza says many still rely on their husbands or partners to make the financial decisions and plan the financial future of the family.

And because women live longer than men, they are likely to be the ones left without a main or co-breadwinner.

He says long-term planning does not need to be excessive.

"An initial meeting with a financial adviser to plan for the future you want is an excellent investment of time.

"A trusted adviser can suggest products to suit your lifestyle and can tailor a financial plan to maximise your wealth.

"My advice to women is to make a start now. It is never too early to plan for retirement."


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