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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

How South Africans manage their finances & view their Financial future

Middle- to high-income earners plagued by debt - Visa study.

You don’t think you’ll ever be financially free, you cough up thousands a month in debt repayments, the country’s political issues are now more worrying than crime and retirement may remain a dream forever.
These are some of the findings from the first annual Visa Wealth Worries Survey, which queried 2 000 respondents, aged 18 to 65, on their attitudes and behaviour toward moneymatters.
The majority (52%) say they will never be financially free with 15% stating that they do not plan on ever retiring. Those who do want to retire are aiming for 60, with 13% optimistic about retiring at the age of 50. Whether they will be able to retire is another story, seeing as only 85% of those who are planning to stop working at some stage actively save for their retirement.
The survey found that the main threats to wealth include the level of debt. A total of 29% of the respondents indicated that their level of debt is the single biggest threat to their wealth and inheritance, with the survey finding that the average amount spent monthly to pay off debt is R7 283.
This is followed by inflation (19%), the global economy (16%), political uncertainty (14%), employment uncertainty (14%), poor investment returns (5%) and then the burden of children on wealth (2%).
The latter is one of the indicators that children will not be able to look to their middle- and high income parents for a financial boost. Even though 71% of those surveyed did say that they plan to leave an inheritance, an overwhelming majority said that a good education is more important for their children’s financial wellbeing than leaving something after you pass away.
The most pressing issues needed to be resolved in the country were found to be political leadership (27%), followed by job creation (26%) and crime (17%).
On a lighter note, many of us have toyed with the idea of what we will do if that Lotto jackpot comes our way. According to the survey South Africans are quite prudent, with 58% claiming that they would pay off all their debt and 15% saying they would invest some of it. Ten percent would buy a house, 6% would invest all of it and 5% say they would donate some it to their place of worship. Only 1% would go on a shopping spree.
Infographic source: Visa

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