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TOP THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHILE PLANNING FOR RETIREMENT

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TOP THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHILE PLANNING FOR RETIREMENT

Introduction

Have you started planning for retirement? Many people shy away from the conversation of retirement; some even believe that they are too young to start planning for retirement. But, no one is too young to start planning for retirement as long as the person has started working.

That you are making plans for retirement does not mean you will stop working the next day. On the contrary, the idea of making retirement plans is to have a solid plan for the future. After all, early preparation leads to better results.

When talking with some people, especially the younger generation, they believe that they do not need to concern themselves with talks that surround retirement. Instead, they feel conversations about retirement should be for only parents and the older generation.

However, we are here to let you know that everyone should be involved in talks about retirement. If not for anything else but the sake of your financial security.

Understandably, some people do not know what to do when planning retirement. So, let’s discuss some things you can do to prepare for retirement. These are easy things and steps that should be in place for you to have an enjoyable retirement.

 

Steps to Take in Making Retirement Plans

The age of retirement varies in many countries. But it is never too early to start planning if you have activated your career journey.

So, some things to do are:

  • Start saving in an individual retirement account:

We always advise people to have a savings account separate from their salary or spending account. The idea of a savings account is to ensure an isolated bank account where you can save money for rainy days. Also, it helps to ensure that there is money you can bank on if things go south.

But when you are planning for retirement, there should be a separate account that is solely for retirement. This bank account shouldn’t be your savings or spending account. The idea of this account is that you will be keeping money aside for retirement, and you wouldn’t touch the money until you have retired.

Often, there are pension companies that help individuals and organizations with such accounts. When employees of an organization use these pension brokers, the employer always ensures to put their pension money monthly or quarterly into the account. So, yes, those whose employers pay pension would benefit from this.

But even if your employer has no employee pension plan, you can still open an account and set aside a sum for your pension. And you have to be disciplined to ensure you do not touch money from the account until you are retired.  

  • Don’t touch your savings

The previous point has already mentioned how there should be a dedicated pension account and how one has to be disciplined to ensure that they do not touch the money in the pension account.

Now, the idea of planning for retirement is because you wouldn’t be working anymore once you have retired. And the concept of retirement entails that one has gotten to an age where they shouldn’t work anymore as it is now time to rest.

But would you rest or have peace of mind if you cannot afford your basic amenities? If you keep touching or taking from your retirement savings before you retire, you can be sure that the money will finish when you need it. Therefore, you must not touch your savings while planning for retirement.

Some people have excellent discipline and self-control, while others would have to rely on others to put them in check. So, we advise that you do whatever will work for you. If you rely on others to put them in check, we recommend getting a reliable accountability partner to help you with this journey to ensure maximum accountability.

  • Ask your employer if there is a pension plan

Unfortunately, many people have worked years under their employers for years without any retirement or a pension plan. Typically, we would advise that one shouldn’t work for any employer that does not have pension plan for its employees as you would be working in vain.

It doesn’t make sense that one would work for many years and retire with nothing to show. So, one of the things you need to know and do while planning for retirement would be to ask your employer if there is a pension plan for employees.

Ideally, you should ask this question during the initial stage so you can weigh your options and know if you want to take the job or not. If your employer doesn’t have a pension plan for employees, it means you have to formulate your pension plan.

So, you could work with pension brokers to get a pension account and ensure that you regularly put aside a certain amount of money into your pension account. Or, you can open any regular account and tag it as your pension account.

There is no formula for making this work as it depends on individual preferences. However, having a pension account and plan during your working years is vital.

  • Make wise investment decisions

It isn’t out of place that one would think of making investments during their working years. Yes, it is one of the things you can do as you plan for retirement. Typically, people would say that making investments is a way of making your money work for you, as you do not want to squander all the money you are making.

But sadly, some people make bad investment decisions, and all their money goes to waste. So, what sort of investment decisions are you making?

A wise investment decision would be to invest in real estate. After all, we can all agree that lands and other real estate assets appreciate over the years. So, you are sure that it would be a wise investment decision as you are making your money work for you.

But if you decide to put your money into some Ponzi scheme to take a risk, you can be sure that you will be saying goodbye to your money.

There are also many other options for wise investment decisions like buying stocks and shares. So, we urge you to carry out proper research before you investing your money into anything to get value for your money.

  • Know your retirement needs

What are those things that will be a major bother to you when you are retired? It is always handy to have a list of those things you believe would need the highest funding when you are retired, as they form your retirement needs and helps you prepare when planning for retirement.

