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Employee Benefits: Why They’re Good for Business Owners Too

Why Employee Benefits are Good for Your Business

It comes as no surprise that most companies advertise their employee benefits as part of an all-round remuneration package. In the contemporary workplace, benefits that enhance quality of life are often considered to be just as important as salaries and bonuses. Companies also understand that when employees enjoy access to key employee benefits, they also experience less stress and greater productivity. This in turn underscores the role and importance of work-life balance in employee longevity.

But the benefits aren’t just employee-centred. Companies offering a wider range of benefits typically tend to attract employees that are more talented, harder working, and more loyal. With the advent of more seamless technology, administering an employee benefits program is easier than it’s ever been. Employers, too, are finding it easier to incentivise and educate employees to make mutually beneficial employment benefit choices.

The Components of an Employee Benefits Program

What defines a good employee benefits program? The answer to this is highly subjective, and often depends on the size of the company, socioeconomic status or role of individual employees, and company structure. The most pragmatic answers to this can be found in consultation with an expert employee benefits advisor.

Broadly speaking, though, there are several commonly accepted employee benefits that are now regarded almost as a must-have for virtually every responsible business owner.

These include:

Retirement Fund

The provision of a retirement fund is virtually a given for most companies. It’s also a benefit that forms the basis for many others. A retirement fund can take several forms:

  • A pension scheme
  • A provident fund
  • A group retirement annuity

Most responsible employers offer at least one of these options as a core benefit, and in many cases, employees are enabled to select or structure their retirement funding within the parameters of the company’s offering.

In most cases, contributions are automatically paid on a monthly basis to the employee’s retirement savings program, as a percentage of their annual salary. This is commonly set at around 10% of earnings. The Pension Funds Act stipulates the conditions governing these contributions, which are intended to generate stable long-term growth. This means that the accrued funds and compounded growth should provide an adequate income to employees when they reach retirement.

An important benefit of a retirement fund is the tax-free nature of returns earned, as well as contributions to the fund being tax deductible.

Group Risk Benefits

Group risk benefits are essentially insurance vehicles intended to provide cover for employees against illness, incapacity, or death during their working lifetime. These benefits vary and can include:

  • Group life benefits. Group life benefits are automatically applied to all employees who are members of the company’s retirement fund. The reason for this lies in the spread of risk across a greater number of individuals, and group life cover is administered on a pooled-risk principle.
    As a result, individual employees are not required to undergo medical underwriting in order to qualify for cover up to the predetermined free cover limit. Thanks to the pooling of risk, group life benefits often cost less than individual life assurance premiums. However, this varies according to each company’s risk profile. As an example, a company operating in the field of security or deep-sea oil drilling would carry a higher risk profile than a firm of accountants.
  • Funeral cover. This is a simple but essential benefit, providing single-sum cover that is usually paid out within 24-48 hours in order to cover immediate funeral expenses.
  • Medical aid. For most employees, the provision of a medical aid benefit is viewed as a highly attractive benefit. Private healthcare in South Africa is generally the preferred option, with a higher quality of care, shorter waiting times, and access to high levels of medical technology and skill. Employers commonly provide a choice of medical aid plans in order to accommodate the circumstances of each employee. It’s worth noting that medical aid tax credits reduce the amount of tax payable, which increases the affordability of a medical aid benefit.

Certain offerings (for example, those provided by the Discovery Group) also incentivise employees to engage in healthier lifestyle choices. Not only does this translate into a higher quality of life for the individual, but also means a lower rate of illness and absenteeism along with greater productivity – tangible bottom-line benefits for any employer! This also aligns with growing research that powerfully demonstrates just how employee health and productivity are connected.

  • Gap cover. The addition of gap cover (or shortfall cover) means that employees can claim for the difference in cost between the stipulated medical aid rate and the higher fees often levied by private doctors, specialists, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Income or capital disability benefits. The majority of companies also include disability benefits within their employee benefits offering. These benefits can be paid either in the form of a lump sum payout (also known as a capital disability benefit) or as an income continuation benefit, where the employee continues to receive an adjusted monthly salary.

There are specific reasons for potentially choosing one over the other. For example, a lump sum disability benefit enables the recipient to pay off outstanding debt or to finance necessary changes in lifestyle – such as making alterations to a home in the event of specialised care being required.

