Why the old bait & switch doesn’t work anymore

February 17th, 2023 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Why the old bait & switch doesn’t work anymore”

Do you remember the first time you were disappointed by a large organisation?

My earliest memory of corporate greed (we all have those, right?) was what I recall being a few months after Smarties Mini Eggs were launched in South Africa. As a lifelong fan of the traditional Smarties, when the Eggs were announced I have to admit, I got quite excited. I rushed out to the shops and bought myself a bag (or two, don’t judge) and they were delicious. The candy-coated outside was of standard Smarties quality, and the chocolate inside was a deliciously creamy chocolate delight. However, what in my mind was only a few months later (it could have been longer, but the scars are still there) I bought a bag (or two) of Smarties Mini Eggs and they just weren’t the same, specifically the chocolate inside. The original creamy milk chocolate treat I was expecting turned out to be dry, flaky, less sweet, it was a disaster. I chalked it up to a bad batch, and soon afterwards bought another bag from a different store to make sure the trusted Nestle brand didn’t let me – a Smarties flag-bearer – down. But they did. This bag was the same, and subsequent purchases over the past few years were continual repeats of excitement and pure disappointment.

The most frustrating part of it all was that I could never quite understand why they did it. As a kid growing up in a small town, trusting relationships were key. My folks trusted us at home alone from an early age, neighbours were trusted, we roamed the streets as children with no fuss, trust was a foundation for us. So when an initial agreement between two parties (the makers of the delicious bag of candy-coated treats, and me) starts out one way and then changes, I have to admit it was pretty foreign.

These days, between clickbait being a standard operating procedure for news sites, and colddrink manufacturers slowly moving from 340ml tins to 300ml tins and keeping the same relative price (don’t think we’re not watching you guys too!) the world has become accustomed to being built up only to just be let down, Buttercup. It’s a sad state, and has, in my opinion, caused far more skeptism in our society than what I believe should be the norm. Trust in your word and agreements are not what they used to be.

So why am I telling you about eggs, colddrinks and clickbait?

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, working with a client means you have an agreement, a relationship, and trust that both parties will do what they are expected to do. Oftentimes though – with time – SLAs slip, SOPs lean to guidelines as opposed to the rules, and representatives slack on obligations because they get too comfortable. So don’t be a Smarties Mini Egg and disappoint over time. Trust is broken extremely quickly. Keep your creamy goodness, hold that trust, and continue to deliver great service.

Acknowledging the First Pancake (and being excited about the rest)

January 11th, 2023 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Acknowledging the First Pancake (and being excited about the rest)”

I love pancakes. I’ve been making pancakes since I was a kid, and the recipe has been tattoo’d onto my brain since I was about 11 years old. In all honesty, I’ve made and eaten thousands of pancakes in my lifetime. I even joke with my nieces about how I have a separate pancake stomach where I fit them all in, and every market visit becomes a competition to see who can eat more of them. I always win. I don’t know how it works, but it’s wonderful.

So as a self-proclaimed GrandMaster PancakeMaker, I early on in my pancake-making journey understood the standard element of the “First Pancake”. Either too greasy or too dry – depending on your first lubricating layer – the First Pancake never makes it to the table. It’s tasty-enough (of course you have to eat it while you’re making the Second Pancake) but it’s not winning any awards for design or structure. However, the First Pancake – while not being the pancake that shines – is crucially important.


It’s the pioneer! It’s the pancake who goes out and sets the scene. It gets the pan (and you) ready for the next few. It gives you insight into the temperature of the pan, lubrication in the pan, consistency of your batter, and total volume of batter placed into the pan for each pancake. It’s the one that paves the way for the rest of them to be as majestic and delicious as they should be.

So why am I telling you about the First Pancake?

I’m hoping that you see your first day, or days, or weeks starting out the New Year as not the days you’re going to come out guns blazing and changing the world. We all need that First Pancake day or week to ready ourselves for the year ahead. The day or week to set ourselves up, to get ready, so that when the second ladel of batter hits the pan, we’re ready to rock.

