Dealing with the Financial Implications of Divorce

Getting married and starting a life with the person you love is a marvellous new chapter to begin, unfortunately, most marriages do not last. The divorce rate has increased by 5% and statistics from 2012 show that of the 161,112 marriages that took place in South Africa, 22,000 of those marriages resulted in divorce.

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In most instances, the wife almost always ends up in a position of disadvantage. After experiencing a divorce, she will be forced to deal with emotional trauma and extra financial implications, and too, face the challenge of dealing with getting herself back to where she used to be and figuring out where she wants to be. Continue reading

Is all debt bad?

Is all debt bad? To answer that question, we need to consider two concepts:

  • What is the cost of debt?
  • What is the reward to be gained as a result of that debt?

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If you are prepared to enter into debt to purchase a pair of shoes valued at R10 000, the reward will be that you are the envy of many of your friends. Is this reward worth R10 000, plus interest on the debt? Continue reading

Frustrations with a Local South African Bank

I have held a Private Banking account with a large South African bank for the past 24 years. Although this is an expensive account to have, I am provided with a Private Banker – which is one of the main benefits of private banking. However, after a long time of holding the account, I have come to the conclusion that for me, this is no longer good value for money.

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My main concern is the overall lack of communication with my Private Banker. Whenever I try to phone her, I am met with a voicemail message which instructs me to contact her assistant. When trying to phone the assistant, who also doesn’t answer the phone, I am redirected again to the Call Centre. Here, after spending very long periods of time moving between the switchboard and related prompts, I am told to contact my Private Banker.

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How to Afford your Child’s Education

The cost of education in South Africa is at an alarming all-time high, and these rates are northwood-paying-for-your-childs-educationnot showing any sign of decreasing in the near future. Budgeting for your child or children’s education is imperative, and need not be too much of an overwhelming task.

We suggest seeking the assistance and guidance from a trusted financial planner to set a long-term strategy in place through the use of carefully considered unit trust funds.

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Why is it so difficult to talk about money?

Money is a strange matter; it always appears to be on everyone’s mind, yet at a social gathering, or even in a private conversation, it always seems too much of a personal topic to discuss.northwood-talking-about-money-is-taboo

Money is taboo. When couples come for financial coaching, regardless of how long they have been married, I am always surprised at how difficult it is for them to speak about money. In some cases, we cannot have a joint meeting when we discuss budgets as the subject is simply too toxic.

From an early age, we are taught that it is impolite to talk about money. Even to close friends or family members, it is deemed as ill-mannered to talk about how much something costs or how much money someone earns. Quite simply put, money is a complex subject, and it can stir up many intense emotions when it features in a conversation.

The result of this sensitivity sees us not teach our children about money. For example, think of your own family:

When you were a child, how many times did your parents sit down with you and teach you about money and how to use it? Even if your parents didn’t talk to you about money, you would still have learned about money from them; as well as having probably picked up some bad habits, you would probably also carry the fear of talking openly about money.

Your silence hurts your children today. Whatever the reason for avoiding the subject; whether you feel that you have made too many mistakes, or that you are embarrassed, or that you are afraid of conflict; silence is never a long-term solution.

Silence hurts you: after all, without attention, money problems only tend to get bigger. It’s a powerful symbol representing many different things to many different people. It can symbolise the comfort of being taken care of and loved, as well as bring up issues of dependence and survival. It can symbolise power, control, adoration or seduction.

Money is a way to deal with anxiety and separation issues, while others believe a lack of money may be perceived as a threat to their safety and can give rise to depression and feelings of emptiness.

At Northwood Financial Services cc, we play a game called CashFlow 101 with our clients. In this game, people can become unemployed. We’ve noticed that if a client becomes unemployed more than once, they tend to give up and opt not to play any longer. Although CashFlow 101 is simply an exercise, we don’t have to option to opt out or give up when money troubles become too hard in the real world.

Our advice: ask for help. If, for example, you wanted to learn a new skill, you would seek the help of a tutor. The same principle applies to financial planning, yet few would consider asking for help to deal with money.

 

The importance of planning and regularly reviewing your Last Will and Testament

Discussing matters of your death with your loved ones is never an easy conversation to have, nor is there ever an ideal manner in which to approach the topic. However, doing so can save your family, assets and estates in the long run. The following article discusses the critical importance of constructing, and regularly reviewing, your Last Will and Testament.

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A client of mine, Walter, married his wife in 2000. As good citizens, he and his wife made each others sole beneficiaries to each others possessions, and assigned their parents as the inheritors thereof in the event of their death.

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The benefits of creating multiple passive income streams

During the course of our careers, in our respective places of employment, we may receive a number of promotions and salary raises that will aid toward increasing our monthly incomes. Despite this, our incomes; or our costs to our respective companies; will never bring us wealth. Our employers will often award us a sum each month that allows us to be comfortable, or at minimum, survive the month. Wealth is created through making clever decisions and having strategic financial plans in place. To grow your wealth, you should seek to have more than one income stream, as it is those extra income streams that create wealth.

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Financial Planning for Women: the challenges and solutions

During an article published in May 2014, Forbes Magazine asked the question, “Where are all the women financial planners?”northwood-womens-finance

Reflecting on the number of Financial Planning Conferences which I attend, I can best describe the financial planning industry as pale, male and old. Typically, the only women present at these conferences are often the waitresses. In this male-dominated industry, there has been very little transformation across gender roles, and even less so across cultural lines.

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Applying for a job? Make sure that your CV is up to date and meets the employers’ requirements.

Someone once asked me what my least favourite job was as an entrepreneur…

northwood-cv-job-searchRecently, I had advertised a job listing for an accountant to join our team at Northwood Financial Services cc. Through the advert, I’d asked the job applicants to include a number of attachments along with the CV and cover letter. Of the prerequisites and attachments received, I’d conducted an analysis of the first ten Graduates who had applied:

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