This year has taken its toll on many of us BUT WageWise is still right here to help us get back on our feet and properly manage our money. We’ve put together a 7-item financial checklist for you – see which ones you can tick off the list and which ones you still need to work on.
Celebrate Heritage Month with us this September as we talk about the topic of leaving a legacy. That is, the things we leave behind for our friends, family, and loved ones. Leaving behind a healthy financial legacy is only possible when you start building a strong financial foundation – you can only help others financially if you are financially strong yourself.
Try out these 5 tips from WageWise to better manage your money and leave behind a healthy financial legacy:
- Plan ahead
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. There are many ways to spend your money but with planning you can spend your money wisely to make sure you:
- Cover all your basic needs (like rent);
- Save for emergencies (such as an unexpected healthcare expense);
- Save towards your goals (for example a deposit on a home); and
- Save for retirement (so you can be financially independent).
A financial plan is called a budget and should include all your income (the money you receive) as well as your expenses (the things you spend money on). Watch our video on planning with money and budgeting.
- Get life insurance
The main purpose of life insurance is to give your loved ones some financial protection when you pass away. Life insurance can be a huge help when you pass away as it can help with things such as:
- Paying for “final expenses” which usually means your medical and funeral costs
- Covering family debt
- Maintaining your family’s lifestyle
- Supporting a child’s education
- Save for retirement
Saving for retirement is one of the most important things to think about when planning your financial future. Retirement savings are long-term savings options that give you an income when you retire and can also serve as an income for loved ones if you pass away. Because retirement is a long-term financial goal, you can save and invest your money and watch it grow over a longer period. As time goes on, you start to earn interest on interest which help you to build your wealth.
Want to see the importance of saving for retirement? Watch our video.
- Create good financial habits
Leaving behind a financial legacy doesn’t have to only be about physical items and money. Take some time to instil your good money habits on your friends, family, and loved ones. This education can help them understand the value behind money and how to make the most of it themselves. When it comes to children, it’s always a good idea to teach them from a young age as this knowledge will carry with them throughout their lives and help them better manage money. Just remember to keep it simple.
- Set up a will
A will is a legal document which allows you to distribute your assets afters death, appoint guardians for minor children and specify your funeral wishes. Having a will is really important as it means you, rather than someone else, get to decide what happens to your things when you pass away. A will is also important as it lets you leave things to friends, family, and loved ones that can make their life easier and reduces some of the stress placed on them.
Read our quick article here to learn more about drafting a will.
September is Heritage Month and so it seemed appropriate that our WageWise theme be all about your legacy. This means the money, property and assets that you are leaving behind for your family and for future generations. To do this, you need a will.
“A will is a legal document which allows you to both distribute your assets after death and appoint guardians for minor children.”
Although not an easy topic, having a will is really important. It means that you, rather than someone else, gets to decide what happens to your things when you pass away. This means that you can choose how to distribute your possessions (such as property, vehicles, money, and jewellery) among your family, partners, friends and even charities. A will can also allow you to specify your funeral wishes and, in general, can reduce some of the stress placed on your loved ones.
TOP TIP: Keep your will up-to-date so that when you pass away, the right people get your belongings. This is especially important when circumstances change, such as when getting married or the birth of a child.
If you pass away without a will, then the Government appoints an Executor to administer your assets and they decide who gets what. The problem with this is that your things may not go to the right people and it can create some sadness and anger for those you leave behind.
So, what do you need to know about drafting a will?
Here’s a quick 9-item checklist to help you:
✅ Information to easily identify yourself
✅ Complete and accurate list of your assets
✅ Decide who gets what and list the full names and relationships of your beneficiaries
✅ Choose an executor who will be your personal representative
✅ If you have children who are minors, choose a guardian for them
✅ If you have any specific requests for your funeral
✅ Sign and date your will in front of witnesses
✅ Have two people witness the will who are not beneficiaries
✅ Store your will safely
Who can help me with my will?
While it is possible to find self-help articles to draw up a will on your own, it is better to go through a professional agency as it is a legal document and you don’t want there to be any issues.
These agencies include:
- Any commercial bank
- A legal attorney
- A chartered accountant
- Various will and testament specialists
TOP TIP: Whichever option you choose, it is important to be aware that there may be costs involved in the process.
Once you have drawn up your will you can register it, free of charge, at the South African Registry of Wills and Testaments for safekeeping or you can store it in a safe place which is known to a few close friends or family members.