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The Budget and Retirement Savings

The recent budget has had quite an effect on retirement planning. Are you aware of the changes and how they affect you?

Bryan Hirsch

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At the beginning of this year there was an outcry when Bishop Tutu suggested there should be a wealth tax for whites only. But, from my perspective, this budget has proved tantamount to a wealth tax for all.

I fully understand that Pravin Gordhan had to make some difficult calls. He needs to protect our country and ensure he keeps the budget deficit as low as possible. He also had to satisfy a broad range of competing exigencies. So on this I’m giving him a gold star.

My clients expect me to advise them appropriately, based on their individual needs and investment portfolios so, here, macro issues play no part. It’s also a fallacy that the high income earners in this country have a great deal of disposable cash as they shoulder the burden of most of the country’s taxes. This doesn’t come cheaply and it’s not hard to understand why many big earners have very little money left.

Reality check

I believe that the cornerstone of a prosperous country, apart from its citizens being economically active during their working lives, is that they save for their golden years and don’t become a burden on the State.

Let’s examine what has been implemented and what will impact on savings.

  • Capital gains tax was introduced on 1 October 2001 remaining unchanged until now. Currently, with the increase for individuals from 25% up to 33,3%, the marginal tax rate has increased from 10% of the gain to 13,3%. Companies now pay 18,6% and trusts 26,7%. This will affect retirement savings outside formal retirement plans because the gains will be taxed at higher levels.
  • Local dividends will be taxed at 15% (not 10%). This increase places investors in a totally different position from prior to its introduction as, initially, it was thought that the increase would be neutral. Investors’ dividend income will now be reduced by 5% and, again, this will have a negative effect on retirement savings. There is also no guarantee that companies will pass on the previous STC as a dividend.
  • On the positive side for all investors with funds offshore, foreign dividends will now be taxed at 15%. Previously offshore dividends were taxed at your marginal rate.

Additional changes

I was surprised that for the first time in many years, there was no increase in the interest abatement tax which still stands at R22 800 for under 65s and R33 000 for over 65s. Surely an inflation adjustment should have been granted.

Changes in medical deductions to tax credits for those under 65 will wipe out minor increases in tax savings at higher earnings levels. For this reason, there isn’t going to be much more available from tax savings to invest for retirement and, even the slight savings you may make, will be absorbed by the increase in petrol prices and tolls. Unfortunately, if the changes to medical aids for those over 65 are implemented, people in retirement will need to have yet more money saved to pay for some of their medical expenses, which may not be tax deductible. We will receive more information about this in the 2013 budget.

There’s one other big positive in the budget relating to formal retirement plans, including retirement annuities. Prior to the budget, the advantages of a retirement annuity were as follows:

  • Tax deductibility on contributions up to 15% of taxable income
  • Retirement annuities don’t form part of your estate
  • No capital gains tax — paid by the fund
  • No tax paid on interest earned
  • No fixed retirement date.

Following the budget, dividends received by retirement annuities will not be taxed and, although outside retirement annuities CGT has gone up, it has no impact on the retirement fund.

On a final note, I am greatly concerned that SARS appears to have opened the door to increase various taxes in the coming years, and this could impact on future savings for retirement.

BRYAN HIRSCH has been in the financial services industry for 47 years and is a director of Bryan Hirsch Colley & Associates. He has written two books, the first Bryan Hirsch’s Guide to Personal Finance and more recently, Steps to Financial Freedom. Bryan has written for many of South Africa’s top financial and business publications, has been a weekly guest on Radio SAFM for 18 years, and has his own weekly TV show You & Your Money on Summit TV.

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Personal Finance

7 Steps To Achieve Financial Freedom

Achieving financial freedom doesn’t necessarily mean becoming filthy rich – not that that hurts.

