2020: A year of big lessons and perhaps smaller, more thoughtful gifts

For most of us celebrating the festive season will be a much different experience this year than ever before. Between lockdown, social-distancing, and the financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is no secret why Christmas holidays this time around will be unusual.

And while 2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least, it has also been a year of great life lessons for many of us. One of those lessons is the importance of preparing for uncertainty, especially when it comes to the financial security of your family. 

It is in this light that Asavela Gwele Client Relationship Associate at 10X Investments, encourages families to think beyond the desire to spend all their money on gifts that do not last that long, things that give just a fleeting pleasure and turn to clutter in days, if not hours. Instead, she says, “families should remember the lessons of this year and look toward investing in things more valuable in the long run – putting some money aside for a rainy day and a good retirement plan to ensure your financial wellbeing is safeguarded. 

Your future is a priority. 

We live in a world driven by instant gratification. Peer pressure dictates how we manage our money. And when it comes to festive season and the commercial hype around Christmas, somehow there is a sense that the more money we spend, the merrier we will feel. 

The ‘urgency’ of our current needs and wants take preference over planning for our future, a cultural context that underlies the reality that fewer than 10% of South Africans are on course to retire comfortably. But while most people think of retirement as a goal that is too far down the timeline to prioritise now, if there is a lesson to be learned from this unanticipated season, it is the importance of financial security. 

As the 10X 2020 Retirement Reality Report points out, “in giving a glimpse into the future, of what it feels like to be suddenly living off a low income and under the strain of great financial insecurity, it may finally convince people that they cannot afford to ignore retirement.”   

Think of saving for retirement as an investment toward your future, one that will certainly pay off when it counts. 

Reap the rewards of saving. 

Not only is there a long-term benefit to saving toward retirement, but you can also look forward to annual tax refunds, since retirement saving is tax-deductible. Perhaps you would like to spend your tax refund on gifts and treats for your family to enjoy next holiday season. Or, you could simply pour that money back into your retirement savings pot and reap the rewards of compound growth when it matters the most.   

As the festive shopping season gets into full swing, it might be difficult not to succumb to the pressure of blowing all your hard-earned money on the latest toys, crazes, and other things retail brochures might try and persuade you to buy. 

But just know that when you save for retirement, you are thinking of your future and investing in something that’s far more valuable than any kind of present; financial security and a comfortable life at a time when you’ll need it most.

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