An income protection benefit is designed to pay a percentage of the employee’s monthly salary (the industry standard is 75%) until recovery, retirement, or death. In order to qualify for the lump sum disability benefit, the disability has to be deemed ‘total and permanent’. Alternatively, in the case of income continuation disability benefits, the employee must be unable to pursue their own career after a period of two years. This definition can be broadened to include ‘similar careers’ as well.

  • Critical illness benefits. Critical illness can adversely affect the ability of an employee to continue earning an income, with resulting financial consequences that can be disastrous for a family. A critical illness benefit covers most severe illnesses in addition to dread diseases like cancer, heart disease, and strokes or aneurysms, among others. This benefit is most commonly structured as a multiple of salary, similar to death benefit cover. This lump sum payout is intended to help offset any shortfall on the employee’s medical aid benefit so that they can access the appropriate medical technology or cover additional expenses incurred by lifestyle changes.

Additional Benefits

As an employer, you have the option of expanding your employee benefits program in several other ways too. Two of the most common choices are:

  • Education benefits. An education benefit provides cover designed to pay for or assist with educational costs and living expenses for children of employees.
  • Employee wellness programs. A wellness program can be tailored to provide a wide range of services and activities that enhance employee health and wellness. These often include components like:
    • Gym access, health facility memberships, and onsite or group activities like Yoga classes, self-defence workshops, and mindfulness sessions.
    • Literacy and financial literacy programs.
    • Counselling services.
    • Legal aid services.
    • Dietary and lifestyle advice or coaching.
    • Onsite clinic or health professional access.

Attract Greater Long Term Talent and Loyalty

By offering a range of employee benefits, you automatically attract a better pool of employment candidates. You also add significant value to your existing employees – which translates into a more motivated workforce, greater loyalty and productivity, and employee cohesion and longevity.

At the Pogir Group, we’re positioned to offer you expert guidance and advice on how best to structure an employee benefits program for your company – and we’ll provide you with the very best range of options to suit your needs.

Ready to level up your employee benefits program? Let’s chat.

Contact us today and discover how we can assist you with your short-term insurance needs as well as healthcare, financial planning, and more.

Pogir. Smart, with heart.

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Insuring Your Appliances Against Power Surges: What You Should Know

Insuring Your Appliances Against Power Surges is Critically Important

In South Africa, power surges – along with power outages – are frequent and dramatic. In fact, nearly half of the South African power grid failed during the 2022 Easter weekend.

Inconvenience aside, it can cause significant damage to your appliances. Along with sensible preventive measures, insuring your appliances against damage caused by power surges is an absolute necessity. And, just as you insure your motor vehicle against theft or damage; it makes sense to also insure against the loss of your valuable appliances.

Many people are unaware of just how frequently power surges take place – and how they can damage or destroy electrical appliances. There are also many who assume that they’re covered for losses like these. However, they often neglect to update their household insurance policy, or take out short-term insurance for specific high-value items.

In this short article, we’ll cover a few essential points about insuring your appliances – and share a few valuable tips that apply to every household or business.

Why Power Surges Cause So Much Damage

A power surge is what happens when there’s a voltage spike – a sudden increase in electrical current. Surges like these happen for various reasons, a lightning strike being the most obvious. But in South Africa, load shedding has become the biggest culprit.

Load shedding was introduced in 2007 as a means of reducing load – or demand – on the national power grid. This was done in order to service larger areas while new infrastructure was being built. But apart from the fiscal impact of load shedding on industries, another costly consequence is damage to machinery and appliances caused by power surges.

When connection is restored after every load shedding cycle, the restoration of service is frequently accompanied by a power surge. This happens because of uneven current levels at the moment of reconnection – and appliances are particularly vulnerable.

A sudden surge of excess current increases the temperature across circuit boards and switches in common appliances. This can cause an electrical short or burnout, or even more serious damage to motors and transformers. The result? Often, costly repairs or even an appliance that is completely irreparable.

