Funding life’s uncertainties

Emergency fund lending moneyAt Northwood Financial Services CC, we encourage our clients to have a diversified portfolio of assets. One of these assets we refer to as an Emergency Fund.

An Emergency Fund, as the name suggests, is used to cover any expense that you haven’t budgeted for. Such as car or home repairs, holiday spending money, a deposit on your next property or even retrenchment. Continue reading

When education is a waste of time

Education a waste of time?The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is the official body that oversees the
development of the National Qualification Framework (NQF) in South Africa. The NQF is the system we use to determine different levels of academic achievement.

Registered training institutions offer programmes that provide specific, quality  outcomes. Doing a registered course also means that your qualification will be recognized by employers, in South Africa as well as other countries. Continue reading

One size does not fit all

women independent financial securityIn our country, financial planning is seen as gender neutral. The reality is that men and women are often not on an equal playing field and this approach can have serious consequences.

Generally, women live longer than men. This means the effects of inflation have a bigger impact on their retirement income, which is particularly concerning because women do not always earn the same as their male counterparts, which effects the amount of savings they are able to accumulate. Continue reading

The National Health Initiative

National Health InitiativeIf you happen to be contributing to a medical aid scheme in South Africa, you will have enjoyed the tax rebate this generates. This is called the Medical Scheme Tax Credit (MTC). It is meant to subsidise and reduce our medical costs.

For instance, for two adults and two minor dependants, this amounts to R1 014 per month or R12 168 per annum. It makes a big difference. Also, since we are subsidised for the portion that falls under Section 6 (b), which protects us when medical costs not covered by your medical aid get out of control, the total refund could be considerably more. Continue reading

Shoddy Short-Term Cover

Car insuranceDealing with insurance companies when trying to settle a claim is a nightmare many of us can attest to. The experience leaves many clients disillusioned, and they tend not to involve their insurers if the damage to their property is minimal.

In two recent incidents, involving MiWay and Auto & General clients, the claimants had no choice but to claim. The accidents were caused when they were rear-ended while stationary at a traffic light. They had done nothing wrong. The vehicles were towed to these insurers’ approved panel beating workshop after the collision. Four weeks later, repairs still hadn’t started on either vehicle. Continue reading

Managing Rental Property

Managing rental propertyMany first-generation yuppies have come to realise that they need to enter the property market. However, most of them find that getting a home-loan of between R1 500 000 and R2 000 000 is not always possible.

The creative ones usually find a way around this dilemma by purchasing a home in the R300 000 to R700 000 price range. The home is then used to generate a rental income. The rental is often sufficient to cover their bond repayments. This leaves many of them happy landlords.

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Financial Planning for Women

Financial planning for womenMost women take on the role of caretaker in their family unit. This makes them more inclined to tend to everyone else and their needs first. Often to the detriment of their own.

One area that sees the most neglect is financial planning. When analysing a married couple’s Financial Needs (FNA), a good financial planner will work on the assumption that the marriage will end, whether because of death or divorce. Both these outcomes must be taken into consideration. Unfortunately, the female often comes off as second best. Continue reading