Craigh Chidrawi
5 April 2023
6 min read

South Africa doesn’t just have a gender pay gap, which sees women paid up to 35% less than their male counterparts. It also has a massive gender retirement gap, which sees women significantly worse off than men when it comes to their retirement savings incomes. According to the South African Treasury, only 6 out of every 100 South Africans will be able to retire comfortably. A recent poll shows more than a third (35%) of middle-class South Africans aren’t putting any money at all away for their retirement. Here are several steps that women can take to improve their retirement outcomes.

Plan for the long term

Ideally, building your retirement fund is a lifelong task. The earlier you start saving for retirement, the more time your money has to grow. And while it’s tough to make ends meet right now, it’s critical that you make retirement saving and planning a non-negotiable part of your monthly budget.

Increase your retirement fund contributions

One of the biggest reasons why people don’t have enough money to retire on is that they simply don’t save enough. The more money you are able to put away while you are earning, the bigger the nest egg you will have to provide financial security in your retirement years. Work through your budget carefully and see where you can make extra savings to put into your retirement fund.

Assess your expenses

Assessing your expenses to find additional income is key. By identifying areas where you can cut back on spending, you can potentially increase your savings for retirement. By taking a closer look at your monthly expenses, you may discover that you are overspending in certain areas or paying for services you don’t need. This can free up extra money that can be used towards your retirement savings.

Get involved in the family finances

Often, women tend to leave financial matters up their spouses or partners. That’s not good enough. Women must get more involved in all aspects of their family’s financial planning. They must know how much money is being spent and saved, and the current state of their retirement funds.

Talk to a financial planner

Many women are putting aside money for retirement. That’s a good start, but it’s important to talk to a financial planner. They’ll be able to help you review your financial needs and goals, help you make the right investments to ensure you have enough money for your retirement, and that your resources will be handled in a safe and predictable way.

Beat the tax burden

One of the biggest benefits of retirement planning is to structure your retirement funds in a tax-efficient manner. The more control you have over your income sources in retirement, the more likely you are to be able to reduce your tax burden. Because future tax regulations are difficult to predict, diversifying your income sources in retirement could save you a lot of money in the long term.

Most people see retirement as a time to relax and take it easy. For women, especially, the reality is often quite different. Retirement can cause severe financial stress, especially if you have left your job before your planned retirement age or must care for an elderly or sick spouse. That’s why it’s even more important for them to ensure they have a comprehensive retirement plan in place, which allows for enough savings for long term use and reduce the likelihood of having to depend on your friends or relatives to fill the gaps.

T&Cs apply. NMG Financial Planning (Pty) Ltd (Co Reg No. 1999/002506/07) is an Authorised Financial Services Provider – FSP6713  


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