Financial vulnerability is one of the most significant challenges women face today.
While modern South African women have more opportunities to be leaders than previous generations, they are faced with more pitfalls.
“As we celebrate Women’s Month in August, we want to encourage women to empower themselves financially, as there are still too many women relying on others to take care of their money matters. Whether you have a partner or not, your income is critical and can be impacted by a severe illness. Furthermore, women live longer, highlighting the dire need for them to save for retirement,” says Karabo Ramookho, Strategic Retail Marketing Manager at Old Mutual.
“As women, we should empower ourselves and create our financial futures so that we can take care of our loved ones and ourselves. There is no magic formula, just discipline and proper financial planning – the key elements in ensuring a secure financial future,” adds Ramookho.
No one can predict the future, but there are two critical elements you should consider – protecting your income-earning ability and saving for retirement.
It begins with preparing a household budget, settling short term debt like store cards, and working towards reducing long term debt like a bond on your property. This allows you to adopt better spending patterns and better use of your hard-earned money.
Once you have prepared a budget and a plan for working towards settling your debt, you can focus on addressing all your financial needs such as life, disability and severe illness cover, as well as saving for the future. It is also important to include a will in your financial plan to support your financial plan.
If you are a member of the Government Employees Pension Fund while it offers you some benefits, it does not provide severe illness benefits. It is therefore critical to consider adding this cover to your existing financial plan to protect your income-earning ability
In the light of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Old Mutual’s Savings and Investment Monitor survey focussed on the attitudes and behavioural shifts of households as a result of the crisis. According to the latest findings of the survey, 34% of working metropolitan South African households are concerned that they will fall ill during the Covid-19 pandemic – with 38% of homes being worried that they cannot financially support those who rely on them if they fell ill,
The sentiments reflect how most South Africans are feeling. A shift in the right direction can eliminate some of your fears by protecting your income-earning ability. Take out illness insurance to help you take care of your loved ones if you fall ill from severe illness such as cancer or stroke.
Old Mutual’s 2019 Claims Statistics Report shows that overall
R739-million was paid out to customers in Severe Illness and Physical Impairment cover claims, underscoring the need for Severe Illness Insurance. Women claimed mostly for cancer and tumours (60%) with breast cancer being the most common. Severe illness insurance pays out a single tax-free amount when you’re diagnosed to help with your recovery or day-to-day expenses while you take time off – you decide how to spend the money.
“Old Mutual gives you the flexibility to build illness insurance that suits your unique circumstances. You choose your cover, the premium you can afford and any extra benefits which you can change as your life changes,” noted Ramookho.
For example, women can add the ‘for women benefit’ to your illness insurance that pays up to 50% of the cover amount for fertility-related conditions and complications during pregnancy such as endometriosis, eclampsia or stillbirth.
The reality is that illness can strike anyone, so it’s incredibly important to make sure that you are adequately covered should something happen.
So, this Women’s Month, protect your health – You want to enjoy the fruits of your labour, your investments as well as your children and their children. You also want to ensure that you protect your income-earning ability so that you continue to maintain your lifestyle.
“A financial plan allows you to cope with challenges that occur at various stages of your life. Speak to a financial adviser to assist you with a holistic financial plan, designed just for you” concludes Ramookho.
Speak to your adviser or click here to be contacted by an adviser to speak about Illness Insurance.