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5 Ways To Plan Your Finances In Your 20s



Navigating the murky waters of financial planning in your 20s is no easy task. With the economy perennially in a state of flux and debt on the rise, maintaining a healthy financial life has proven to be even more challenging. We spoke to some finance gurus and experts to glean from them the following that could throw ideas and provide some relief:

5 Tips:

   1.Save. This money is not for immediate use, it isn’t even for foreseeable use. This  money is for the long-term, and can be diversified through a number of different investments and unit trusts. These banking faculties ensure that the money you’re putting away is reaching its maximum potential and will serve you well, when the need for it arises. The amount being saved will depend on monthly income and expenses. Increasing this as you progress to each stage of life is recommended and will serve you well when the time comes to reap these rewards.

 

2.    Budget. Keep track of your monthly expenses and reduce frivolous spending. A detailed review of your expenses in a month can help determine the money you need to cover it. After all essential expenses such as rent or loan repayments, the cost for essential items such as food and toiletries should be calculated next. The last to follow is optional expenses such as eating out or luxury spend. In doing this, it ensures all the important factors are covered while leaving room for the occasional splurge.


3.    Emergency funds. Life can be unpredictable. With this come unforeseen costs. To prepare for this, experts recommend creating an emergency fund. This fund is an accumulation of money that is put away to access should the need arise. It can be used on an unexpected medical emergency or sudden job loss. The creation of this ensures that debt is not incurred and long-term savings are spared. It should be placed in a bank account that is quick and easy to access so the funds are available immediately should you need it.

4.    Assets. Acquiring assets such as vehicles or property is an important investment into the future. Using the finance options available also has its benefits. Creating a positive credit score is important for anyone especially later on in life when business loans may be needed or when opening accounts. While vehicles depreciate quicker, these are assets that can be kept for years at a time and can be used as collateral for a better model when the opportunity arises. Property is also an investment and does not depreciate.

5.    Retirement funds. Time waits for no man and age catches up with us all. This is why saving for retirement is something that should be started as early as possible. Everyone wants to age comfortably. To do this, it means taking the initiative while you’re young. Over and above the pension or preservation fund being accumulated through your job, setting up a retirement annuity is also highly recommended. This ensures that either a lump sum or monthly stipend is received ensuring that you age in style.



Being in your 20s can be exhilarating and terrifying all at once. The events of your 20s are a significant factor in how you approach the rest of your life. The one thing you want to make sure is that your finances are in order. Debt globally is the highest that it has ever been, and the economy is in recession. Preparing now makes sure that you weather the storm. With calmer seas, you’ll reap the rewards instead of being stranded with no lifeline. Let your finances be one of the things you do well in your 20s.

 

Article published in Forbes Africa by Simone Sribrath



FNB introduces online car licence renewal



The FNB app lets users renew car licences online.

South African First National Bank (FNB) customers will now be able to renew their car licences online, as well as address other car maintenance needs through the bank's new nav>> Car applet within the main FNB mobile app.

The new section within the app was launched today. It follows the launch of nav>> Home, which was unveiled last year to help users value their house and sell it. FNB says half a million customers have already used the Home applet.

 

nav>> Car has a few options within the applet which was created in collaboration with WesBank to reduce customer 'angst' surrounding car ownership.

"Car owners in South Africa would appreciate the support of services that make vehicle ownership easier and keep them safer on our roads. The nav>> Car solution makes navigating the roads that much simpler for our customers by addressing several pain points through access to a range of features and solutions via the FNB app," says nav>> chief imagineer Joland'e Duvenage.

For seamless car licence renewal, users need to first scan their disc using the app. Then for a fee of R199, the bank will proactively let users know when their disc is going to expire, fill out the application form, pay for the disc (and fines) in app and have the new disc delivered to the user's door.

Other features include in-app fine payments, specs on display of all the owner's cars, finance documents access (if the vehicle was financed through WesBank), and free instant car value estimates.

 

FNB nav>> Car also has a subscription option, called 'On-road PROTECT', which costs R95 a month and gives users up to five licence disc renewals with free delivery, have their fines negotiated on their behalf for discounts, 24/7 bail assistance at roadblocks, and Road Accident Fund claim and tyre repair claim assistance due to pothole damage. 

