A poll carried out by Justmoney.co.za, South Africa's guide to money, found that 28% of people say that ‘Not being able to pay my credit cards or other loans' is their biggest financial worry, whilst 26% cite ‘Not being able to pay my mortgage' as their biggest financial worry - a total of 54% of all respondents to the survey.
However, the single biggest financial worry is actually ‘Not having enough money for my retirement', as voted for by a staggering 38% of people in the Justmoney.co.za poll. By comparison, only 8% of people worry about not having medical aid if they get ill.
With soaring interest rates and a spiralling cost of living, coupled with a huge personal debt mountain, it is not surprising that more than half of all South Africans worry about paying off their debts. But Justmoney.co.za's findings show that a huge number of people are anxious as to how they will survive when they stop working.
Paul Beadle, general manager of Justmoney.co.za, says: "Unfortunately many South African's have fallen into a ‘buy now, pay later' mentality - but the cost of all that spending has caught up with them and now they worry that they cannot meet their debt obligations.
"But what's more, it seems that their thirst for credit - and therefore all the money they need to service those debts - has left them unable to save for their retirement. We are looking at a generation of people who are working simply to pay off their debts, but when they stop working, there will be nothing left in the kitty to support them during their retirement years."
Justmoney.co.za says that enquiries to its personal loans, re-mortgage and debt-consolidation solutions have quadrupled in the last few weeks following speculation about interest rate hikes, with people looking for ways to reduce their debt burden.
Beadle explains: "There are many things that people can do to reduce the amount of money they are shelling out on debt repayments, such as wrapping their debts into their mortgage via debt consolidation. Alternatively, just changing to a cheaper credit card could save them money."
In addition, Justmoney.co.za says that there is a lot of guidance available for people that have not started planning for their retirement. Beadle continues: "As with any kind of financial issue, whether it is borrowing cash or investing money, people should always seek professional advice when it comes to planning for their retirement.
"It's never too late to start taking action, so all those people that are worried about their retirement plans should look at Justmoney.co.za's retirement section, read the guides, use the calculators and seek advice on boosting their funds immediately."
Justmoney.co.za has been created to help South African's save money by demystifying financial services and helping them to make informed decisions about their money.
Completely independent and unbiased, Justmoney.co.za features a host of comparisons, tools and guides, enabling people to search and apply for new products, all online and completely free of charge.