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Reinventing Retirement – Cheryl and Duncan’s Journey

In the serene heart of Eswatini (Swaziland), Chartered Clients Cheryl and Duncan are embracing retirement as a time for rejuvenation and self-discovery. Their story shows how retirement can be a time for reinvention and new possibilities.

Cheryl and Duncan’s backgrounds were as diverse as they were successful. Duncan had spent his career in the meat industry, while Cheryl owned an industrial laundromat. After retiring, they embarked on what they thought would be a leisurely chapter in their lives. However, after just 18 months, they realised that retirement wasn’t about slowing down; it was about finding new avenues for stimulation and growth, so they took over the lease of a coffee shop in a nursery in Malkerns, Swaziland.

Despite working seven days a week and managing six staff members, Cheryl and Duncan love their new venture. Duncan has always loved baking and cooking, so he spends much time creating new recipes and training staff on how to make them. His latest additions to the menu have been well-received by customers.

Cheryl uses her skills honed during her years in the laundry business to manage the back end and bookkeeping. Cheryl and Duncan spend a lot of time mingling with customers, most of whom they know personally since they have lived in Ezulwini, Swaziland, for 32 years.

Despite their full-time commitment to the coffee shop, Cheryl and Duncan recently took a well-deserved break to visit their newborn grandson, Max, in Zimbabwe. This cherished family time was a reminder for them that retirement is about finding a balance between work and life’s other joys.

Cheryl and Duncan are inspiring examples of how to reinvent oneself in retirement. They found something they are passionate about and are now running a successful business. They are actively involved in their community and continue to grow, learn, and contribute to the world around them.

Cheryl and Duncan’s story reminds us that:

  • It’s never too late to reinvent yourself.
  • Find something you’re passionate about and pursue it.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks.
  • Be active in your community.
  • Enjoy your life!

U3A – A Look Over the Fence

Although I still have two feet in the working world, it seemed like sensible pre-planning to find out what social options lie on the other side of the fence for my next (and not-so-distant) life chapter. And so I joined U3A.

I first heard about the rather quirky-sounding University of the Third Age from my neighbour, a fit and feisty 70-something with whom I do a 5 km walk on Sundays – which gives us a lot of time to talk! She explained that U3A is a worldwide organisation that aims to provide mature people, many retired or semi-retired, a forum for continued learning, interaction, and knowledge exchange; there are around 30 branches in South Africa. She belongs to a smaller branch and, in addition to attending some of their talks, she participates in a photographic interest group and one for birding enthusiasts.

I selected one of the bigger branches – for its proximity to work and on the assumption that bigger would mean better when it comes to monthly talks. Upon arriving to attend my first talk and seeing the busy car park, I did have fleeting second thoughts about making a solo entrance. However, in the foyer, I met a friendly lady also on her own who bought me a “welcome” coffee and chatted to me about her part-time work in education; shortly afterwards, I also bumped into a couple of Chartered clients.

Over the past few months, the topics have included conservation, personal stories, and township economics, all delivered by engaging speakers. There are also various special interest groups that one can join, which cover art, computers, writing, hiking, theatre, history, philosophy and – for the poetic at heart – even Shakespearean sonnets! That’s quite an array of options to keep the brain cells firing and meet new friends.

The annual membership fee ranges from around R80 – R200, and the various branches’ monthly talks are usually held on a Tuesday morning in a community/church hall or auditorium in the respective areas. Membership is branch-specific, but most have a nominal visitor’s charge if you want to attend a talk at a branch other than your own.

While online information about the branches and contact persons is currently sparse, an umbrella website is under construction to list all the South African U3A branches with their essential details. For now, a Google search will bring up limited results for U3A Johannesburg, Johannesburg East, Johannesburg North and Pretoria, as well as Cape Town, George, Plett, East London and Durban if you are keen to join or find out more.

Age ain’t nothing but a playlist track!