 

If you found value in this post, you would benefit from our other daily content posted on our website blog www.esbrokers.co.za/blog , as well as facebook, Instagram and Linkedin pages.

 

 

By Lauren Kate Rawlins, ITWeb digital and innovation contributor.

 


STOP USING YOUR WORK COMPUTER FOR PERSONAL MATTERS



The average time it takes for a company to identify and contain a cybersecurity breach is 280 days according to IBM.

With that in mind, we would like to pose a question. Would you be able to identify that your work notebook has been breached in less time?

For those who answered yes, we’re a little bit suspicious but we trust your judgement. For those who answered no, like ourselves, it would serve you well to consider the headline here once again.

Stop using your work notebook or PC for personal things.

This is not a scolding but rather us sharing information with our readers that has been sent to Hypertext by Mimecast.

The email security firm has released a report that takes a look at how employees are using company-issued devices and it is worrying. The report was compiled following interviews with 1 000 respondents in the UK, US, Australia, South Africa, Netherlands, Germany, Canada and United Arab Emirates. All respondents work in a company that have 100 or more employees and have a company-issued device for work.

The headline here is that as regards South Africa, 74 percent of respondents “extensively use their company-issued device for personal matters”. Of that figure, 60 percent said that the frequency with which they use their company device for personal matters increased since working from home.

Mimecast’s report reveals what activities folks admitted to using their work devices for. These include:

·       Personal email – 66 percent

·       Financial transactions – 52 percent

·       Online shopping – 51 percent

 

What boggles the mind here however is the following excerpt from Minecast’s press release.

“68 percent of South African respondents said there was a risk to checking personal email as the cause of a serious security mistake, and 70% thought surfing the web or online shopping could likely cause an incident,” Mimecast wrote.

We’re not angry, just mightily disappointed that despite knowing the risks, folks still ignore the rules.

“This research shows that while there is a lot of awareness training offered, most of training content and frequency is completely ineffective at winning the hearts and minds of employees to reduce today’s cyber security risks,” says vice president of threat intelligence at Mimecast, Josh Douglas.

“Better training is crucial to avoid putting any organisation at risk. Employees need to be engaged, and trainings need to be short, visual, relevant and include humour to make the message resonate,” added Douglas.

Most concerning is that the more tech-savvy respondents who fall into the 16 – 24 age group were as unabashed, if not more, about using company gear for personal matters compared to older people.

A staggering 73 percent of 16 – 24 year old respondents admitted to opening emails even though they looked suspicious.

As we mentioned at the top of this piece, it takes months, and even years to detect a breach and by visiting ultimatecattoysandtotallynotmalwaredelivery.com on your work computer, you are putting your company at risk.

“With everyone’s home becoming their new office, classroom and place of residence, it’s not really a surprise that employees are using their company-issued devices for personal use. However, this is also a big opportunity for threat actors to target victims in new ways. We’ve seen attacks become more aggressive and the attack surface has expanded due to the new ‘WFH’ or hybrid work environments,” adds Douglas.

While it might seem innocent to check your mail and do a bit of online shopping while you’re at work or using your work computer, the risk of clicking a link you shouldn’t is immense.


Article featured in Hypertext by Brendyn Lotz


The wrong motor body repairer can put a dent in your pocket






An accident can leave your car (and pocket) wrecked or with only minor damage. Either way, you will more than likely need the services of a reputable motor body repairer to get your car back in shape.

Richard Green, national director of the South African Motor Body Repairers Association (SAMBRA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says to avoid any unhappy surprises later on, it is important to ask the right questions upfront. 

Who is going to repair the damage will be the last thing on your mind if you’re involved in an accident. Priorities on the scene are things like checking for injuries, getting the other driver’s details, finding out if anyone witnessed the accident and speaking to your insurance company.

In truth, the scene of an accident is often chaotic. Before you know it your car is towed away – to who knows where really – without you having a clue what the actual damage is.” Tow truck companies will often refer a motorist to certain workshops for repairs. Green says this is not always due to the high quality of service provided but because tow truck companies receive commission for jobs referred. ”SA motorists involved in accidents should not be forced into making ill-considered decisions. The motorist has the right to choose who should assist in the recovery of the vehicle.

