South Africans fear they will never be financially free in a worsening global economy.
These are some of the results of Visa’s first annual Wealth Worries Survey 2013, one of the most comprehensive reports into middle class South Africans and their money.
The report surveyed 2 000 people across the country who have household financial decision-making responsibilities. The report was designed to uncover attitudes and behaviour toward money matters and identify areas where South Africans are putting themselves at risk.
Key findings include:
* 52% say they’ll never be financially free;
* R7 283 is the average amount spent paying off debt each month;
* 65% think the global economy will stay the same or get worse in next five years;
* 20% think the rand will dramatically depreciate over the next five years;
* 27% feel that the political leadership in South Africa rather than the crime (17%) is a pressing issue that requires attention and resolution;
* Of 52% currently own property, 64% say that they will have paid off their house by the time they retire;
* 29% say that their level of debt is the single biggest threat to their wealth;
* 20% have no investments at all and 19% are saving zero for retirement;
* 53% say property is the asset most likely to make them wealthy;
* 15% do not plan on ever retiring, but 85% of those who are planning to retire are currently saving for their retirement;
* 32% are most likely to look to a financial advisor first when investing in a new asset, and 21% would look to their spouse or partner for advice first;
* 71% are planning on leaving an inheritance for their family. Only 2% plan on not leaving any inheritance at all;
* On average, those who give to charities give R5 843 every year;
* 13% of these individuals plan on retiring outside of South Africa;
* 94% say good education is more important than leaving their children an inheritance; and
* The majority (58%) would pay off all their debt if they won R5-million.
Visa country manager for South Africa, Mandy Lamb, says the survey was carried out to gauge middle class South Africans’ approach to money and wealth creation.
“South Africa, and indeed the whole world, has gone through a very tough time over the last few years. We wanted to assess attitudes to money, flag areas where people are putting themselves at risk and help people grow and protect their wealth.”