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Discovery Health Medical Scheme extending benefits for COVID-19

Dedicated benefit for COVID-19 virus Discovery Health Medical Scheme has developed the WHO Global Outbreak Benefit aimed at responding to global health emergencies such as the COVID-19 virus. This virus and the disease it causes was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization in January 2020. Quick view of the WHO Global Outbreak Benefit The WHO Global Outbreak Benefit starts for members if a test confirms a COVID-19 virus diagnosis and is immediately available on all Discovery Health Medical Scheme health plans (during the outbreak period). Covers the out-of-hospital costs for the related treatment from the Scheme's risk pool and not from your Medical Savings Account or other day-to-day benefits. Tests and treatment outside a hospital The WHO Glo

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Finovate COVID-19 Response

Dear clients and friends, The national lockdown marks a major event in South African history. It is hoped that the measures suggested by President Ramaphosa will limit the spread of COVID-19 so South Africa can fully restart its economic engine, as is now being attempted in East Asia. Despite their necessity, these measures will undoubtedly place considerable pressure on businesses and activities, and are already creating uncertainty and anxiety. Twenty-one days of economic inactivity will have a severe impact on the economy. Government Interventions: The President announced a number of interventions with the aim to assist the business community during this time. We appreciate that you have questions that require clarity. Please be mindful that details and practical impl

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BUSINESS GROWTH/ RESILIENCE FACILITIES

BENEFITTING SMMES Businesses geared to take advantage of supply opportunities resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic or shortage of goods in the local market. QUALIFYING CRITERIA The business must have been registered with CIPC by at least 28 February 2020;Company must be 100% owned by South African Citizens;Employees must be 70% South Africans;Priority will be given to businesses owned by Women, Youth and People with Disabilities;Be registered and compliant with SARS and UIF;For non-compliant Micro businesses, Seda will assist them to comply and request forassistance must be sent to: growthfund@seda.org.za;Registration on the National SMME Database: https://smmesa.gov.za/Complete the simpli­ed online application form available from www.dsbd.gov.za;www.sefa.org.za: https://sed

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DEBT RELIEF FINANCE SCHEME BENEFITTING

BENEFITTING SMES Businesses which are negatively a­ffected, directly or indirectly, due to the Coronavirus pandemic; QUALIFYING CRITERIA The business must have been registered with CIPC by at least 28 February 2020;Company must be 100% owned by South African Citizens;Employees must be 70% South Africans;Priority will be given to businesses owned by Women, Youth and People with Disabilities;Be registered and compliant with SARS and UIF;Seda will assist micro-enterprises to comply and request for assistance must be emailed todebtrelief@seda.org.za;Whereas small and medium enterprises must ensure own compliance;Registration on the National SMME Database – https://smmesa.gov.zaProof that the business is negatively a­ffected by COVID-19 pandemic;Complete the simplified online appl

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ABSA PAYMENT RELIEF

Absa offers payment relief to customers impacted by COVID-19 Dear customer, The unprecedented spread of COVID-19 has had a wide reaching impact on individuals, businesses and communities in South Africa. As Absa we want to assure you, our customer, that we understand the profound impact the drastic but necessary measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 may have on your financial position. We are here and ready to support you. We are therefore introducing an extensive individual and business customer Payment Relief programme for those impacted by the lockdown. This comprehensive solution applies to our retail and business credit products, including home loans, vehicle finance, personal loans and credit cards as well as commercial asset finance and mortgag

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DISCOVERY HEALTH’S 2020 MEDICAL AID INCREASES

Total monthly contributions for plans in the Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS) will increase by between 8.88% and 10.96% for main members from January.   The increases are mostly skewed to the higher-end plans, with those in the Comprehensive range and the Executive plan increasing by very close to 11%. Discovery contends that “Only 19% of members will have the 10.9% increase, while 60% of members will have an 8.9% increase. One outlier is the lowest income band of the most comprehensive of the entry-level KeyCare plans, KeyCare Plus (R0-R8550), which increases by a similar amount.   With the exception of the Coastal Core plan (9.94%) and Coastal Saver Plan (9.9%), contributions for all other plans will increase by just under 9%. The Classic Comprehensive Zero MSA

