Where Are You Retiring To?

A Retiremeantâ„¢ Conversation with Kim Potgieter

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As Director and key shareholder at Chartered Wealth Solutions and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional herself, Kim Potgieter has dedicated the last 10 years to developing a unique set of tools focusing on holistic financial planning in the retirement sector. Kim is passionate about merging a client’s goals and dreams with their financial plan to enable a life filled with inspiration and meaning.

Kim’s enthusiasm to truly make a difference has resulted in a fundamental shift in thinking at Chartered Wealth Solutions that led to the renaming of retirement to Retiremeant™: having the freedom to achieve your yet unfulfilled dreams and goals, on your terms and in your own time.

As the tagline suggests, Chartered Wealth Solutions helps clients Retire Successfully, where retirement is seen as a new beginning, not as the beginning of the end. The question “What are you retiring to?” is the pivotal feature around which the financial plan is designed.

“We believe that financial planning should be uniquely client centred, and that a Retiremeant™ Plan should be holistically tailored around a life plan. Our clients are seeking more than just a return on their investments,” says Kim.

Retiremeant™ – get more meaning from your money

“I have learnt so much from my clients over the last 10 years,” says Kim. “I often meet clients who are sorely disappointed with the way their retirement years turned out. Although their finances are well looked after and they have more than enough to retire on, they largely feel detached from life and often, incapable of spending all the money they have worked so hard to save. Generally, clients are daunted by the prospect of retiring and are unable to envisage a significant life beyond work,” she explains.

Following more than 10 years conducting Life Planning meetings and hundreds of conversations with clients, Kim felt compelled to share her learning and insight, which resulted in her first book being published in 2015 – Retiremeant – get more meaning from your money.

Kim explains: “I am convinced that planning for retirement has to be about more than the money… it is equally important to plan for your life. A life plan, a financial plan and an estate plan together create a holistic plan to take you into retirement. Yes, make sure your money is properly invested, but ask yourself what the money is for?”

Sharing actual stories of clients, Kim brings a unique and inspirational perspective to preparing for retirement. All the money you have spent your life earning should now enable the life you have always dreamed of having – a life of purpose, of significance and a life without regrets.

The book is packed with practical exercises and anecdotes that help people discover that the real value of a plan is in merging their money with their life goals. Readers are encouraged, with worksheets and reflections, to visualise what their life would look like if it turned out well, to view their Retiremeant™ as a new beginning, a new chapter – that may well last longer than the first.

How is meaning created?

We are all familiar with the Bucket List – a record of those things you would like to achieve in your lifetime. Kim found that clients were frustrated by seeing retirement as purely about holidays and exciting experiences, or just trying to keep busy. “It has to be about living a meaningful and fulfilling life,” explains Kim.

Potgieter adapted the Bucket List into the Bucket Wheel™ where clients are able to consider many facets of their lives –work, money, play, purpose, health, giving back, relationships and learning – and keeping these in balance for the second chapter of life.

“The objective of compiling a Bucket Wheel™ is not to create a race against time or to instil fear,” she says. “The point is to maximise every moment of our existence and to inspire us to live our lives to their fullest. It’s a reminder of all the things we want to achieve in our time on earth, so that instead of wasting our time on pointless activities, we direct our energy towards what matters most to us.”

Merging the Life Plan with the Financial Plan

“We encourage our clients to complete the exercises contained in the book and to complete the Balance Test available on our website,” says Kim, who invites CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals in the broader financial planning community to do these exercises with their clients to direct their thinking towards visualising a meaningful and balanced life in retirement.

These insights are invaluable in writing a uniquely tailored financial plan that enables the new adventure planned for retirement.

Visualise a life beyond retirement

Kim strongly believes that financial plan must enable each client to live their best life possible, and suggests three conversations that Financial Planners could have with their clients to help them visualise a significant next chapter:

#1 Ask: What would your retirement look like if it turned out well?

Asking your clients to visualise what the perfect picture of their life in retirement would look like, is no easy task. It is daunting process, especially since we are not programmed to think about, plan or visualise a life beyond work. As humans our first and foremost priority is to plan our careers and the life beyond that is not something that we are ever asked to consider.

“Have patience – your client’s won’t have all the answers at first,” says Kim. “Remind them that they will be retired for longer than they would have worked.” Kim suggests using visualisation tools such as vision boards to steer clients’ minds into thinking outside the box.

“It’s important to guide your clients through this process. Encourage them to be open to new ideas. Discuss possibilities – such as hobbies, a new career, engaging in charity, work – even if it’s not paid for; think about the Bucket Wheel™ and motivate clients to consider each significant area of their life,” explains Kim.

# 2 Encourage clients to be the master of their money

Kim encourages Financial Planners to ask their clients what the money they have saved their whole lives is for. Most clients planning, entering or in retirement see themselves as having been a slave to money their whole lives. Their sole purpose up to now has been accumulating, saving and investing. As clients go through the retirement transition, they have to change their perspective, and make a mind-shift from saving to spending. Clients need to be reassured that it’s acceptable to use their money to take them where they want to go.

Potgieter adds: “In my experience, there’s an emotional adjustment that has to be made when entering retirement. Even though it is an anticipated, plan for event, retirement still comes as a shock to most of my clients – no matter how prepared they are for it. It’s a mental adjustment: they have spent decades saving and now need to start spending.

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

Another emotional shift is our sense of worth and how we perceive the value we add to our families. Clients who have been the provider for many years, might struggle with how to derive self-worth. Explain to clients that they only have the money they have now because of foresight and discipline. The value they add continues into the future because of this very fact.”

Potgieter recommends reminding clients why they saved and invested in the first place – so that they could have the freedom to choose what to to do with their time in retirement, and that their money should now be used to enable that life.

#3 Ask: What are you retiring to?

Retirement should be a meaningful life transition, something that is done on purpose.

“We encourage our clients to visualise a next chapter with purpose,” says Kim. To assist their clients in this phase of life, Chartered Wealth Solutions has established a web-site called “Retire Successfully – retiresuccessfully.co.za”. This website is dedicated to helping all South Africans – it is a resource for sharing stories, articles and good advice for planning, preparing for and living in retirement.

“One of the key principles behind the Retire Successfully website is our belief that those who retire most successfully are those who have a clear vision of how they would like to live during their Retiremeant™ years. The site serves to inspire the retirement community and delivers a comprehensive retirement resource focused on lifestyle to support people to live the best and most purposeful life possible,” says Kim.

The Retire Successful website gives visitors access to a team of Retirementors – passionate South African professionals that have been handpicked as experts in their field. They contribute continuously with blogs and articles focusing on health, purpose, relationships, money, work, learning, play and giving back.

“People retiring today are living longer than ever before, and can expect a retirement lasting 30 years or more – helping your clients plan what they are going to do with that time to bring both meaning and purpose to their lives, will make all the difference. Help your clients retire on purpose, with purpose,” concludes Kim.

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