For some people, especially those who had children late, school fees are one of their top retirement needs. According to them, their children would still be in school by the time they are retired, and they need to keep paying tuition until these children start working and can stand on their feet.

Others say that healthcare and medicals are their priority retirement needs. After all, you still need to take care of your health when retired, and we can all agree that health isn’t the most affordable in present-day society.

It could be that these people enjoyed HMO benefits while working and no longer have access to it. So, it will be a top retirement need as they need to concern themselves with catering to healthcare for themselves and their family members.

Retirement needs vary among individuals, but knowing them helps you plan effectively.

  • Clear your debts

Is there anyone who loves being a debtor? You will see that many people run away from debts as they know that it could reck them. But understandably, it is impossible to stay without being indebted at least once in life.

There is always a need for money, and it could be that you do not have it at the moment, so you had to borrow. Now, let no one shame you for borrowing, as it is usual to borrow and refund the money when due.

But when you are preparing for retirement, it is best to check your backlog and clear all your debts as you do not want to you your retirement funds to settle loans. Some people say that a debt-free man is a happy man, and we agree with such a claim. However, it is always best to enjoy your retirement without the thought of servicing loans.

So as you wrap up your working years, it is best to clear all your loans. The money you have saved as your pension funds isn’t what you should use to settle debts or loans. Instead, that money is what should keep working for you during your retirement or help you with your needs.

  • Have a solid long-term strategy

It is one thing to say that you are saving money for your retirement. But if you do not have a strategy on how you want to spend or allocate that money, you will live in regrets. Now, you may feel that you have money and nothing can go wrong. However, let us tell you that the money will finish if you do not have a solid long-term strategy.

The idea here is that you should have a way to keep your money working for you or it will finish, and you will live in misery. The most typical strategy is to invest your saved money into a business. This way, you are sure that you wouldn’t be stranded as the business would keep bringing in cash.

We cannot recommend any specific business that one should invest in as we know that people have varying interests. Picking a business should be based on your passion, interest, and those around you. You can also consult with friends to know the best business that would boom to match your needs.

It is best to start mapping out your solid strategy before your reach your retirement year so that you have a solid plan in place.

  • Talk with a financial advisor

Do you have a financial advisor? Some people may feel that they do not need one, but let us tell you that it is always great to seek the help of a financial advisor. A financial advisor is like your therapist when it comes to financial situations; they help you to make the best choices.

When you consult a financial advisor, they tell you the best way to save for retirement, give you investment tips, and even help you with business ideas. Their goal is to ensure that you are flourishing during your retirement years. Therefore, you need a financial advisor.

 

Why Should I Prepare for Retirement?

It could be you have been reading through and need more convincing points on why preparing for retirement is essential. Below are a few:

  • To ensure you are not stranded

Do you want to be a retiree who depends entirely on others, even to the barest need? Do you want to be someone who needs to get bread and has to start begging for money? But, of course, we know that this idea does not appeal to anyone.

So, if you do not want to be this type of person, you need to prepare for retirement so that you are not stranded. Humans typically do not like when others are always dependent on them. People will abandon you when they see that you are only out to keep getting from them.

And, we do not want you to have such an experience during your retirement years. So therefore, make sure you start planning for retirement.

  • Peace of mind

A certain peace of mind comes with knowing that you can afford whatever you want and we want you to enjoy that during retirement. Here, you know that you do not owe anyone or have debts to settle.

No matter what some people might say, it is always best to have money and be able to attend to your needs. If you do not have money, you will always be disturbed, and it leads to post-retirement misery.

So, planning for your retirement from an early stage brings peace of mind as you will have come up with a long-term strategy.

  • Satisfaction

Have you ever experienced a nice feeling when you made a decision? You could be nodding your head in agreement now as you read this. So, wouldn’t you want to experience that feeling again? Well, you can during your retirement years if you start planning for retirement early.

The idea here is that you will feel happy with your decisions and how they play out for you in the long run. You will be pleased that you are not living in misery and everything is working out as it should.

Nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction, and you can get it when you plan well for your retirement.

FAQs

Below are some related questions that are associated with retirement

What should you not do in retirement?

The fact that you are retired does not mean that you should be undisciplined. Yes, you made retirement plans and have a reasonable sum of money as you’ve retired. But that doesn’t mean you should squander the money. Instead, it would be best if you were disciplined in spending money during your retirement.

What should I look for in a retirement plan?