There can be many hidden costs in car repairs, even if you are insured, but you can soften the blow significantly by ensuring you get quality workmanship. 

One way of doing this is to only use an accredited motor body repairer.

A good motor body repairer will fix any external and internal damage to the body and structure of a car, like repairing a bumper, a door, a bonnet, a fender, aligning the structure or respraying. If there is any mechanical work to be done, most reputable repairers have a specialist mechanic on site that can tend to any accident related mechanical repairs. 

Any motor body repairer worth their salt will expect customers to ask questions and be able to put their minds at ease with comprehensive answers. 

Six important questions to ask your motor body repairer

1.  Which automotive associations does your business belong to, and is your business an accredited member of that association?

2.  Does the company have a good reputation and do you use authentic, high-quality parts and materials?  Do your research and check the social channels for satisfied or disgruntled customer comments.

3.  Will you supply me with a detailed description of repairs and what methods will be used to repair my car?

4.  How experienced is the team who will be working on my car?

5.  Do you offer a guarantee on workmanship, paint and parts?

6.  How long will it take to repair my car and will you keep me posted when delays occur? 

Ultimately, the owner wants their car repaired professionally and without it losing any value – as, unfortunately, any accident repair is deemed to cause depreciation. This is why issues of good workmanship, new and factory approved repair parts and fair pricing, as well as quick turnaround on repairs is what consumers should request and expect. By using an accredited repairer with SAMBRA, you know they can be held accountable for the quality of workmanship and that you have recourse from RMI or the Ombudsman if things go wrong

To find out if your chosen panel beater is SAMBRA approved please visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za

 

Written by Richard Green, South African motor body repairers Association (SAMBRA) 


Are you insured against summer?





As the effects of climate change become more evident, heavier storms are experienced.

Summer is approaching, and so traditionally does South Africa’s annual rainfall frequency.

As the effects of climate change become more evident, heavier storms are experienced.

 Regardless of the season, the onus is on the homeowner or policyholder to review their policy at least every six months.

A homeowner must ensure that the updated policy conditions are read and understood and that the renewal terms, including the sum insured and premium, are relative to the current replacement value of the property insured.

Home maintenance obligations are indicated in brochures and in the policy renewal, and with the onset of summer, now is a good time to review the condition of your home.

TIPS ON BETTER HOME MAINTENANCE

Gutters
• Clean your gutters. During winter, gutters, drains and valleys can become clogged by leaves, which prevent water from flowing freely. Overflow can result in water entering the roof, causing internal damages to ceilings and other internal structures.

Roofs
• As temperatures fall and rise, metal roofs expand and contract, loosening screws and washers. These need replacement at least twice a year. Joins and laps between roof sheets also need to be resealed for protection against rust.
• Tiled or slate roofs are prone to loose or missing tiles. Ridge tiles should be secured and any cracked or missing tiles need to be repaired or replaced.
• Flat roofs need sealants checked on a regular basis.
• Thatched roofs need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years, depending on the weather and general roof wear and tear. It is important to install a lightning conductor and cover the thatch with fire protection liquid. Thatch also needs combing every two years.

Pools
• Pool maintenance includes the replacement of sand filters as often as is required, but generally at least once annually or bi-annually depending on pool size and climate.
• Pool lining should be checked frequently for cracks or bubbling as this is a sign that the fibre lining is starting to delaminate.
• Filter the pool for at least eight hours a day in summer.

Pipes and water outlets
• Check for bubbling paint internally and externally, as this is a clear sign of dampness caused by a leaking pipe or a rise in the underlying water table. This can also be caused by water ponding against a wall.
• Structural cracking may also be attributed to leaking pipes. Identifying these can prevent substantial damage to your property.
• Inspect your waste pipes and taps at least once a year to ensure they are properly sealed and watertight.
• Check exposed pipes for signs of rust or wear and tear, and address those issues immediately.
• Signs of mould or damage caused by mould require the use of professional services to identify the cause, and to rectify the problem.

