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Why three South Africans turned down their perfect lives

13 July 2016 Glacier by Sanlam
Deon Koch and Justin Cohen.

Deon Koch and Justin Cohen.

Deon Koch, Josephine Mbire and Karin Henriques.

Deon Koch, Josephine Mbire and Karin Henriques.

Josephine Mbire.

Josephine Mbire.

Justin Cohen.

Justin Cohen.

If somebody offered you your perfect life, chances are good that you would grab it with both hands. But the opposite happened recently when three South Africans from the Glacier by Sanlam #FutureFWD retirement campaign said no to theirs, not realising that this was the offer they’d already made themselves.

Josephine Mbire (customer support manager), Deon Koch (civil engineer) and Karin Hendriques (communications manager) embarked on the Glacier by Sanlam #FutureFWD journey to find out what exactly was in store for them in retirement. International speaker, author and life strategist, Justin Cohen and a team of experts dug deep into every aspect of their lives - career, financials, dreams, aspirations - to get a real sense of what it is that they want. To help them live their perfect life.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it. And the first step to creating it in reality is to create it in your mind,” says Cohen. “Only once we have a clear sense of what it is we truly want; can we start to look at whether we have the means to manifest it.”

After careful analysis and an individual visual representation of their perfect life, each subject was presented with an envelope holding a number: the amount of money available to make that life a reality, determined using Glacier’s newly developed online calculator. All three individuals immediately turned down the offer, not knowing it represented their actual monthly retirement salary based on their current savings and retirement contributions.

Says Jaco-Chris Koorts, actuarial consultant at Glacier by Sanlam, “We all have an idea of retirement and how we see ourselves in the future, but are often unrealistic when it comes to knowing just how much we need every month to enjoy the life we want. That is why we launched this campaign and our online calculator - to highlight the importance of knowing today what your monthly retirement salary will be, and to help South Africans understand exactly what they’ll have every month in today’s value, at retirement.”

Mbire’s passion has always been to travel and enjoy the outdoors. “Watching the video of my perfect life was surreal, but it seemed tangible at the same time. It was quite shocking to find out what my retirement salary was. I know that I definitely wouldn’t want to be 65 and living off that amount. I’d probably have to keep working. Knowing what I know now makes me want to plan properly and chase after my dreams even more.”

Koch’s retirement salary wasn’t close to what he had anticipated. “I’m spending more than that on a non-perfect life right now,” he says. “My dream of learning how to make shoes in Italy or playing the sitar in India means that I’ll need to get professional advice in terms of saving. I think I’ll send them this perfect life video and say ‘guys, you need to make this work!’,” he exclaims.

Hendriques’ biggest fear in life is to be bored. She dreams of having a photography exhibition, so seeing her perfect life in front of her “was almost like a spiritual experience,” she says. While the number in her envelop “is livable”, she says, it is not her dream. “I just realised that I want so much more. I will have to work harder to get that number up because the days of retiring at 60 and not doing anything have long gone. We realistically have to plan until the age of 90.”

Explains Koorts, “Last year’s first successful #FutureFWD retirement campaign saw three young South Africans paired with three retirees to help them learn the realities of retirement. Hopefully this experiment and Glacier’s new online tool further drives home the importance of saving from a young age. Our three subjects all need to reassess their savings in order to live their perfect lives when they retire, and this tool enables them, and other South Africans, to tailor their savings and retirement contributions while there is still time.”

Watch the Glacier by Sanlam FutureFWD video here to see how the campaign unfolded, or follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter:

YouTube: http://bit.ly/29CpvDS

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FUTUREFWDSA

Twitter: @glacierbysanlam

Find out now if you have the means to live your perfect life:

https://www.glacier.co.za/personal/retirement/Pages/retirement.aspx#SalaryCalculator

For more information on Glacier by Sanlam or the #FutureFWD campaign, visit www.glacier.co.za.

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