A journey doesn’t need a massive leap

Many people think that financial planning is a once off event that starts with the numbers and ends with investments and pie charts, but that’s not what true financial planning is about.

Financial planning is a comprehensive, ongoing approach that starts with helping you define your dreams, developing a plan to help you get there, then tracking your progress along the way and recommending changes where needed.

No matter what stage of your life you have reached, the best step you can take for the security of your financial future is to consult a financial planning specialist.

AFKEN uses six steps to map a personalised plan to identify and address your financial needs effectively, to overcome any financial or planning shortfalls, and to achieve your goals successfully:

  • Step 1: Establish and define a professional relationship with you as an individual
  • Step 2: Gather your financial information and set your unique individual financial planning goals
  • Step 3: Analyse and evaluate your current financial position
  • Step 4: Make personalised financial planning recommendations
  • Step 5: Implement these recommendations
  • Step 6: Monitor your unique portfolio and make annual adjustments

Would the 7-year-old you be proud of who you are today?

What we can offer you

TOPICS TO GO WITH WEALTH

Savings Plans

In an uncertain financial landscape, where volatile markets and credit chaos are becoming facts of life, handling dramatic change with calm and confidence is essential.

Afken offer a wide range of investment planning products and solutions. Our approach to investment planning is based on our overall wealth planning approach: each individual is very different from the other and requires products and solutions specific to his/hers situation and investment objectives.

We place a lot of emphasis on understanding all our investors risk profile and their short, medium and long term objectives.

Retirement Plan

A recent survey found that 60% of pensioners interviewed did not have enough money each month to make ends meet.

According to a recent retirement survey, the majority of pensioners either had to cut their expenses significantly, find work to supplement their income, or rely on family members for financial support.

These were certainly not the golden years they had imagined. Although the survey statistics were scary enough, it is estimated that around 90% of the number of people currently working will not have enough funds to retire comfortably. The main reason is that people are changing jobs more frequently and when they do, they cash in their retirement funds.

Some people will change jobs seven times during their working life. If they only preserve their retirement funds 10% of the time, the amount of income they will receive on retirement will be about16% of their final monthly salary. At this rate, they would struggle to survive, let alone enjoy a comfortable retirement.

But this does not need to be your future if you take control now: and the earlier, the better. If you took advantage of the tax benefits of retirement saving and saved 15% of your salary every month from the age of 25 to 65, and never cashed in the fund, you would have built up enough savings to provide for a very comfortable retirement. It is not rocket science, it just takes discipline and planning.

Advice from your elders

The pensioners interviewed in the survey all said the same thing:

  • Start planning earlier
  • Start saving earlier
  • Talk to financial advisers earlier – don’t wait until when you retire.

There is always a good excuse not to start saving. When we start work we need a car to get to work, then we want to buy a home, get married and have children. It is only when we are about 45 years old that we run out of excuses and start thinking about retirement. By then we have squandered an opportunity to secure our retirement.

Look after the ‘older’ you

Start thinking about your retirement funding as a tax: 15% is deducted from your salary, either through your employer’s retirement fund or through a retirement annuity, and you get used to living on what is left.

The money that accumulates in that fund is for the ‘older’ you, it is not to buy a car or pay off debt; it is to look after the person that you will become. If you borrow from the future you, you will need to pay yourself back by saving an additional amount over and above your on-going savings to be back in the equivalent position.

When you retire comfortably and don’t have to make radical lifestyle changes or live in your children’s spare room, you will thank the ‘younger’ you who thought about your needs.

Start today! Contact us on 0861 4 AFKEN for information on our retirement savings plans.

Preservation Fund

This is a retirement fund designed specifically to invest the proceeds of your pension or provident fund. You may transfer your proceeds to such a fund in the event you are dismissed, retrenched, or you resign. This preserves both your retirement investment and the tax benefits.

Trusts

WHO NEEDS A TRUST?

  • Business Owners
  • Shareholders
  • Property Owners
  • High Net Worth Individuals

There are a myriad of reasons to establish Corporate and Trust structures. The major reasons being; to achieve Asset Protection and to optimise Estate, Succession, Tax Planning and Corporate Structuring. We very briefly set out below a number of salient points on the major reasons to establish the necessary structures for you to consider implementing.

Asset Protection

Our goal is to get all of our clients to have a personal worth of ZERO, accordingly an individual who owns nothing has nothing to lose. The objective is to legally mitigate an individual’s risk by ensuring that all businesses, properties, investments and or assets are owned in the appropriate Trust and Corporate structures. A Trust is the only legal entity in our country, which can offer an individual total asset protection, this is achieved by virtue of the fact that a trust is not owned by any one individual. A Trust is quite distinct from any individual thus affording maximum asset protection. This is analogous to insuring your motor vehicle; if something goes wrong you are covered!

Estate Planning

In planning an individual’s estate, the objective is as stated above, to get the individual to own NOTHING. This position is attained by establishing the correct Corporate and Trust structures that will own all the assets, investments, properties, commercial properties and businesses that an individual would have owned. Once this status is obtained an individual will eliminate all taxes, costs and duties which would ordinarily be triggered on the death of the individual, namely Capital Gains Taxes, at an effective rate of 10%, Estate Duties at 20% of the value of the net estate and Executors Fees of the 3.5% of the GROSS value of the deceased estate together with administration costs of 6% of any income administered by the Executor. In following our advices the taxes, duties and costs are eliminated and approximately 30% of the value of the estate will be saved on the event of the death of an individual. In order to complete an estate planning exercise for an individual their Last Will and Testament must be finalised. The Will must dovetail with the Trust.

