Author: Retire Successfully

Balance your reality and your expectations

Sixty and Me blogger, Margaret Manning, believes that a mismatch between our reality and our expectations makes it easy to focus our thoughts on the past … thereby missing the opportunity to make our lives better in the present, and for the future.

When we reach our 60s, most of us have experienced our share of disappointments.

Many of us may feel like we haven’t found the financial security that we expected to have by this age. Others feel a sense of sadness, or even guilt, for not building stronger relationships with our friends and family.

Author, Jodi Picoult, gives a mathematical formula for happiness: “Reality divided by Expectations. There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality or lower your expectations.”

There is much wisdom in this statement. We can’t change what happened to us. All we can do is change how we interpret our situation and start planning for a better future.

Not having enough money to live the kind of life that you deserve is frustrating, but, it can also motivate you to create something new and amazing. Losing your friends to time and distance is disappointing, but, it also gives you the opportunity to meet new people who share your interests.

Take a few minutes today to write down the two or three biggest disappointments in your life. Then, think of one tangible thing you can do to start compensating for each. Every few days, review your list and decide what additional step you will take to build the life that you deserve. The past is untouchable, but, the future is yours to create.

The last resolution you’ll ever have to make

Life Reimagined writer, Janice Holly Booth, demonstrates how one simple commitment to change her life reaped multiple rewards – both immediate and ongoing.

The declaration was simple: have one new adventure a month. Considering I’d already exhausted my top 10 list of scary-yet-fun adventures (trapeze and dogsledding – not at the same time), I had to get creative, and then the resolution blossomed into something way better than I’d anticipated.

There were no-brainers like cage diving with sharks in South Africa, a tack-on to a horseback safari. There were other excursions that on the surface would not appear to be adventuresome, like taking a documentary filmmaking class, or a sushi-making class. There was creating adventure in my love life (the details shall remain private); and forcing myself to try fried tarantula and warthog (I will not say I liked them, I will only say I gave them a go). But what surprised me the most was that every adventure yielded unexpected benefits, each worthy of being its own resolution. Out of my single resolve to grow the outline of my life, came these significant bonuses:

Get more interesting people into your life. I have a small group of great friends, but when I wanted to go rappelling, there were no takers. Having adventures within driving distance of my home meant I met other like-minded people who gladly shared my desire to push personal boundaries. Extra points: research confirms that the greater your network of friends, the healthier you are and the longer you live.

Expand your knowledge about where you live. Discovering excursions within a two-hour drive meant I had to look beyond well-known destinations. It took a little work, but I was amazed at what I found. Sensory deprivation tanks, a wild tiger preserve, fencing, flyboarding, parks, restaurants, trails previously unknown by me.

Become better at something. I’m fascinated by recycled art and have started creating huge paper mache sculptures out of found materials. My resolve to get better means I’m paying more attention, being more present, and having more fun. Extra points: According to recent research, trying to master something you like doing is a huge part of creating a self-perpetuating cycle of well-being in your life.

Be a newbie at something. There’s a certain thrill to being tossed into an environment where you don’t know what you’re supposed to do. I love being a blank slate, not having any answers, just open to the experience because it’s all new to me. One adventure this year was to take a screenwriting course, a genre of writing foreign to me, and it’s been like learning a new language: challenging, exhilarating. Extra points: carving new neural pathways in your brain staves off cognitive decline.

Build surprise into your daily routine. Is it possible to surprise yourself? Yes, especially if trying to surprise someone else. My partner and I have been together eight years, so he knows most of my tricks. Coming up with new rabbits to pull out of different hats has been fun and refreshing for both of us. Extra points: Research has shown that surprises (the good kind) are like a B12 shot for your mental health.

How couples can solve their retirement puzzle

Retirementor, Dorian Mintzer, co-author of The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle: Must-Have Conversations for Creating an Amazing New Life Together, was interviewed by Richard Eisenberg, Money and Word Editor for Next Avenue. This article was featured on Forbes.Com, and covers essential topics for courageous conversations between couples on retirement.