Annual maintenance
• The installation of a timer on your pool pump and geyser, or insulation of your geyser will save a significant amount of electricity. Set the geyser thermostat at 60°C, and not higher.
• Unplug unused appliances and chargers, as these still consume electricity, says the Energy Saving Trust.
• Have a professional clean and sweep your chimney to remove blockages.
• Check windows and doors for deterioration.
• Regularly inspect windows and walls. Repair cracks or leaks as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration.
• Watch water consumption. If you see a sudden spike in your water bill usage, contract a plumber or the municipality to investigate. It may be as a result of an underground burst pipe or leak.

Although insurers are unable to check maintenance on all properties insured, it is emphasised in the renewal correspondence that the home owner is responsible to ensure ongoing maintenance.
Policy holders are urged to read their Policy documents carefully.

For any assistance with your Building insurance please phone 031-5021922 or visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za

 

Article featured in Bedfordview and Edenvale news
Written by Natasha Osman ABSA


Recent vehicle tracking theft scam syndicate in South Africa



Tracker has recently become aware of a car theft scam which is being used by a syndicate in South Africa.

 

Vehicle tracking customers are being contacted by the scamsters who are pretending to work for Tracker. They advise the customer that there is something wrong with their tracking device and that they need to come out to repair or replace the device.

 

Once on site the perpetrators will claim that they need to test the device by taking the car for a test drive or they will say that they can’t finalise the repairs on site and need to take the vehicle back to the fitment centre.

 

The scamsters have targeted the customers of several vehicle tracking companies.

 

If you are contacted about repairs to your tracking device by someone claiming to be from Tracker, please ask them to take you through the Tracker security verification questions associated with your account in order to verify the legitimacy of the call. If they are unable to do so, advise them that you will need to contact someone at Tracker to verify their claim. If you are still unsure or find the call suspicious please contact the Tracker call centre on 0860 60 50 40.

 

It is important to keep the following in mind:

A Tracker technician will never need to nor should they ask to test drive your vehicle

Always check the email address the request is sent from – this is often an immediate give away as the criminals would not be using a tracker.co.za address

You can always confirm the validity of an appointment by contacting the Tracker call centre on 0860 60 50 40

 

 

 

Article courtesy of Tracker


The cost of distracted driving



International statistics say that crashes are the number one cause of workplace injury and fatalities.

It is estimated at least 25% of these crashes are due to cellphone use

Yet, as it is often difficult to prove that one was using their phone before a crash, it is believed this number is three times higher than reported figures.

The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says that if you take these statistics and compare them against the potential cost of each distracted driving crash, it should give fleet owners and managers some pause for thought.

 

There is the highest cost of all which is the cost of human life. If your drivers are fortunate enough to escape with their lives, there are still other costs that often unavoidable.

“There will be the costs involved in repairing or replacing the vehicle and there can also be the expense of cleaning up the accident site in some cases. In other instances, there can also be medical costs after the crash. If your employee is injured, this can also result in a loss of productivity.”

Other indirect costs are often associated with distracted driving crashes.

“Insurance providers in South Africa deal with any litigation after a crash but this will have an effect on your insurance premiums and record. The time expended on handling the after-effects of a crash for other employees will lead to a greater loss in productivity as well.

“As public opinion and attitude grow in opposition to cellphone use behind the wheel, the damage that can result from distracted driving can be damaging to your public relations policy. Even a near-miss while on the phone, that is witnessed by the public, can be destructive to your corporate image. If someone witnesses a crash as a result of your driver using a cellphone, the fallout can be an expensive one that is difficult to recover from.”

Once you calculate the potential cost of cellphone use, banning your employees from using their phones and hoping it works, is not enough.

“This is where MasterDrive NOCELL can help your organisation lead the way in the campaign against distracted driving by making it impossible to use a phone while driving. The fully integrated hardware and software solution allows the use of certain apps like those used for navigation while preventing the use of others like social media and messaging functions.

“Rather than reacting to unauthorised cellphone use while behind the wheel, MasterDrive NOCELL helps you be proactive.

It gives organisations the power to make a ‘no-cellphone behind the wheel’ policy something that is lived by every person in a fleet.” Driving while using your cellphone is becoming a serious issue among South Africans.

