Navigating the new normal

I, like many of you, entered 2020 full of hope for the new year and all the opportunities it would bring. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that three months in we would find ourselves in a state of turmoil. The Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a new normal, which is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Our lives have turned upside down, and we’ve all had to put measures in place to adapt. Social distancing, online schooling and remote working have become the norm in the space of a few days.

The past week at Chartered was spent making the necessary plans and adjustments to set up our staff members to work from home. It’s been a hive of activity installing the essential software and providing the required training to all our staff to ensure that we can stay connected with you, our clients, and with each other.

We are working tirelessly finding ways to stay in touch. This will be done through Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webinars and Podcasts. We will be sending out detailed step by step guidelines explaining how to navigate these new systems. It’s a learning curve for all of us, and we promise to support you every step of the way. I often joke with the team at Chartered that if they can teach me, they can teach anyone.

There have been moments this past week, where I have felt completely overwhelmed by the uncertainty of what lies ahead. A hundred scenarios playing out in my head. When this happens, I stop myself and recite the serenity prayer – God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I have always found immense comfort from this prayer in times of uncertainty. So, what do I have control of? I can socially distance, I can find things to be grateful for every day, and I can be open to the learning opportunities that our new working environment will bring.

The weeks and months ahead are going to be difficult. They are going to require all of us to dig deep. I encourage you to use this time at home to practise self-care. Have longer, deeper conversations with the people you love, rest and read. Most importantly check in with people, we need each other now more than ever. Please keep in touch, your comments and ideas are always appreciated. We are all doing the best we can right now, we don’t know when it’s going to end – but we know it will end.

Warm Regards

How to join Retire Successfully Facebook Group

How to create a Facebook account

If you’re having a problem creating a Facebook account:
To let us know about the problem you’re experiencing while creating a Facebook account, you can fill out this form.

If you’re having a problem logging in:

How to join the closed Retiremeant™ Facebook group

Chartered Wealth Solutions encourages all clients to join the closed RetiremeantTM Facebook group. It is a platform where you as clients may interact, share ideas and stories

STEP ONE:
Once you have logged into your Facebook account click on the “search icon”.



STEP TWO:
Once you have selected the “search icon”, type in “retire successfully” and then select (click on) “retire successfully”.



STEP THREE:
You will then be directed to the following page with the option to select (click on) “Retire Successfully” – the official Retire Successfully Facebook Page.



STEP FOUR:
Once you have landed on the official “Retire Successfully” Facebook page you will see the “Like” icon – select (click on) the icon. By ‘liking’ the Retire Successfully Facebook Page, you will gain access to all the content that is shared on this page.



STEP FIVE:
Scroll down on the “Retire Successfully” Facebook Page – you will come across the “RetiremeantTM Community Private Group”. Select (click on) “Join Group”.



STEP SIX:
You will then be directed to the “RetiremeantTM Community Private Group” Page where you will then have to answer the question: “Are you a Chartered Wealth Solutions Client?” Write your answer in the text box and select (click on) “Submit”.



PLEASE NOTE: You will ONLY be accepted onto the “RetiremeantTM Community Private Group” if you are a client.

PLEASE NOTE
If you have any further queries please contact holly@charteredwealth.co.za or call (011) 502 2800
Teams Featured Image

Using Microsoft Teams

Chartered Wealth Solutions looks forward to meeting with you on Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams is an easy and simple communication platform that allows us to catch up with you over a video call.

Please follow the simple steps below, to get your Team video call up and running:

  1. You will receive an email that looks like the image below. Select the underlined text, “Join Microsoft Teams Meeting”:
  1. The link will re-direct you to a screen, that will allow you to “Join conversation”:
  1. Select the option that says “Join on the web instead”:
  1. Teams will then prompt you to use your microphone and camera
    If asked to use mic and video, select “Allow”:
  1. Your meeting will now launch and you will be presented with the following screen:
  • Type in your name on the blue line and select “Join now”
  • Wait here and your planner should let you into your meeting shortly:
  1. When your meeting starts, you will see your controls, in the middle of the screen:

The Controls mean the following:

Video On/Off
Microphone On/Off
Share content
Advanced settings
Chat/type
Manage participants
End call
  1. To enter the full screen for your planner to see you better, click on the 3 dots, shown below:
  • When the three dots show, select “Enter full screen”

If for any reason you have audio and visual problems

  • Select the three dots again and select “Show the device settings”, a side bar will appear, that will allow you to check for the correct audio and camera:

If for any reason, Teams is not compatible with your web browser, the below image will appear:

  • Select the option to “Join in Microsoft Edge”
  • There may be additional options that will pop up:
  • Click on “Open link” in either Microsoft Edge or Chrome

Microsoft Edge

  • When the pop up appears, select “Yes” to the use of your webcam and microphone
  • You will then be asked to join the meeting, select the “Join now” option:
Teams Image 12

Your Microsoft Team meeting should now be underway.