Load Shedding Isn’t the Only Culprit

South Africa is noted for its lightning storms. Almost the entire country is vulnerable to these, and one direct strike on a home or external power cable can cause catastrophic damage. The rate, or density, of lightning strikes in South Africa is higher than most countries on Earth – so we live in a high-risk environment. Bear in mind that a lightning bolt can also be incredibly destructive, with lightning temperature up to five times hotter than the surface of the sun! If you’re still wondering whether you should be insuring your appliances, the answer is obvious.

The Additional Costs of Power Surge Damage

When appliances or machinery are damaged, there’s obviously an immediate financial cost. But the true cost goes beyond that:

Unforeseen downtime: You’re unable to use a washing machine, or your gate motor is inoperable. Your internet connection has to be restored. Incidents like these cost you time – and of course, the arrangements needed to sort out claims or replacements.

Wastage: If a fridge or freezer is disabled, food goes off and wastage is incurred, in addition to the cost of repair.

Business is affected: If you’re in business, time is money. And downtime – personal or corporate – can cost you clients and opportunities.

How to Spot Power Surge Damage

Sometimes, damage to an appliance is immediate and obvious. The appliance may be completely dead, or only work intermittently. There are other signs you should look out for as well:

• Flashing lights or error messages on displays or clocks.
• A burning smell, acrid odour, or visible signs of a burn at plug points.
• A tripped power strip or surge protector that may need re-setting.

Smart Steps to Protect Your Appliances

As the old saying has it, prevention is better than cure. (And of course, it applies to important considerations like healthcare cover and life financial planning too.) Naturally, insuring your appliances should be the very first step.
If you consider the downtime, inconvenience, and expense of appliance failures, taking practical precautions is a smart strategy. Here are some to consider:

Disconnect Your Appliances

Disconnect your appliances during load shedding episodes or during lightning storms. Many appliances still draw power even when they’re not active, so unplugging when not in use can save power too.

Prevent Electrical Overload

Avoid plugging too many appliances in at one point. Sensitive devices like computers, routers, and TV display monitors shouldn’t share a plug point. They have sensitive circuit boards and are prone to damage from fluctuations in power.

Appliances like washing machines, air conditioners, and fridges should also have their own plug or power strip.

Purchase a UPS

An Uninterrupted Power Supply or UPS is a rechargeable battery storage system that allows you continue operating important appliances like a computer, router, and modem even during load shedding. In addition to the benefit of continued connection, a UPS also offers some protection against power fluctuations when power is restored.

Use Surge Protectors

Surge protectors are specialised plugs or fitments that act as a barrier against power surges. They are designed to divert excess voltage into a grounding wire before it reaches your appliance. Although they’re not always 100% effective, they vastly increase the protection level.

Use a Surge Protecting Power Strip

A power strip is a multi-plug that enables you to feed power to a number of appliances from a wall socket. Look for power strips that have an overload sensor (usually indicated by a reset button on the strip). This way, if there’s too much power drawn through the strip, it will trip, and potentially prevent appliance damage.

Update Your Home Insurance Plan

Of course, this is the most important point! Despite the best precautions in the world, appliance damage can still occur. Insuring your appliances is an imperative.

Kgodiso Mokonyane, Head of Strategy at Discovery Insure, says: “Recent Discovery Insure claims data reveals that clients are between 108% and 130% more likely to submit a power surge insurance claim after experiencing a spike in voltage after a load shedding event.”

If you’re currently insured, it’s a good idea to ensure that your cover is optimised – and we’ll assist you, every step of the way.

The Power’s in Your Hands

In order to provide you with the very best cover, Discovery Insure has introduced the power surge benefit to cover the full cost of damage to insured items. Discovery Insure clients can now also upgrade their Essential and Classic plans to take advantage of increased cover against power surges, for a small additional premium.

“Replacing expensive appliances which are damaged or broken as a result of a power surge is a very costly exercise,” Mokonyane says. “This power surge cover certainly adds value to our clients and helps them to seamlessly ensure that new appliances can be purchased if required.”

At the Pogir Group, we can help you with all your short-term insurance needs, every step of the way. Our brokers enjoy an excellent relationship with the Discovery Group and can offer you the very best advice and service to ensure your household and business is adequately covered.

Insuring your appliances – properly and comprehensively – is a smart move.

Pogir. Smart, with heart.

