Can you survive your own personal BREXIT!

So what’s BREXIT all about?  

It’s all about economic independence. Britain being able to sustain a standard of living for all citizens on it’s own without depending on the European Union. It boils down to Britain being able to grow (GDP) on it’s own which will enable it to generate enough income (revenue) to cover costs (expenditure) and improve the standard of living of its people.

The big question we should ourselves.
To what extent can you financially stand on your own two feet? How dependant are you on the bank and other money lenders? If there is a financial crisis do you need family and friends to bail you out? Currently 47% of South Africans at 65 are financially dependent on family.

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The way forward to your own financial independence is to have a plan that ensures you have sufficient funds in place to maintain your standard of living no matter what life changing event comes your way.

The journey to financial independence can be a tough one as you need to compromise at times. If your expenses are too high then you need to adjust your standard of living. The Brits will probably have to do this in the short term as they find out where their economy will eventually settle. From that level they can then make a plan for growth, working on key aspects of their own economy.

What is your vote?                                                                                       We all have a vote in our own lives which we can take. Go it alone and become financially independent or depend on others for the rest of our lives.

How to do it is no mystery? Finding the will to do it and then committing yourself is the what it takes. The Brits have taken the decision. Good luck to them as they embark on a journey to establishing their own financial independence.

Youth…take charge of your financial destiny!

June 16th – Youth Day – presented an opportunity for young people to focus on their futures reflecting on the past as a foundation to build upon. Youth need to be empowered with a strong belief in themselves that they can become whatever they dream and believe they can be. One vital pillar in their journey to successes is financial freedom. A stage in the future where savings can support one’s standard of living.

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Learn from the 95% people who at age 65 don’t have enough savings for their retirement. Or from the many that had to borrow money because they did’t have a nest egg to fall back on when an unexpected financial disaster came their way. If they had a chance to do it all over they would have saved so much more. They realised when it was too late that they needed a much larger nest egg for their twilight years.

Young people can reach financial independence if they make financial commitments to themselves. Here are three which will ensure you get there.

Commit to living under your means instead of above them
Essentially, if you are lending money to make ends meet you are living above your means. This is exacerbated when you are paying off interest to institutions instead of saving for your future. There will be times where you will need to borrow money for a house or a car. However, the repayments of these essentials should be comfortably affordable after you have set aside your savings.

Don’t be lulled into debt
You have been lead to believe that debt is a ‘must have’ because banks need a credit history before they can extend a loan to you. This is true but the smart way around this is to open a store card which generally offers interest free loans for the first six months. Using this free money to purchase something makes good financial sense if you stick to buying something that you really need and you can comfortably afford to pay off over the period. It’s free cash and requires a disciplined commitment to paying the instalments – on time – every time. You therefore build up the credit record without incurring costs.

Save…Save….Save…
If you commit to saving for yourself first at the beginning of every month you begin the gratifying journey towards financial freedom. The more you own and the less you owe the greater your sense of financial independence. Don’t be surprised at how your savings can grow over time through the magic of compounding. By reinvesting the returns on your savings over time you participate in this financial phenomenon where the interest on interest over time boosts your savings into the stratosphere.

Young people have so much to look forward to. If you are wise you will take charge of your finances early in life avoiding the pitfalls experienced by the older generations before you.

Retirement ….fact or fallacy?

It’s crazy how our retirement age of 65 is laid down for us. An outdated concept which dictates to us when we should give up working and be put to pasture. Over the past century we have improved our life span dramatically making 65 a much younger age than it used to be.

The Queen of England celebrates her 90 birthday this year. Singer Vera Lynn the wartime sweet heart turns 99. Nelson Mandela lived to 95. Harriet Thompson became the oldest woman at 92 to finish a marathon.Think of how many more people you know and hear about that are 90 plus. They say that the first person to reach age 150 is already born!

All this points to the fact that we are living longer and need to take a reality check on our concept of retirement. Over the past decades technologies in the medical field and general awareness of health issues have boosted our longevity. Yet we still have the mentality of retiring at age 65. Why? Because your pension fund says so?

90% of South Africans at age 65 do not have enough savings to see them through retirement. The reality is that they will need to continue to work for as long as possible. This places huge importance on staying healthy to keep on earning an income and intern leaving your investment nest alone for longer.

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Working longer has many benefits.
You have longer to save allowing your investments more time to compound their way to a much bigger amount. The amount needed will be that much less to see you through the rest of your life as you access your funds later in life.

Most importantly, you will have a sense of purpose and fulfilment. A reason to get out of bed in the morning. Work tends to define us, so you will have the opportunity to redefine yourself and do something that you really enjoy that’s generates an income.

So 65 as a retirement age is a fallacy. Don’t let an outdate concept rob you convince you that you are over the hill.

If you didn’t know when you were born, “ How old would you be?”

Rating Agencies circle…two down one to go.

 

images-9Standard and Poors made the decision this week to hold off on the decision to downgrade South Africa to ‘non investment grade speculative’ commonly called ‘Junk Status’. A place every country has to avoid as the consequences are devastating.

Getting out of the dreaded ‘Junk Status’ is much harder than preventing it. It’s like falling into an icy pond and trying to get out on the slippery side. It takes years of struggle and hardship to correct and restore the credibility investors look for. Let alone the damage that it does to the image of a country. Who wants to be a citizen of a country which has a high risk of meeting its investment obligations?

What are the ramifications for South Africa?
Foreigner investors will disinvest from SA Projects, Companies, Bonds and Stock Markets leading to a devaluation of assets. In turn the flight of capital out of the country the divestment leads to a weaker currency.
A weaker rand means that out imports will be more expensive (including oil) which translates into a rise in the cost of living.
High inflation and and a weakening currency will lead to higher interest rates which will means that the cost of debt will increase.

Take advantage of the reprieve.                                                                                   So we have been given a little breathing space by Moody’s last month  us and now Standard and Poors . We have been given a reprieve but there is a third rating agency, Fitch, to come. They will be making a decision this month and as they are the smaller of the three will likely follow their counterparts. This brief period of grace creates a chance for us to turn things around. In the meantime South Africans should be saving as much as they can and paying off debt as quickly as possible. If we don’t we will have a much harder landing should a downgrade takes place. A sound financial plan make provisions for the worst scenario so we should not be complacent.

Hopefully, our key decisions makers can pull off a remarkable turnaround in the meantime.