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Margie | 42
Surround yourself with supportive people, take a self-defence class, have your own bank account, start a retirement plan: all of this is advice from abused women on breaking the cycle of abuse.

How pension planning helped me end the cycle of abuse

You will likely have heard it all before, except maybe the last piece of advice, although it certainly makes sense. This little gem comes from a customer who told 10X retirement expert, Abigail Wilson, that starting her own retirement plan was a key step in freeing herself from an abusive relationship.

Margie (not her real name), a survivor of a very abusive relationship, is talking to all women – abused, happily committed, single, just dating, ‘it’s complicated’ and anywhere in between – when she says: “Take full responsibility for your life, including planning for your retirement.”

“Start saving early,” she urges, “even if you can manage only a small amount.”

Margie had married quite young, and was trapped in an abusive marriage for 20 years. 

“It was physically, verbally, psychologically, emotionally and financially abusive,” the mother of two says. “At the age of 39 I was totally destitute without a cent to my name.” 

Despite her desperate situation, Margie managed to secure a new job where, as it happens, she was obliged to contribute to a company pension fund. 

Having a plan and starting to build her own savings pot gave Margie the confidence to take that first step. It took another few years to actually break free but “that was the start of my emancipation”, she says.

“At 41 years of age I eventually managed to break the shackles that bound me, and I got a divorce.”

With two children to raise without financial support from their father, Margie had to dig deep, stick to her guns to keep her eyes focused on the future.

As the years passed and her children became more independent, she says, she was able to contribute to a second and then a third retirement annuity.

Knowing that she had started late, significantly reducing the massive multiplying effect of compounding on her savings, Margie took on extra work to supplement her small salary and led a “humble and frugal” life.

When asked how she managed to put money aside, Margie says: “I am very disciplined with money and work to a strict budget. Because I am working towards a goal I am not easily tempted.”

Margie advises other women, young and old, to “never allow your power and self-worth to be taken away, always have separate banking and savings accounts and start saving (even if it is a small amount) as soon as you possibly can”.

As Margie's story shows, it is never too late to start saving. Fill out this form to have one of our retirement experts contact you.

More than she bargained for
Careful planning and a dose of good luck