Next Avenue: Why do you call it a “retirement puzzle” for couples?

Mintzer: There are money, health and wellness, and lifestyle choices and the timing of retirement. You need to puzzle it out with your partner.

How are you and your husband puzzling it out?

We’re an example of The New Retirement. A “traditional” retirement probably isn’t for us, at least not for a long time. My husband has phased out his job and will work as long as he is able. He has broadened his interests and does more cooking more than I do now. And he’s become a great travel planner. We both have our bucket lists and we’re doing more of those things now.

Are couples talking about their plans more than in the past?

I think they aren’t talking as much as they ought to. Sometimes, they just don’t know how to have the conversations. I still get calls from people saying: ‘My spouse and I aren’t on the same page; we need help.’

Why are couples afraid to talk to each other about retiring?

Thinking about it means thinking about getting older. A lot of people are in denial. It takes some courage to have some of these conversations.

What do you recommend to get couples to plan together?

It’s like a dance. One partner can start with ‘I’ statements like: ‘I’ve been thinking that I’ll be turning 55 and I don’t know what’s next. I really want to talk with you about it.’ Let it be a five- or 10-minute discussion at first. Then you can come back to it later.

It’s less important what you’re retiring from and more important what you’re retiring to. Remember: You’re not retiring from life. In my case, I haven’t done art or music in long time; that’s what I want to retire to — more time for the creative parts.

You say it can help for a couple to talk with financial advisers but not only about their investments and expenses. Why?

It’s important as you’re beginning to think about your years ahead to sit with financial advisers and clarify your hopes, dreams, goals – so, you can get on the same page as far as possible about how you want your money to work for you in retirement.

You say that a retirement coach can be helpful if one partner doesn’t want to talk about the topic or if there’s disagreement.

A retirement coach is a neutral third person to explore alternatives and show you that you’re not alone.

What’s a difficult issue for couples as they talk about money and retirement?

The whole notion of what’s enough. That’s a hard conversation to have. For some spouses, no matter how much they have it feels like it’s not enough.

Couples need to create a shared vision. What are the three steps you mention?

A shared vision takes into account what each spouse wants and needs in retirement.

The first step is for each to create your Individual Vision List of goals you want to achieve, dreams to fulfil, experiences to have. Then, prioritize the ten most important ideas on your list. The second step is sharing your vision lists and listening to each other. Try to appreciate what each other wants. The third step is creating a shared vision based on both lists. Maybe first it will be more of what ‘I’ want to do, then more of what ‘you’ want to do. Figure out a flexible timeline.

When researching for the book, you talked to “wise elders” — ones who’d been retired for a while. What’s a good piece of advice that they offered?

Don’t overplan your retirement, because curveballs come along.

Should couples retire at the same time or at different times?

Some couples like retiring at the same time because they can be playmates for each other. A lot of others say they prefer do it separately, so one of them can deal with the transition and get their feet on ground. I’ve seen it work both ways.

You write that it’s sometimes hard for David when you’re working and he wants you around.

That can happen a lot in relationships. He has Friday through Tuesday off and on Friday and Monday, he’d like it if I was more available to play. Now we have a little routine that’s been fun. We start our day together reading the paper and drinking coffee and we usually have dinner together.

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Chartered family fun in Port Elizabeth

This May, Chartered Wealth Eastern Cape clients were treated to an evening at The Club on 12 Bird Street in the company of master raconteur, Rob Caskie.

While his audience enjoyed a sumptuous dinner and warming winter drinks, Rob wove a terrible tale of the Anglo-Zulu clash at Isandlwana.  As a Chartered client himself, Rob used this account of the most dramatic British failure in battle to demonstrate the need to plan carefully … whether in the military or with money.  Both can equip you to prepare for the unexpected.

Chartered Wealth Eastern Cape CEO, Donovan Adams, welcomed the guests to the historic The Club on 12 Bird Street. Pre-dinner drinks were enjoyed in the wood-panelled bar dating to its Victorian origins, with a comforting fire burning in the grate.  The Club is a regular local venue for various community events, including Music Trivia evenings and High Teas … and this evening in May was no different, as the Chartered family in the Eastern Cape mingled and enjoyed catching up with fellow clients.  Visiting from Johannesburg was Chartered Director and Retire Successfully brand ambassador, Kim Potgieter.

