Skip to main content

Financial education: 3 focus areas for retirement planning

July 12, 2017

Currently, some Chartered staff are conducting Financial Literacy workshops with the staff of Iphutheng Primary School in Alexandra, as part of our Corporate Social Investment programme. We cover budgeting, savings and investments, debt management, financial and retirement planning.

Recently, we addressed Retirement Planning. Three areas of focus were:

  • Retirement and risk benefits, to understand conditions of employment
  • Emphasising retirement as a time of happiness and relaxation
  • Addressing the importance of maintaining your health in retirement.

Most members we address understand their existing benefits, but not necessarily what is required to provide for a financially secure retirement.

Retirement planning tends to deal with managing financial challenges, which can result in fear and worry. Sadly, very little discussion centres on the equally important and with this in mind we attempted to brainstorm and create awareness, with the help of our enthusiastic staff, on some of these often neglected areas which are so critical to a happy retirement. They identified some of the key areas detailed below, which we wish to share as they are so relevant and important, for all retirees

Use of time

Most of your career time is spent at your place of work. Assuming you work eight hours a day, five days a week for 48 weeks, retirement will see you having 1 920 hours per annum to occupy yourself. Boredom kills – so what are you going to do, we asked. Some ideas we received from our delegates were to, use your hobby to start a business to generate additional income. Join professional institutes, write articles, grow own vegetables, do handyman jobs for friend and local companies, have a regular exercise routine and do voluntary work


Now is the time to enjoy, spoil oneself and do what you have dreamed about, but never had enough time before, like writing about personal interests, doing talks at schools and charity organisations, studying further, attending shows and theatre. If you have foreseen that the time will arrive when the alarm clock does not usher in another day of work, but one which belongs wholly to you, then the changeover will not worry you at all. So nurture your interests and hobbies and remember you will be free from the restrictions imposed on your time by your employer once you retire. It is of vital importance to stimulate your mental and physical faculties


Our bodies are designed to be used and if they are neglected they wither. This goes for our brain as well as our muscles. Our muscles must be used and our joints kept mobile. Our heart requires regular exercise to keep it in good working order. Remember, in retirement you no longer have the excuse that the pressure of work prevents you from having time to exercise. Have regular medical check- ups and visit your doctor, particularly if unusual symptoms appear. Look after your weight, feet, teeth, eyes and hearing. Regular exercise like swimming, walking, tennis, squash and golf are vital to keep your body healthy. Stimulate your brain because it must also be exercised. Study, read do crosswords as this prevents boredom.


Before retiring, you will probably have been in full time employment and may not have spent considerable time with your spouse or partner. After retirement this will change and you will have to learn to become a full part of the family. This can be very testing for a relationship. Consider how retirement may change your relationship. Do you have common interests? Do you play sport or share similar interests? Try and understand each other’s needs and most importantly have a sense of humour

Living relationships

You need to do some practical thinking about your home, well in advance of retirement. Decisions about where you wish to live are very personal and can become significant areas of conflict if not carefully discussed and considered before retirement. Do you want to move or stay where you are? Do you wish to relocate to another country, province or town. Calculate the cost of moving and the challenge of leaving family and friends behind, while having to make new friends in a new area. Do you downscale into a complex or retirement village? These are big decisions and a careful analysis should be done by you as a family before making a decision which could create financial and emotional hardship

Safety and Security

The importance of examining the home defences and strengthening the weak spots was discussed. Leaving lights on, ensuring windows and doors are securely fastened, keeping in contact with neighbours, knowing their contact details and becoming involved in a neighbourhood watch would also help to get to know the community better. Do not have large sums of money in the house as this was also identified as a security risk and the practice was discouraged.

In addition there was a big focus on keeping the home safe. Good lighting and no loose carpets, mats or objects on the floor, would prevent accidents. Replace old appliances and check plugs and wiring in the house.


At the conclusion of the workshop the excitement amongst the staff was so evident. Their views on retirement had changed and they all agreed they needed to look at retirement from a holistic point of view and that all aspects of their life (with some being discussed above) should be taken into account. Obviously, the most overriding aspect is that of financial planning. However, if any other area of your life is neglected an imbalance is created which can have dire consequences. One only needs to think of neglecting your physical health and the impact this can have on the rest of your life.

Article written by