Succession Planning

Many owners trade as sole proprietors, in a partnership or directly own the shares in a Company or members interest in a Close Corporation. This state of affairs will not guarantee that the benefits accruing from their business interests will flow to the persons they intended. The correct Corporate Structures owned by Trusts coupled with the necessary agreements must be implemented and executed to ensure continuity of the flow of benefits and the elimination of any costs, taxes and duties on the event of the death of an individual. The above applies equally to an individuals investments, properties and commercial property interests. It is critical that income producing assets or appreciating assets are correctly structured to ensure that a legacy is created and that the assets are not sold, very often way below market value to meet creditors claims, or to cover taxes, costs and duties which arise on the death of an individual. Structuring will ensure that the legacy survives an individual’s death.

Tax Planning

Many business owners and professionals carry on and conduct their businesses in a tax inefficient manner. A number of factors will determine the ideal corporate structure to conduct the business through. It is of paramount importance that the business be optimally structured, failing which millions of Rands may be unwittingly paid instead of the potential savings that could be achieved in utilising the appropriate structures. The Trust Structures we establish do not generally trade and are therefore usually receptacles of after tax funds, in certain instances using a Trust Structure could be the most efficient and appropriate structure even though a Trust has the highest tax rate. It can all be a little confusing, which is why we are here to unravel the how and the why.

Estate Planning

Your estate refers to everything you own and owe, from property and cars to investments and debts. Proper estate planning will ensure that your estate is set up in a tax-efficient way that benefits you during your lifetime and your beneficiaries after you die.

A properly structured estate ensures that:

  • There is enough cash to pay outstanding debts
  • There is an income (and capital if required) for your dependants
  • The estate is distributed according to your wishes
  • Your business interests are protected
  • Taxes are minimised (e.g. estate duty and income tax)
  • Your estate is flexible enough to accommodate changes in the economic and legal environment, as well as your personal financial circumstances

Estate planning is a complex process and there are a number of different estate planning vehicles available. The key is to establish your priorities – do you want to settle debts, provide an income for your spouse or protect your business interests for your heirs?

Wills 

Your last will and testament is one of the most important documents you will ever sign during your lifetime as it stipulates how you want your assets dealt with upon your death. A Will is therefore an essential part of estate planning.

As it is a crucial area of financial planning, it is worth getting professional advice if you are drawing up a Will. If you do not have a valid Will, you die intestate and the laws of intestate succession apply. In other words, the law of the land designates beneficiaries according to specific kinship.

The two key elements of a Will are:

  • To ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes.
  • To ensure that your estate is effectively administered.

General Points

  • If you wish to leave your assets to your spouse and children, it is not a good idea to divide them amongst them equally – except if your estate consists of cash only. To transfer a home into the names of both the spouse and children’s names, may lead to practical problems and family disputes, especially if the children should marry. To transfer a car into the names of six people for example is also not practical.
  • If you have minor children, you should consider appointing someone as their guardian in your Will.
  • Appoint an executor of your Will. The executor will administer your estate according to the stipulations of your Will and it is their responsibility to look after the best interest of your heirs.
  • Keep your Will up to date by revising it regularly when your circumstances change.
  • Make provision for the protection of minor heirs by setting up a testamentary trust.
  • Heirs must be clearly identified by full names, surname, relationship and identity number to avoid ambiguity.
  • Avoid using vague terms, for example “cash”, as this can lead to confusion and, ultimately, litigation
  • Ensure that you understand each clause in the drafted document and that the Will accurately reflects your wishes.
  • When you plan the distribution of your estate, plan as if you were to die today. Assuming that the plan you put in place today will only come into effect 40 years later could create havoc if you die at a younger age. Rather review and amend your Will regularly, so that it reflects your current situation at all times.

How important is it to appoint alternate heirs?

It is always wise to include an alternate heir in your Will. This is especially important when spouses with young children frequently travel together and the chances of the whole family not surviving an accident are far greater. If you do not nominate alternate heirs, your intestate heirs will inherit your estate.

When do I need to renew my Will ?

You should review your Will whenever there has been any change in your status or circumstances, or those of your beneficiaries in your life such as:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth of a child
  • Changes in your financial situation
  • After any changes in legislation which could affect you

What do I need to tell others?

Your Will is a legal document In order to ensure that your wishes expressed in it are put into effect at the time of your death, your family and friends should know the following:

  • Who you have nominated as your executor
  • That your executor should be notified immediately in the event of your death
  • The whereabouts of your Will
  • Your wishes regarding funeral arrangements
  • Who to contact if you have chosen to donate organs or tissues, as time is of the essence in such cases.

Should I draft my own Will ?

You should always seek expert and professional advice when you want to draft or review you Will. Attempting to draft a Will yourself, without being a specialist, could result in the Will being invalid, or could cause consequences after your death because of the wording used – consequences you would not have intended.

Signing a Will

On each page of the Will, both the Testator and two witnesses should sign. They should also sign next to any alteration.

The place and date of signing must be written in at the end of the document. Witnesses should be people who have no interest in the Will, and their signatures merely acknowledge that they saw the Testator sign. They do not have to know the content of the document.

When you sign your Will, it is preferable not to ask family members or anyone else who could be an heir or the spouse of an heir to sign as a witness.

True wealth starts with how you spend today.