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Initially the consequences of these highs and lows are of lesser significance but as we journey through life the consequences of our decisions and the highs and lows we are dealt become very significant and have dire and long-lasting impacts on our lives.

The majority of us spend the better part of 20 years in preparation and development for the next 45 years during which we work and earn, raise families and accumulate assets which we hope to put to good use in the final phase of life – enjoying the post career phase in doing more of what we want to do and less of what we have to do.

During the 45 years of wealth creation; we work, study, investigate opportunities, accumulate assets and take calculated risks. If we are male, we have an uninterrupted 45 years of wealth creation. If we are female, we have to take time out two, three or four times to give birth and spend time with the newborn family members for at least a few months. These interruptions come at a price, such as loss of income or a few steps back in terms of climbing the promotional ladder and other opportunities.

It is only when the women of the world approach their early fifties that they realize what the cost of these interrupted careers really cost. It reflects, amongst others, in monthly remuneration packages as well as accumulated wealth to provide for retirement.

It is also between the ages of 45 and 52 where a huge amount of divorces takes place. In marriages that survive until retirement, the husbands’ accumulation for retirement and the additional contribution of the wife’s retirement provision makes the future look not too bleak. The loss of a reasonable share of a husband’s retirement provision due to untimely divorces has a devastating effect on the post retirement lifestyle of the wife. Attempting to make good this loss for the 10 years or so before retirement simply does not work and the dreams of a wonderful, relaxed and laid back retirement soon turns into a dreaded nightmare as retirement date approaches.

The smart and intelligent woman of the modern era will take cognizance of the risk and interruptions that will have an impact on her ability to retire comfortably and secure and ensure that her retirement is independent from that of a first, second or even third husband. She will ensure financial independence, self-sufficiency and the creation of a range of options available that sufficient provision for retirement will present.

The informed women of today will realize that matrimony offers many joyful experiences however; a retirement package is something that they can definitely count on and enjoy at retirement as this can never be removed from you.

Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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