More Quizzes to keep your brain on its toes!

  1. Elimination

Which one is the odd one out?

  1. Educate
  2. Explain
  3. Instruct
  4. Teach
  5. Train

And which one is odd here?

  1. Warm
  2. Tepid
  3. Cold
  4. Heat
  5. Freezing
  1. Fill in the missing 4-letter word in the lower bracket.




  1. Letter Square

Letter square
What letter comes between the letter between A and L and the letter between N and X? See how the letters are arranged.  Thus P comes just after O.  T is just below O.  P is between K and U. Now answer the questions that follow.

  • What letter comes just before the letter just above the letter between M and O?
  • What letter comes just after the letter that comes just above the letter just before the letter just above N?
  • What letter comes just above the letter which comes just after the letter which comes between the letter just above N and the letter just below L?
  • What letter comes just below the letter which comes between the letter just after the letter just above F and the letter just before the letter just below K?
  1. Series

This sequence of numbers follows a specific pattern.  Insert the missing number.

numbers 1

And in this one, two numbers missing:

   numbers 2

Insert the missing numbers:

Missing Numbers

Insert the missing numbers:

 Missing Numbers2


Insert the missing number

Missing Numbers3

Now some word games …

  1. The words below work in pairs.  Fill in the missing word at the end to complete the series.

memory – memorise

courage – encourage

joy – (……)


general – generalise

familiar – familiarise

obedient – (…..)


  1. Fill in the missing 4-letter word in the lower bracket.








  1. Which word is the odd man out?


stupid        ignorant      dim        brainless      dense


  1. Another odd man out  … but there are two which are odd.


psychology     physiology      philosophy     geology     physics

Be a Dream-Maker!

image200_220The Reach for a Dream Foundation offers numerous ways to be involved in making the dreams come true for children fighting life-threatening diseases.  You can donate your time, money, skills or resources … it is easy and takes very little to transform the life of these children.

Here are more details on each of the opportunities to inspire hope:

1. In 2014, a Dream Team cycled the CAPE ARGUS Pick n Pay Cycle Tour; 288 riders raised a total of  R201,000.00 for the Foundation.

In 2013, 463 Dream Riders rode in the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge and brought to a grand total over R3.8 million raised since their first race in 2007.

2. Buy a R10 Sticker and wear your slippers to work, school, shopping, anywhere!  Slipper Day also raises awareness regarding Reach for a Dream.

SAB_Logo3. Purchase a bear for R100.00 through the Foundation’s Show You Care Send A Bear project, and put a smile on the face of a child confined to a hospital ward.  You can do so via the online shop –

4. Become a member of a team of amazing volunteers. Call Inge at 082 252 8515 or mail her at to find out what this entails.

5. You have so many skills and resources at your fingertips – use them for the good of these children who need some hope amidst their struggle to conquer their illness. Belong to a bookclub? Why not plan, fund and host your own event for a group of boys or girls? Or just the catering? Playing golf with some friends?  Why not add a supplementary donation and fund a few toy bears?

6. Donate your SAA Voyager Miles to help fund a dream holiday.

7. Visit the online shop and purchase a mug, t-shirt, bear, book – visit

8. Want to remember someone special – or find a gift for that impossible-t- buy-for person? Make a donation in their name.

9. Donate via Debit order or give as you earn through the monthly employee-giving programme.

10. Why not initiate your own fundraising project? Host a games evening, charge your friends and donate the money. Host a sports tournament.  Hold a quiz evening.

11. Refer a child to the Foundation – you may not know what dreams that child has, but you do know who can help imagesthem make it come true!

12. Please join Kim Potgieter at the Captain Courage (18 September) and/or Queen for a Day (30 October) party days. Details will be announced closer to the dates – but diarise in the interim.

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