Retirement planning is often seen as a complex topic or something to be tackled later in life. Instead, this is an important topic that should be top of mind at the early stages of our lives.
Complexities around retirement planning are often linked to myths that people have created which are sometimes influenced by society and family.
Samukelo Zwane, Product Head at FNB Wealth and Investments says that, “in today’s volatile environment much focus needs to be placed on educating yourself and people on the importance of planning and saving for retirement from a young age. We encourage people to view retirement savings as a necessity not a grudge purchase in their financial planning journey.”
Understandably, people view ‘retirement’ as a grudge purchase because of the long-term nature of retirement savings versus the immediate need for survival especially in these times of uncertainty.
Zwane highlights some myths that should be demystified when it comes to retirement planning.
Myth 1: I am too young to start planning for retirement now
You are never too young to start planning for your retirement. Instead, you should see your first job and paycheque as a kickstart for you to start putting aside a small amount of money for your retirement. This is a ‘cool’ goal if you really think about it, as you get to start early when planning for the coming years and golden years of your life.
Myth 2: It’s never too late to plan for retirement, I will get to it when the time is right
Following the above-mentioned myth, we find that there are people who comfortably sit back with the thought that there’s ample time and opportunities that will come for them to start planning for their retirement.
“The reality is ‘time wasted is time not gained’ but you can make up for the early number of paycheques lost looking at your years to retirement by considering investment vehicles such as a Tax-Free Savings Account, shares, unit trusts or a retirement annuity savings account in addition to pension fund benefits from your employer,” says Himal Parbhoo, CEO Retail Cash Investments.
Parbhoo further notes that “a retirement annuity savings account is not limited to only people that are working but is also a financial planning consideration for people that are self-employed (commonly known as entrepreneurs or business owners).”
Myth 3: I am not making enough money to set aside for my retirement savings
You really don’t have to wait for time to earn your dream salary or hit the lucky lottery numbers that will unlock your opportunity to be a millionaire and live up to the ‘soft life’.
You can start saving with any little amount from your income and build to increase slowly as you grow in your career or business which will come with the small or big money stream. The benefits of starting your early contribution comes with the power of compound interest and beating the rates of inflation as the years go by so you can live comfortably in your golden years.
Myth 4: Information shared on retirement planning is only for smart and wealthy people
Information shared and the awareness created to educate people should not only dwell on the savings for retirement but also on the behavioural aspects associated when people receive the bit of information shared based on where they are in life.
We advise that this shouldn’t be the case as retirement planning is never isolated for certain groups, but it is for everyone that have a source of income and is not limited to smart or wealthy people.
“We all have heard the common saying that ‘we live, and we learn’ and this should also come with positive mindset that ‘we also learn to unlearn’. Change is always good, and the challenge then is how do we as individuals demystify some financial planning myths that we have embraced or noted as a point of reference as we navigate life. To help you make the right decision on the best retirement planning process that will suit you, please consult a financial advisor from your current banking service provider,” concludes Zwane.