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DISCOVERY VITALITY PRICE INCREASES AND MASSIVE CHANGES FOR 2020

Discovery has announced a number of changes for Vitality members in 2020 – including the return of Discovery Miles and new integration with Discovery Bank. Similar to programmes such as eBucks, Discovery Miles is a rewards currency that members can earn for getting healthy, driving well and spending responsibly. Discovery Bank clients can also spend their miles at a range of new in-store and online partners, or convert it to cash if they have a Discovery Bank account. Some of the ways that users can earn miles include: Earn for all purchases made with a Discovery Bank credit card in-store or online. Depending on their status, Discovery said that users can earn one mile for every R15 spent; Earn Discovery Miles for making healthy lifestyle choices. This includes up to 75% back when sh

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PUBLICATION OF NHI BILL TO PARLIAMENT

Since the release of the NHI Bill on Thursday last week, the extent of negative sentiment from press, investment markets and other stakeholders has been substantial. Discovery continues to study the Bill and to engage with numerous stakeholders, and our views will evolve over time. In the interim, we feel it is important to share our current views with our broker community. The NHI is a huge, complex and multi-decade initiative and a considerable amount of debate and effort will be required to make it workable. Discovery’s overall position on NHI is unequivocal: we are supportive of an NHI that assists in strengthening and improving the healthcare system for all South Africans - little is more important. You will know that we have consistently expressed our support and made our capabilit

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ECONOMIC UPDATE

Investment Note INVERSION, SUBMERSION AND DISPERSION Written By: Dave Mohr and Izak Odendaal  19 August 2019 Global equity markets enjoyed a temporary bounce last week when the US government said it would postpone the imposition of tariffs on some Chinese goods, while some items would not be taxed at all. President Trump initially planned to impose 10% tariffs on $300 billion Chinese imports at the start of next month. It does show that the Trump administration is worried about the impact of tariffs on the US economy, and wants to avoid prices on consumer items jumping ahead of the Christmas shopping season. However, this was soon overtaken by renewed concerns over the health of the global economy. SUBMERSION New data showed that Germany’s economy contracted in the second quarter, wh

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THE FATAL FLAWS OF NHI

While the government is eager to show it is doing something about the country’s health-care crisis, the practicalities of its proposed plan for National Health Insurance remain murky WRITTEN BY: TAMAR KAHN The proposed law seeks to breathe life into the government’s plan to provide universal health coverage, which it calls NHI. It aims to establish a central fund that will purchase services from public and private sector players on behalf of eligible patients, who will receive free care at the point of delivery. The envisaged reforms require huge restructuring of the health-care system, the creation of an enormous bureaucracy to register the entire population, new systems for contracting and paying service providers, and the accreditation of thousands of hospitals, clinics and private

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Government is enslaving citizens with its hefty price increases

BY: MIKE SCHUSSLER South Africa would be far richer if it wasn’t for government constantly ratcheting up prices on the things we can’t avoid paying for. In South Africa, from January 2008 to April 2019, consumer price inflation increased by 84.9% as measured by the consumer price index (CPI). That, in an international context, is steep. The euro area, for example, only saw prices increase by 16.8% over this period. But that is a mature and developed market, many will say. While Brazil saw the total price level increase by 79.5% over that period, the likes of China, Russia and Japan saw price level decreases. Other developing economies saw more reasonable consumer price increases, including Thailand at 18.7%, Mauritius at 42.1% and Rwanda on 53% while high inflation in Mexico saw

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PART 10: Retiring? The five most important decisions to ensure your income lasts

By: Nazia Kahlon Planning is essential to ensure your retirement money lasts as long as you do. Before you retire, it is crucial to have a frank look at your finances to assess what your needs will be during this phase of your life, and plan accordingly. There are two key financial risks you face in retirement: You could outlive your capital or inflation could erode your money’s buying power. Think carefully when you make these five important decisions to ensure that your retirement income lasts. Decision #1: Guaranteed or living annuity? Investors often feel that they need to choose between a guaranteed life annuity and a living annuity, but a combination of both may also work in some circumstances. A guaranteed life annuity will pay you a pre-determined income for as long as y

