Single mothers can’t save for the future, get little support from fathers

2018-07-12 00:45

Single mothers can’t save for their retirement because they are already stretched in their finances and receive little support from the fathers.

This is according to Lynette Nicholson, research manager at Old Mutual.

The 2018 Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor released on Wednesday shows that 46% of mothers consider themselves to be single parents, and only 14% of those mothers receive regular financial support from the father of the child or children.

Last year the study found 50% considered themselves single mothers with 16% of them receiving regular support from the father.

According to the study, the poorer the household, the higher the incidence of single mothers.

In previous surveys Nicholson said they had discovered that single mothers save less towards their retirement because of the difficult financial situation they find themselves in.

“Because they are really stretched in terms of their finances, they’ve got kids to support and because they’re getting such little support from the fathers, they have to focus on the immediate day-to-day expenses,” she said.

“What we found in previous studies is that providing for their own retirement long term suffers dramatically. So among single moms you have much lower levels of contributing to pension provident fund, saving in [retirement annuities], putting away for long term because they just can’t,” said Nicholson.

The study also found 38% of households have one dependent child and 1% have five dependent children.

36% of households featured in the study have dependants other than children.

“Sandwich generation” is a term used in the study to describe those who are not only supporting children but also parents and other older dependants.

The “sandwich generation” accounts for 27% of households.

45% of households said they were planning to support family members and 10% said they weren’t planning to but know they will end up doing so.

The study noted that these cases were once again proportionally higher amongst black households.

South Africans, overall, aren’t saving enough, said Rian le Roux, group economic strategist at Old Mutual Investment.

“Plan properly, start early, have a plan and stick to it. That’s key for people that can save and should be saving,” said Le Roux.

He urged all those who can to save more.

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March 17 2019