Category: Chartered Blog

Wellness-in-retirement-by-Kim-Potgieter-Director-at-Chartered-Wealt-Solutions

The cure lies in the cause

Wellness is not a point in time, but a continuous cycle. It is a continuum of cause and effect.

Stress, anxiety and trauma are the most common reasons why people are unwell today.

It’s not the actual trauma or stress that causes your un-wellness, but how you respond or react to these events, the emotions that flow from your experiences, that impact on your well-being.

These are the health lessons presented by Dr Riaz Motara at a recent Lifestyle event for our Retiremeant™ clients.  To say I was inspired by Dr. Motara’s views on wellness is an understatement. I was so enthused that I immediately set up a follow-up appointment: I wanted to learn more!

Dr. Motara’s view on the correlation between health and our thoughts substantiates our Retire Successful philosophy that a healthy mind supports a healthy life. It’s about keeping your body fit, your mind challenged and your heart engaged.

Don’t discount the impact of your emotions
Dr Motara joins many other experts in the field of holistic health when he says that “fear” is the most significant emotion that underpins everything that happens to us as humans. It affects how we approach life, the decisions and choices we make, how we act or react – in fact, fear subconsciously steers almost everything we do.The difficult part is that our emotions are not really a conscious choice to make. We feel, because we react to something in a certain way.

While fear is the core emotion, how we negatively react or feel, based on trauma, are derivatives of fear: hate, anger, disappointment, discontentment, abandonment, loss, insignificance – and the list goes on.

It all sounds so complex, doesn’t it? To explain, I shared with Dr. Motara that the therapist I was seeing after my third high-jacking told me that I brought all this onto myself. That made me angry! No – fuming! Then Dr. Motara explanation made sense: my negative emotions became my self-talk and all my efforts to heal after the trauma were based on overcoming my fear. I was so fixated with fear that I ended up attracting fear into my life. The stress and anxiety actually caused me to become unwell in body and mind.

It’s a matter of the heart
The same applies to your health. Being a cardiologist, Dr. Motara dedicates much thought and research to issues of the heart. He has actually found a strong correlation between depression and heart disease. He says that by treating patients holistically, and by delving into past experiences, he is able to determine when the heart disease started. For example, a client with heart disease also tested for low levels of serotonin. Motara discovered that the feeling of “un-wellness” and heart disease started hand-in hand, shortly after a traumatic life experience.

Motara believes that 50% of the cure of any illness is having insight into what caused it. Ask yourself:

  • When did it start? When can I last remember feeling great?
  • What did I get exposed to?
  • Does this correlate with how I am feeling now?

The answers are inside of us. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to access traumatic memories, but if you delve deep enough, and try to make sense of your behavioural patterns, you could probably pinpoint your health to a specific cause and reaction.

The cornerstone of complete wellness remains a holistic approach. It is essential to consult a medical practitioner to treat your symptoms, but it is also important to work on managing your emotions and dealing with all the challenges that life holds, which most commonly includes stress and anxiety.

 

So, this winter, while it’s cold and gloomy and early morning walks are not as appealing as in summer, why not spend some time exercising your mind towards wellness. I’ll join you in that!

Keep warm and well.

Follow-your-Flow-Kim-Potgieter-working-in-Retirement-Retirement-specialists-Chartered-Wealth-Solutions

Follow your flow

If you love what you do, it’s play, not work

Ever been so involved in a specific task or project that all else falls away? So immersed in what you are doing that nothing else seems to matter? And the best part – when you finally emerge from your complete absorption, you feel happy … even elated! And you can honestly say that this was the best day of your life. Now imagine feeling like this all the time – this is following your flow.

So, no, time does not pass faster because you are getting older; it flies swiftly when you are engaged with something that resonates with your true and deepest passion. Research by McKinsey spanning a decade shows that people ‘in flow’ are 500% more productive and learn between 200% and 500% faster.

I have spent much time reflecting on what brings meaning to my life. I have realised that it is the people in my life – my family, friends, colleagues and clients – that fill my life with purpose, learning and wisdom. The essence of who I am, what makes my life a meaningful adventure, rests in the sharing of what I have learned … and this is what my career has grown out of. This is what it means to work in the flow.