So if you’re in you First Pancake week right now, don’t be too hard on yourself. You need this time to get ready. And if you, like me, are onto the Second Pancake, let’s keep flipping, rolling, and smash this year!

Language… it matters

December 22nd, 2022 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Language… it matters”

A few years ago during another one of those Jozi heatwaves, my wife and I bought a Russell Hobbs floor fan. Nothing fancy, just the run-of-the-mill mobile fan to cool certain parts of the house while we were home.

Choosing a fan was pretty simple: We needed something simple-to-use, speedy, and of course as unobtrusive as possible. The last part meant it needed to be able to stay in a corner without really being seen, AND it needed to be quiet.

The box had a few key features displayed, like high speed; 3 speeds; vertically adjustable; and quite function. Yup, you read that right, ‘quite’ function.

Me being the optimist and uncharacteristically willing to let poor grammar slide, I placed this incorrect spelling to a lapse of design judgement and approvals, assumed it was supposed to be ‘quiet’ function, so we grabbed it, paid for it, and merrily made our way home.

At home, we gave it pride of place in the corner of our TV room, pointed directly at the couch we’d strategically placed for the best TV viewing pleasure, plugged it in, hit the level 3 of 3 speed, and were immediately transported into memories of flying in a two-seater twin-prop plane, because firstly, the wind it generated was terrific, but also, sadly, it sounded like you were sitting right in the cockpit.

Being a heatwave and all, we needed it immediately and bought it at a retail store instead of the usual online order and delivery. Had we been a bit more patient, though, and checked it out beforehand, we would have seen that even the first review of the device on Takealot says it’s noisy. Also, very clearly, there’s not ‘quite’ or ‘quiet’ function in the features list.

I’m still not sure what “quite function” means, to be honest, but it certainly doesn’t mean ‘quiet’. Language, my friends, matters.

Why you should ask someone else to buy your groceries this month

January 26th, 2022 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Why you should ask someone else to buy your groceries this month”

I saw this post on LinkedIn this week. My first response was “Who has ‘matches’ on their general shopping list!?” but then it reminded me of a story that happened to Lauren and me a few months ago…

No alt text provided for this image

In June, we were traveling from Mpumalanga to the Garden Route to move into a new nomad-ready spot in Hoekwil, near Wilderness and George. We were scheduled to arrive quite late in the evening, so before we arrived, Lauren’s mom (who lives in George) arranged with the owners of the place to allow her access so that she could stock our fridge and shelves with a few ‘bare essentials’ we’d need, as a surprise. Wonderful!

On arrival, we were indeed surprised and spoilt with some basic items like milk and bread, but there were also a few items that we would never have considered as, for us, ‘bare essentials’. The list of items – in this story – is irrelevant, but the more interesting part of what we’d experienced is how the assumption of “Everyone’s bare essentials in the home are equal” was quickly shattered. It also opened our eyes to adding or changing a few of our everyday lifestyle and food-based choices, so that we keep it interesting, and don’t get too bored with the ‘same old, same old’.

So why am I telling you this?

Living a vagabond lifestyle results in a lot of people telling us how they’re bored, they feel trapped, they want to change up their lifestyle but just can’t, etc etc etc. And while I won’t go into the flipside of a travel-forward lifestyle, there’s a few quick-fixes that people can do in their own live, right now, if they feel stuff or bored with their current way of life.

Get someone else to buy your groceries this month.

Give them a budget, a timeframe (in terms of how much food you actually need) and of course any crazy dietary requirements, and let them go wild. They’ll probably go to a different store that you go to, they may buy a different granola flavour that you automatically magnetise towards, and your eyes will be opened to a few new things you wouldn’t have tried yourself.

In the past 30 days, 53k people spoke of being bored when it comes to food. If that’s you, try something new. Or better, get someone else to try something new for you.

Just say no (Salespeople have feelings too)

December 2nd, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Just say no (Salespeople have feelings too)”

Why do we struggle to say NO to people? Do we feel like we’ll hurt their feelings? Or perhaps they’ll think we’re bad people? I’ll tell you this for free: Being ignored is worse than being told NO.

