By Walter Marte
Life insurance can sometimes be placed on the back burner of financial planning, but it deserves a much more prominent position in the design and architecture of our financial security.
According to the startling statistic from the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (Asisa) that the average income earner in South Africa has around a R1 million shortfall in life cover. This should serve as a wake-up call to take immediate action to protect the financial security of our loved ones.
Given that in most relationships today, both partners are income earners, many of us fall into the trap of thinking that our partner or spouse will take care of financial matters if we’re no longer there.
But the reality is that a loss of a significant portion of a family’s income due to the death of an earner can be financially devastating for those who are left. It is a critical need for every individual with family or dependants to proactively manage their financial affairs and focus on life insurance as one of the cornerstones of their planning.
For example, the myth that taking out life insurance is the responsibility of the higher earner. The fact is most of us now recognise the importance of investing for our retirement from as early in our careers as we can, and the same holds true for life insurance. The reality is that none of us know what tomorrow may bring, so there’s no time like the present to be responsible and get the life cover your loved ones deserve.
When you start young, you stand to benefit from lower premiums because you represent less of an insurance risk as you are generally healthier andhave the rest of your life ahead of you.
Another myth is that life insurance is too complex and involves too much paperwork. Addressing affordability, which is another common barrier to life insurance adoption, I encourage a customised approach, where your cover aligns with your budget and gradually increases as your income does.
People realise that they need the reliable life cover we offer, but they're worried about affordability. Our response is always to start where you are right now. Choose the cover you can afford, and make sure that your cover is flexible enough to evolve with you over the years.
A new year is the perfect time to reflect and come up with new resolutions to guide you through the year. Why not seize the 2024 resolution buzz and review your financial planning to ensure the financial security of you and your family with MyCover Life?
* Walter Marte is the managing executive at Nedbank Insurance.