Live your own life, stop trying to keep up with the Joneses

Pushing back against the pressure to buy things, particularly expensive brands, Colin Greenway, 34, urges his peers: “Live your own life, secure your own future, stop trying to keep up with the Joneses.”

“Every day on social media we see what everybody else has got. We think they can afford that lifestyle, but half the time they can’t, they are often in a lot of debt,” he adds.

Colin says he tries to keep things simple, living a life that he can afford and saving hard for his retirement.

He thanks his dad for teaching him and his siblings from a young age about the sort of effort you should put into saving for retirement, and the value of starting to save early, even if you can save only a small amount.

Colin remembers an example his dad gave him of an investment savings fund he started when he was in his 20s. He started by “putting R7 or R10 away every month … and the fund eventually grew into something like three-quarters of a million rand”.

Now, says Colin, his dad is “always travelling and doing other cool stuff in retirement, which we all want to be doing”.

It is early days still for Colin although he worries sometimes that he won’t be able to save enough. Volatility in the markets makes him feel stressed, he says, but putting more into his savings makes him feel better.

“The more you can put in at an early age and the less fees coming off that every month … you are going to set yourself up for a successful retirement.”

It was the low fees that sealed the deal on his retirement annuity with 10X Investments, says Colin, who describes joining 10X as “a no-brainer”.

Colin, who works for a software email company in Johannesburg, says he has been a member of different funds since he started working and now also has his retirement annuity with 10X. The key thing for him has been to never cash in any of his savings along the way, a mistake he has seen friends make.

He takes it a little further, he says, trying not to touch the tax he gets back from the Receiver of Revenue on his retirement savings. Instead, he reinvests it in his RA.

His bottom line is: Get into saving early, don’t touch your savings, and don’t get caught up in the marketing from retailers.

“Live your own life, secure your own future”.

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