Why I’m already planning for my retirement

As an internationally renowned actress, businesswoman, humanitarian, philanthropist and charity patron, I wear many hats. But I know that I may have to hang up some of them during my retirement years.

I love the saying, ‘the road to success is always under construction’. When I think of retirement, this message holds true, because we all need to work hard and plan now to prosper in our twilight years.

But when we’re young, we feel invincible and don’t plan far enough ahead. Ask yourself: do you really have enough money saved to retire comfortably? When you consider our government’s pension grant, which is about R1,800 a month, it makes you sit up a little straighter. Could you survive on that?

Whatever you do, start saving

Working in the South African film industry means I know all about tumultuous times. Sometimes there’s work, and sometimes there isn’t. I’ve worked hard to live the comfortable life that I have, and I want to make sure that I continue this standard of living when I retire. I love acting, but I know I can’t do it forever. At some point, I will want to put my feet up, with the peace of mind that I’ve planned appropriately to be able to do that. I’ll always be involved in my philanthropy work though, even when I’m very old.

If you’re under 30, you may feel that saving for your retirement is a goal too far in the future to set, or perhaps you feel that you’ve already missed the boat if you’re well into your 40s.

The point is, it’s never too early or late to start saving. And when you consider that the average life expectancy increases every year, having a comfortable retirement plan is vital.

If you don’t have a retirement plan yet, it could be that your current needs take priority over your future needs. But it’s time to make some decisions. I’ve been doing a little digging, and here are 3 reasons why it’s important to save for your future:

1. You won’t be a burden on your children

There’s a generation of people in their 30s and 40s – often referred to as the sandwich generation – responsible for bringing up their children and caring financially for their ageing parents. If you haven’t planned appropriately for your twilight years, you could end up having to live with your adult children, and that’s not ideal.

2. Save now and earn more later

You earn compound interest on your investments over time, which means that you earn interest on your interest. The earlier you start and the longer you keep your money invested, the greater the effect of that interest-on-interest on your money’s growth.

3. You’ll be able to maintain your standard of living

A proper retirement plan will ensure that you can continue living as you do now, without having to drastically alter your lifestyle. That means you should be saving between 15% and 20% of your gross salary consistently between the ages of 20 and 60. The later you start saving, the more you will need to put away.

To find out more about how to build a healthy financial future, download The Essential Guide to Money Management for free. This guide gives you a framework on the different aspects of managing your money wisely to support your financial well-being.

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