Flow flavours life with purpose

The benefits of working in our flow is both tangible and intangible. For me, a very important one is Gratitude. It’s that feeling of happiness that blossoms from appreciation. And the emotions of thankfulness just keep on flowing. I am especially grateful for being able to do the work that I love and for the wonderful clients that share in my journey.

A tangible benefit expresses itself in the writing of my second book – and, for good measure, a whole series of e-books about our relationship with money, all with the aim of enabling a successful RetiremeantTM. This journey allows me to spend time interviewing clients in order to share their insights and wisdom on money stories and work re-invention. I am convinced that the success of my first book was partly because of the client stories. It is clear that people learn more from stories than theory. And stories are so powerful!

I am so grateful for the stories that our clients share. Not only do these stories inspire me in my work and in writing my book, but the stories also inspire others in their RetiremeantTM journeys – they are encouraging and support people on so many levels.

Lynda’s story

I recently interviewed our client, Lynda Smith, Founder of Refirement Network and 50-Plus Skills. You can read about her and her venture in this newsletter. With this business initiative, Lynda is certainly working in flow. “If you love the work you do, it’s not work, it’s play,” she says.

Lynda is a prime example of merging her Passion with her Purpose to earn a Play-cheque. But her journey did not just happen. It took nine long years of thinking, planning, dreaming, and visualising her flow to get to where she is today. During those years, Lynda continued working for a salary to pay off debt and to invest towards her retirement fund.

Finding your flow often means a parallel process: the work that you are doing at the moment to service your financial responsibilities and the work you plan to do – work that you are passionate about, work that inspires you.

What I know for sure is that investing time to think about your flow, and, secondly, working in flow, can be so rewarding that it is absolutely worth the extra input of time and energy to reinvent your work-self in RetiremeantTM.

Imagine the possibility of waking up every day and doing the work that speaks to your purpose – your flow. What a glorious sunrise that would be!

Access the April issue of Inflight here

Kim-Potgieter-Retirement-Specialist

Something that makes you lose track of time

My 50th birthday certainly marked a milestone in my life! And yes, I am still celebrating and excited about the adventures that lie ahead in fulfilling my passions.

I don’t think it has anything to with aging, but I am constantly reminded these days that time indeed flies when you are having fun. Have you ever been so involved in a specific task or project that all else falls away? So immerged in what you are doing that nothing else seems to matter? And the best part – when you finally emerge from your complete absorption, you feel happy! Even elated! And you can honestly say that this was the best day of your life! Now imagine feeling like this all the time.

So no, time does not fly because you are getting older, time flies swiftly when you are active on something that resonates with your true and deepest passion. And the added bonus – a research project by McKinsey and Co. spanning over a period of 10 years has shown that people in flow are 500% more productive and learn between 200 and 500 percent faster.

So yes, although I experience time flying at an immense speed every day, I am thankfully not getting older any faster. I have spent many hours reflecting on what brings meaning to my life, and have realised that it is the people in my life, my family, friends, colleagues and clients, that fill my life with meaning, learning and wisdom. My true happiness, my flow, does not only rest in the learning, but in the sharing. The essence of who I am, what makes my life a meaningful adventure, are these two things: learning and sharing. This is what it means to work in flow.

The benefits of working in flow just keeps adding up. I want to mention one more: Gratitude. That feeling of happiness that flows from appreciation. And the emotions of gratefulness just keep on flowing. I am grateful for being able to do the work that I love and for the wonderful clients that share in my journey.

I am busy writing my second book – and, for good measure, a whole series of e-books around our relationship with money matters to enable a successful Retiremeant™. This journey allows me to spend  a lot of time interviewing clients so that I can share their insights and wisdom on money stories and work re-invention. I am convinced that the success of my first book was partly because of the client stories. People just seem to learn from stories, rather than theory. And stories are so powerful!

I am so grateful for the stories that our clients are sharing. Not only do these stories inspire me in my work and writing my book, but the stories inspire others in their Retiremeant™ journeys, it encourages and supports people on so many levels.