If you’re a salesperson, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the glorious journey of chasing up on prospects who end up doing what the sales fraternity lovingly calls ‘being ghosted’.

Now, just for the record, ‘ghosting’ doesn’t apply to unsolicited sales efforts. If you’re chasing on a prospect who you have not engaged with at all, but you keep on keepin’ on with no response from them, I accept that if they don’t respond, it’s not considered ghosting. They’re just not entertaining the conversation.


If you have, indeed, engaged with someone looking to solve a problem for your business, or just downright sell you something (engaged means you’ve requested information or a demo, or you’ve originally entertained their sales pitch and you’ve had some sort of discussion and presented an initial interest), and they’re chasing up in whichever cadence they think best (whether by email, phonecall or otherwise), here are the 2 scenarios you may be in, and the 2 options I’d suggest you take.

  • Scenario 1: You’re not ready right now. Solution: Tell them! And give an indication of when a better time would be. 12 months’ time is okay too! They’ll stop chasing you (which helps both you and them) and you can reconnect at the right time for you. They’ll make note to get in touch (trust me), you don’t have to do a thing. Win-win.
  • Scenario 2: You’re not interested anymore. Solution: Tell them! I can guarantee that having a “Radio silence” or “Ghosting me” on their deal in their pipeline is far more frustrating than just removing you entirely and focusing on someone else who’s interested. They won’t be mad (maybe a little sad) but they’ll move on.

In the end, it’s very simple: Tell them! Whether you’re in, you’re out, or you’re not ready, simple communication will help both you and the salesperson.

It’s the human thing to do.

365 Days A Vagabond: What we’ve learnt from living a remote working life

November 28th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “365 Days A Vagabond: What we’ve learnt from living a remote working life”

At 04:00 on 28 November 2021, Lauren and I packed up the last of our possessions and drove away from a home we loved. A home we crafted and refined together over a decade, to be just perfect for us. A home, however, that just seemed to, unfortunately, be in the wrong place for us at this stage of our lives.

At the beginning of 2020, like for most people, a dramatic change to our working environments meant being stuck working from home. This also meant seeing fewer people in-person (personally and professionally), not being able to explore as much and, of course, traveling less. If you know us at all, you’d know that travelling, whether locally or abroad, is part of who we are. We love seeing and experiencing new things, and opening our minds to new possibilities in all shapes and sizes, across South Africa and across the world.

After a few months of COVID still being a very real part of our lives, we realised that it wasn’t going to go away any time soon, and neither were travel restrictions or the new way of working from home. So it was no surprise to us, then, that we started talking about leaving Johannesburg to live in a place that gave us more access to open spaces, where we had access to hiking trails, or wine farms, or ocean, or rivers, or mountains, or a blend of it all. Having no official office space to work from brought with it the opportunity to really and truly live and work anywhere.

And that’s what we’ve done.

We classify ‘living’ somewhere very simply: It’s where our stuff is. It’s where at any given moment we have access to all of our essentials. That’s home. Right now, our home is an apartment in Kileleshwa, Nairobi until January when we return to South Africa to continue the adventure.

For the past 365 days we’ve classified 17 places as ‘home’, ranging from 1 week stays to a few months at each place. Every house, cottage, apartment, town, village, city has brought its own special flair (some not so special, let me be frank) and every single place has taught us a little something more about our country, about people, but most importantly it’s taught us an incredible amount about ourselves.

To be fully employed and fully remote working has its challenges, let me get that pretty clear. Standard scheduled weekly meetings with the team, clients and partners means ensuring you’re always connected, always available. Not being connected (for any number of reasons) brings the personal guilt of “this is our choice to be in a new place, so it’s our responsibility to make it work’. Finding the balance of exploring new places (who doesn’t love that?) and smashing a solid week’s work takes a little practice. You’re not on holiday, but you don’t have a home, but you’re in a new environment with new things to do, but you’re committed to putting the time in to work. The battle that plays in your head between these two very different camps is remarkable. I don’t think there’s a perfect balance for everyone, but we’ve seemed to have found our groove.

