If you are a woman living in South Africa, you may have seven extra years of retirement over your counterparts - men.
But this also means you will need more money in the bank to keep you afloat when you are no longer able to work. Data has shown that women may be living longer, but they are barely saving enough to see them through retirement.
Most S.A women in survival mode
Financial freedom is another milestone that many women in South Africa are yet to achieve. A recent survey revealed that 72% of women find themselves in survival mode when it comes to their finances.
Furthermore, the ability to make ends meet is crushed by the gender pay gap that sees women sweating to only receive a fraction of what their male counterparts make.
There are 41.8% of South African households headed by women making them the sole income earners. It also means many women find their finances being stretched thin on an income that barely keeps them afloat.
Women's month is a stark reminder that as much as we celebrate the resilience of women, there is still much that needs to be done to give true equality to women.
The domino effect of not planning for retirement
It may seem far, but it's coming. Retirement is something that most of us want at some stage of our lives, but not many people are putting a plan together to achieve this. Putting off investing in retirement plans can eventually catch up with you, and in some cases, prove to be disastrous. The key is to plan for retirement while you still can earn an income before it's too late.
The reality is that in retirement you are more likely to earn 20% of your income. Furthermore, many people tend to draw 6% - 8% of their retirement annuity once they have retired. Looking at the cost to maintain your lifestyle along with an estimate of inflation can paint a realistic picture of how much you will need to sustain yourself for the additional seven years.
Not having a financial safety net in place can lead to a domino effect where you are unable to pay for your daily living expenses, the paying off of any debt you may have accumulated, and medical costs that come with age. It's crucial to think two steps ahead when it comes to financial management and planning for the day you retire. But where do you start?
Planning for your 7 years
It may be seven years extra or longer, whichever it is, you will need a financial plan. Working with what is within your financial reach is crucial. This also means you will need to consult with a financial advisor who will help you find financial investments that will be affordable and beneficial to you.
Having the basics covered in the form of a retirement fund, life cover, and disability cover is crucial. Practicing financial wellness that sees you spending less than you earn can also be beneficial to you in the long run. The best time to plan for your retirement is today.