My first-time not-unusual Delilah-cious encounter with Tom Jones

Okay, my article heading may be a bit too much! But if you’ve seen Sir Tom Jones perform “It’s Not Unusual” and “Delilah” live on stage, you might also find yourself humming to “Green Green Grass of Home” while watching the Springboks play in the Rugby World Cup.

Every year, Jean and I plan an overseas trip together, and we always add something new – a fresh experience that we’ll both enjoy. Just as we’ve done in the past by adding a Rod Stewart and Billy Joel concert to our itinerary, this year we chose a show featuring none other than Tom Jones in Germany.

At 83, Tom Jones is still rocking on! Thinking back on my first-time experiences this year, this one really hit home. Age is just a number, right? Not that anyone’s counting, but here was Tom Jones, who began his career in the 1960s, still performing his classics to a crowd of over 10,000 people – all loving his music. 83 is a number that may make many want to slow down or take things easy. But not him. He’s still busting the age myth, one tune at a time! It made me question the constraints I sometimes impose on myself due to age. Do I use my age as an excuse not to do certain things?

My father was a huge fan of Tom Jones, which is how I was introduced to his songs. This experience has reminded me of a dream I once had: to run in the Comrades Marathon using my late dad’s double green number. In fact, 81-year-old Johannes Mosehla broke a 34-year-old record this year by becoming the oldest runner to complete the Comrades. Still, running the Comrades is not for everyone, and for now, I am very happy with my achievement of having completed my first 21km race.

One thing that I was certainly not too old – or too young – to try was beer! An unusual choice for me. Beer is certainly not my preferred drink, but whilst at a Beer Festival, I thought, “Why not?” and gave it a go. The result? An unforgettable memory – one I will cherish and laugh about for years to come.

The true magic of this trip was sharing it with Jean, a truly special friend. I’ve mentioned Robert Waldinger’s Harvard research before, which finds that the secret to a long and healthy life lies in connections and close relationships with significant people. This may just be what inspired Tom Jones and Dolly Parton to write “Islands in the Stream.” Without our special people, the ones we love and those who make our souls sing, we are simply islands adrift in the stream of life.

Let’s promise ourselves not to let age hold us back and to cherish our connections in the flowing river of life,

Say yes to life! Live every minute … every second

This week I came across a beautiful inspirational story on Facebook about our very own Margaret Kearns, and to my surprise – Brent Lindeque (Good Things Guy.) Can you imagine inviting a complete stranger and famous influencer to your 70th birthday party? Someone who reaches over four million people every month on social media. Margaret’s daughters did! They knew how much their mom loved Brent and asked him as a surprise for her birthday. And best of all, Brent Lindeque said yes! He attended her 70th birthday party last year and celebrated her 71st birthday with her again this year!

This story made me realise how powerful the courage to ask is. If you don’t, ask, you’ll never know – right? And with that comes the courage to say YES to life … to live every minute and every second to your utmost. You never know where saying ‘yes’ will lead – you may make new friends, learn new lessons and perhaps experience more pockets of joy in every day.

I met Margaret quite a few years ago when she joined Chartered and immediately loved her optimistic outlook and attitude to life. She inspires wherever she goes; is one of the bravest women I know and a personal role model. Margaret took over running the finances when her husband passed away, enrolled and obtained her Degree in Anthropology and Sociology in her mid-60s, and still holds her family of three adult daughters together.

Inviting Brent Lindeque out of the blue to their mom’s 70th birthday is a testament to how Margaret’s courageous and adventurous spirit rubbed off on her children. Brent is the founder of Good Things Guy (launched in 2015) – a platform dedicated to telling good stories and sharing things that inspire. He shared a beautiful post on social media about his time spent with Margaret, her family and friends. “It was time spent perfectly,” he said. “I stepped out of my comfort zone and leaned in that day when I went to a birthday lunch with 29 random strangers. I spent the afternoon in the spectacular autumn sun, drinking champagne while listening to incredible women sharing stories of their time. It was beautiful. And a stark reminder that we only have so much time.” This year, Brent again shared the lesson he learnt from Margaret at her birthday party – to find a pocket of joy in every day.

