Category Retirement
SUB CATEGORIES Annuties |  General |  Savings & Investments | 

How young is too young to start thinking about retirement?

11 May 2022 Discovery

According to National Treasury, South Africans generally need more awareness of investments and savings in general. Luckily, you’re never too young to start investing in your future, or too old to change the way you think about your retirement, as the 11-year-old star of a new Discovery Invest campaign helps us see.

“When people don’t save enough for retirement, and make large income withdrawals in retirement, it doesn’t just affect them personally, but also their legacy and the wider economy, ” explains Kenny Rabson, CEO of Discovery Invest.

“This is why our focus is on empowering people to make better financial decisions, because it has the ability to affect their own and their family’s lives – potentially for generations to come.”

Through a series of advertisements, Discovery Invest and 11-year-old Dali, are encouraging people to “Make More Grown-up Decisions About Your Investments”. The aim is to raise awareness of important financial decisions with a focus on creating generational wealth, budgeting for extended longevity in retirement, and diversifying through offshore investing.

“No one is more honest than a child. At the heart of Dali’s clever and humourous quips are important messages about how we, as South Africans, can tackle the country’s poor saving culture – one decision at a time. When enough people save and invest adequately, they have the collective potential to change the development course of the country by providing an investment pool that funds economic growth,” Rabson adds.

Motivation for the campaign

In South Africa, many working people carry the double financial burden of providing for both their parents and their own children. Household savings average just above 2%1 of GDP per annum, most of which is contractual savings for retirement funds. This makes it incredibly difficult to invest enough to create wealth – especially when people want to invest offshore.

Until recently, the cost, paperwork and minimum amounts required to invest globally meant that only elite investors could access investment opportunities outside of South Africa. Technological advances have now levelled the playing field, giving people the opportunity to create wealth for themselves and to leave a legacy of financial freedom to the next generation.

How shared value can solve these problems

Chief Marketing Officer, Firoze Bhorat, says “At Discovery, we have seen that by rewarding positive savings behaviour, people can change. Our aim is to build a nation of wealth creators who won’t just retire well themselves, but will also enable future generations to do the same. In the context of saving for retirement, offshore investing is also a compelling proposition to add extra diversification to an investment portfolio.”

“By incentivising responsible financial behaviours and healthy lifestyles through incentives like boosts to investments, and admin fee discounts and refunds, Discovery Invest encourages its clients to invest more and remain invested for longer. Discovery Invest therefore earns fees for longer, resulting in greater funds, which generates surplus profits. These profits are then shared with clients through rewards; and society also benefits through a stronger savings culture and less reliance on the state. This ultimately leads to wealthier clients, who can then reinvest locally or globally and perpetuate a healthier cycle,” Bhorat says.

Quick Polls


There are countless articles written about South Africa’s poor retirement outcomes. Which of the following would you single out as the biggest contributor to local savers not accumulating enough to buy an adequate and sustainable pension?


Lack of personal accountability
Poor participation in formal retirement funds
Reluctance to seek financial advice early on
SA’s high unemployment rate
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