Contact us today and discover how we can assist you with your short-term insurance needs as well as healthcare, financial planning, and more.
_________________________________

LINK INDEX

nearly half of the South African power grid failed

Stage 4 power cuts hit South Africa as nearly half the grid fails over Easter

lightning temperature
https://www.weather.gov/safety/lightning-temperature

life financial planning

Life Financial Planning

short-term insurance needs

Short Term Insurance

Contact us today

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Your Survival Guide to Retirement

Retirement: The Facts

How seriously have you considered the challenges of surviving retirement financially?

Experts estimate that the majority of South Africans saving for retirement today are in for a shock. We’ve all heard the common wisdom:

  • Save around 15% of your income every month from the start of your career.
  • Adjust annually for inflation, year on year.
  • At retirement, you should then have approximately 70% of your current median salary figure available every month to live on.

The problem is that it’s no longer true. Not even remotely. Thanks to spiraling costs, diminishing returns on poorly chosen investment options, and seismic socioeconomic shifts, most people are likely to have far less. In fact, it’s estimated that most South Africans who do have a retirement plan will find themselves living on only around one-third of their current income!

The good news? You have the power to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

When Should You Start Planning For Retirement?

Ask any financial advisor when you should start planning for retirement. Odds are they’ll tell you that the best time is from the moment you start earning money. And it’s true that the ‘day one’ approach is best, but there’s far more to surviving retirement financially than that.

Whether you’re launching your career, or a good way up the ladder you’ve chosen, there are some important things to consider. And the most important is that your retirement fund – corporate or private – might not be enough to keep you afloat as you age. In principle, retirement planning is simple, but a ‘set and forget’ approach can expose you to unseen financial risks.

Use It Or Lose It

If you’re like most people with an RA or similar retirement plan, you might assume that it’s enough to meet your basic needs. But just like staying physically healthy, your financial health depends on the focus and consistency you apply to maintaining and building it.

Increasing your income is a worthwhile goal. Long-term wealth, however, isn’t about how much you make – it’s about how much you keep. Having an intelligent and well-informed financial strategy is the first and most important step to retiring comfortably. And the best way to become well informed is to partner with experts who can guide you.

So, what does ‘retiring comfortably’ really mean?

More Than Just Money

At retirement, you ideally want to be in a position where you shouldn’t have to worry excessively about your financial means. That said, money for its own sake isn’t the only goal. You want to maintain a standard of living that allows you the freedom to live on your terms:

  • Perhaps you’d like to live in line with your current means, while having the ability to afford luxuries if you really want them.
  • You want a financial safety net in case of unforeseen crises or adversity.
  • Access to high quality healthcare should be a priority.
  • With more time at your disposal, you may value life-enriching experiences like more frequent travel or new hobbies.
  • Quality of life and a sense of independence are important, and you’d like to have the means to support both.
  • You’d like to build wealth more effectively to ensure a good inheritance for your beneficiaries.

For some, these may seem like ambitious goals, while for others, they may be an absolute minimum. Whatever your position, the key is to start taking practical steps right now to improve your long-term financial position.

Smart Steps You Can Take Right Now

For many people, financial planning, especially retirement planning, is something they’ll attend to ‘when they have time’… and so they tend to put it off. It’s critically important to remember that the sooner you act, the more likely you are to reap the benefits.

There are several you should do

Consult With a Professional

The first and most important step is to talk to a qualified and trustworthy financial advisor about your life financial planning goals. A good advisor will help you by appraising your current financial situation and recommending intelligent options that will best serve you.

Reduce or Optimise Your Fixed Expenses

As practically as possible, look at ways of rationalising your current fixed expenses. Ideally, the goal is to free up income that can better be invested for your longer-term benefit. Of course, this doesn’t mean compromising your standards. Rather, it means being conscious of life changes or opportunities that enable you to manage your expenses more effectively.

Invest For Stability

When it comes to financial growth, slow and steady wins the race. Yes, you may be the recipient of financial windfalls or encounter unusually profitable investment opportunities – but history demonstrates that consistency always wins. At the Pogir Group, our team of vastly experienced and knowledgeable investment are specialists in their field.