I’ve reflected on all my first-time experiences this year to fulfil my goal of trying something new and different every month. Each encounter has brought a lesson – or shared one. This month I tried my awkward, non-artistic hand at ceramics with a friend and our daughters. We spent a wonderful day at the Prison Break Market Clay Café where I made a semi-decent piggy bank. Our housekeeper’s daughter, Abby, is turning one this year, and my goal is to start teaching her how to save – a lesson we taught our children from a young age.

If you feel motivated to say yes to life more often, to find more pockets of joy every day, or fill more time with fun and laughter, start by taking a small step out of your comfort zone. You don’t have to invite a famous influencer to your birthday or embark on the grandest of all adventures, just take a small step that sits comfortably with you. Try hopping on to Good Things Guy on Facebook for inspiration! Fun and laughter are contagious, and the more time we spend on good things, the more time we’ll invest in happiness and joy.

Unleash Your Creativity and Boost Your Mental Health with Neurographic Art

Are you searching for a new way to boost your mental health and express yourself? Consider giving neurographic art a try. The technique was developed by Russian artist and psychologist Pavel Piskarev in the early 2010s as a way to help people express themselves and overcome creative blocks. Today, neurographic art is popular around the world as a simple and accessible way to engage in a mindful and enjoyable activity that can benefit mental and emotional health.

Some of Gill van Rooyen’s Neurographic Art

Neurographic art is an excellent way to reignite your creativity. As we age, our creativity can fade, but this art form offers a chance to discover a new outlet for self-expression. Neurographic art is accessible to all, regardless of artistic skills, and has no rules or guidelines for what your design should resemble.

To begin your neurographic art, start by gathering the necessary materials: a pen or marker and a piece of paper. You may also choose to have additional colouring supplies such as coloured pencils, markers, or paint on hand.

Next, find a quiet and comfortable place where you can focus on your drawing. Choose a starting point, such as a dot or a small shape, and begin to draw continuous lines and shapes that flow spontaneously. Allow your pen to move freely, without lifting it from the paper, and see where the lines take you.

As you draw, try to focus on the present moment and allow yourself to be in a meditative state. Pay attention to the sensations you feel in your hand and body as you create your design. You may find it helpful to take deep breaths and allow yourself to relax into the process.

Repeat the pattern until you feel that the piece is complete. You can add colour if you like, using markers, coloured pencils, or paint. Remember that there are no rules or expectations for what your pattern should look like, so allow yourself to be playful and creative.

Don’t be concerned about your artistic ability or the final outcome of your design – the process is what counts. So why not give neurographic art a try and see how it can benefit you?

Client Story Gill Van Rooyen

The Healing Power of Neurographic Art

Last year, Chartered clients received a retirement tip from us about neurographic art and the many benefits it can offer. One of our clients, Gill van Rooyen, who had always been interested in art, was intrigued by the concept and decided to give it a try. Since then, she hasn’t looked back.

Gill has no formal art training but enjoys oil painting and acrylics. What she found most appealing about neurographic art was the combination of art and mindfulness. Gill can sit for hours and let her creativity flow, which helps her find clarity and peace of mind. She is guided by her energy, which allows her to create beautiful art that is unique to her.

Gill shared her newfound passion with a friend whose brother was diagnosed with acute leukaemia. It became a healing practice for both her friend and her brother. They spent many hours in the hospital doing neurographic art, which proved to be a therapeutic and helpful activity. It helped Gill’s friend deal with her grief, and her late brother’s artworks were framed and cherished.

For Gill, neurographic art is more intuitive than colouring in. She did a lot of research, including looking on Pinterest and YouTube for inspiration and techniques. The practice of neurographic art allows her to be in the moment, focusing on the lines and shapes she creates. It’s a meditative process that allows her to express herself freely and without judgment.