I recently interviewed a client, Lynda Smith, Founder of the Refirement Network and 50+ Skills. Lynda’s vision is to influence 10% retirees to work for 5 years longer by applying their passions and skills to make a difference. With this business venture, Lynda is certainly working in flow. “If you love the work you do, it is not work, it’s play”, says Lynda. Lynda is a prime example of merging her Passion with her Purpose to earn a Play-cheque. But Lynda’s journey did not just happen. It took nine long years of thinking, planning, dreaming and visualising her flow to get to where she is today. During those years, Lynda continued working for a salary to pay off debt and invest towards her retirement fund.

Finding your flow often means a parallel process with the work that you are doing at the moment to service your financial responsibilities, with the work that you plan to do – work that you are passionate about, work that inspires you.

What I can say for sure, is that investing time to think about your flow, and secondly, working in flow, can be so rewarding that it is absolutely worth the extra input of time and energy to re-invent your work-self in Retiremeant™.

Imagine the possibility of waking up every day and doing the work that speaks to your purpose – your flow. What a glorious sunrise that would be!

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The persistent popularity of property

Chartered Wealth Solutions’ RetiremeantTM Specialist and Certified Financial Planner®, James Carvalho, assesses the value of rental property as an investment.

Over the past ten years or so, I have been party to numerous conversations that have debated the merits of rental property. I have frequently wondered what lies at the heart of this affiliation to property.

I have concluded that it is most likely the ability to own something tangible – you can see and touch it. (You seldom hear braai-side talk of share portfolios or unit trust portfolios!)

While property is certainly a viable option for investing, what many may not realise (if unprepared for the rigors of renting out property) is that this investment can be a source of persistent headaches.

The case for diversity

In 2011, in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, one of my clients was overwhelmed by her emotion in our meeting. She owned eight properties and suddenly, four of them were standing open. Three of the tenants had lost their jobs and one of them had moved to Cape Town.

Rental payments from her remaining tenants were barely covering her bond costs, and she still had three bonds over the properties.

For years, I had been encouraging her to diversify her risk in her investments. But, as so often happens, she was lured by the exaggerated returns in the property market, based on the promise of the boom years from 2002 to 2008. And the unfortunate consequence has been that, at present, she has managed to sell only two of the properties, and her rental incomes are not beating inflation, and nor is the annual growth on her property.

Still a sound investment?

Through a planning process, we as financial planners would establish what the optimum investment return would be for your money to sustain your lifestyle and to last the term of your retirement.

Generally, we find retired people aim at achieving a return of approximately inflation plus 4% with their funds.

In light of this goal, I note some of my clients’ responses, when I ask by how much their rental fees had increased. “Nothing this year; it’s been a tough year for my tenant,” or, “My tenant just lost his job so I am giving him a contribution holiday.”

Perhaps the most concerning comment was that the tenant would not pay and possession equals nine tenths of the law.

Despite these tales of rental regret, there are still many investors whose investment in property has given a positive return.

I would suggest that, if you are thinking of buying property to rent out, you consider the following:

  • Buying off-plan is appealing as there are no transfer duties. Transfer duties is a sunk cost: it is doubtful that you will recover this cost.
  • Schedule fixed rent increases in your lease – it obviates having to negotiate these every year. Rent should increase by more than inflation every year.
  • Establish a lease of twelve months, renewable with three months’ notice, thereby allowing you time to find a new tenant.
  • If you are a tax-payer, bond your rental property so that you can write off the interest against the rent.
  • Rental income is taxable and needs to be added to your tax return.
  • When you sell a property, other than your primary residence, it will attract Capital Gains Tax.
  • You need to be able to pay for repairs to the property; as a rule of thumb, you should keep 10% of the rent aside for maintenance.
  • If you don’t have the patience to deal with tenants, use an agent to rent out the property. This usually comes at a cost of 10% of the rent, but it is often money well spent.

In conclusion, I reiterate the timeless sound advice to ensure you diversify between all assets when investing: shares, cash, property stock, and corporate and government bonds.

And, remember, that your financial planner is always at hand to guide and advise you.

Kim-Potgieter-Retirement-specialist-and-money-story-coach-at-Chartered-Wealth-Solutions-Retirement-Specialists2

Small change for big change

I recently met with a client who retires in 13 months’ time. If you’ve read anything I’ve written, you’ll know I distinguish between the concepts of “retiring from” and “retiring to”. So, true to form, the discussion came up: “What is it that you are retiring to?” I asked.