Anniversaries are great times to reflect. Each birthday you may ask yourself how have you grown personally, each work anniversary you may ask yourself how you’ve grown professionally, on this day – what we’re referring to as our Vagabondaversary – we reflected on what we’ve learnt about ourselves as individuals, ourselves as a couple, and how we’ve grown. We’ve listed them below.

In no particular order:

  • Patience
  • Embracing chaos
  • Spontaneity
  • Adaptability
  • Honest, clear communication about what’s working and what isn’t
  • Understanding that we experience things differently, we’re challenged by different things at different times and being empathetic with each other when that happens
  • Starting conversations with strangers
  • Ensuring we keep a routine in a generally routine-less life
  • Solving problems
  • Accepting problems
  • Letting things be
  • Empathy
  • Surfing (together)
  • Love
  • Trusting our instincts
  • Not sweating the small stuff
  • Being comfy with the uncomfy
  • Not trying to control that which we can’t control
  • Not getting upset when people call our way of life ‘a holiday’
  • Being okay with peeing in an outhouse

In the past year, we’ve made new friendsreconnected with old friends, lost loved ones, improved our skills, said goodbye to a car, bought a new one, hiked 297,6km, tried new things, eaten incredible mealscollected mussels for lunch, caught fish, smashed a few things off the bucket list, visited the tip of Africa, supported local entrepreneurs, made time to reflect, and have experienced more new and delicious wine than we ever thought we could. All while maintaining a structured approach to work, and life.

Finally (because we often get asked for tips), early into our trip we created a Vagabond Checklist to maintain some semblance of sanity, which we still stick to today. If you’re thinking of giving this kind of life a bash, I’d add some other practical items to the list too: Always travel with one sharp kitchen knife, a pair of scissors, and a decent bottle opener.

And finally finally, while the experience can at times be daunting, the benefits far outweigh the frustrations. Take it slow, take it easy, and immerse yourself in the madness. It’s a helluva ride.

Were we born to reach perfection?

November 10th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Were we born to reach perfection?”

I’ve always been a fan of the multitude of skills that Leonardo da Vinci brought to the world. A painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect (thanks Wikipedia), his art – in whichever format it was created – is well-known across the planet, throughout history.

Stories shared through time explain his commitment to his work and how hard to continued to push towards greatness. Which is why I was quite perplexed when I saw this quote the other day, allegedly his last words:

“I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”

Now, I’m not sure about you, but if I had achieved what he achieved over time, through multiple disciplines, I’d be giving myself a big fat pat on the back on my deathbed just looking back at what I had contributed to the world.

His comment has been widely discussed over time, so I’m not going to argue whether it was shared exactly as stated, but I’d imagine someone like Leonardo da Vinci probably did, in his own creative way, feel that his skills should have continued to grow and improve to make an even bigger mark on the world. You don’t get to a position like he did, creating masterpieces, without pushing yourself and expecting more from yourself to achieve perfection.

So it left me with one question: Am I pushing hard enough to achieve perfection? Am I giving my all, giving absolutely everything, in the pursuit for perfection? I mean, I have the words “Don’t hold back” tattoo’d on my arm, so clearly I’m committed to doing whatever it takes to achieve greatness, to achieve perfection, right?

As much as I’d love to say “Yes, I’m killing myself day in and day out to be the best version of myself I can be”, and make Leo-D proud, I can’t. It’s not the case. What I am doing, though, is ensuring that finding the balance between focussing on growing and sharing my ‘skills’ (the work stuff) as much as I can, and ensuring a healthy life (the personal and family stuff), I am indeed driving towards being the best version of myself. Too often you hear of people who stretched too hard, too far, in their pursuit to build their business or profile and leaving the other elements of their lives in their wake. It’s a choice, I accept that, but I’m not on a journey to break the rest of my priorities to focus on one.

My journey is one of balance, of alignment, and staying true to myself.

What’s yours?