Brian Tracy

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In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Brian Tracy explains the seven steps you need to take to achieve financial freedom. Now, financial freedom doesn’t mean becoming filthy rich – lottery winners go bankrupt all the time. Instead, financial freedom is about becoming disciplined and using your money in a way that ensures you can live the sort of life you want both now and in the future.

Related: 5 Qualities Of Successful Entrepreneurs

That’s why the first step isn’t about getting a lot of money. Instead, it’s about teaching yourself to think positively about money. That way, you’ll be in the right mindset to move forward.

Click play to learn more.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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4 Ways To Become A Millionaire Even When You Start With Little

It costs nothing to take advantage of the limitless opportunities online.

Timothy Sykes

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The hardest part of becoming successful is getting started to begin with. But despite the challenges ahead of you, there’s a way to become a millionaire when starting with little. I’m going to show you four reasons why you can become a millionaire with just a small investment.

1First focus on learning, not big gain

Education is your greatest weapon. Focus on learning in the beginning. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on making huge gains in the beginning. Learn everything you can because this is how you build the foundations for long-term gains.

They say that if a millionaire goes bankrupt they’ll nearly always be able to get it back. And that’s because they might have lost their money, but they have the knowledge of how to get back to where they need to be.

Related: 21 Choices Millionaires Make That You Aren’t Making But Should Be

2You can learn loads about any topic online

online-learning

I’m grateful for the internet. It’s the single biggest library in the world. You’re reading this article right now and you’re acquiring knowledge you wouldn’t have been able to acquire 40 years ago. Use the internet to its fullest extent, whether that’s through reading books, browsing articles or watching video tutorials.

Set some time aside every day to learn something online. It could be a video series or a favorite blog. When you get into the habit of learning regularly you’ll find that you advance much faster.

3Focus on the niche you love

These days you can learn about anything and target the niche you’re passionate about. This is what I was able to do with penny stocks. I found a gap in the market and provided knowledge to people who wouldn’t have otherwise being able to access this sort of information.

You can do that with absolutely any niche. When you find a niche you’re passionate about and you use the reach of the Internet you start to make huge gains.

4Prove your expertise by creating free content

Your reputation as an authority is the new business card. There’s a reason I created a penny stock guide and made it free for all. You may have already seen ads for it on social media. The way to succeed with little is to create a reputation through your content.

It’s the gateway to success because through free content you start to build relationships with others who value your work. And from there everyone gets richer.

Related: How To Become A Millionaire, Explained In 1 Minute

You can do lots with a little

The days when you needed a huge investment to become successful are long gone. These days you can do so much with just a little. Find what you love, advance your knowledge in that area, and create a product that fulfills a need. Finally, work on building up relationships through portraying yourself as an authority on your subject.

Combine everything together and you can accomplish anything.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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12 Millionaire Habits To Start Making Serious Money Soon And Build Wealth In A Hurry

Get-rich-quick schemes rarely work but doing the right things every day rarely fails.

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There’s a mindset that’s prevalent these days. It’s one of instant gratification in an on-demand society that looks for quick results with very little effort. Entrepreneurs know that life doesn’t work that way. You need to put in the sweat equity if you’re looking to gain serious results.

When it comes to making money, certain good habits push us forward while some bad habits deter us from getting rich or even making any semblance of serious money.

Clearly, many people are making money and some are making lots, but if they mismanage it and pilfer it away on mindless pursuits, building the proverbial empire is going to be far harder.

Making money is one thing, but creating wealth is an entirely different thing. Obviously, most people can quickly make an extra $100 by selling used items or doing a small gig on a site like Fiverr, but if you’re looking for the kind of cash that can make a significant difference in your life, embrace these 12 millionaire habits. They are sure to drive you in the right direction. You’ll find ways to create real wealth by beckoning financial opportunity and potential windfalls through a positive mindset and a sound emotional, spiritual and mental state. That is quite literally the most powerful mixture of habits that exists for entrepreneurs.

