Living your perfect life

Lifestyle coach Justin Cohen and Sanlam’s Glacier fund took three people through their retirement journeys in a real-life experiment.

Justin interviewed Deon Koch, featured in the video and this was the outcome:

“Break your dreams down into doable goals, like stepping stones in a river, but don’t micro-analyse or manage; make your goals lumpy and meaningful,” he advises. Deon says the experience was valuable and honest. “When I think about the experience, I think in terms of ‘I have to provide something, to put money into that’, but it’s not something I think about all the time.”

Like most South Africans, he’s had his fair share of setbacks. Because retirement is edging closer, he needs to ensure he does all he can to catch up. National Treasury statistics say it’s a common approach – only a very small percentage of people saving for a pension will have enough to retire on comfortably.

Cohen says that when planning for your financial wellbeing it’s best to visualise yourself in the future. He suggests thinking about your “future self,” and not the person you see in the mirror.

In Deon’s profession, his work projects are irregular, which means he’s had to learn to make his earnings stretch through the lean periods.

“You have to be realistic, but you also have to live now. When I spend my money, I have to be careful about buying treats.

“I have a couple of investment funds that I put money into. It’s not a retirement fund, but I have channelled money into that. I’m trying to make monthly contributions and then I try to put it out of sight.”

He’s cognisant of the fact that retirement realities are changing; he’s not anticipating a long rest and expects to “keep myself busy” on several projects during his “golden years”.

Longevity is fast becoming one of the biggest risks facing retirees. Stats SA figures put the national life expectancy of women at 65 years and men at 60.

Participating in the #Future FWD journey clarified several issues for Deon. The future paycheck, in today’s terms, that he’s currently working for was a bit of a shock. The perfect life he envisioned entailed learning to make shoes in Italy or to play the sitar in India – activities he needs to factor into his overall savings plan.

The retirement salary reflected on the calculator helped put into focus a grey area in his life: “It is helpful to put things into context, to put a value on it. But people should be careful what they do with it.

It’s just a tool to give you an indication of what your future retirement income could be, so you shouldn’t go into a panic.

“We need to reassess our needs. Maybe I can still find my perfect life, but on a more modest scale.”

Brought to you by: Glacier by Sanlam

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