Here are some links that Gill suggests to help you get started:

First time running the Two Oceans Marathon

Yes! You read that right! I just completed my first time ever 21km half-marathon. The Two Oceans is known as “the world’s most beautiful marathon,” and running against the backdrop of the breathtaking Cape Peninsula must be one of the most exhilarating moments of my life. And this is the new experience I’m sharing with you this month.

I have learnt that having a clear goal is essential to trying something new or doing something for the first time. Running a half-marathon has been on my vision board for a few years, and you may remember me sharing it with you – even in Covid times. Two words stand out for me in achieving this goal: persistence and consistency. Believe me, getting up every single morning to run, especially in winter, is not easy. And your aim does not have to be easy either. You may decide to take up art or learn a musical instrument. You may want to walk the Camino de Santiago – or the Cape Camino. But every journey begins with one single step. And the first step is setting your goal. In my experience, persistence and consistency get you where you want to go.

Sometimes, trying out something new is a deeply personal journey you may want to go alone. But a lot of times, having special people join you – or support you – makes it so much easier – and enjoyable. I had many partners on my running journey, including my 22-year-old niece, Robyn. And thank goodness for Robyn! I was initially intent on running a 42km marathon, and Robyn convinced me to start slightly smaller – we agreed on the 21km instead. It turned out to be great advice! Running up and down the hills was much harder than I thought it’d be.

One of our Planning Specialists at Chartered, Craig Harrison, also ran with me. He could have finished the marathon in a much better time but opted to stay back and support me, for which I am so grateful. Although you’re the one doing the work, you end up not running alone. Running in the Two Oceans felt like being embraced in a wonderful community of people helping and supporting you to the end. And it was lovely to see my husband Gys, my son Josh and his partner Rachel waiting for me and welcoming me over the finish line.

Sometimes you may have to call in extra people to help you reach your goal. I have a great running trainer and teamed up with a functional trainer who helped me exercise the right muscles to get me over the steep hills.

It really does help to have a support system when trying new things. Whether planning a unique adventure, a fresh learning experience or a new venture, having people who believe in you and encourage you along the way can make all the difference. But more than that, trying new things often calls for stepping out of our comfort zones. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine and shy away from something new. But new experiences can lead to personal growth and a sense of accomplishment.

Remember, trying something new does not have to be a grand gesture but something small that pushes you out of your comfort zone. And the rewards are often worth it!

Garden Route Slackpacking Adventure Trip

By Louis Marcus Finn

Having undergone a double knee replacement in 2021, my husband Stephen and I decided to relish his remarkable and wonderful rehabilitation and cash in on this golden period of our lives together.

I did some research and found a fantastic option on the Garden Route. Mark Dixon, an outdoor enthusiast with a magnificent protean knowledge of ecology, biological science and nature conservation led our hike. We were joined by a UK couple in their early sixties, enjoying an outdoor adventure in South Africa. Mark organizes trips and highlights the incredibly rich fossils on our coastline, the indigenous trees, geology, insects, marine life and avian specimens. We learnt such a great deal about a myriad of impressive elephant, crocodile, buffalo and hominoid footprints found on the coastline ranging from Wilderness to Brenton-on-Sea. Touching and beholding these 120 000-year-old remnants was indeed a huge privilege.

We covered about 60 kms by foot, nearly all on pristine beaches and traversed the Garden Route and Goukamma National Parks, sleeping in private and Cape Nature reserve accommodation.

The route also encompasses 15 kms of kayaking on the Touws and Goukamma rivers. Much fun and many enjoyable experiences were had, and at one stage, our kayak capsized, and Stephen, Mark and I fell in the temperate river. We laughed our way back to the bank and continued canoeing in high spirits seeing a magnificent Fish Eagle soaring overhead and then roosting on the banks of the river. Being outdoors, enjoying perfect weather and seeing unspoilt conservation coastline was a huge inspiration, physical experience and treat for both Stephen and me.

Garden Route Coastal Meander can be reached at or followed on Instagram. It is well worth the effort if you would like to expand your physical and intellectual horizons.