My client is excited. He has an idea for a consulting business that will see him using what he’s learnt over the last 20 years, offering his skills and services to the private sector. It’s something inspiring for him to retire “to”. But it won’t be on a full-time basis – and it won’t give him the equivalent of his current income. This means that he’ll need to start drawing an income from his investments.

It’s about more than the money

This is the where the real acceptance needs to kick in. In my experience, there’s an emotional adjustment that has to be made. This sounds simple enough, right? Because we all know that the day finally does come. Isn’t that what we’ve been planning towards for the last 40 years?

Trust me when I say this: no matter how prepared you are, retirement still comes as a shock. Regardless of how much you save, you have to be up for the change. Or changes. There’s a mental adjustment: you’ve spent decades saving and now you need to start spending it.

Then there’s the emotional – and financial – reality around the probability of you never working again. And even if you do work, chances are you’ll earn far less in retirement than you did while formally employed.

Another emotional shift is our sense of worth and how we perceive the value we add to our families. If you’ve been the provider for many years, you might struggle with how you derive self-worth. If this is you, please be encouraged: you only have the money you have now because of your foresight and discipline. The value you add continues into the future because of this very fact.

But, the money is important

Another financial shift you’ll need to make? Realising that there is no point in drawing from your investments – only to put savings aside from that. It’s financially unwise, so just draw down less to start with.

My client admitted that some of these challenges are going to be real for him. He reminded me of his first money memory. It was something his dad taught him – that a fool and his money are soon parted – and it weighed heavily on him. What if he acted foolishly? Could he wisely manage drawing down from his investments?

This is why having an actual RetiremeantTM plan – and not just a string of investments – is essential. You need to know that you have enough so that the fear of running out doesn’t stop you from living.

But I promise you: this will not be enough to convince you – regardless of how disciplined about saving and investing you’ve been. You’ll still need to be open to change. But it takes time to accept a new reality, so be kind to yourself. It takes time to amend a mindset that has served you so well all these years. Remember, though, why you saved and invested in the first place – so that one day you could have the freedom to choose what you were going to do with your time, your money enabling that life. In the bigger scheme of life, your money is the “small change” that sets the tone for the big change – changes – you’ll need to embrace.

Change is hard. Not many people like change. But you are not alone as you face what’s ahead. If you don’t feel ready for the retirement road ahead, please book some time with me. Let’s talk small change – and big change – over a cappuccino.

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Your quick guide to the toughest budget in years

We’re not even two months into the year and we’ve already seen some game-changing political events.

Our new President was sworn in on Thursday, 15 February – almost 18 months sooner than expected – and we wish Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa every success in returning South Africa to an all-important economic growth path. A growing economy makes our lives that much easier in that it improves the outlook for investment returns and reduces the pressure on government to raise income tax. And that brings me to the topic of today’s communication: the 2018 Budget Speech.

There has been so much political noise over the past two months that we were left wondering whether the Budget Speech would even take place today – and as recently as yesterday we weren’t even sure whether the current Minister of Finance, Mr. Malusi Gigaba, would take to the podium. But sanity prevailed, and the speech went ahead at 2pm as planned.

Budget day is an important ‘marker’ in the financial planning year. It is held near the tax year-end of 28 February and is a great time for you to focus on getting your tax planning right and to take advantage of any ‘tools’ to save tax efficiently, in line with your Retiremeant™ plan, of course.

What did we expect from the Budget?

Most analysts quoted in the media in the past two weeks predicted a tight budget. You need only look at some of the key issues to appreciate National Treasury’s problem … They are struggling with slow economic growth; a R50.8bn shortfall in revenue collection for the current tax year; and rising expenses due to the funding demands of free education and National Health Insurance. These projects are consistent with Government’s focus on socioeconomic transformation as they strive to overcome the inequalities and divisions so apparent in our society.

What did the Budget Speech reveal?

At the outset I should say that the 2018 Budget Speech is one of the toughest that we’ve seen in many years, but this wasn’t unexpected. Chartered Wealth Solutions predicted that the 2018 Budget would be extremely tough on High Net Worth (HNW) clients, difficult for the middle class and largely neutral for the rest. And we had it spot on!