If you want to sign up for a retirement plan with any pension broker, you should carefully read their clauses. We would say you should look out for details that concern your money. For example, can you get the money before you are retired? How long after your retirement would you get the money? These are critical determining factors.

Conclusion

Gone are the days when people feared retirement. That fear only happened because they were not prepared for it.

It’s never too early to start planning for retirement as a career person. If you have questions, do not hesitate to drop comments or reach out to us. We are here for your financial success.

 

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BANKING

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) works with World Bank in closing first to market MIGA guaranteed short-term sovereign loan

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Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) works with World Bank in closing first to market MIGA guaranteed short-term sovereign loan

Through collaboration with MIGA and the Minister of Economy and Finance for Côte d’Ivoire, RMB facilitated a short-term loan to support crucial trade related initiatives

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) (www.RMB.co.za), a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, has achieved a significant milestone in Africa by partnering with the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank, to extend short-term funding support on a trade-backed facility for the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.

Through collaboration with  MIGA and the Minister of Economy and Finance for Côte d’Ivoire, RMB facilitated a short-term loan to support crucial trade related initiatives.

Said Ben Bechet from RMB’s Trade and Working Capital, Structured Solutions team: “While RMB has a proud history of supporting sovereigns on the continent with their funding and capital markets requirements, this is a first of its kind facility for an African sovereign. This transaction will pave the way for further MIGA guaranteed short-term facilities across the continent to assist with developmental initiatives, critical projects and the importation of crucial goods such as food, fertilizer and medicines alongside other resources.”

Clarine Stenfert, Global Trade Finance Head and Head of UK for MIGA, said: “Through deep collaboration with RMB and MIGA, the teams were able to successfully structure and execute a process we hope to scale and introduce to other African countries. MIGA’s Trade Finance Guarantee Framework seeks to support sovereigns or sub-sovereigns across emerging markets with their trade financing requirements, alleviating the current liquidity constraints imposed by the current high inflationary environment and the retreat from markets by private sector players.”

MIGA provides political risk insurance guarantees to private sectors and investors in a broad range of sectors in developing  economies. MIGA promotes foreign direct investment into developing countries to support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives. MIGA fulfills this mandate by offering political risk insurance guarantees and credit enhancement to private sector investors and lenders.

“RMB’s strategy entails forging partnerships with insurance, guarantee and export credit agency providers to extend meaningful funding support to our clients across Africa. Collaboration with development financial institutions and multilaterals remains key to truly unlocking new opportunities to support our clients, concluded Bechet.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rand Merchant Bank.

About RMB:
Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) is a leading African corporate and investment bank (CIB) and part of the largest financial services group (by market capitalisation) in Africa – FirstRand Bank Limited (which is wholly owned by FirstRand Limited). We offer our clients innovative, value-added advisory, funding, trading, corporate banking, and principal investing solutions.
With a presence in 10 African countries, we have a significant footprint on the continent. We also have access to a network of retail banks, representative offices and branches across Africa, the UK, India and the US.

At RMB we are passionate about solving problems for our clients by asking the hard questions. We challenge accepted thinking. We analyse and seek solutions beyond the obvious. We are innovative in our thinking and turn challenges into opportunities, while delivering on Traditional values. Innovative ideas. Our ability to think differently, our collaborative spirit, our client-centric solutions and our belief that great minds don’t always have to think alike, is what sets us apart.

For more information visit: www.RMB.co.za

About MIGA:
MIGA was created in 1988 as a member of the World Bank to promote foreign direct investment in emerging economies by helping to mitigate the risks of restrictions on currency conversion and transfer, breach of contract by governments, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance; and offering credit enhancement to private investors and lenders. Since its creation, MIGA has issued over $76 billion in guarantees across 123 developing countries, supporting more than 1,000 projects. Over the past decade, MIGA’s guarantees have generated more than 156,000 jobs in developing countries.

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BANKING

Equatorial Guinea and Ghana Accede to the Establishment Agreement for Afreximbank’s Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA)

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The Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA), the development impact-focused subsidiary of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com), has announced that the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Ghana have recently signed the FEDA Establishment Agreement.

This important milestone is the result of several months of cooperation between Afreximbank, FEDA and government officials in Equatorial Guinea and Ghana.

As Afreximbank member states, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana have taken another step towards closer collaborations with FEDA by signing the FEDA Establishment Agreement. This milestone marks the countries’ support for Afreximbank’s efforts to extend FEDA’s impact investing objectives across the continent.