Retirement Villages – Spotlight on Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate

We will be interviewing clients who have chosen to live in various retirement estates around the country to learn more about their experiences. Please note that Chartered Wealth Solutions is not affiliated with, or sponsored by, any of the featured retirement villages, and the opinions expressed are that of the clients who live in these retirement villages.

About Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate

Waterfall Valley has 241 free-standing houses within the gated estate. Waterfall Valley enjoys full reciprocity with Waterfall Hills, so residents have access to their frail care centre and a wide variety of lifestyle facilities just around the corner, including scenic walking trails along the Jukskei River, which link Waterfall Valley with over 35km of hiking and biking trails on the rest of the Waterfall City estates.

Click here to read more about the estate.

Meet Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate residents Ronelle and Brian Baker

In around 2012, Ronelle wrote an article for Inflight explaining her and her husband Brian’s view on why they did not want to live in a retirement village. At that time, they believed they were young and strong enough to check into any facility they wanted when they felt the need. However, they soon realised that it was not as simple as it seemed.

Their decision to move from their home in Lonehill to a retirement village in Waterfall was triggered by Brian’s only sibling requiring immediate and life-threatening surgery in 2014, which resulted in her needing significant care. As a result, they realised they would be in trouble if either of them experienced something similar. They decided to live in an area close to where they had lived for the last 34 years, close to friends and their church, which brought them to the Waterfall/Kyalami area.

They have been living at Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate since August 2015, and it has been a rewarding and life-changing decision. It is important to note that their Estate is not officially considered a retirement village, as they do not have the required services, such as frail care and assisted living, available to residents. Instead, their estate encourages residents to live in their homes and recommends making use of carers in case of incapacity or illness. However, Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate does enjoy full reciprocity with Waterfall Hills, so residents can access their frail care centre if need be.

Purchasing property in their estate is on a lease basis, with the land owned by a landowner, and they have a “99-year lease” on the property. They do not have life rights or other retirement purchase mechanisms in place. The estate has levies, City of Joburg rates and taxes, and Eskom bills, but living on this estate is still cheaper than living in a suburban home. Many homes have installed solar panels to ward off the never-ending load shedding.

Homes in their estate have the same architectural look and feel, but each home and garden has its individual characteristics. The estate has a committed and enthusiastic Residents Association with volunteers covering areas of finance, security, leisure, healthcare, infrastructure, and maintenance, among others. The estate management team is closely monitored and assisted by the association and a board of directors, who ensure everything is managed correctly and financially appropriately. The gardens are managed and maintained by a gardening service, the security systems are exemplary (soon to be facial recognition), and residents have access to a fully equipped gym with a steam room, sauna, Zumba, ballroom, line dancing and aerobic classes, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, ballroom, auditorium, a well-equipped library, and a partially subsidised restaurant on the premises.

Numerous activities are available to residents who wish to participate, such as social bridge, pool, table tennis, Kaluki, wine club, bird club, U3A, Mah Jong, French conversational sessions, cycling, hiking, craft and sewing/knitting mornings, and many more.

Retirement Villages Spotlight – Woodside Village

One of the major decisions people face when retiring is where they will live. The decision to move is an emotional one. Once the decision is made, many of our clients opt to move to retirement villages or estates. The traditional concept of retirement villages and estates has changed dramatically over the years, and the range of lifestyle activities and easy access to medical care and security now makes them an attractive option.

We will be interviewing clients who have chosen to live in various retirement estates around the country to learn more about their experiences.

Please note that Chartered Wealth Solutions is not affiliated with, or sponsored by, any of the featured retirement villages, and the opinions expressed are that of the clients who live in these retirement villages.

About Woodside Village

Woodside Village is situated on nine hectares in the sought-after Cape Town suburb of Rondebosch. This complex offers residents a peaceful and secure lifestyle, surrounded by natural beauty and modern conveniences.

