You have retired – WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

Retiring after devoting yourself to decades of demanding work can be both an exciting and daunting phase in your life. Here are a few things that may change when you are no longer working:

Budget, budget, budget – Instead of HAVING to do stuff you now have more free time to do things you really WANT to do – these may include hobbies, lunches, renovations and possibly holidays. So be realistic with your budget, plan carefully, so that your pension income does not fade away.

The truth about health expenses and underestimating life expectancy – Plan for longevity, as the reality is that people are starting to live well into their 80s. You need a well-set plan to cover medical aid or have enough saved up for medical care. This will bring you peace of mind on your road to a long and happy retirement.

Panic over existing investments – The Market will always rise and unfortunately fall. Avoid panic over your investments by speaking to your financial advisor on a regular basis, so that you understand the facts and know you are safe and that your investments are growing.

Beat the Boredom – Keep your retirement a positive and exciting experience. Create a routine and include activities which explore your passions. Become involved in your community and participate in charities. Elderly have a wealth of wisdom and life experience to impart, don’t underestimate yourself and your talents. Remember watching television can be part of your routine, but should by no means ever become the key focus of your day.

Finally enjoy the time to do things you have always wanted to do and Mondays may just become your favourite day of the week!

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Are you a Common-law spouse?

In a Nutshell…

TIP: Draw up a Will and nominate your partner in your pension fund using the nomination of beneficiary form, should you want any assets to be left to your partner in case of your death.

IF YOU SPLIT UP: A domestic partner, in the event of ending their common-law relationship, will not be entitled to their partner’s pension interest.

In South Africa no matter how long a couple may live together, the law does not recognise common-law marriages as being valid. Their cohabitation (living together) does not create any automatic legal rights and duties between them. The rights of a common-law spouse are not equal to a spouse registered in a legitimate marriage. In terms of the law of intestate succession, if there is no will and one partner in a common-law marriage dies, the common-law spouse will have no rights on the property or assets left behind. Therefore it is important to get a will drafted to make provision for your partner.

Although common-law marriages do not have the same rights as partners in a marriage or civil union, there is some legislation that does consider living together and marriage on equal levels. Please do your homework.

Regarding pension funds, cohabitation is recognized and a common-law spouse may receive pension fund benefits if nominated by the member as a partner. A common-law spouse who qualifies under the definition of a dependant within the rules of that fund, may also receive pension benefits.

The technical definition: – A common-law spouse is a partner in a recognized marriage without being formally recorded with a state or a religious registry, but rather by habit and repute.