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PART 9: When can I retire? Some questions to ask before you hang up your boots

By: Nazia Kahlon Important questions to ask before you decide to retire. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. It’s time to assess whether or not you are financially ready to hang up your work boots. And if you are a young retirement saver – well done for beginning with the end in mind. This piece will give you a sense of why it helps to start sooner rather than later and answer that all important question: when can I retire? Putting all the facts on the table may be a painful exercise, but the sooner you do this, the more options there will be to work with. If age and health are not dictating the terms of your retirement, it’s worthwhile asking yourself the questions below to make sure you don’t exit the workforce too soon. In many cases it is difficult to get back on the bus onc

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PART 8: What can I do if I don’t have enough money to retire?

By: Nazia Kahlon   Nine tips to help you increase your retirement savings pot. You’re in your forties, you’ve done the sums, and the situation at retirement age is not looking pretty. Before you give up all hope, wallowing in regret over not starting to save for retirement on day 1 of your career, and not preserving your retirement savings when you changed jobs, don’t despair! You may need to be more disciplined and aggressive in your approach, but there is still time to create a nest egg.   Follow these 9 practical tips to help improve your situation: Start immediately The sooner you start saving, the more time you will have to save, and the longer you will benefit from the power of compound interest – earning interest today on interest you earned yesterday. Don

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RETIREMENT PART 7: How much is enough when saving for retirement?

You should aim for a retirement income of 75% of your final salary. Here’s why…The million dollar question: How much of my income do I need to save? Of course we would all love that answer. After all, humans prefer certainty. We have an aversion to ambiguity and will do whatever we can to get answers. Psychologists have researched this phenomenon, concluding that our need for answers can influence our choices. The trouble with answers to personal questions is that even well-researched answers refer to averages and generalisations. It is important to take your personal needs and goals into account when putting your financial plan together. It is worthwhile talking to an independent financial adviser who can look closely at your circumstances and give you tailored advice.&nb

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RETIREMENT PART 6: How do retirement products work?

By: Nazia Khalon It is important to understand how your retirement product works and for retirement annuities this means understanding what the underlying unit trusts invest into. The products described in Part 5 of the Retirement Savings Series provide you with different benefits and restrictions, but you may wonder how do retirement products (i.e. pension funds provident funds and retirement annuities) actually work? Retirement products wrap around investments, which grow over time. In a retirement annuity your returns usually come from unit trusts, where your money is combined with the money of other investors and our investment managers use the pool of money to buy underlying assets, such as equities, bonds, cash, property and offshore - depending on the unit trust’s objective. As y

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There’s more to Section 12J than ‘45% immediate tax relief’

Inge Lamprecht Beware the pitfalls. With the tax year end just more than a month away, there has been a growing marketing effort aimed at luring investors to Section 12J venture capital and private equity investments. The Section 12J tax incentive is a government initiative aimed at assisting small and medium-sized businesses to access equity finance in the hope of creating jobs and boosting economic activity. Investors can write off 100% of an investment into an approved 12J vehicle against their taxable income. Against the background of meaningful tax hikes and growing concerns about wastage of taxpayer money, this may seem like a no-brainer – effectively it means that investors can get ‘up to 45% immediate tax relief’. And with the JSE moving sideways for

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RETIREMENT PART 5: What’s the difference between retirement products?

Nazia Khalon Official retirement products have great tax benefits but come with some restrictions. Understand your options before you commit. Making the decision to start investing for retirement is the first step. The next step is to decide on what tools to use. This means figuring out the difference between retirement products and other products on offer. The range of options to consider can leave you flattened even before you’ve made a start, but the best way to approach these options is to think about your needs and your level of self-control. Some options will give you freedom and flexibility, which may tempt you to withdraw prematurely and lose the benefits of compounding over time. Others will lock you in, but give you great tax deductions in return. Decide on what works for yo

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Important changes to Keycare plans for 2019

