Four retirees share their tips for ensuring a comfortable retirement

Even if nearly all of us seem destined to learn most things the hard way, we don’t have to. Here are some key points from four 10X clients who have already made a success of preparing for retirement, including some who learned the hard way.

If there are people we can turn to for advice to help us avoid costly mistakes, it is the older generation. The fortunate among us get to spend time with senior family members who take pride in sharing their life experiences. These conversations are filled with rich and valuable information that can help us better navigate life’s twists and turns.

Here we distill a few key points from four 10X clients, who have got it right, some of them after getting it wrong for a long time. 

Don’t move with the noise. Make a plan and stick to it. – Sarah-Jane Wagg

While we might feel that the present is all that matters, focusing on the horizon is important too. For Sarah-Jane Wagg, retirement planning has always been very much a long-term game.

After spending the final 15 years of her career in c-suite positions, the mother of three took early retirement from the corporate world to pursue ventures of her own. A trained yogi, Sarah-Jane is living her dream ‘retirement’ as a yoga instructor with her own studio and wellness retreat.

At retirement, she moved her savings from two other funds, after “multiple years of poor performance", into her 10X portfolio. The decision to move her money was not taken lightly because, as she says, “you should never just jump around from one [retirement fund] to another because markets – as we are seeing now with the coronavirus – are incredibly cyclical so you have got to choose what you are comfortable with and look at the long-term performance”.

In addition to focusing on long-term performance and “not moving with the noise”, another key aspect for retirement saving success, according to Sarah-Jane, is keeping costs down. Good long-term performance and low fees are what she likes most about 10X Investments and why she chose to consolidate her savings into her 10X portfolio.

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It’s your money, take charge of it. – Felicia Roman

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to personal finances, especially when it comes to retirement saving, where the industry inundates consumers with so many choices. 

In her earlier years of retirement planning, Felicia Roman paid little attention to her retirement fund’s fees and returns. She simply left everything up to the investment manager. But, after many years of disappointing performance, she realised that trusting her investments to one of the ‘big brands’ just because their name was familiar to her, was not working out. She decided to take charge of her own money and turn things around for the better.

The semi-retired 56-year-old did some research of her own, got clued up on her options, and selected 10X. Felica says you don’t need a degree to understand the basics of retirement planning, just a little common sense and some effort.

In addition to low fees and good returns, Felicia says, what she enjoyed when she moved to 10X was that everything was presented in a way that was easy to understand. 

She now urges others to take control of their finances and not leave their future up to others. “You will be surprised at how easy it is and how much your money can work for you,” she says.

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Hidden fees cost you in the long-run. – Ian Fordred

Ian Fordred had been saving for retirement for 41 years when he saw for himself how fees can be the biggest destroyer of wealth. The 65-year-old SANDF veteran now urges retired peopled and retirement savers alike to find out what they are losing to fees. 

After his son told him about the impact of fees on savings, Ian did some analysis of his own. “It was actually a wake-up call to see how much money I would lose over the longer term,” says Ian. The difference between 2% and 0.58% may not sound significant, he adds, but the difference it makes over time is “massive”.

After this realisation Ian moved his retirement savings to 10X. Although Ian admits he was a little bit nervous to move his life savings at first, having full visibility of his savings and knowing exactly what he’s paying in fees gives him full confidence.

Ian reminds retired people that fees are an issue for them too. He says retired people need to take into account inflation, their drawdown and the fees they pay, which all impact the money they are going to have for the long term.

“It is important that all those factors be considered. The one that people are not considering sufficiently is the fees,” he says.

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Longevity runs in my family. – Colonel John Smith

Most people worry about passing away and leaving family members unable to afford their lifestyle. But, adds Colonel John Smith, what about the chance of outliving your own savings?

Col Smith has tapped into something that should be a bigger concern for more of us: people’s increased life expectancy is seldom matched by increased saving.

So many people focus their efforts on living longer with lifestyle changes, including exercise, healthy diets and stress-reduction regimes, but dangerously few pay any attention at all to planning for the financial repercussions of longevity.

Looking at his family history, John decided to make some sacrifices earlier rather than face a struggle later in life. The 62 year old, who is semi-retired, keeps some money coming in by doing consulting work and keeps the drawdown on his Living Annuity very low. This way he has the peace of mind that his savings will last.

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If you are retired or thinking about retiring soon check out the 10X Living Annuity webpage here, or download the free eBook The South African’s guide to making your savings last in retirement.

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