A couple of years back, one of my colleagues had asked me if I had a retirement plan, and to her surprised I didn’t and had actually never given it any thought until that point. I was in my 20’s and retirement felt like an eternity away. Finding me completely irresponsible, she then followed by asking me where I was planning to get money from once I stopped working, and I had no answer for her. I guess at that age, I was still naive enough to believe that ‘when I grow up’ I will earn enough money to save up for retirement. However, now that I am 30 and understand money better, I have realised that you are unlikely to be able to ‘save up’ for retirement based on an average salary.
At some point in our lives, we have all wondered how our salaries measured up to the people around us. You see your friends who you graduated with getting married, having kids, buying property and travelling the world, all at the same time, yet you are still struggling to pay back your student loan. Naturally you believe they are getting a larger salary than you, but it is impossible to actually know that unless they had told you. And since salaries are quite a private topic for South Africans, most of us don’t feel comfortable discussing it over a Saturday braai, so the question lingers and you continue being left in the dark. Continue reading