PLEASE NOTE
If you have any further queries please contact holly@charteredwealth.co.za or call (011) 502 2800

Staying in touch

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting our everyday lives in multiple different ways, things are changing at such a rapid pace that it’s impossible to know what to expect next.

As we navigate these unchartered waters, please be reassured that communicating with you remains our top priority. Listed below are the communication channels we will be using. All content will be adapted to ensure you only receive up to date relevant information. Should you not be receiving any of these updates please email info@charteredwealth.co.za.

Inflight Newsletter

While traditionally sent out once a month, this will now be sent on a regular basis and will continue to offer relevant insights into RetiremeantTM and ways to engage the Wheel of Balance: Work, Give Back, Relationships, Money, Learn, Health, Purpose and Play, while at home.

The Beacon

We will continue to send thought provoking articles written by our Directors and RetiremeantTM Specialists on what is happening in the economy, your investments, and up to date information on how Chartered is here to assist and support you. In the past this was sent out quarterly, however it will be sent more regularly.

Navigating the Tides

Market updates will be communicated weekly.

RetiremeantTM Tips

We will continue sending weekly RetiremeantTM tips with ideas and supporting articles on how to stay safe, courageous and kind during the Coronavirus.

Webinars

Life Planning and Financial reviews and updates will be held via webinars. We will also use this platform to run workshops on how to connect with each other while we are practicing social distancing.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams

This will allow us to have regular virtual meetings with clients. Step by step guidelines explaining how to use Zoom and Microsoft Teams will be sent out and communicated via webinars.

Podcasts

Kim Potgieter will share regular podcasts covering relevant topics to keep us supported during this uncertain time.

Retire Successfully Facebook page

Please like our Facebook Page. We share regular, informative and inspirational content here – this is an open group.

RetiremeantTM Community Facebook Page

Our private Facebook group, specifically for our Chartered Wealth Family, is a place where our clients can connect and share tips and advice with each other.

Chartered Wealth App

Keep an eye out for our app, launching soon.

Let’s stay in touch and connected.

Resources to keep you busy

Social distancing, a term we had never heard of a few weeks ago, has suddenly become a reality in our lives. Where our days were filled with a variety of activities, we are now faced with endless hours at home. The thought of how to fill these hours can be overwhelming, so we have found some online resources that we hope you find useful.

You are never too old to learn a new skill. Yale’s most popular online class, ever, the topic – how to be happier in your daily life, is online for free, you can find it here. In this course, you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.

If the course on happiness doesn’t appeal to you then take a look at Coursera, it has hundreds of free adult education courses from colleges and universities around the world in subjects like history, science, and art.

If you have been planning on decluttering your home, but haven’t yet got around to it, now may be a perfect time. Here are some tips on how to go about it. Please keep charities in mind when doing a clean- up. Organisations like Hotel Hope and Hospice rely heavily on donations that they sell in their respective shops. They will also collect when it is safe to do so.

Incorporating daily exercise into your daily routine is crucial for your general wellbeing; being stuck at home is no excuse to stop moving. There are so many options available to join a free online class, be it in yoga, dance or strengthening.

It is essential to acknowledge that these aren’t normal times we are living in. Be kind to yourself, indulge a bit, and what better way to do that than through reading. Love Books, situated in Melville, will be giving regular suggestions on what to read, as well as interviews with authors, editors and book reviewers on their Facebook page. Best of all, they deliver books for free within a 10-kilometre radius. If you prefer to listen to books, Audible has made hundreds of titles free during the Coronavirus pandemic.

No matter how you choose to fill your day, remember to stay safe and stay connected.

You’re too old to be doing this!

A celebrated chef I will never be, but I do persevere with trying to be a half-way decent cook. I often wonder, though, when deciphering a new recipe in the hope of producing a culinary masterpiece, if I should just give the whole thing up. Stop trying to master the cooking skill and succumb to the Woolies Food run and resultant pocket drain.

Then, I was encouraged by Chip Conley’s article and gained two insights: learning is good for me, and so is letting go of measuring my cooking against everyone else’s.

Chip Conley, founder of Modern Elder Academy and author of Wisdom at Work, shares his experience of his journey to learn Spanish.

“My first half-dozen classes were brutal,” he confesses.