Woodside comprises of 155 independent living garden villas and 52 apartments, as well as an assisted living facility. To the extent possible, they are able to deliver most care and support services in residents’ homes. The 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom garden villas range from 85m2 to 190m2 in size and come with attached garages and patios leading onto the garden. The apartments range from 75m2 to 120m2 and have a single garage alongside the apartment block. The complex is pet-friendly, so residents can enjoy the company of their furry friends.

The village is designed with residents’ needs in mind, and a range of amenities and services are available to make life easier and more enjoyable. These include a swimming pool, a clubhouse, a laundry, a gym, a cinema and a library.

One of the most significant advantages of living in Woodside Village is its location. The complex is located close to a range of shops, restaurants, and other amenities, as well as some of Cape Town’s most beautiful natural areas. Click here to read more on their website.

Meet Woodside Village Resident Barbara Gillman

Barbara and her late husband, Jon, moved into Woodside Village in 2019. They had already downscaled and were living in a lock-up and go near Cavendish, but when the opportunity arose to purchase a Life Right at Woodside Village, they jumped at the chance and moved into their two-bedroomed cottage with a beautiful garden.

One of the major drawcards was the security offered by the estate. Barbara loves the fact that she feels safe and that she can lock up and go and visit two of her sons who live overseas.

Barbara still has an active social life outside the estate; she plays bridge regularly and belongs to a book club. While she hasn’t chosen to get too actively involved in activities within the estate, she says there are ample options to do so. Friday night happy hours, Sunday teas, mid-week pub nights, air-conditioned cinemas, fascinating talks, inspiring cultural and social events and entertainment, to name a few.

Another plus for Barbara is the comfort of knowing that should she ever need it, Woodside Village has a step-down facility and assisted living should she require it.

When asked, Barbara says she has absolutely no regrets about moving to Woodside Estate. It suits her lifestyle perfectly. She advises anyone considering moving to Woodside to put their name down early on the waiting list.

If you live in a retirement estate and would like it to be featured in Inflight, please get in touch with

Click here to read the brochure.

Phinda, pangolins and a once-in-a-lifetime experience

Barbara and Andrew McGregor’s recent visit to Phinda private game reserve was a Bucket Wheel® item for them. With so many interesting and varied sightings, it was an experience that didn’t disappoint.

Phinda is in northern KZN, situated between the Mkuze Game Reserve and the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park. Covering an area of 170 km², it features seven distinct ecosystems, resulting in an unusually rich diversity of fauna and flora, including many species endemic to the Phinda area.

Having not been to Phinda before, endemic sightings were “lifers” for the McGregors. They included a “flutter” of Black Swordtail butterflies having fun in a pool of muddy water on the road, Tonga red squirrel, Bell’s hinged tortoise, Neergaard’s Sunbird, Pink-throated Twinspot, along with several trees and bushes.

Other highlights included a close encounter with a herd of elephants (in a vehicle that refused to start) and excellent cheetah, rhino, and leopard sightings. However, all these were outdone by a fabulous encounter with a pangolin.

Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are unique mammals found in various parts of the world, including South Africa. They are known for their distinctive scales, which cover their entire body. These scales are made of keratin, the same material that makes up human hair and nails. They are known for their keen sense of smell, which they use to locate ants and termites, their primary food source.

They are nocturnal creatures and spend most of the day in burrows or termite mounds. This sighting in broad daylight was, therefore, extra special. They watched it for over an hour as it moved along the side of the road, seemingly oblivious to their presence and very engaged in sniffing out dinner.

There are two species of pangolin in South Africa, both of which are endangered due mainly to illegal hunting for their meat and scales. Pangolin scales are highly valued in traditional medicine and are used to treat a variety of ailments. Their meat is also considered a delicacy. Pangolins are a sought-after commodity on the illicit wildlife market.

Barbara and Andrew’s visit to Phinda was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They were able to see some of the most elusive and endangered species in their natural habitat, all while enjoying the luxury and beauty of the reserve. They left with a reinforced appreciation of the incredible biodiversity of South Africa’s natural heritage.