Single mothers can live with confidence by protecting their income

Fifty-one per cent of SA’s single mothers are not able to easily cover household expenses.

More than 40% of South African mothers are single parents and carry a huge responsibility when it comes to financial provision for their children.

Statistic from the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the South African Race Relations Institute (SARRI) on 1 June 2021  emphasises the potential financial consequences of loss of income for single mothers, as there is no second stream of income generated by another person in their household.  

Beyond this, HSRC and SARRI also showed that financial worries abound for many South African single mothers and that 51% of them are not able to easily cover household expenses. This makes it even more important for them to protect their ability to earn an income as they often do not have the option of dipping into savings when a crisis strikes. 

This Women’s Month single mothers are encouraged to take a step towards financial confidence. “By empowering themselves with appropriate financial solutions, single mothers can gain peace of mind that their families’ financial welfare will remain intact should the unforeseen happen.” 

Here are a few things to consider: 

  • Sole provider: Single mothers are the sole breadwinners in their households, which makes income protection very important. A pay-out from an insurance product can be a lifesaver, enabling her to continue caring financially for herself and her family.


  • Know the detail: Understand exactly what you are covered for under each type of policy, and for what amount. 
    • Income protection and disability cover would offer a pay-out should an illness or injury result in you no longer being able to work. Disability cover typically pays a lump sum and can be ideal to help repay debt should you become permanently disabled, whereas income protection cover can replace your monthly income if you cannot work due to illness or injury, either temporarily or permanently. Both have advantages.  
    • Life cover can assist with your dependants’ long-term expenses if you were to pass away or can be used to pay off debt. There is the option to choose a benefit that pays a lump sum or one that pays an income. One of the advantages of a death income benefit is that your dependants will be paid a steady monthly income for a specified period without the risk of the money running out too soon.
    • You can even get cover that pays a lump sum or income should your child become seriously ill. Such an event will not necessarily affect your ability to earn an income but will likely affect your income in an indirect way. 

The help and guidance of a financial intermediary cannot be overstated. The benefits include having someone to take you through the documentation and to explain to you the cover of your choice. An annual check-in with an intermediary also helps to ensure your benefits remain up to date.

Sanlam is a Licensed Financial Services Provider.

Single mothers can live with confidence by protecting their income
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