The need for a solution that makes it impossible to do this, will be one of the most important additions to health and safety policies in companies.

www.esbrokers.co.za

 

Article source – Masterdrive, featured in Randfontein Herald


Insurance not always a cure-all to damages, for every loss




Many South Africans believe that having an insurance is the panacea to future losses or damages. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

The ombudsman for short-term insurance was established to assist consumers who feel their insurers have dealt them a bad hand.

The office deals with personal lines short-term insurance disputes including those relating to motor insurance, homeowners’ insurance, household insurance, cellphone insurance, travel insurance, disability insurance and credit protection insurance. The services of the office are free of charge.



The case of Mrs N and the stolen cellphone Mrs N claimed for a cellphone that was stolen from her bag while she was playing netball.

The insurer relied on the following provision in the policy to reject her claim:
This particular Insurer had the following terms and conditions in their policy wording:

“7.3 prevention of loss. 7.3.1 – the insured shall take all reasonable steps and precautions to safeguard the equipment, including but not limited to, ensuring that the equipment is:

7.3.1.2 – not left exposed in a public place, place of recreation, mall or social occasion where it is vulnerable to easy removal or damage.”

“The insurer argued that the cellphone was not safeguarded and that it had been left in a vulnerable situation where easy access could be gained to Mrs N’s bag.

The office of the ombudsman said the grammatical meaning of the word “exposed” is not “covered or hidden; visible”.

Since the phone was in Mrs N’s bag, it was not exposed and it would be unreasonable to expect her to safeguard her bag all the time.
The office of the ombudsman recommended the insurer settle the claim, and it agreed to do as recommended.

Conclusion:
In the event of a claim rejection, clients have the option of approaching the offices of the FAIS Ombud to resolve short-term insurance complaints fairly, efficiently and impartially.
The Ombudsman’s services is free to consumers and policy holders can approach them directly on their website. www.osti.co.za

 

For any assistance with your car, home, building or business insurance ES Brokers is here to assist you.
Phone our offices on 031-5021922 or visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za



Article featured in Sunday World, by Kabelo Khumalo

 


5 Steps to reducing transport risk



The theme for this year’s Transport Month is, ‘Together shaping the future of transport’ and aims to raise awareness around the important role that transport plays in our economy. Risk management is the foundation for a healthy transport sector.

 

October is Transport Month and it would be no exaggeration to say that the role transport can, and must, play has never been more crucial to the South African economy. More so as we work towards rebuilding it after the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown. While this month will focus on all forms of transport, the road transport sector merits special attention because of its importance when it comes to logistics across our continent.

The government’s vision of providing safer, more affordable, accessible and reliable transport, will only be achievable if transport companies step up to the challenge, particularly when it comes to risk management. Knowledge is power and it’s a good idea to track the claims history and what incidents occur.

Based on working with clients across the transport industry, here are some key steps to improving risk management:

• Track your incidents as well as your claims. Incidents are the number one predictor of claims, so if you note all incidents – not just the claims – you’ll find where there are problem areas and put preventative measures in place. The goal is to reduce future claims and the chances of premiums being increased.
• 
Find the trend. It is important to take note of incidents as you could find that many of your claim costs come from the same area, department or cause. If you can find the root cause of the claims, you can be proactive.
• 
Mitigate your risk. South African roads bring with them a whole set of risks, some of which are universal and some unique to our situation, and by their nature cannot be controlled. However, if you know where the highest risks are, discover the ones that occur most frequently or cost the most, you can establish a risk management strategy that takes you a step closer to protecting your staff and cargo as well as reducing your insurance premium.

The top three causes for claims are mechanical malfunctioning, followed by collisions and glass (windshields and windows).



Here are five ways you could cut down on claims and unnecessary time-consuming admin.

1. Schedule regular checks and services to ensure your vehicles are well-maintained. All vehicles should be maintained to a minimum standard, with essential safety equipment like brakes, indicators, steering components and tyres, regularly checked and kept in good operating condition.
2. Avoid overloading. Overloading will damage a vehicle, particularly in the long run; it is linked to roadworthiness.
3. Verify your drivers’ information; for example, the validity of driver’s licences and Professional Driver’s Permit.
4. Provide proper training and possible advanced driving courses. People make mistakes; the Automobile Association notes that the single biggest cause of road accidents is human error. This underscores the necessity for appropriate training for every driver.
5. Understand your insurance cover and optional cover available, as well as the excess payable.
6. Make sure you have adequate cover for goods in transit. Truck hijacking remains a problem (the 2019-20 crime statistics show it has increased by a further 1.7%) as does pilfering.