Frequently, he says, the feelings of stupidity would overwhelm him on the journey home, as he replayed the message in his mind: “You’re too old to be doing this!”

After watching a TED Talk, he came to realise that we, as adults, take ourselves far too seriously.

A corollary to this is that this can hamper our learning. “The fastest way to metabolise something new – whether it’s learning a language, trying to stand up on a surfboard, or joining a different industry – is to have fun with it,” he advises.

“And you can’t have fun when you are constantly worrying about how you are measuring up,” he adds. “This is essential 21st century wisdom as our most important midlife skill in a constantly changing world – learning how to learn again.”

Chip found he could laugh with his Spanish teacher, and they could talk about a range of subjects. Suddenly, the learning “felt less like walking on a balance beam and more like climbing on a jungle gym”, he says.

It was not a surprise then, that his Spanish improved, and he leaves us with this challenge for 2020:
What’s something new you could try with less seriousness and a lighter heart?

Here is this TED video that Chip Conley found so freeing.

Wake up to the warnings and change!

The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless global society transforms. So says the bleak warning published recently in the journal of BioScience on the 40th anniversary of the first world climate conference held in 1979. This latest statement (last year there was a similar one from over 20 000 scientists) was a collaboration of dozens of scientists and endorsed by a further 11,000 from 153 nations.

“We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” it states. “To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live. [This] entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems”. There is no time to lose, the scientists say: “The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity.”

How do we wake up to this news and then blithely go about our days, business as usual, ignoring the horror of the climate crisis that is now daily apparent?

Last week my brother in Los Angeles packed what little he could into his car to prepare for evacuation as the catastrophic California fires raged. This week friends in New South Wales Australia choke on smoke as hundreds of ferocious fires burn along the east coast and exhausted and traumatised firefighters call on their government to recognise and act on climate as the fire season gets longer and hotter there too.

As millions suffer poverty and inequity and millions more become desparate climate refugees in the face of fires, floods (Venice is now underwater) and other climate disasters, droughts extend, water is ever scarcer, forests of the Amazon are burnt to make way for cattle ranches to feed meat eaters and oil drilling to line wealthy pockets, it is difficult to remain hopeful.

The scientists who penned the latest warning say the urgent changes needed include ending population growth, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, halting forest destruction and slashing meat eating. This will require completely redesigning the way our society lives and works.

The millions of children globally who climate strike on Fridays and new movements like Extinction Rebellion join ever increasing numbers of climate activists and scientists reiterating the calls for change. They talk not of climate change but climate crisis and are pleading for radical system change as the only thing that may save us.

Are you willing to change to give our grandchildren hope?

Money lessons I wish I knew when I was younger

I have been doing some spring-cleaning. I had a perfect excuse to declutter. We were preparing to host my son, Josh’s matric farewell pre-drinks at home. Spring-cleaning is a wonderful cleansing exercise, and it doesn’t stop with throwing out the old and tidying up what’s messy. It’s about sifting through the chaos and making space for what matters most in your life.

I was recently invited by Yvette Johnson on Classic FM to share my insight on money advice for every stage of life. As we spoke about money lessons I taught my children, I reflected on the money messages I heard while growing up. Although I am grateful for the money lessons I learnt in my life – and am still learning – it has been a difficult journey. The journey to heal my relationship with money took almost twenty years. I have decided to make a list of what I wish I knew about money earlier in my life. Here’s my top four:

  1. I wish I worried less, and knew what I was worrying about. Today I know it wasn’t really about money; it was about my relationship with money; what I thought money could give me and what money said about me.
  2. I wish I didn’t rescue family members in debt, then expect them to change their money habits, and be grateful for the help. Today I realise that you can only make a money mindshift when you are ready – when you want to change. I now prefer to gift money, with no expectations.
  3. I wish I knew that money has no power to control. I tried so hard to accumulate my own money so that no-one would have power over me. Today I know that it’s not really about money; it’s self-development work that I needed to do – and am still doing.
  4. I wish I didn’t overcompensate for what I lacked in my childhood by buying my eldest son everything I never had as a child. I only realised much later that he didn’t really want what I thought he needed. I have matured, and with the help of my husband, our middle and youngest children are raised with a more balanced view of the value of money.

But life is balanced. Some money lessons have served me well. Here are two money lessons that I am grateful for having learnt early in my life:

  • I have always had an abundance money mindset. Positive, entitled and plentiful thoughts attract money into your life.
  • I have constantly paid myself first, putting away savings, investments and rainy-day funds before spending the rest on living.

We would love to hear about the money lessons you wish you’d known earlier. Remember also to share the money lessons you are most grateful for.

