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As a rule it is virtually impossible to find a company that will accept a client at this advanced age. Insurance is all about risk pooling and pre-funding. As age rises so the mortality rates increase. Therefore octogenarians are a bad risk for Insurers all round, as in general they would be part of the pool for a shorter period than, say a 30 year old. I have identified one company. I do not know them and cannot endorse them or their product. They are however 80% owned by Assupol, which is well known. Their contact details are: Prosperity Life, 011 760 1416.

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Suicide, attempted suicide or self-inflicted injury.

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A retirement annuity is a good option for retirement savings if you do not have the option to join an employer provident or pension fund, as contributions can be deducted from your income for tax purposes.
 
Currently you can deduct contributions to a retirement annuity from your taxable income up to the greater of:
·         15% of your non-retirement funding taxable income per year
·         R3 500 less current deductions to a pension fund, or
·         R1 750
 
As you do not belong to any retirement fund, you should be able to deduct contributions equal to 15% of your taxable income. This percentage is expected to increase from 1 March 2016.
 
On a Retirement Annuity you can take up to one third of your proceeds in cash at retirement. The rest must be used to purchase a life or living annuity to provide you with income.
 
It is important to ensure that your retirement savings work for you by earning a decent return in excess of inflation. Most retirement annuities have a range investment options available, offering different levels of risk and investment return. Make sure you invest through a reputable institution, as your retirement investment must still be around when you retire.
 
Determining how much you should contribute and deciding on an appropriate investment strategy can be complex.  A registered financial advisor will be able to provide you with advice appropriate to your specific situation.

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If you start saving for retirement in your thirties, a rough guideline is that you need to save 15% of your income every month in order to retire at age 65 with about 60% of the income you earned before retirement. 

Typically, one would need less income after retirement, as some of your expenses would fall away, e.g. travelling to work. However, you need to keep in mind that other expenses, such a medical costs, could increase as you get older.

If you are currently saving less than 15% of your income, it would be a good idea to increase your contribution. Make sure that you increase your contribution every year as your income increase with inflation.

You also need to think carefully about when you plan to retire. An additional five years of work will mean five more years of saving and investment growth, and five less years that you need to live off your retirement provisions. This could have a big impact on your financial situation after retirement.

A registered financial adviser will be able to determine whether you are on track with your retirement savings and how much additional savings may be required.

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The return you earn will be determined by the underlying investment funds you select, the fees charged and the tax on the investment return, rather than the type of investment vehicle. 

To determine the most appropriate investment vehicle, you need to take into account your tax situation and whether or not you require access to the investment. Endowments are typically appropriate for investors with marginal tax rates higher than 30%, and access to an endowment is restricted by legislation. Alternative options to consider are linked investments and unit trusts.

Most investment vehicles offer a wide range of underlying investment funds that one can choose from. You need to take into account your planned investment term and your tolerance for financial risk when determining an appropriate investment portfolio. You also need to consider diversification over asset classes and fund managers, and the relative asset management fees of the available funds.

A registered financial adviser specialising in investment will be able to determine the most appropriate investment vehicle and underlying portfolio taking into account your specific situation.
What you earn will be determined by the underlying investment funds you select, the fees charged and the tax on the investment return, rather than the type of investment vehicle.

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You can only get the tax relief on Retirement Annuity contributions if you have taxable income that you can deduct the contributions from.

However, if you do make a contribution that you do not get tax relief on in the year you made the contribution, you can get tax relief on it in a future year. The amount of the tax relief you get depends on your income (you can deduct contributions up to 15% of your non-pension funding income) and your marginal tax rate.

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