Lessons from Ted Lasso’s first cup of tea

September 17th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Lessons from Ted Lasso’s first cup of tea”

Ted Lasso, apart from being one of the most lovable characters in a TV show, has the most incredible way of delivering negative news to people. His upbeat honesty is clear, radically candid, and the receiver of the news is left not feeling bad at all, but with a clear understanding of how and where the exchange has ended. It’s awesome, and there are loads of lessons we can learn from him. One of those lessons comes from the very first episode, and sets the scene for what kind of character Ted actually is.

If you haven’t watched the show, here’s how it starts:

Ted Lasso, an American, has been hired to coach a football/soccer (depending where you come from) team in England. He knows nothing about the sport (he’s an American Football coach) but keen to take on the new challenge.

On arriving in the morning straight off the plane at his new job, he meets his new boss, Rebecca Welton (the owner of AFC Richmond), in her office, and their first exchange goes as follows:

  • Rebecca: Can I get you something to drink?
  • Ted: Yes please! Didn’t get much sleep on the plane so anything you got, a little boost of caffeine should do the trick you know, mochachino, frappucino, any coffee-thing as long as I can taste a hint of coffee is good.
  • Rebecca: How do you take your tea?
  • Ted: Well usually I take it right back to the counter because someone’s made a horrible mistake, but, when in Rome, right?
  • Ted sips the tea.
  • Rebecca: Well?
  • Ted: You know I always figured that tea was just going to taste like hot brown water. And you know what? I was right. Yeah it’s horrible. No thank you.
  • Rebecca: Welcome to England.


  1. When asked a broad question, get to the point, and be clear on what it is that you need/desire, and why.
  2. If the result is not quite what you’d originally had mind, don’t write it off immediately. Try it, test it, you may be surprised.
  3. If the result, however, is completely off-point, let the person know this (in as constructive, candid way as possible) and move forward.
  • Also, always remember: Critique the result, not the person.

The Double-Doov: Unintended consequences of ‘doing your own thing’​

July 27th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “The Double-Doov: Unintended consequences of ‘doing your own thing’​”

Over the recent past, there’s been a heavy increase in commentary online about ‘taking control’, ‘doing your own thing’, ‘just say no’, etc etc etc. And while I’m a big fan for every single person to always look out for #1 (that’s you, by the way), there are unintended consequences that may result in you just deciding, without really thinking it through, or doing a deeper analysis of what will happen when you make that all-important decision.

A story to illustrate the point:

For years, my wife and I have run a fun little exercise where oftentimes, in the deepest of her slumbers in the middle of the night, she gets too warm and removes a layer of bedding from above her in order to be as comfortable as possible. Completely fair. No one should suffer if the easy removal of a duvet can fix your rising body temperature. However, the unintended consequence of the removal of the duvet from her, means that the duvet needs to go somewhere else: Onto me. With the quick flip of her hand, half of the duvet soars through the air and lands on top of my existing duvet-coverage, making mine a “double-doov”.

The result? I start to burn up as I’m now doubly-covered, and in turn need to navigate my own extra duvet part removal without placing the unwanted half back onto my wife. Tricksy business while half-asleep. The task has made for interesting morning coffee banter over the years. And while a double-doov is pretty warm, even in summertime, when an unwanted additional sheet finds its way onto me at midnight, the result is, again, a too-warm Don. A real pickle, let me tell you.

So why am I telling you about our midnight antics?

Well, sometimes (through no fault of our own) we make decisions that will impact ourselves directly for the better – whether the decision is made consciously or while fast asleep – and there are others left in your wake who have to deal with the results of that decision which impacted them directly. And again, while I’m a big fan of ensuring that each individual needs to drive to be the best that they can be, always be mindful of the butterfly effect of your actions, and where they may lead.

Photo credit: https://tinyurl.com/ygp3h38q

You’re not in control of your own retirement (and why you should be)

August 1st, 2020 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “You’re not in control of your own retirement (and why you should be)”

If you know me at all, you’ll know that I am not the guy to talk about retirement or finances with any authority. I’ve always left it to the experts. The smart folks. The people who know what’s going on. Below though, is my own personal money story that I have shared with so many individuals over the past while, and thought I’d share it publicly too, as most people I’ve shared this with are in a very, very similar position.

