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To retire financially independent – Lessons from Comrades athletes

Yesterday, the world’s largest and oldest ultramarathon race took place. After months of preparation, runners from around the world embarked on the 89 kilometre Comrades Marathon. And what a race it was. Local South African Gerda Steyn stole the show as she shattered the women’s record, while fellow South African Edward Mothibi won his first attempt at the ‘up’ run.

According to Belinda Carbutt, group savings specialist at Allan Gray and avid runner, the vigorous training that runners undergo in preparation for the Ultimate Human Race could teach investors a thing or two about how to retire financially independent. She shares the following tips:

Tip #1: Get a training programme
Training programmes guide runners on how to reach their race goals. For a successful retirement plan, the starting point is to create and stick to a monthly budget.

Tip #2: Stick to a healthy diet
A good diet ensures that marathon runners’ bodies are correctly fuelled. Planning for retirement is no different.

Tip #3: Pace yourself
Carbutt explains that marathon runners understand that running at their own, consistent pace gets them to the finish line, but they may need to make adjustments along the way to achieve their goal. Saving is similar.

Tip #4: Cross training
Carbutt says that cross-training helps runners build strength. Similarly, there are different products that can be used to complement your retirement planning.

Tip #5: Don’t procrastinate
“Fear to start training can cause many runners to procrastinate,” says Carbutt. “As an investor, guard against this type of inertia.”

“For Comrades runners who don’t make it there is always next year, provided that you start training early enough. While it is never too late to start saving for retirement, the earlier you start, the better your chances of reaching your goal,” Carbutt concludes.

Click here to read the detailed Allan Gray news release where Carbutt shares examples as well. This is a good download for your client.

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