 Taking precautions against both hijacking and theft is advised, but adequate cover for goods as well as the vehicle is essential.

Whether it is long-haul or short haul, trucks are used by every sector of the economy. Our transport corridors act as vital lifelines as they criss-cross our nation, contributing to the health and strength of our economy. Let’s use Transport Month to manage our transport risks and support our economic revival.

For assistance with Transport, heavy commercial vehicles and goods in transit insurance, please contact our office on 031-5021922 or visit our website - www.esbrokers.co.za

 

Article featured in insurancechat, written By: Jason Mellow, Head of MiWay Business Insurance

 


Building and property maintenance: Why it’s important not to let your Building fall into disrepair.




In every neighbourhood there is at least one property in a state of disrepair.
It’s common that you see older properties that are left to slowly decay as the harsh elements launches a brutal assault on the external structure over time, but sometimes newer properties are not well-maintained either and that’s where you find re-occurring problems arising, that ends up being very costly, if not dealt with timeously.

 

Examples of Disrepair would commonly be:

·      Mildew, Mould, rising damp and/or vermin infestation,

·      Rotten woodwork, broken glass, wall and floor tiles.

·      A sagging roof or missing and broken roof tiles.

·      Water damaged ceilings.

·      Unsteady walls or balustrades.

·      Rusting pipework or leaking taps.

·      Broken gutters and downpipes.

·      Cracks in walls larger than 3mm wide

·      Fault electrical wiring and fittings

·      Blocked drains and poor plumbing.

·      Bubbling or peeling of paint work

·      Overgrown vegetation not cut back from the building.

·      Banks not retained properly or movement of retainer blocks

·      Geyser not installed correctly or with no compliance certificate

·      This list is not exhaustive as maintenance could refer to anything requiring replacement or immediate attention.  




Why Protecting your investment is Important?

Your Property is the most significant investment you will ever own, so allowing it to fall into a state of disrepair is not good business sense and if wear and tear and maintenance if left too long it could exacerbate into bigger more costly projects.

In simplest terms, the more neglected a property is, the less it is worth.
You should always protect your investment with a program of regular property maintenance.

 

Regular maintenance jobs that every Property owner should adopt:


 There are a variety of jobs every building owner can’t afford to leave indefinitely, and they are:
1) On-going roof maintenance should be top of your to-do list.
The roof keeps a property safe from the elements and adverse weather.
If the roof is allowed to fall into disrepair, it won’t be long before water finds a way in causing all sorts of problems, such as damp, mildew, rotten wood , faulty electrics etc

2) Cleaning of gutters and external Pipework.
Too often we see vegetation growing in the gutters which makes it ineffective, restricting the water flow and the weight bearing down tends to rip the gutter from it’s bracket. We recommend clearing the gutters and keeping them free of debris at least every six months. Over hanging tree in close proximity of the main dwelling requires more frequent inspections.

3) Maintaining Boundary walls and retainer walls and vegetation.
(a) Prune over hanging branches that could break off and damage the roof tiles. Branches can be destructive following a storm and high winds.
(b)
Ensure that you regularly inspect the boundary wall/fence or retainer for signs of damage.
The problem here is that through soil erosion over long periods of time, the boundary wall begins to lean (if on an incline on embankment). To save the costs of hiring a contractor the building owner tries repairing the wall himself, with dire consequences. If the foundation is compromised rather get a professional to offer advice.


4) External Paint work

Even if you have done a great job on the rest of your house and are happy, you can still end up with a house that is not worth having. By painting the right kind of material and the right type of paint, you can guarantee that you will end up with a great looking house that will give you a good sense of comfort as well as a comfortable home for you and your family.


There are several different kinds of paint that you can choose from. For example, you can opt for wall paint that is made from ceramic tile or wood, for instance. However, there are also plenty of other options, including vinyl and other synthetic materials. One of the best things about these materials is that they are extremely easy to clean and can provide you with a nice looking finish over a long period of time.