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“The World Bank recently reported that South Africa is the most unequal country in the world out of 149 countries surveyed. This shows that there’s much work still to be done,” she says.
The most recent Old Mutual Savings & Investment Monitor found that an alarming 40% of respondents said they have no form of formal retirement savings at all, including pension/provident funds or retirement annuities. Although the majority of South Africans surveyed continue to lack confidence in the economy (with only 34% feeling confident), the latest research findings show that a third (33%) nevertheless believe that the government will take care of them when they are no longer able to take care of themselves – a statistic that has remained fairly constant.
What this means, in effect, is that a large number of South Africans who are currently working will not be financially free when they retire. When you include unemployed South Africans, the number is of course much higher.
Budhram points out that while economic inequality is a pressing social issue that needs to be addressed on many fronts, as an individual you can start to make a difference to your own personal finances by taking seven essential steps. “Following these practical pointers should help to get you on the track to financial freedom,” she says.
“Speak to a financial adviser about developing a financial plan that is relevant to your individual needs, so that you can live within your means today while still providing for your future,” says Budhram. “We are politically empowered, now make sure you are able to enjoy the real freedom that comes with being economically empowered as well.”