New memberships are crucial to broaden the scope of FEDA’s interventions and its mission of delivering long-term capital to African economies with a focus on industrialization, intra-African trade and value-added exports.

Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank and Chairman of the Boards of both Afreximbank and FEDA, said: “We heartily welcome the signing of the FEDA Establishment Agreement by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Ghana. The signing of the FEDA Establishment Agreement lays the groundwork for an enhanced and more effective cooperation with better access to the full range of interventions offered by Afreximbank and FEDA. This milestone builds on the solid partnership already established with both Equatorial Guinea and Ghana. The aim is to support transformative investments in these countries in the near future.”

About FEDA:
The Fund for Export Development in Africa (“FEDA”) is the impact investment subsidiary of Afreximbank set up to provide equity, quasi-equity, and debt capital to finance the multi-billion-dollar funding gap (particularly in equity) needed to transform the Trade sector in Africa. FEDA pursues a multi-sector investment strategy along the intra-African trade, value-added export development, and manufacturing value chain which includes financial services, technology, consumer and retail goods, manufacturing, transport & logistics, agribusiness, as well as ancillary trade enabling infrastructure such as industrial parks.

About Afreximbank:
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. At the end of September 2023, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$33.4 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$5.8 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$104 billion between 2016 and 2023. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together, “the Group”). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

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Financial Analysis: A Comprehensive Study of The Well-Being of A Country 

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Financial Analysis: A Comprehensive Study of The Well-Being of A Country

Understanding the financial stability of a country requires a thorough understanding of financial analysis. In order to offer insights into the overall financial stability and overall wellness of the country, it entails evaluating a range of economic indicators, financial performance, and market movements.

In this article, we will delve into the fundamentals and importance of financial analysis in evaluating a country’s economic situation.

THE HISTORY ABOUT FINANCIAL ANALYSIS

Ancient Beginnings:

The roots of financial analysis can be traced back thousands of years. The ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and Greeks were among the pioneers of documenting financial transactions, creating basic records of assets and liabilities. These early attempts laid the groundwork for the concept of financial analysis through the study of financial statements and ledgers.

Medieval Europe:

During the Middle Ages, Europe witnessed the rise of merchant guilds and the emergence of double-entry bookkeeping. Italian mathematician and Franciscan friar, Luca Pacioli, is often credited with formalizing double-entry bookkeeping, publishing his seminal work “Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalita” in 1494. The concept of balancing debits and credits within financial records formed the basis for modern financial analysis techniques.

Industrial Revolution:

The Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries revolutionized business and the need for financial analysis grew rapidly. As companies expanded and diversified, investors began demanding more comprehensive financial reports to assess the potential risks and returns of their investments. The birth of limited liability companies further accelerated the need for financial analysis, as shareholders sought transparency in the performance of their investments.

Modern Era:

The 20th century witnessed significant advancements in financial analysis techniques. The advent of electronic computing in the mid-1900s enabled the processing and analysis of vast amounts of financial data, leading to the development of sophisticated financial models and ratios.

The Great Depression of the 1930s laid the groundwork for modern financial analysis as regulators sought effective ways to prevent future economic crises. The establishment of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1934 brought about standardized reporting requirements, including the filing of audited financial statements. This increased transparency and standardized financial reporting provided analysts with a more accurate and consistent basis for their analysis.

The Rise of Quantitative Analysis:

In the latter half of the 20th century, the growth of computing power and the availability of large data sets propelled financial analysis into new territory. Quantitative analysis, utilizing statistical models and mathematical algorithms, started gaining prominence. Financial analysts began incorporating complex mathematical methods to assess investment opportunities, risk management, and portfolio optimization.

Modern Financial Tools:

With the advent of the internet and the digital age, financial analysis has become even more accessible and data-driven. Sophisticated software programs, data analytics tools, and artificial intelligence have revolutionized the way financial data is analyzed and interpreted. In recent years, technologies like machine learning have been leveraged to develop predictive models that can assess future trends and make accurate financial forecasts.

MEANING

Financial analysis is the process of evaluating businesses, projects, budgets, and other finance-related transactions to determine their performance and suitability. Typically, financial analysis is used to analyze whether an entity is stable, solvent, liquid, or profitable enough to warrant a monetary investment.

Financial analysis is a fundamental tool that allows organizations and individuals to assess the past, present, and future financial health of a business or investment. Through a systematic examination and interpretation of financial statements, ratios, and other key indicators, financial analysis helps in making informed decisions, optimizing resources, and improving overall financial performance. In this article, we will delve into the meaning of financial analysis, its prominent components, and its significance across various sectors.