Our expectations were confirmed early in the speech. An additional R36 billion is being raised through a combination of tax increase, mainly through a higher VAT rate and below-inflation adjustments to personal income tax brackets. We summarise the main tax proposals as follows:

  • An increase in VAT from 14% to 15%;
  • A below inflation increase in the personal income tax rebates and brackets, with greater relief for those in the lower income tax brackets;
  • An increase in the ad-valorem (proportional) excise duty rate on luxury goods from 7% to 9%;
  • Estate Duty will be levied on the dutiable value of an estate at a rate of 20% on the first R30 million, and at a rate of 25% on the value above R30 million;
  • A 52c per litre increase in the levies on fuel (22c for the general fuel levy and 30c for the Road Accident Fund); and
  • Increases in the alcohol and tobacco excise duties of between 6% and 10%.

There were no changes to the marginal rates of individual income tax, the rate of tax on trusts (45%) or the rate of tax on companies (28%). Transfer duties on the sale of properties remained unchanged too, with a 13% tax on the portion of the transaction exceeding R10 million.

The feared removal of medical-schemes tax credits did not materialise either; but the increases were minimal – from R303.00 to R310.00 for the main member and first dependent, and from R204.00 to R209.00 for each additional beneficiary. Other good news is that there were no changes to the tax treatment of retirement fund lump sum benefits or severance benefits.

What does it mean for you, near retirement or in retirement?

We were a bit disappointed on two fronts: firstly, the R500,000 tax-free portion of the retirement lump-sum benefit was not increased; and, secondly, there was no increase in the maximum contribution in either Retirement Annuities or Tax-Free Savings, being 27.5% of Retirement Annuities contributions capped to R350,000 and R33,000 for Tax-Free Savings contributions per annum respectively.

The changes in Estate Duty apply to estates worth more than R30 million and will affect High Net Worth individuals who will have to review their financial plans and estate plans accordingly. We note that the basic deduction allowed under this tax heading was left unchanged, at R3.5 million. We will be communicating more on this in due course.

What happens next …

You should not make hasty financial decisions based on the changes announced in today’s Budget Speech. Your best approach is to stick to your RetiremeantTM plan and make considered changes to your portfolio over time based on the advice of your Retiremeant™ Specialist, thus continuing your journey towards a secure RetiremeantTM based on your lifetime goals and dreams.

We invite you to contact us if you have any concerns about the Budget Speech and what the various changes to taxation rates mean to you.

Warm regards
John Campbell

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Good news to welcome us to 2018

I have so enjoyed the start of 2018 – it is so uplifting to read the papers, to listen to the news and, for the first time in many years, to feel that there has been a shift and things are starting to happen. We have a long road ahead, but certainly, with Cyril at the helm, there is progress.

I walk past our table in reception where our newspaper lies and see the headlines that the JSE has reached an all-time high and, in the next article, the rand is recorded to be the strongest it has been since 2015. Long may the good news continue to flow!

Our next big hurdle is the Budget Speech towards the end of February. The ratings agencies have put things on hold until this time to see what plans our Minister of Finance has for finding the R50 billion shortfall and the funds for President Zuma’s shock announcement of free tertiary education for low-income earners. I have heard many mixed opinions on this ranging from an increase in VAT to higher tax rates and possible increases to Capital Gains Tax. We shall be observing this carefully and informing you of any actions that may be necessary.

Bitcoin – time to take a bite?

I am sure many of you have heard more and more about Bitcoin recently; it certainly has been prominent in many conversations in the past few months. I have a number of close friends who have become Bitcoin millionaires in the past year. Sadly, I was not one of them. I have observed Bitcoin and tried to gain a greater understanding of it over the past 12 months, and even went so far as to bring it to one of our Financial planning team meetings in July last year.

As a financial planner, a rule I live by is that I would never advise a client to invest in anything that I don’t understand and this is something all of us at Chartered live by. Another rule is: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So, where does this leave me when my 15 year old Son, Nic, came to me in September and asked, “Please, Dad, can I buy some Bitcoin with my savings?”

Having been curious for the past few years and living by my principles, when it came to this request I thought it was an opportunity to be open minded (given that it was not a client’s money … nor mine!).

My condition was that Nic had to put an equal amount of money in shares. So we took his R10 000 that he had in his bank account and bought R5 000 worth of Bitcoin. We chose five shares, investing R1 000 in each.