In 2019, DHMS will balance the increasing demand for supply of healthcare services against the need to maintain competitive contributions and enhance benefits for members. The scheme will also expand access to private healthcare and enhance the digital healthcare experience for members. KEYCARE SERIES 2019 The KeyCare Series has been restructured for 2019 Changes have been made to maintain benefits for members with significant healthcare needs on KeyCare Plus and KeyCare Core, while retaining affordable access to private healthcare through KeyCare Start Funding of all endoscopes on KeyCare will be limited to PMB cover KeyCare Access has been renamed KeyCare Start with a redesigned benefit structure The 2018 income bands below R13,050 on KeyCare Plus and KeyCare Core have

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Discovery Health Medical Aid summarized benefits for 2019

In 2019, DHMS will balance the increasing demand for supply of healthcare services against the need to maintain competitive contributions and enhance benefits for members. The scheme will also expand access to private healthcare and enhance the digital healthcare experience for members. Key themes: Contribution sustainability Enhanced benefits Greater access to healthcare 2019 Contribution Increase: Medical inflation for 2018 is expected to be between 11.2% - 12.2%, with the variation due to plan-specific utilisation effects Risk management interventions by Discovery Health & ongoing positive impact of Vitality on members’ health is expected to reduce medical inflation by 2% The resulting medical inflation is therefore between 9.2% - 10.2%, which is 3% to 4%

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Vitality 2019

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RETIREMENT PART 4: How to save for retirement: Tips to get you started

By Jeanette  Marais Some simple steps to follow to get your retirement savings started. Don’t despair - while saving for retirement may seem tough at first, it gets easier once you are in the habit. And the good news is you won’t regret it: the decisions you make today will have the greatest impact on the quality of your lifestyle once you retire. While you may feel you don’t have room in your current budget to accommodate saving for retirement, small financial sacrifices can help. It may be easier to make space for retirement savings than you have anticipated. 1. Assess your spending habits Start with a reality check: keep a running total of everything you spend in a given month. Write down every item from your morning coffee to that late-night takeaway. You may find you

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RETIREMENT PART 4: How to achieve a sustainable retirement income

By Shaun Duddy Retirees drawing an income face three key risks: Longevity risk, i.e. the risk of living longer than expected; inflation risk, i.e. the risk that the rising cost of living eats away at their investment and investment risk, i.e. the risk of their investment return not being high enough to compensate for the other two risks. With the first two risks being largely outside of your control, it’s crucial to focus on the third. To do this, you are advised to: Plan for a long lifespan Structure your retirement portfolios for growth Make sure you draw a sustainable level of income These are explained in more detail below 1. Plan for a long lifespan Improved medical technologies and lifestyle have seen life expectancies increase, and they are likely to increa

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2018 Budget Speech:

10 things you need to know VAT increased from 14% to 15% Government will raise the lion’s share of the R36 billion in additional taxes in 2018/19 through a one percentage point hike in the VAT rate. This is expected to contribute roughly R23 billion to the fiscus. To limit the impact on poor households, the current zero-rating on basic foodstuffs such as maize meal, brown bread and rice will remain in place. Vulnerable households will also be compensated through an above average increase in social grants, while some relief will be provided for lower-income individuals through an increase in the bottom three personal income tax brackets and the rebates, finance minister Malusi Gigaba said during his budget speech this afternoon. The increase will take effect on April 1 2018. No inflat

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Gap cover 2018 Demarcation fact sheet

2018-Demarcation-Fact-Sheet-Final

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What compounding can do for you

By Wanita Isaacs 'Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. Those who understand it, earn it... those who don't, pay it.' – Albert Einstein Compounding is when the interest on a sum of money, either a deposit or loan, is added to the original amount so that the interest also earns interest. Albert Einstein's popular quote highlights the impact compounding can have over time, and also cautions that it can work either for or against you. Wanita Isaacs explains. When you invest, time allows your invested money to grow and compounding makes your money work harder for you. Given a long enough period to work, compounding can dramatically multiply the value of your investment so that less of your total investment will be from your contributions and more from growth. On

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It is worthwhile starting to save early – a little can go a long way

