Andre du Plessis was a successful advocate in Johannesburg, with a thriving practice and a blossoming young family.
Then, aged fifty, he took the remarkable step of walking away from the practice of law. “I left for several reasons, some of them to do with things I disliked about the profession, but mainly I wanted to move on in my life. It was a full reassessment.”
Andre’s reinvention allows him more time with his wife, Linda, and to do what he loves – in this photograph, vacationing in Prague
Reassessment is a word he uses with passion. “When someone reaches fifty, there is no excuse not to reassess your life,” he says. “You need to challenge your beliefs, snap out of your routine. People say they are too busy or too comfortable. Usually they are too lazy or simply too scared to look at their situations. Don’t think of it as a crisis, rather as a reinvention of yourself.”
For Andre, part of this process was to interrogate his relationship with money. “A person needs to know what money means to them. While you are living you can spend it, save it or give it away. I found that eighty percent of my concerns in life were about money. This was unhealthy. The percentage should have been less than twenty.”
So he decided to engage Chartered Wealth to set up an estate plan. “I soon found that estate planning is far more than just setting up a will. Most people have a basic financial plan. I had that. The next level is estate planning. I wanted that. But Chartered opened me up to the highest level – Life Planning.”
The concept revolutionised Andre’s thinking. “The Life Planning process was amazing. I realised that money is just one part of my life’s spectrum. My entire vision changed and money took its rightful place amongst everything else. That was the essence of the reinvention of my life.”
The way Chartered managed the actual estate planning process was highly impressive. “It completely over-exceeded my expectations. The quality of the expertise and service was greater than I have ever encountered.”
Lynette Wilkinson, Financial Planner at Chartered Wealth Solutions, who managed Andre’s estate plan, worked wonders for him. “Her attention to detail was impeccable and she took ownership of the process as if it was her own. Where necessary, she brought in outside experts to help. We worked on a twenty plus year horizon, meaning that this was a multigenerational approach to financial planning. More than that – it was not a once-off exercise and she remains integral to my entire financial management process. It remains a highly successful collaboration.”
Andre’s advice is crystal clear. “You will know when the time is right to reinvent your life. See it as a positive move and make sure that full financial life planning is central and it is not just a money exercise. And, most importantly, get the right partners to help you along the way.
“Having this deeper understanding frees up more time for me to live. I also have the peace of mind that comes from knowing I have a plan for my money and it is working to give me the life I want.”