On Heritage Day, millions of South Africans celebrate their cultural wealth as a nation, the diversity of their beliefs and traditions. But another legacy, equally important, is sadly overlooked: the financial legacy inherited by future generations. While reflecting and celebrating the past, think about your family’s future legacy: a happy debt-free life.
Pass on financial knowledge and skills
When families gather around, it’s usually for the traditional braai or the festive holiday table. There are plenty of opportunities to organise a cheerful gathering of your own: why not have that overdue talk with the family about financial responsibilities, budgeting, savings and debt?
Start with the basics. You do not have to be a seasoned investor to impart essential financial education knowledge. For example, show youngsters how they can draw a simple budget or how to save regularly a portion of their money allowance or income. Explain how they can grow any initial investment thanks to the power of compound interest.
Share your experience with money. You do not have to feel alone or overwhelmed, either, when discussing debt and the steps to financing a property or vehicle purchase with credit. If you are over-indebted or need debt counselling, talking about this experience is still beneficial for them to understand debt challenges and plan better for their financial future.
Head into retirement debt-free
How different would the future be if you or your family didn’t have any debt to worry about? It’s never too late to cut the debt cord – but ensure your successors get a better and debt-free start in life. Focus on the ultimate goal: a debt-free inheritance for your spouse and children. You don’t want them to inherit your debt problems.
There is no point in overextending debt commitments or cashing in on investments early to help the next generations if it means they have to inherit and deal with this extra debt burden long after you’re gone. Refrain from taking more debt on your plate as you move towards retirement.
Think of reducing debt as you near pension age, or better yet, eliminate it altogether before heading into retirement. If you are a pensioner still with debt, channel your efforts into paying off remaining debts as quickly as possible in the first retirement years.
Pensioners can also apply for professional debt help, formalized debt review or debt counselling to discuss a restructured debt repayment plan tailored to their financial situation. If you need debt help as a pensioner, a debt counsellor can assist with reducing debt while minimizing risks to retirement income, savings and investments.
Leave behind a financial legacy
As we celebrate and impart traditions in life, we should do the same following death. Make it your heritage plan to leave the next generations with a solid financial legacy, aside from the treasured memories and family traditions. This means:
- Building an inheritance through various income-generating investments
- Leaving a debt-free estate with no financial dependence upon your death
- Having a will to distribute your estate and personal assets to your successors as you wish (instead of leaving this matter to the State)
- Educating children with the financial knowledge they need to succeed and showing them it’s ok to seek professional advice and debt help, sooner than later.
Finally, don’t forget to celebrate your legacy!
Need debt help? ezDebt counsellors advise on the best debt repayment plan to fit your circumstances and your family’s financial future.
Our professional ezDebt advisers can help you stay on track with debt repayments through quick and affordable debt counselling. All our debt counsellors are registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR). Get in touch at www.ezdebt.co.za.