By Jeanette Marais   You can substantially improve your financial situation if you start saving sooner rather than later and you will be a step closer to being financially independent when you retire. A little really can go a long way. It is interesting how most of us are reluctant or unable to make the sacrifices needed to save more than 10% of our salaries towards retirement, yet we expect the amount we save to be able to pay us 75% of our final salaries – often for as many years as our saving years. Sadly there are no genies waiting in lamps in this lifetime; the only way we can hope to achieve this replacement ratio is through long-term commitment, decent returns and sensible investor behaviour. Time and commitment If you start early and save consistently over long pe

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RETIREMENT PART 3: When to start saving for retirement

By Jeanette Marais   The accepted wisdom is that you need to start saving for retirement as soon as you are employed, but if you are late it is worthwhile to start as soon as possible. A century ago Albert Einstein shook the foundations of our understanding of the universe when his theories of relativity changed the way we think about space and time. His theories reframed time as a relative and subjective experience. Although science may now think differently about time, our everyday experience continues to tick over in a clock-like fashion. And it is this constant stream of future becoming present becoming past that gives time its economic value. Time is an irreplaceable resource You can’t buy or sell it. And nowhere is this more apparent than when you need to make a lon

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Let SARS help you pay for retirement

By Carrie Furman Allan Gray The South African Revenue Service (SARS) wants to help you pay for your retirement. The way in which they do this is by offering generous tax deductions when you make contributions to your retirement annuity (RA), pension or provident fund. On 1 March 2016, the tax deductions for retirement savings increased from 15% to 27.5% - which means you can now save more for retirement and get back more from SARS. What else has changed? You are now able to deduct your contributions to all retirement funds, with the maximum tax deduction you may make in a tax year limited to the greater of 27.5% of taxable income or remuneration, subject to an annual ceiling of R350 000. Contributions above this limit made directly by your employer are also now taxable as a fri

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RETIREMENT PART 2: Why saving for retirement makes sense

By Jeanette Marais   Starting your retirement savings is as much a mental battle as it is a financial one. Whatever your excuse is for not saving for retirement, you may very well find that you are stuck in a self-fulfilling belief: I think it’s true, therefore it is true. Confronting your mental barriers to saving for retirement is your first (and most difficult) investment. To help you take the first steps towards making your future a priority it helps to understand why saving for retirement makes sense – even when you think you can’t. You may not be in a position to start saving immediately, but mentally preparing yourself can make the process easier when you have the income to save. …the future needs to look after itself; I’ll cross that bridge when I come

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Rudi Bouwer joins The Wealth Room

Over the past 2 years I have been on a journey of discovering my purpose. Not the easiest of tasks I must say, but certainly a journey that has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. In this journey, I have discovered that our greatest gift in life is our relationships: our relationship with God, our families, our friends and our acquaintances. It is in these relationships that we discover our purpose. I firmly believe that the birthplace of opportunity lies within relationships. I say this because a true relationship is never one sided, it will always be a two-way streak, meaning that one party should never benefit from the relationship more than the other. Now this may seem obvious but putting it into practice may prove far more challenging then you may think. You see, I have co

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RETIREMENT PART 1: Why save for retirement?

By JEANETTE MARAIS from Allan Gray Step into the future to find out why you should save for retirement. The South African government’s old age grant is R1500 per month. Could you live on that? This amount is less than many of us currently pay towards our cars, or a monthly grocery shop, or a weekend getaway. Unless you think you can survive on this meagre amount, there is no time like the present to start saving for your retirement. While retirement may seem like a goal too far in the future to affect you if you are under 30, or you may feel like you have missed the boat if you are over 40, our 10-part retirement savings series will answer the question of why you should save for retirement and aims to help you to get started – regardless of your age and life stage.