Space to breathe

I recently received a remarkable gift: 10 days at Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre (IVAC) at the foot of the Chamundi hills in Mysuru. This is one of India’s cleanest, greenest and coolest cities, the place of sandalwood, silk, and yoga schools.

I have long thought I suffer from eco-anxiety, now recognised as a disease: forests on fire, 200 species becoming extinct daily, politicians worldwide spouting chaos-causing inanities, economies eroding, xenophobic hatred rampaging on our streets, murder and rape regular occurrences. I needed time out.

Despite recently having dropped out of a lifetime of work trying to save lives and landscapes, I find the stress and heartache of living on this suffering planet today weigh heavily.

Warm greetings and a meal were offered on arrival and I was taken down a path of young sandalwood saplings and ensconced in a large, cool bungalow. I quickly took the gap and slipped into another rhythm.

At dawn I walked up the hill towards the temple of goddess Sri Chamundeshwari who slew the demons. I strode past many chatting middle-aged men on their morning constitutional, some praying at small local shrines, bowing to trees garlanded in flowers and pictures of the gods, stretching, saluting the sun or sitting quietly on the side of the road in meditation, or on their phones.

I sipped the sweet, fresh air and marveled at the lack of litter (unlike the piles I see on Sandton morning walks and woefully also along the Atlantic seaboard).

Some hours of treatments included a range of Ayurvedic massages with herbs, oils and warm water. I got high every day at Pranayama (breathing) meditations; having space and an hour to breathe clean air, consciously, changed my consciousness, oxygenated the body and soothed the spirit.

Resisting many bargains on offer along the streets on the town few visits, I peered into Big Bazaar, the local supermarket, to glimpse daily Mysuru life and wonder at the diversity of bananas and fresh fruit and vegetable displays without plastic packaging. I ventured down leafy avenues lined by yoga studios, organic stores and hip coffee shops. Yoga teachers are trained here and young folk from all over the world come to learn.

Hatha yoga followed in a studio next to the pool where sometimes doe-eyed calves graze. It’s easy to quiet the mind to bird songs, insect buzz, patter of monsoon rain. Delicious breakfasts as I watched birds, squirrels and butterflies were a daily delight.

Though the bad news did not get better in the ‘gap’, I could accept that I cannot stop the nightmare that scientists assure us we are heading into. But I can enjoy the moment and feel gratitude for each day on which we do not experience dire hardship and tragedy. Whilst my work defines me still, it no longer rules my time. As my daughter told me the other day, this is my fun-employment phase.

Longevity calls for disruption

We are living on average 20-30 years longer than our grandparents. Longevity requires us to think differently about our next season of life, and how we design it. This calls for disruption and innovation. It calls for individuals, business and government to solve new challenges.

Chip Conley makes this statement in his new book Wisdom@Work:

“If you knew you would live to the age of one hundred, what new talent, skill, or interest would you pursue today in order to become a master?”
This is a great challenge, but how do we put it into practice? For each of us this is a unique journey of discovery. There may be several items on the list that you would like to explore. How do you go about researching all the avenues?

At 50plus-skills we are building a community and engaging in workshops, dialogue and peer-to-peer learning. We encourage members to share their activities, invite others to join workshops and to support and encourage each other as we progress.

Here are some of the ideas from our members.

Jane has enrolled in a 12-week online Machine Learning Course through Stanford University. There is no cost unless she wants a certificate for which a small fee is payable.

Mandi has been attending Spanish classes. She read a post from another member, Tommy, who wrote of volunteering through a company called Diverbo on an English Immersion program in Al Berca, Spain for one week. This is what he said:” You pay to get there and your reward for speaking 100 hours of English is you meet great people on this adventure, eat too much good Spanish food, and experience the culture of Spain in a special area, three hours’ drive from Madrid. I highly recommend this experience. https://www.diverbo.com/”

Jenny has always wanted to learn to play the piano and has at the age of 62, found a teacher who is showing her the basics. There is joy in learning something new, though engaging in a new skill can be challenging.

Christine applied for work as a nursing sister on a cruise liner and is working and seeing the world.

Ronel and her son each applied for teaching jobs in Thailand. They both work in the same school and Ronel has even brought her 80-year-old mom over with her as a dependent. Three generations are living together and experiencing a new culture.

Ideas are helpful. We need to stay open-minded to learn, engage and connect with diverse opportunities and people to create this disruption in our lives. It is so easy to fall into the comfort zone of life. Challenge yourself to learn something new at least once a year and to engage in some diverse groups that will help challenge your thinking.

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