Access Additional Income Streams

In a decentralised global economy, there’s never been a better time – or greater opportunity – to access additional income streams. Whether you’re an experienced CEO building a legacy business, a part-time hobbyist trading online, or an investor seeking more diverse opportunities, it pays to embrace an entrepreneurial mindset.

Consider Your Investment Options

With the assistance of skilled and capable advisors, your retirement investments can be leveraged to your advantage. By selecting the investment vehicles best suited to your purposes, you’re able to stay abreast of changes while preserving the value of your retirement fund and other investments.

Keep Working and Earning

Tempted by the prospect of early retirement? Unless you’ve already accrued significant wealth, you may want to reconsider. If you’re earning a salary and your employer is contributing to your retirement benefits, an additional 1-5 years of service can make a dramatic difference to the accumulated capital from which you’ll be drawing an annual percentage.

Embrace Healthy Choices

Lastly – and this may seem obvious – it pays to invest in your physical well-being, too. Medical expenses, especially for chronic conditions or health emergencies, can take a toll on your retirement funding. By taking care of your health, you’re less likely to incur excessive medical expenses.
And, needless to say, having comprehensive health cover is a lifelong necessity.

Yes, You Do Need Professional Financial Advice

The renowned physicist Richard Feynman famously said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Smart retirement planning shouldn’t be a DIY endeavour. At the Pogir Group, we’ve earned a reputation for excellence thanks to our trustworthy, personally tailored approach to financial planning. We’ll help you by presenting the very best options coupled with professional advice and assistance.

Retirement, after all, should be something to look forward to.

Pogir. Smart, with heart.

Contact us today and discover how we can assist you with retirement planning, life financial planning, and smart investment strategies.

_________________________________

LINK INDEX

surviving retirement

How much money you need to retire comfortably in South Africa, according to experts

focus and consistency
https://www.mandg.co.za/insights/articlesreleases/the-secret-to-a-successful-financial-plan-consistency/

life financial planning

Life Financial Planning

comprehensive health cover

Medical Aid Benefits Updates

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Taking Care of Your Health Before & After getting the Covid-19 Vaccine

On the 19th of August, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet announced that it will open Covid-19 vaccines to all South African adults from Friday (20 August 2021). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the COVID-19 vaccines produce protection against the disease, as a result of developing an immune response to the SARS-Cov-2 virus. ( https://www.who.int/ )

Whether you, or your family are planning on getting vaccinated, it is important to understand the Do’s and Don’ts of ensuring your vaccination preparation and recovery is as smooth as possible. Here are some of the things you need to consider when getting the COVID-19 vaccine:

DO:
● Drink a lot of water: Staying hydrated is extremely important both before and after your vaccination.
● Eat a well-balanced diet: To avoid serious side effects, a well-balanced diet is essential.
● Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep: When you get vaccinated, the body relies on immune responses to develop protection.
● Do some light exercise/physical activity: Listen to your body. Exercise supports blood circulation that can help in reducing vaccine side effects.
● Consult your doctor before the vaccination if you are on steroids or blood thinners.
● Continue with COVID-19 appropriate behaviour-The most important thing to do post-vaccination is to continue wearing masks, regularly washing, or sanitizing your hands, maintaining physical distance, avoid crowded places and avoid touching surfaces.
● Apply a clean, cool, and wet cloth (or some ice) over the arm after the vaccination to reduce the pain.

DON’T:
● Consume excessive amounts of alcohol and tobacco: Although there are no approved scientific studies that quantify the effect of alcohol or smoking on vaccination, it is advisable to avoid tobacco or alcohol consumption as it may aggravate and worsen vaccine side effects making the experience more stressful and unpleasant.
● Think that you are completely immune to COVID-19 after vaccination: No vaccine has a 100 percent success rate. You may contract COVID-19 even after being vaccinated but chances are the infection would be much milder.
● Delay consulting a doctor if you experience COVID-19 symptoms even after vaccination.
● Partake in strenuous physical activity for at least 2-3 days post vaccination: As your body needs time to recover from the side effects of the vaccine, avoid putting it in stress.

Source: https://www.unicef.org/

If you have not registered, visit: https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/#/ to register for the COVID-19 Vaccine

For more information, visit:

The latest COVID-19 news and resources, as well as tips to protect you and your family.