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RETIREMENT – The trick to retiring with enough

By THANDI NGWANE from Allan Gray When magicians perform they often draw your eyes away from the simple sleight of hand or hidden trapdoor that makes the trick. This skill is called the prestige: without it, tricks often fail to captivate. Tricks can be entertaining but in the world of investing it is much better to rely on the mundane. Thandi Ngwane explains the wonderful but boring ‘magic’ of investing. We are often asked by clients and prospective clients what the magic trick is that can turn a portion of your income into a comfortable retirement. It is hard to accept an extraordinary result by ordinary means. This desire is a fault in human behaviour that can have devastating consequences when it comes to saving for retirement: we rely too strongly on a ‘wing and a prayer’

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PLANNING: THE KEY TO WEALTH

Advice you were never given at school By Rudi Bouwer, The Wealth Room There’s a simple principle at play when it comes to saving and investing: the more you plan your finances, the greater your chances of being wealthy are. Now basic financial planning is not as complicated as it seems. If you start with a simple budget and stick to it, you will eventually get to the point where you are building up savings. You can then use these savings to build your cash safety net (usually 3-6 month’s salary) and once that is established, start your investment planning. Like your budget, your investment plan can be very simple, such as a monthly investment into an ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund), shares or money market. However, once you have some money to invest, deciding on an investment ca

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How do I help my clients navigate turbulent markets?

Yvonne Kilian, Financial Planning Coach at Old Mutual Wealth South Africa has experienced good returns across nearly all asset classes for some time. Currently, investors are faced with the reality that we are now entering a difficult (normal) time, in which targeted returns are under performing relative to their average over the long term. Clients who have expectations(substantiated by good returns and even periods of above-average returns) of consistent positive performance may feel uncomfortable by the current situation. During periods of uncertainty, many clients panic and question whether they should remain invested or switch to a better-performing fund. This reactive behaviour is emotionally charged. Your role as financial planner is to manage your clients’ expectations to help

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South Africa back in junk territory

  Dave Mohr & Izak Odendaal, Old Mutual Multi-Managers Following last week’s dismissal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, S&P Global Ratings downgraded South Africa’s foreign currency credit rating to BB+, into speculative grade or so- called junk territory. The local currency rating was also downgraded but remains investment grade at BBB-. Around 90% of government borrowing is in local currency and there is little risk that the government will be shut out of capital markets, unable to borrow or maintain interest payments. Risks to fiscal and growth outlook S&P noted that President Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle put South Africa’s fiscal and growth outlook at risk. It is particularly concerned

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Tax implications for 2017

Using a mobile device? Click on the image to view in its entirety:  Content sourced from PSG: https://www.psg.co.za/news/Budget-Speech-2017 

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Budget 2017: What you need to know

Significant announcements New 45% tax rate for those earning more than R1.5 million per annum (around 100 000 taxpayers are affected) Dividend withholding tax increased from 15% to 20% No increases in VAT or Capital Gains Tax No new allocation for nuclear Budget deficit to decline from 3.4% in 2016/17 to 3.1% in 2017/18. For the first time since 2010, tax revenue growth did not match economic growth Tax changes Government will raise an additional R28 billion during the new tax year New 45% marginal tax rate for those earning more than R1.5 million per annum Other taxpayers will not receive full relief from fiscal drag – the impact of inflation on tax brackets Tax on dividends increase from 15% to 20% Taxes on fuel to rise by 39c a litre. (Fuel levy

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Let SARS help you pay for retirement

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) wants to help you pay for your retirement. The way in which they do this is by offering generous tax deductions when you make contributions to your retirement annuity (RA), pension or provident fund. On 1 March 2016, the tax deductions for retirement savings increased from 15% to 27.5% - which means you can now save more for retirement and get back more from SARS. What else has changed? You are now able to deduct your contributions to all retirement funds, with the maximum tax deduction you may make in a tax year limited to the greater of 27.5% of taxable income or remuneration (see Definitions), subject to an annual ceiling of R350 000. Contributions above this limit made directly by your employer are also now taxable as a fringe benefit

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Save for your retirement

Four advantages of Retirement Annuities:   [embed]https://youtu.be/9chJEG6ualk[/embed]  

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Retirement Annuities VS Tax-Free Investments

  Access to your cash Your investments in an RA cannot be accessed before the age of 55, except in very specific circumstances. You can access your TFI at any time. However, withdrawing from a TFI account impacts negatively on your lifetime investment limit of R500 000 – you cannot replace money that you have withdrawn. Tax savings The main difference between the two products is when you get the tax benefit. An RA offers tax savings now, i.e. you pay less tax now because you make contributions with earnings on which you have not paid tax, but you will pay tax later, i.e. you defer paying tax. Apart from deferring tax in an RA, a further tax saving may come from paying a lower average tax rate on the benefits withdrawn from the RA at and after retirement, v

