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"Looking at money takes courage" - Kim Potgieter, author of 'Midlife Money Makeover'

23 May 2021 - 00:00 By Kim Potgieter

I live by the mantra: "If you leave your life to chance, you end up living a life someone else plans for you." Many people neglect paying attention to their lives and their money. I see this all too often working in the retirement sector. I hope that this book inspires people to live their best life with the money they have.

As a financial planner, I spend a
great deal of time helping clients
prepare for their second chapter. I recently noticed a shift; my clients were getting younger and more midlifers were coming to see me. They wanted change, not because they were retiring or their money situation changed, but because they yearned for change. They wanted their lives to mean something; they wanted a more balanced and joyous life. Not when they retire, but now.

When I turned 50, I was suddenly part of the new breed who wanted to live more fully in the second half. I also learnt a new skill. Did you know that the "turtle neck stretch" gets rid of your double chin? Don't be fooled by the one chin you see on my book cover! But writing this book just made sense; why not live your life fully now instead of waiting to retire. None of us wants to merely exist.

Looking at money takes courage. Money enables your dreams; you have to be intentional with money. After speaking to thousands of people, it's clear that money is a constant source of worry for most. People often think that more money would mean less worry - but that's simply not true. I have met wealthy clients who feel poverty-stricken from the inside-out, and rarely meet people who have healthy relationships with money.

Most clients I interviewed for this book are hampered by their money beliefs and habits. I have seen how the way people see, feel and think about money sabotages their goals and dreams. No matter how well we plan financially, nothing really changes if money is not in its proper place.

A big lesson I share in this book is that money should be your friend , not your enemy, and you have to nurture this relationship. The same goes for your relationship with your financial planner. Contrary to many opinions, I believe that having a planner is essential. A good planner should help you manage your emotions around money, guide you through life planning, and structure your money to enable your life goals.

Writing this book has been challenging. The lockdown meant that many clients needed additional support and my husband Gys was diagnosed with cancer. As a family, we've had to dig deep to stay positive and hopeful. I realised again that we simply have to make each day count. It's also why I added a chapter about preparing for life's curveballs.

I am grateful to my clients who shared their stories, tips and wisdom so openly. I hope their stories inspire you to transition into a life that's rich with possibilities and meaning.

Midlife Money Makeover by Kim Potgieter is published by Tafelberg, R260


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