Vaccines and immunization: What is vaccination?

COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccine myths and facts

*Disclaimer: The information in this blog is purely factual and does not constitute advice. Members should seek individual medical advice.

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What to consider when planning your Estate?

What to consider when planning your estate?

Having to plan for what happens to you after your death is not the number one topic that everyone wants to discuss, however, it must be if your family is your number one priority. Planning your estate does not simply involve drawing up a will. It includes thorough planning in which all your assets are accounted for and ensuring that their transfer is as smooth as possible once you die so that the people and entities you want to receive them do not need to worry. You need to make sure that your wishes are clear enough for everyone to understand.

Here is a checklist of things to consider when planning your estate:

1. Check your Will.

Probably the most important step is to make sure that your will is up to date. Anyone over the age of 18, and who have assets in their name, should have a will drawn up. This is where you will state how your assets will be distributed after your death.

2. Itemise your inventory.

To start the process, we advise that you take a walk through your home (inside and outside) and make a list of all valuable items. These could include jewellery, televisions, collectible items, cars, art, and your house itself. You can even start marking which items you want to go to who.

3. Add the non-tangibles.

Once the above list has been finalised, it is time to start adding your non-physical assets such as bank accounts, life insurance policies, health insurance, investments, and other policies you may have taken out. Ensure that account numbers are written down, as well as the location of the physical document for these items.

4. Review your family’s needs.

The next step is to review whether your family’s needs will be accounted for once you have died. Check whether your life insurance policies are up to date according to your lifestyle status. You should also name a guardian, and a back up guardian for your children, as well as document how you want your children to be cared for. Do not presume that your named guardian will know what your goals for your children are.

5. Establish your directives.

An estate plan is not complete unless it includes legal directives such as:

– A living trust: you can designate portions of your estate to go toward certain things while you are still alive. This is important if you find yourself ill or incapacitated and you need someone to take care of your needs.

– A medical care directive: this is part of your living trust and includes your desires for how you want your medical care to play out if you become incapacitated.

– A financial power of attorney: you can assign a person to look after your financial needs if you become medically unable to do so. However, make sure you choose someone that you trust to make the right decisions, and follow your prerequisites.

6. Select a trusted estate administrator.

These people are going to play a vital role in making sure your directives are followed through with. Your estate administrator is going to oversee administering your will, so ensure that you trust them fully. This person should be responsible and in a good mental state.

7. Name your beneficiaries.

Make it clear who you want to inherit what in the event of your death. You do not want your assets landing up in the states hands or fighting to take place over your assets.

8. Cover funeral expenses.

Put a policy in place that will allow you to save efficiently for your funeral costs. Your family will be in mourning, so take that financial burden away from them.

9. Get professional help.

We understand that this can be very overwhelming, which is why we have a team of experts on hand to assist you with planning your estate. We are on hand to give you the best advice and take some of the stress away. We treat you as if we were putting our own estate in place.

Contact Pogir on 011 879 7200/7250 or email info@pogir.co.za

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How to deal with Coronavirus

Info and Tips on how to deal with Coronavirus.

With the global spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus(COVID-19), it’s crucial for everyone to be equipped with information on how to avoid getting the virus and what to do if you, or a colleague, may have contracted the virus.

Read on to find out what’s known and all the tips you need to keep yourself, your colleagues, and your family safe.

What do we know?

  • COVID-19 is a highly transmissible, respiratory illness that can provefatal under certain conditions.
  • There is no vaccine available to provide protection from the virus.
  • The best method of prevention is avoiding exposure.
  • The virus most commonly spreads through:
    breathing in droplets coughed or exhaled by someone who is ill; close personal contact such as shaking hands or touching others; touching an object or surface on which the virus is found and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes; and in rare cases, through fecal contamination.
  • Most people (over 80%) infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover.
  • Up to 5% of people go on to experience more serious illness, possibly requiring hospital care.
  • Up to 2% of cases result in death. Risk of contracting the virus is based on age
    (with people over 40 appearing to be more vulnerable than those under 40) and a weakened immune system (where those with diabetes, heart, and lung disease are more vulnerable to serious illness).
  • Those who have contracted the virus may take up to 14 days to develop symptoms and no medication can be given during this period to combat the virus.

