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Retiring is like Building a House

Patrick Sheehy, 6 August 2018

Anyone who has ever built a house knows that it’s quite a process. It invariably takes longer than anticipated and sometimes costs more than you expect.

Glacier by Sanlam’s Through the Years research report conducted in-depth face-to-face interviews with 82 retirees in their 60s, 70s and 80s. The report found that of those that retired comfortably, 82% had engaged with a financial adviser. It’s questionable whether this is causative, but it certainly shows that those who got help ‘building the house’ possibly had more success.

Planning financially for retirement is much like building a home. It’s not always easy but if you follow the steps and make good decisions, it’ll be worth it. “In the same way that you create your dream home, you build your dream retirement. You need to plan, lay a solid fiscal foundation, and invest time and effort in the construction phase to ensure you create something that’s structurally sound. As with a house, you’re not in it alone. There are plenty of experts to guide you along the way.”

The research found that many retirees are concerned about the impact of inflation, supporting one’s family, minimal state support and the rising cost of living in South Africa. Most were worried about being a burden to their families and having insufficient funds to ‘last a lifetime.’ Dealing with death, divorce and illness had also thrown some retirees off-track with their savings.

To ensure you have a sufficient income to maintain your current lifestyle, while also covering you in the event of unexpected curveballs and providing you with some funds for fun, you need to plan in advance to construct a ‘house’ that lasts. Here’s how.

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