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How to maximise tax benefits before the end of the tax year

Every year at around this time – ahead of the end of the tax year in February – we remind investors to think about taking advantage of some of the incentives the government has put in place to encourage us to save. Pretty much getting a discount of up to 27.5% on your taxes.  The government offers incentives to save for your retirement in an official retirement saving product, such as a retirement annuity (RA). In return for putting your money away for the long term, you can invest in an RA and deduct the amount from your taxable income. In addition, while you are invested in an RA growth is free of dividends tax, income tax on interest and capital gains tax. In March 2016, the amount you can contribute to your retirement funds tax-free was increased to 27.5% of taxable income o

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Another shock political event as Trump sweeps US election

2016 has turned out to be the year when politics shook markets, both domestically and globally. In many ways, Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election is a repeat of the “Brexit” shock, when the UK voted in a June referendum to leave the European Union. As with Brexit, markets were volatile in the weeks leading up to the vote, but surged prior to voting day as the final opinion polls indicated that Hillary Clinton would win. Despite a decades-old tradition of fairly accurate polling in the US, the polls were wrong, and markets sold off – - The Mexican peso was hit hardest, falling to a record low against the US dollar. - Asian equity markets closed sharply lower, with the Japanese market worst hit. - The US dollar weakened against other developed m

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Do you know what to do in a medical emergency?

Life is unpredictable and a medical emergency can happen at any time or place- at work, at the shops, at home. And knowing what to do can save a life. Here are some quick tips to help you out in case of an emergency. Keep yourself safe If you are helping someone else first check for danger. Ensure you’re at no risk from speeding cars, fire, loose electrical wires and so on. You can’t help anyone if you get hurt yourself. Get help Ask someone to call Discovery 911 for help at 0860 999 911 or call yourself, if you are alone. Discovery 911 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive emergency calls. The line is managed by highly qualified emergency personnel, who will assess each case and provide immediate feedback and assistance. If you need medical advice,

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Make the most out of your doctors visits

Finding the right doctor in your area Discovery has payment arrangements with healthcare practitioners in our network. If you visit a network doctor, you will not have to pay part of the cost yourself as long as you have funds available in your Medical Savings Account. Members on the Smart plan have unlimited cover for GP consultations with a R50 co-payment in the Smart Plan network and full cover for video call consultations with a GP in the Smart Plan network. KeyCare Plus and Access members must always visit their chosen GP. Depending on your plan you may visit a doctor who isn’t in our network, but you might have to pay part of the bill from your own pocket. You can find a healthcare provider near your work or home by logging into the Discovery website and using the Medical a

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Avoid expensive medical aid premiums

The sooner you join a medical aid, the better. Here's why: The number of years you have been/not been on a registered medical aid in South Africa can have a big impact on your premium. Any medical aid you consider joining can load your premium according to the Medical Schemes Act.   Years count in your favour The medical aid will take your age and deduct it from age 35, which will give the number of years you need to prove you have been on a registered medical aid in South Africa. There will be no loading if you have proof of being on medical aid for all those years. If there is no proof, you can expect the following: • 1 to 4 years = 5% loading • 5 to 14 years = 25% loading • 15 to 24 years = 50% loading • 25+ years = 75% loading   Pre-existing condi

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How important is medical aid?

Can you afford it? Medical aids have changed over the years. Traditional schemes used to cost an arm and a leg and covered everything, but today you can select the cover you need or can afford. You can choose from hospital cover for planned procedures and emergencies to hospital cover with a small savings facility towards day-to-day costs. In my experience of helping clients select the right plan for their needs, I have seen far too much focus on day-to-day expenses and an ignorance of emergency costs. Worst case scenario your dentist bill will be a few thousand rand (and 90% of the time you can make a payment arrangement). However, the cost incurred in an emergency could set you back millions. In 2013, Discovery Health's biggest medical claim was over 6 million rand. On average, the

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