Symptoms:

Symptoms include a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
Note that these symptoms could be the result of a cold or flu.

For more info:

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Why use a broker?

The middleman you want to keep.

“For enquiries press 1. For claims press 2. For the operator, please hold.” “Thank you for your patience, our call volume is high at the moment, but one of our operators will be with you shortly”. “Your call has been disconnected. Goodbye”. Do you dread those longwinded calls you have to make to the call centre? Rather ask your trusted broker for their assistance.

Not only this, but when deciding where to invest your money, or which medical policies to take out for you and your family, having sound, professional help will always come in handy. It is easy to look online and compare and analyse different policy options, but when it comes to understanding the nitty gritty details, your broker is the middleman that you don’t want to cut out.

Benefits of using a broker include:

  1. Personalised service: it is your broker’s job to have a deep understanding of your financial needs so that they can present only the best policy options that will benefit you.
  2. Expertise: your broker is qualified to understand, analyse, and advise you on how to reach your financial goals. They are financial professionals and have industry knowledge and insight that will benefit you greatly.
  3. Trusted relationships: being able to pick up the phone and immediately get through to your broker who knows and understands your needs makes financial planning and development a lot easier than hanging on a call waiting for a call centre agent. That one-on-one dialogue between broker and client helps build a trusted relationship, ultimately benefitting both parties.
  4. Time and money saving: taking out insurance and financial planning can be a scary area to enter when you do not understand what to look for. Brokers have this knowledge and understanding and can therefore advise you quicker than you sifting through different policies yourself. They will also help find you the best viable financial offer.
  5. Claims assistance: your broker will assist you with your claim’s preparation and settlements. They will advocate on your behalf to ensure that you get the best possible settlement.

With over 50 years of experience in the industry, at Pogir, we live by our motto of being #SmartwithHeart. We take an invested interest in our clients and their needs, providing only the best service to them, which can only come from always keeping up to date with the latest industry information and trends. We are a family practice that brings this through to each of our dealings and clients – no matter how big or small your policies are with us. To find out more how we can assist, contact us on 011 879 7200/7250 or email info@pogir.co.za.

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Prioritise your savings for 2021

Prioritise your 2021 financial habits.

If there is anything that 2020 has taught us, it is to expect the completely unexpected, and that saving for the unpredictable can be the financial lifeline that you did not even realise you needed. It pushed us to reassess our priorities, particularly our spending priorities, with the need to become more frugal. However, saving money takes discipline – and a certain amount of sacrifice.

Saving money is one of the most basic financial obligations that we can take on, however, it is important to understand why you need to save to be able to create, and stick to, an optimal savings plan.

Here are seven tips on how to start saving efficiently.

Budget, budget, budget

Probably the most important step in saving efficiently is to set yourself a budget. Check your credit card statements and bank statements to figure out where your spending is happening as this will help you find a balance between what you are earning, what you are spending, and how much you can be saving month on month.

Bid adieu to debt

Paying off your monthly debt payments will free up your income, giving your more money to save. Start off by paying off your smallest debts first and then move to the larger ones. You can also look at refinancing existing debts when interest rates are low.

Develop saving goals

One of the best ways to figure out how much you should be saving is to set short term and long-term spending goals. Whether it is for your wedding, your retirement, a down payment for a new car, or a vacation, knowing what you are saving towards always helps.

Track your spending

You have developed your budget, but are you sticking to it? It is important to track all spending month on month to make sure you aren’t spending more than you are earning, and that you still have enough money to save.

Save automatically

Open a savings or investment account and set up a monthly debit order. This way the money you want to be saving monthly will automatically transfer to an account that you do not have open access to. Having this type of account in place takes away any urges to spend the money you should be saving.

Unsubscribe from emails

All those emails you have subscribed to from your favourite stores that send daily emails about all their specials – unsubscribe immediately to remove any temptation to buy unnecessary items.

Meal planning

Take time every Sunday to plan what you are going to eat each week. This includes work lunches! Not only will you cut down on spending by only buying the necessary food, but you will save money by not buying take out every day for lunch.

Speak to your Pogir advisor on how they can help you prioritise your spending habits for 2021.