The next morning the Bitcoin was up 10%, and the shares had done very little and so it went … Two weeks later, Bitcoin was up 43% and I could see Nic thought shares were a total waste of time. I was relieved when, last week, he said that his shares had done quite well and Bitcoin was so bad: his money in Bitcoin had doubled and then halved in nine weeks, whilst his shares had slowly gone up.

I am grateful for my son to have experienced that there is no quick way to make money and returns come with patience and time.

In summary, the world of cryptocurrencies is dangerous. If you understand that you can lose your money and can afford to, then this may be something to invest in, but it is not recommended for most people.

RetiremeantTM Workshops for Chartered Wealth Solutions clients

Lastly, we enjoyed running our first RetiremeantTM Workshop at Chartered last week. About 40 people attended, 25 of which were clients and about 15 were guests. The feedback was amazing – we had clients of 15 years saying they had learnt so much. This is something we are going to do more often at Chartered, encouraging clients to bring friends to learn about RetiremeantTM the Chartered way. If you would like to attend an upcoming workshop, please email holly@charteredwealth.co.za and she will send you details.

Wishing you all a successful 2018.

Warm regards
John Campbell

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Mind over money over matter

We are living in uncertain times. Both globally and locally, our political and financial landscapes are shifting, leaving many people anxious about the returns on their investments. This type of anxiety can affect our emotions. And, making decisions based on how we feel is never a good recipe for financial planning, long term.

In the face of fear, many people are tempted to convert their investments into cash. But once you do that, how do you know when to re-enter the market? What if you shouldn’t have got out of it in the first place? A move like that brings a whole set of new questions, making us even more anxious than we were before.

So it is that we find ourselves by fear and living our worst – instead of our best – lives.

Something that can put our thinking back on track here is an illustration by Carl Richards, who produces a weekly sketch for the New York Times. It consists of two overlapping circles. The first circle represents things that matter, the second, things you can control. His advice is simple: the only place to focus your energy is where the circles intersect. In other words, what is it that matters to you that you also have control over? Carl’s view is that uncertainty equals reality. And he’s right. Unpredictability is the new norm. So, the best thing we can do is make peace with the inevitable risk of being alive.

In essence, we just cannot control everything. Something as simple as the Serenity Prayer can be your mental calm in a storm. Your soul is searching for the serenity to accept the things you just cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to be able to tell those things apart (my article on the Serenity Prayer can be found on our Retire Successfully website: www.retiresuccessfully.co.za/insights-serenity-prayer.

Here are some Top Tips for Uncertain Times:

  1. Don’t fight the fact that we live in an uncertain world. It’s a reality that we all need to accept.
  2. When you feel overwhelmed, try to cut out some of the negative noise. Choose carefully what news you follow and every now and then, take a break from it altogether.
  3. If your stress levels are affecting your health, get help. Stress is dangerous and too much of it compromises your body.
  4. Take some time out to reflect. Could your panic be a trigger from the past? A childhood memory sitting beneath the surface of your stress? Dig deeper into the belief you’re holding. Is it true? And is it serving you?
  5. Make a list of what matters to you that you can control. Keep your mental attention there.
  6. Your financial plan was designed for the long-term. Have a long-term approach to it and stick to your plan.
  7. Spend within the plan you’ve agreed on with your planner to make sure your money lasts.
  8. Make daily decisions to make sure you are living a meaningful life.

It’s not just our financial plans that are long-term commitments. Life is a long-term business too. So, take the time you need for developing the mental fortitude to outfox your financial fears.

Article written by Head of life Planning at Chartered Wealth Solutions and CFP®, Kim Potgieter.

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The focus, as always, is on sound advice

‘State Capture’ has emerged as the South African Word of the Year, and this should be no surprise, given the slew of revelations that have emanated from the Gupta leaks and the resultant disclosures or denials!

What is the upshot of this for the average South African investor? As I suggested in an earlier newsletter this year, the prevailing sentiment has become one of uncertainty, and this has persisted since Nenegate, the turning point in South Africa, both economically and politically. The continual exposure of a corrupt government has followed.

I am encouraged by the knowledge that this is a process that we as a country and citizens need to go through to forge a successful South Africa with leaders of integrity and people making a positive contribution. I also recognise that we are not alone – globally, we are witnessing historic shifts that add to the uncertainty, but are also evidence of a world of changing developments, perspectives and expectations.

