Boosting your retirement savings through shared-value life cover


Life cover that allows you to get a substantial portion of your premiums back by encouraging and helping you to get healthy and stay healthy lets you benefit while you are still alive. Here is how Benna Koorsten boosted his retirement savings by R2.7 million.

When Discovery Life client Benna Koortsen turned 65, he got the birthday present of a lifetime - a R2.7 million pay-out linked to his Discovery Life Buy-up Cash Conversion Benefit. "Discovery Life has had a massive impact on my financial wellbeing in retirement," says Benna, a successful businessman, recently retired. "I plan to invest my Buy-up Cash Conversion Benefit payout in a residential development that has potential for great returns. So, for the next three years, the payout funds will earn excellent dividends for me and my wife who has worked in property development for many years."

Benna's financial adviser is Charlie Heathcote, who has been with Discovery Life since 2011. Both men live in Kimberly. "Charlie and I both worked as teachers in the past," explains Benna. "When we both left the profession - I started my printing business and he started working in financial services - we stayed in touch."

Charlie adds: "When the Buy-up Cash Conversion Benefit was launched, Benna was the first of my clients to take it up. We carried out our annual financial needs analysis and we calculated what the benefit would pay-out at age 65. We knew that saving for retirement really mattered to Benna."

The Buy-up Cash Conversion Benefit allows clients to access significant value in supplementing their retirement savings. In Benna's case, he receives this amount as a single lump-sum at age 65. "Not only are the returns on the Buy-up Cash Conversion premium up to 20% for Gold and Diamond Vitality members, but clients can also receive substantial payments to supplement their retirement savings, based on how they manage their health and wellness," adds Charlie, who has his own Buy-up Cash Conversion Benefit added to his Discovery Life policy. 

Discovery Life client Benna Koortsen (right) and his financial adviser Charlie Heathcote

Benna's life cover got him healthier and fitter

Payouts are linked to a client’s Vitality status - the better a client manages their health and wellness, the more substantial their Cash Conversion payment could be - and their quality of health and life as well. The fact that Benna is on Discovery Vitality’s Diamond status means his PayBack amounts are at the highest level.

"I was on Vitality Gold status from 2010 to 2012 and then, inspired by Discovery Life and Charlie, I moved up to Diamond and have maintained this ever since." Benna has always valued physical fitness and healthy eating. His golden rule: "Have one portion of food and never go back for seconds. We also eat very healthily - lots of vegetables." He sticks to this ethos, ensures a healthy weight and also applies himself to the exercise regime he's followed for years: "I have played squash all my life at least three times a week. I mountain bike and take part in cycle races."

What Benna finds most motivating about being a Discovery Vitality member is the annual Vitality Health Checks: "To keep Diamond status you keep up both your fitness levels and annual health screenings," he explains. "That means you always have a good idea of what your health looks like. It's empowering."

"There is a time to collect and a time to give back"

Benna, a devout Christian, admits to being unaware of the need for sound financial planning in his younger years. On a teacher's salary and with four young children to look after, he decided to move on and as he says, "By the grace of God I ended up with a very successful printing business that my youngest son now runs." Benna's retirement has given him time to devote to one of his life's greatest passions - supporting those in missionary work. "There is a time to collect in life, and then there is a time to give. I have done my collecting and am now giving back to missionaries, who struggle with so little. I have been blessed with so much - and the Buy-up Cash Conversion Benefit payout has certainly added much to my financial peace of mind."

Charlie's advice to a young individuals?

"Think of planning for your retirement as a business decision. Taking out life cover that allows you to get back a substantial portion of your premiums by encouraging you to get and stay healthy makes absolute sense," says Charlie. "You will benefit from your life cover while you are still alive. And, the younger you start saving for retirement, the better your financial comfort will be."

This endorsement does not constitute financial advice.

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