By: Johannes Visser CFP®, Investment Adviser at PPS
Professional Provident Society (PPS) is an authorised Financial Services Provider
It's easy to say that you want to retire at 60 or 65. However, before you retire, you need to ensure that you can maintain the standard of living which you have become accustomed to, pre-retirement. It's important to remember that retirement is no longer a date where life changes forever, especially for professionals, who will have options to possibly consider, such as working beyond retirement in a consulting capacity.
According to a report released in April 2019 by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), 49.2% of South Africa's total adult population live below the poverty line. What is worse is that less than 6% of South Africans will be able to maintain their standard of living in retirement, according to The World Bank. So, ask yourself the following questions before you retire:
· Have I saved enough?
· Can I afford to stop working?
· Can I start scaling down - giving me more time for other pursuits?
· How do I scale down?
Retirement planning is all about planning before retirement to make sure you grow your funds to meet your post-retirement needs. It's vital to understand the buying power of the income your retirement fund will provide and weighing this up with your cost of living expenses.
Most people are not familiar with and don't understand the risk and return of saving for retirement. Low risk and fixed interest portfolios can only support very low drawdowns. This means that you can take very little income from your funds during retirement if you want your investment to last. There are various solutions to consider to secure your income, each with unique benefits.
Before you retire, create a budget that includes all your expenses such as groceries, electricity, entertainment, travelling, investment portfolios, medical costs as well as your bond (if you're still paying for this). It will give you a good idea of how much you will need to retire comfortably.
For PPS members, comfortable retirement is possibly more achievable as they have a vested Profit-Share Account that helps boost their retirement strategy. PPS allocates its profits annually to members with qualifying products and accumulates the profit-share with investment returns over members' working lives. These profits can be transferred to PPS Investments for further investment growth and can help reduce the effect of investment costs. In many cases, it is a lifeline for those who haven't saved enough.
For professionals embarking on a new career after 60, here are a few things to consider:
· Secure your income for retirement before venturing into new start-ups with your hard-earned retirement capital
· Take a staggered approach to retirement, scaling down in your practice over time
· If you are considering an active post-retirement income stream, begin building the networks to give certainty to your planning
It's not a "cookie-cutter" exercise and is valuable time spent with your financial adviser. This will help to avoid financial challenges when you retire. It's important that you speak to a qualified financial planner to help you navigate the options for your retirement planning.