1Always add value

Value makes the world go round. Everyone wants to get value out of an exchange. The most successful entrepreneurs in the world know that if you’re going to make lots of money, then you need to always be adding value. Always seek to add more value to whatever services, information or products you’re selling.

Related: 13 Habits Of Self-Made Millionaires You Could Adopt Today

2Wake up early

The early morning hours are replete with quiet solitude. It’s when you can refine your thoughts and implement your plans before all the distractions of the day. If you are constantly dealing with interruptions throughout your day, find your happy place in the morning. Wake up early so you can plan whatever will advance you toward your goals.

3Exercise

exercise-good-life

Making money isn’t just about implementing good career or business habits. You need to be fit emotionally and physically to fire on all pistons. Exercise in the morning, even if briefly. Exercising gets the blood flowing and oxygenation to the cells, helping you to think clearly and be laser-focused. This habit is implemented by some of the world’s richest entrepreneurs.

4Daily goal setting

You have your long-term goals in place but, if you’re looking to make serious money and quickly, you have to set goals every single day. These are milestones on your way to your biggest and most outlandish goals. Do this when you wake up, first thing in the morning, so that you stay on track and on target. Decide what will move you closer to those financial goals by the end of the day, then go out there and do it.

5Effective time management

Everyone in this world has the same amount of time. The 24 hours of each day is life’s greatest equaliser. It doesn’t matter what we do, where we’re from or how much money we have, we all have the same amount of time.

Effective time management is a must for those looking to get ahead. Whether your goal is to earn a lot of money over time or you just need to earn a little bit of extra cash quickly, properly managing your finite time is what makes it possible to succeed.

Related: 4 Bad Money Habits That Have Left Millionaires Broke

6Networking

Networking is one of the most important habits to have in life. The sayings go, your network is your net worth, and if you lie down with dogs, you’ll definitely come up with fleas. Reach out to others and find out what you can do to add value to their world.

Don’t ask for anything in return, especially not right away. Just insert yourself into the mix, and eventually the opportunities will find you.

7Innercising

John Assaraf

John Assaraf

John Assaraf, who built up a billion-dollar real estate business and is featured in the movie The Secret, preaches the importance of “innercising” in his NeuroGym system. Innercising is mental exercise to reprogram subliminal conditioning deeply embedded in our subconscious. The goal is to frame the mind with a positive financial outlook which attracts money and opportunities to our lives, rather than pushing them away.

8Healthy diet

Will eating healthier help you to attract more wealth or make more money in the interim? You can bet it will. Sound body, sound mind. To have the precision thinking and focus of a highly-trained athlete, you need to eat healthily. Our bodies spend a large amount of their energy on processing foods. Unhealthy eating leaves us with less energy for achieving our goals, whatever they are.

9Saving and investing

Obviously, saving and investing is fundamental to building wealth. It won’t happen as fast as you’d like, but the larger component at play is having moment-of-the-opportunity cash to invest when something requires your attention immediately. When you have capital and are no longer living paycheck-to-paycheck, you’re ready to earn more money when the opportunity presents.

Related: 20 Habits Holding Me Back From Being A Millionaire

10Mindfulness

If you play a cutthroat game and walk all over people, few opportunities will come your way. Being mindful and respectful of others attracts opportunities that you can eventually convert into cash. Be mindful about how you act and what you say so it doesn’t come back to bite you in the butt.

11Work with a mentor

Mentors are great for helping you to earn extra income, whether small or large. A mentor who’s achieved outlandish goals in your industry will offer guidance to help you get where you’re looking to go.

Find a mentor and work with them daily. Ask for their help and guidance as you navigate the choppy waters towards success.

12Contribute to others

Contribution is born from an abundant mindset. When you are sated and have enough for yourself, look to contribute. You can trick your mind into an abundant mindset by simply contributing your time to others. You don’t have to give money. Only time. It’s a subconscious mind trick that moves you away from scarcity to attract more money and opportunities into your life.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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