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Wising up early in your working life to a few hard truths about providing an income in retirement will help ensure you are not one of the 95% of South Africans who will retire with a standard of living well below that to which they are accustomed. In order to target a sustainable pension that is equal to a certain percentage of your final salary - typically between 60% and 75% of that income - you need to save a certain percentage of your salary for a certain period and get a certain level of above-inflation after-costs returns. This will give you a level of savings that you can use to buy a guaranteed pension that pays for life, or invest to generate an income. If you invest to provide an income, the level of income you draw in retirement and the returns you earn - and the order in which you earn them - are also key factors that will determine how long your pension will last. At a recent South African Independent Financial Advisers Association seminar, representatives of two financ...

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