Closer to home …

At Chartered, we have experienced a challenging, but good, year, and this largely as a result of the economic and political uncertainty. In a context of ambiguity, people (we are all emotional beings) seek assurance, and it has been our privilege to navigate our clients through these times … and this comes with its own challenges and joys.

Last week, at our fifth annual financial planner getaway, we discovered that 19 of us planners have been at Chartered for three or more years – no small reason for why we see ourselves and our clients as a family. Our focus for the getaway was to keep improving our advice to benefit our clients and ensure we continue to thrive to be the leading retirement planning business in South Africa.

At a client meeting in September, we shared investment reporting enhancements we were considering this year. We found that many clients don’t have a full understanding of the investment and product component of their retirement plan. We have learnt over the years that the deeper client understanding, the more successful our relationship.

This is why our process is a multi-faceted one. We start with a life planning meeting; it’s an opportunity for you to create a vision for your retirement. Once we know what we are planning for, the financial planning meeting follows: we assess your finances and play out a number of scenarios in search of a scenario which works for you. The outcome of this meeting is agreeing on a scenario and an investment strategy for your retirement.

The next step, as we have agreed is necessary, is to have a more detailed look at recommended products (investment vehicles), our investment process and advised solutions. We look forward to sharing this with you, our client, in your next review.

We are also refining our Retirement Plan, with a particular focus on the estate planning component. Chartered Legacy’s experience from winding up estates is guiding us in improving our planning to ensure that this process is more efficient.

Finally, a very exciting development is the opening of Chartered Tax, a business we registered four years ago following numerous requests from clients for tax advice … but we wanted just the right person to run it. Charmaine Prout has managed her own tax company for 30 years. She went through our financial planning process and decided she would love to be part of a bigger organisation. We welcome her and her team to Chartered.

We at Chartered thank all our clients for their continued support, and wish you and your families a happy festive season. Whatever it holds, 2018 can be a fulfilling year for all of us.

Pat-Blamire-CFP-and-Retirement-Specialist-at-Chartered-Wealth-Solutions-financial-planning-gives-freedom-dream

Financial planning gives you the freedom to dream

In a recent financial life planning meeting with a new client, I chatted with him about budgeting for overseas trips. He voiced his concerns about being able to afford expensive overseas trip once his salary comes to an end; he thought that, once he transitioned into retirement, he would be much more frugal when spending money.

I reminded him that this is the reason why the financial planning process is so important. While we plan for our retired clients to draw an income on a monthly basis from the monies that they have built up during their lifetime, we also plan separately for their holidays and other lump sum expenses. The planning process is critical to give them the confidence that they are not recklessly spending their retirement savings, and putting their retirement plan in jeopardy.

Don’t be frugal with living

I recalled the wisdom drawn from another client couple. They had been married for over 40 years, did not have children, and had sufficient monies to last their expected lifetime, plus some surplus.

I asked them what the point was in living a frugal life, just to leave money to nephews and nieces; I encouraged them rather to enjoy their savings themselves. I planned for two overseas trips in their budget, and urged them to consider where they would like to go.

A week later, a very excited Thomas phoned me to say that they would like to go on a cruise in the Mediterranean: was I absolutely sure that they could afford it? I reassured them, and they booked their cruise for three months hence. I had such pleasure in watching the excitement on their faces and in their voices, as the date for departure drew nearer. Thomas, prone to worrying, began to be concerned about how best to arrange his foreign exchange, and started watching the exchange rates. As the deadline got closer, Thomas and Felicity were uncertain about what wardrobe to pack as there was a certain number of dress-up dinners on the cruise, and they wanted to make sure they had suitable attire.

On their return we met to chat about their trip. I saw photographs of them sitting at the Captain’s table, beautifully attired, and of the various destinations they had visited. Their next question? “Can we afford a second trip?” I assured them they could, and the planning and excitement started all over again: where to go, which cruise line to choose, and so on.

Felicity is no longer with us, but I am so glad that she and John took these trips and that they had such fun in planning them. Whilst Thomas misses Felicity terribly, he at least has the memories of these fun times they had.

Article shared by Pat Blamire CFP® and Retirement Specialist at Chartered Wealth Solutions

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