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Are you prepared?

You had this perfect plan. Or we had. Fall in love, get married and then, when you are ready, start a family! But life likes to throw some lemons our way every now and again, and things just doesn’t work the way we would like it to. (Maybe because we don’t have a spare bottle of tequila hidden in a cupboard somewhere)

My wife recently had to go for an operation, as we are struggling to start that family (although we are very happily trying to!) We have been to a variety of doctors, who prescribed different blood tests, different medications, taking temperatures and what not. All of which has not been successful.

We finally made it to this one lady doctor, who suggested we take a deeper look. What we found is not what is important, but what is, is that the consultation with this doctor (ONLY the consultation, that lasted about 20 minutes) was R2 000. That is a very real number, especially if you compare it to medical aid rates, and that it fell way outside of what the Medical Aid was prepared to pay for. It was a cash account.

We then had to get pre-approval for the procedure, and that had a R3 000 co-payment. Also cash.

This is us, R5 000 out of pocket, before we even know if something is wrong, never mind what is wrong.

Luckily for us, thanks to an active lifestyle and a positive health saver balance, we could pay for the consultation with the Multiply Visa Card, as it works like a normal Visa Card. We also have additional Gap cover added to our Medical Aid Plan that covered the shortfall in hospital.

Were we prepared? Probably not mentally or physically, but at least we could afford it without breaking our own little piggy open.

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MOMENTUM CREATES SOLUTION FOR VIOLENT CRIME VICTIMS

Momentum is in the business of paying claims and we have therefore taken the recent criticism to heart.

We have created a solution that will pay an amount equal to the death benefit (limited to a maximum of R3 million) in the case of violent crime, regardless of previous medical history. This will apply to all existing as well as future life cover clients.

– This payout will be fully funded from Momentum’s profits and not from our clients’ premiums;
– The guarantee will pay out when the death was a direct result of violent crime, even when material
medical non-disclosure impacts the legitimacy of the contract;
– The payout is not in addition to the normal death benefit. It only applies in circumstances when the
death benefit will not be payable or has been reduced;
– Momentum reserves the right to reject any fraudulent claims.

The guarantee will apply immediately to all our life cover clients, and will be applied retrospectively. We are identifying clients who were impacted in this way and we will contact their families to arrange payment.

We care for our clients and always strive to solve for their needs. We hope that this solution illustrates that.

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All about you.

This is a sentence my wife loves. When I say it – not when she says it. It is all about you Honey. And you know what they say…happy wife, happy life! (There is a reason why nothing rhymes with happy husband…)

As I said previously, we had a long distance relationship, and moved in together 4 months before our wedding. Before we knew each other, and then while living apart, she had her own household insurance, life insurance, retirement annuities etc, and I had mine. But, things change. We became a family. And we needed different things to when we were single, care free individuals. We could no longer think only about ourselves.

Naturally, we set up our prenup, and from there, everything changed. EVERYTHING. We share our short-term insurance, medical aid, last will & testament, rent, electricity, food budget and the list goes on.

Change doesn’t stop there, as life happens. You evolve. You learn. You grow. Your family grows. And each change, mean a change in your financial needs.

Be sure to speak to your financial wellness advisor regularly, in order to keep your affairs up to date. If you don’t have one, let me know! I will take you for a cup of coffee, and we can discuss YOU.

You never know when it will be the last time you can say “It is all about you, Honey”.

 

Last Will and Testament

Will your Ex still get everything?

I didn’t marry my Highschool Sweetheart. It took me 33 years to find mine.

Yesterday, we would have been dating for 4 years, if she didn’t tell me she has planned our Honeymoon already and paid the deposits, so we had to get married. We lived in different provinces, only saw each other twice a month, and had to learn how to talk to each other. Strange concept, to talk, but I believe that will someday make all the difference! Today, we have been married for 2 years, 10 months and 29 days. Exactly. To the minute.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife. Sometimes I think I love her too much (if that is even possible). But it is tough. It is tough sharing your life, that you lived as you pleased for 33 years, with someone else. And I am sure it is the same for her. (She found me a bit sooner, but still…)

I plan to stay married to her. I really do not want to go through this process again. Being alone, finding someone who is not right, finding the next person, adjusting, falling in love, deciding, settling down AGAIN. But, one has to be realistic about these things.

Especially if you look at the latest findings on marriages and divorces in South Africa for 2016 released by Stats SA recently (http://bit.ly/2y1MxlA)

Your Estate Planning has to be updated after any major life event, to ensure your stuff is going where you want it to go. Especially if you have kids!

Remember to update your Last Will and Testament after any of the below events:

  • Marriage
  • Serious Relationship with a Domestic Partner
  • Divorce
  • A new Baby
  • Stepchildren
  • Death of a Spouse or Child
  • A change of heart about Heirs
  • Changing Guardians of your children

For more information, feel free to contact me on Michael.pfister@momentum.co.za or 072 4022 499

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Consumer confidence index

So, you’ve heard the murmurs about Consumer Confidence Indexes, but do not have any idea what it means?

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is an indicator designed to measure consumer confidence, which is defined as the degree of optimism on the state of the economy that consumers are expressing through their activities of savings and spending. (Wikipedia)

Currently, the CCI is measured at -9 (lowest -33, highest 23). Basically, this means consumers are spending less money.

On a positive note, the result of this will probably be a slower rise in food prices, and there is a high possibility that the Reserve Bank will lower interest rates (as we are technically in a recession).

The negative side of this coin sees a stagnant unemployment rate due to government trying to lower their wage bill, and nobody spending the money to pay new salaries. Loan applications of all kinds will be managed with an iron fist, and will in all likely hood be very hard to come by.

All in all, you will be left spending ONLY the money you earn, and not borrowed money, as there won’t be much of that going around…

(Originally published on 12 July 2017)