Financial analysis involves scrutinizing financial data to evaluate the performance and profitability of an entity. It assists in quantifying the effectiveness of financial decisions, identifying trends, predicting future outcomes, and benchmarking against industry standards. By analyzing financial statements, investors, analysts, and other stakeholders gain valuable insights into the financial position, liquidity, solvency, and operational efficiency of an organization.

FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL ANALYSIS IN A COUNTRY

  1. Gross Domestic Product (GDP): GDP is a primary indicator used to gauge the economic performance of a nation. Financial analysts analyze GDP growth rates and its components, such as consumer spending, government expenditure, investments, and net exports. This analysis helps in determining the overall strength of the economy and identifying areas of potential growth.
  2. Trade and Balance of Payments: Trade analysis focuses on a country’s imports, exports, and balance of payments. Evaluating trade patterns helps identify sectors driving the country’s economic growth, trade imbalances, and potential risks to the economy from external factors such as changes in global demand or disruptions in supply chains.
  3. Inflation and Interest Rates: Analyzing inflation rates and interest rates provides insights into the stability of a country’s economy. High inflation erodes purchasing power, while high-interest rates can impact borrowing costs, affect consumer spending, and investment behavior. Financial analysts assess the impact of inflation and interest rates on an economy’s overall competitiveness and economic growth potential.
  4. Government Debt and Fiscal Policy: Analyzing a country’s government debt levels and fiscal policy is crucial in understanding its financial sustainability. A high level of government debt may lead to increased borrowing costs, reduced investor confidence, and potential risks to economic stability. Evaluating fiscal policies helps determine whether a country is managing its finances effectively and implementing sustainable economic growth strategies.
  5. Stock Market Performance: The stock market reflects investor sentiment and provides valuable insights into a country’s economic outlook. Analysts evaluate key stock market indices, such as the country’s primary exchange, sector-specific indices, and market capitalization trends. Monitoring stock market performance allows for an understanding of investor confidence, economic growth expectations, and potential risks to the financial system.
  6. Banking Sector and Financial Institutions: A robust banking sector is essential for economic stability. Financial analysts assess the health of the banking system by evaluating indicators such as non-performing loans, capital adequacy ratios, and the overall stability and soundness of financial institutions. Understanding the well-being of financial institutions helps gauge the potential risks to the overall economy, including credit availability, liquidity, and financial contagion.
  7. Regulatory Environment and Governance: The regulatory environment and governance play a critical role in attracting investment and fostering economic growth. Financial analysts assess the effectiveness of regulatory frameworks, transparency in financial transactions, and the overall credibility and efficiency of institutions responsible for enforcing regulations. Evaluating the regulatory environment aids in understanding potential risks and opportunities for sustainable economic development.

SIGNIFICANCE OF FINANCIAL ANALYSIS IN A COUNTRY

Financial analysis plays a vital role across various sectors, serving the following purposes:

  1. Evaluating Financial Performance: By conducting a comprehensive financial analysis, companies can assess their performance, profitability, and financial stability. This, in turn, helps in identifying areas for improvement, developing strategic plans, and making sound financial decisions.
  2. Assessing Investment Viability: Investors rely on financial analysis to evaluate the profitability and risks associated with potential investments. Through detailed scrutiny of financial data, investors can determine the financial health and growth prospects of a company, aiding in making informed investment decisions.
  3. Facilitating Lending Decisions: Financial institutions utilize financial analysis to assess the creditworthiness of loan applicants. By analyzing financial statements, evaluating ratios, and assessing the risk profile, lenders can ascertain the borrower’s ability to repay loans and make sound lending decisions.
  4. Supporting Strategic Decision-Making: Financial analysis aids in strategic decision-making, such as expansion, diversification, or mergers and acquisitions. Understanding a company’s financial position and performance provides a foundation for evaluating the feasibility and potential outcomes of such decisions.

CONCLUSION

Conducting a comprehensive financial analysis provides valuable insights into the economic landscape of a country. By evaluating indicators such as GDP, trade patterns, inflation rates, government debt, stock market performance, banking sector health, and regulatory environment, financial analysts can gauge the overall financial health, identify potential risks, and recommend strategies for sustainable economic growth. Accurate and timely financial analysis acts as a compass, guiding policymakers, investors, and businesses to make informed decisions and contribute to the overall prosperity of the nation.

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