We ask Certified Financial Planner Bruce Fleming why we need help with our finances – and he takes three readers through the planning process.
Q: Is it really necessary to see a financial planner?
A: If you have a minor health issue like a headache, you go to the chemist who gives you a pill. But if you break your leg or have a sudden searing pain in your chest, you don’t go to the chemist – you go to your doctor.
Similarly, if you’re planning a holiday next year, you’ll just put money away in a savings account. But when it comes to something that’s going to make a critical impact on your life, like whether you’ll be financially secure in retirement, then you need to see a ‘doctor’ – a Certified Financial Planner®. The certification is peace of mind for you: it means the planner has committed to the Financial Planning Institute (FPI) of Southern Africa’s ethical and professional standards, and meets their standards of skill, competence and experience.Q: Isn’t the advice pretty standard: don’t spend more than you earn; save for your retirement?
A: Many people think: ‘I know what my expenses are, I should be okay to look after my own retirement.’ But do you understand the tax and liquidity implications of what you’re doing? When you retire, do you understand what you should do with your retirement fund?
There’s no one-size-fits-all. For instance, if you’re not contributing to a retirement fund, I’ll point out the nice tax deductions, and explain how retirement contributions make up for poor financial discipline – you can’t touch the fund until you retire. Even then, you can’t access two-thirds of it as that’s what provides you with an income. Someone else might be hitting 50 and their retirement fund might not be growing sufficiently. That discussion would be about the underlying investments; they may need to be more aggressive to increase growth.
It was clear none of the readers I’d met had a financial plan. What’s great about this process is that they now have financial goals and guidelines.
Q: How do you find the right person to help you?
A: People don’t easily talk about money. So you have to trust your financial planner, and trust must be earned.
Many people mistrust the financial services industry, believing it just sells them products. For the past 40 years, many representatives have been doing exactly that, not putting clients’ interests first. But things are changing. Treating Customers Fairly, which is the approach the financial services industry should have been following anyway, is being legislated.
Ask a friend for a referral, or contact the FPI to find a Certified Financial Planner near you: www.letsplan.co.za, 086 1000 FPI (374) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘I retire in 13 years’ time – will I be comfortable?’
JANE* is 52, single and has two adult daughters. She works as a lecturer and her 85-year-old mother lives with her.
MY FINANCIAL GOALS AND CHALLENGES
1 I’d like a comfortable retirement.
2 To be able to afford a reliable car every five years.
3 A holiday every second year.
4 My mom and I are looking for the best way to transfer our family assets to my daughters.
BRUCE’S WARNING SIGNS
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
How to Survive the Feast-Or Famine Cycle
It’s empowering to have more than one income stream, but there is a downside: it’s easy to splurge when money is plentiful, but what about the lean months? Three self-starters share their tips for keeping an even keel through good and bad.
Kaley Cuoco was so beguiling as Penny on The Big Bang Theory that she soon became one of the highest paid actors in television. With HBO’s comedic thriller series The Flight Attendant, she entered exciting, slightly sinister new territory – but it proved her range as an actress and cemented her broad-based appeal.
Let the Music Play
My dad died days before the global lockdown. While I was trapped within four walls, music and dancing gave me reason to smile again.
How to Make Your Own Luck
Luck isn’t easy to measure or study, but those who have managed to do it discovered it’s not the work of fate – it’s a skill you can cultivate and improve. So, how do you go about it?
Stocking up your pantry? These artisanal foods are guaranteed to ignite the senses of home chefs everywhere. Meet the foodies behind two of South Africa’s tastiest brands.
The Comfort of Ritual
Rituals imbue our lives with depth and meaning. And in times of uncertainty, they are even more important because they create a sense of grounding.
Get Your Shine Back!
When the last of the summer heat is over, it’s important to take time to reverse any hair damage caused by sun and sea water.
The Rise of the Personal Shopper
It’s not a new concept, but the number of people who make a living from sourcing goods on behalf of clients is on the rise. We talked to three personal shoppers to find out what it takes.
Back to the Wild
Imagine camping in the Little Karoo… a billion stars above you, the ancient desert beneath, the insistent flapping of your canvas tent in the cold night air. Then banish all the rustic images this conjures up – because Dwyka Tented Lodge will confound all your expectations.
A Good (Mo) Hair Day
"Beauty Mokgwamme had other dreams, but circumstances took her exactly where she was meant to be."
THE BRASS RING
BRUCE WILLIS STEPPING AWAY FROM ACTING
Bruce Willis' family announced
Bruce's Sad Goodbye
ROCKED BY A FRIGHTENING DIAGNOSIS, BRUCE WILLIS STEPS BACK FROM ACTING AND SURROUNDS HIMSELF WITH HIS SINGULAR FAMILY.
Bruce's SAD HEALTH CRISIS
Eagle-eyed film fans may have wondered why Bruce Willis wasn't part of the Pulp Fiction reunion at this year's Oscars.
HOW BRUCE WILLIS, 67, WILL END HIS LAST DAYS
Tragic movie hero’s brain damage may kill him in five years
BRAVE BRUCE TRAGIC BRAIN DAMAGE BATTLE!
Willis forced to retire after losing ability to talk & understand words
The Fight of His Life
After years of secretly struggling, Bruce Willis says goodbye to acting and his legion of fans
Matthew Atkinson (Thomas, B&B)
Five years after a misstep on a New York City street left him with broken bones and nerve damage in his right hand, Mike Stern perseveres one gig at a time.
"President, Goway Travel"