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Your Retirement Journey

According to statistics, only 6% of South Africa’s workforce will be able to afford to retire comfortably.

Bryan Hirsch




It is unfortunate that so few people realise that neither contribution to a retirement fund, nor to a private pension plan, necessarily guarantees sufficient funds on which to retire.

My advice is to calculate the numbers now, in order to establish where you are today and what your journey will be for the future. I’m often asked when you should start saving for retirement and my reply is always “the first day you start work.”

If you talk about retirement to a newly employed, young person they are quite likely to laugh at you. After all, your working life can be anything over 40 years and, when you’re 20 years of age, this is two lifetimes away!

The real problem exists when people don’t know how much to put away for retirement. I’ve written about the effects of inflation on spending, but the numbers are more shocking when you consider someone earning R30 000 per month today at, say, age 30 and at a 7% inflation rate, will need to be earning R228 000 per month at 60 years of age.

The main reasons why investors don’t have sufficient funds at retirement are:

1. Lack of preservation of retirement savings when changing jobs

Lack of preservation when changing your job is not negotiable because, if you opt to take the funds and start again, it will take years of additional contributions to make up for the lump sum you were paid out and, worse still, you will lose out on the eighth wonder of the world, namely the power of compound interest.

2. Inadequate contributions to a retirement fund

If you are a member of a company fund and you and your employer contribute equally, bear in mind that a portion of the contribution will go towards the cost of group life, disability and administration. This could be as much as 3% – 4% per annum.

Furthermore, your pensionable salary is often lower than your actual earnings because contributions may not be paid on commissions and/or bonuses received.

This is where retirement annuities play a major role because you can contribute up to 15% of non-funded retirement earnings which will be tax deductable. This means that if you are in an employer driven retirement fund, but you earn other monies which are not part of your pensionable salary, you can make use of this allowance.

3. Wrong investment strategy

Investors are often too conservative. For any period in excess of seven years, you should be fully invested in markets both locally and abroad although you need to be regulation 28 compliant. Although many funds have a voluntary default option which, upon nearing retirement, ensures funds are invested more conservatively, I’m not sure if you should automatically decide on this. My reasoning is simple. We live up to 25 years or longer in retirement and, therefore, when you come to retire you must look for some growth assets which will take inflation into account during the ensuing 10 – 15 years.

It’s back to the importance of understanding your financial plan. You need to assemble all the pieces of your puzzle to fully understand what your total funds will be at retirement. What is even more important is understanding what you’re invested in, understanding that if it’s income you need, you want certainty and security but, if time is on your side, you need growth.

Plan well in advance

Mature people will tell you that old age is not for sissies. Planning for retirement and understanding your journey is not for the financially disorganised. You don’t have to be a financial wizard but you do need to plan correctly. After all, when you go on holiday, it’s normal to plan your trip weeks in advance. The same principle applies to your lifetime financial journey. If you don’t plan properly while you have time on your side, and the earning capacity, don’t be surprised if it’s too late once you retire.

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.


Personal Finance

10 Tips To Become A Millionaire This Year

Becoming a millionaire requires changing your mindset and implementing some changes.

Murray Newlands



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Becoming a millionaire may seem out of your reach, but it’s possible with the right attitude and guidance. The fact of the matter is your income can only grow as quickly as you do, so you need to change your mindset to achieve your goal of becoming a millionaire.

Once you have a millionaire mind, you can’t lose it, no matter what financial or business mistakes you make along the way. To get yourself there, you’re going to need some structure. To help you, I’ve outlined the top ten tips you should follow to become a millionaire this year.

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Personal Finance

If You Think These 5 Things, You’ll Never Get Rich By The Time You’re 30

Five common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a business and how to correct them.



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Last week, I had lunch with a millennial who wanted some advice about a business he’s starting. After the usual small talk, we got down to discussing his business plan. Within a short time, it was clear that his business idea was great, his plan for executing was fairly solid and he had gathered together a strong team to help him make it happen.

So far, so good. But, to be frank, this guy has no chance of being successful with his current mentality. What it takes to be rich (or successful in any measure) has a lot more to do with your mindset than your ideas and plans.

From the time we started in business at the ripe ages of six and seven, our Grandpa Joe taught my brother Matthew and me many lessons about the details of running a profitable business. Over the years, we learned about how to create a business plan; how to market our products and services; and how to take care of customers, vendors and employees. All this knowledge has been invaluable to us in creating and running successful businesses. But, what our grandfather taught us about attitude and mindset trumps all other lessons.

Without calling out the specific individual I spoke with recently, below are five “hypothetical” attitudes that will get you nowhere in your journey to success – and the attitudes that should replace them.

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Personal Finance

5 Habits That Lead To Millionaire Business Success

You need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.

Timothy Sykes




What do all millionaire businesspeople have in common? Well, a lot of things.

I found from a recent study that 80 percent of all millionaires still go to work every single day. They’re working people just like me. But, they have to keep themselves in work or it all grinds to a halt. So what are the habits you need to make your business a success?

1. Patience

Nothing is ever going to come easy. You can look at the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, as well as the other usual suspects, to realize that success didn’t come with their first venture. Many of them failed time and time again. It took patience for them to become successful.

I read an article recently about 36-year-old teacher Andrew Hallam who became a self-made millionaire on a teaching salary. But, in his spare time he invested smart and lived frugally.

It proves you don’t have to inherit lots of money or become an instant success to make a millionaire business.

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

2. Dedication

You have to be dedicated to your craft if you’re going to become successful. Going back to Bill Gates again, he started his business in the back of his garage. Now that’s dedication.

It’s what I tell all my students. If they’re not dedicated to this, then they should leave. You need to be able to push through the barren periods if you’re going to reach the oasis of success.

3. Ambition and big dreams

Have you ever heard the quote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”?

I take that to heart because even if you aim to become a billionaire and miss you still might be a millionaire many times over. Take the Wright Brothers as an example. Not content with creating a successful glider in 1902 they went on to create the world’s first airplane in 1903, making four brief flights in Kitty Hawk. It demonstrates the importance of dreaming big because you never know what you might achieve.

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

4. Learn from mistakes

Every good businessperson will mess something up. It’s inevitable. What’s important is how you learn from your mistakes over time. Do you adapt after making your mistakes?

Millionaire businesspeople always set some time aside to reflect. Then they create a plan of action for ensuring that it doesn’t happen again. Most failed businesspeople put it down to “bad luck.”

5. Focus on niches

This important! Try to take over a whole industry at once and you’ll inevitably get swallowed up by the competition. Start small and control your own niche before moving into another niche. When you master your small area, you can push on and expand.

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

You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to expand after you master your own niche/audience first.

Do you have what it takes? That’s the question I always ask novice businesspeople. You need a plan and you need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.

This article was originally posted here on

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