Most people have most of their savings in a retirement fund, but they can't access those savings even in an emergency. Ideally, you should have your own savings set aside for emergencies - three times your monthly salary, financial advisers recommend - but more than 30% of South Africans don't have any emergency savings, according to the latest Old Mutual Savings Monitor. And as South Africans are underinsured to the tune of trillions of rands and do not have much in the way of accessible savings, many of us are "one unfortunate incident away from poverty", independent actuary Rob Rusconi said at a recent Alexander Forbes presentation to trustees. Even those with good jobs have "enormous potential to fail". For emergency cash, retirement fund members often borrow - incurring costly interest - turn to friends and family or, in dire cases, resign a job to cash in their pension or provident fund savings, according to last year's Sanlam Benchmark Survey of retirement fund members. Now A...

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