This journey had turned me from a bystander to a valuable contributor, beyond the one just paying the money.

For years I thought my retirement, when it happened, was pretty sorted. I’d stop working at 65 (that seemed to be the standard retirement age thrown out by everyone) and my RA would kick in and have me covered for a fruitful, old-man lifestyle. At least, that’s what I thought and believed, but I had no true idea of whether that was going to happen, really. Call it blind faith, hope, trust, whatever you want, but the idea of putting money into something called a “retirement annuity” made complete sense to me. Annuity income after retirement. A no-brainer. When I hit 65, I’d be sorted.

How wrong I was.

Now, before you blame me or my financial advisor for not knowing whether this was actually going to be a reality or not, let me tell you that at least once a year since I was 23 years old I was sat down and shown my potential future, except I had no idea what it all meant. I tried, I really did, but the numbers and timeline were just too far away to comprehend. The truth is, I had no idea if that was, in fact, a lot of money at retirement, or how much money I’d realistically need to live on monthly. Would I still be paying off cars or a house? Would I be taking big holidays away? I had no clue.

Research will give you sums of what ‘the magic number’ is. X times your current salary multiplied by Y years you have left to the square root of what year you feel like dying, add sixteen zeroes after that number, and Hey Presto, there’s your retirement number! That’s how much money you need. Simple!

Ummm. Not really.

There’s no one magic number, only your magic number. And just to be clear, that magic number is not necessarily calculated on what you have now, it should be calculated on what you need then. So when you happen to find that elusive magic number and jot it down somewhere you’ll never forget it (we’ve all got that magic number jotted down, right!?) the next step is to put a detailed plan together, considering inflation, all your assets, contributions and savings over time, key events over that time (new car, move house, kids’ university, buy a boat) and you’ll have the perfect dashboard view of what you need. Simple!

Ummm. Not really.

The average Joe (of which I am one) doesn’t necessarily understand how to build these calculations. The idea of creating a future-wealth plan is so incredibly daunting that we don’t even start, so all our trust is placed in experts in the financial services industry to have a look at what we have now and to hope they say we’re on the right track.

With all respect to financial advisors, while they can look at your portfolio – all of your numbers – and have some sense of what you have right now, they really can’t give you a definitive answer (that you can clearly understand) as to whether you’ll be okay or not at retirement. Why? Because it’s difficult! They’re not in your everyday conversations about budgets, plans, goals, holidays, anything to do with your finances. They get 60-90 minutes of your time asking some questions, getting those high-level answers and have to make adjustments accordingly, and we expect them to make the best decisions for us. They’re the experts after all, right? While that’s the norm, that’s a shit norm. And by us average folks giving them all the responsibility to do this in a short space of time means that we are completely outsourcing our plans for financial wellness to someone who sees us once, maybe twice a year.

Shame on us.

So why now, at 99-days-to-40-years-old, do I believe this?

3 key events happened over the past decade that delivered me to this point.

  1. In 2010, when I met my future wife, I had no savings to speak of apart from an RA that I was putting minimal contributions into every month, and life insurance – which wasn’t for me anyway, and not a savings option. My advisor at the time always suggested contributing more into my RA each month, but that BIG number showing at 65 looked good to me, plus, I was 30 and still wanted disposable income for entertainment, so I ignored his pleas. Lauren, on the other hand, was brought up with an appreciation for the power of saving money. She had investments – onshore and offshore – and our financial conversations started to drive an appreciation from my side as well. It was tough because I always had a “make money, spend money” lifestyle, ensuring I ‘lived’ each month by spending what I had. Over the past 10 years, my view shifted, and we’ve been able to save as much as we can where possible, squirreling a little away here and there. My mentality around money has changed dramatically.
  2. Fast-forward to March 2020. I’d just left my business (and a stable income), and COVID happened which killed a large portion of my future potential business, so we needed to adjust our budget, which included pausing any saving plans and to move money around in order to still manage our monthly finances without having to live off credit. Adjusting monthly budgets is never a fun exercise. However you play it, the process of ‘cutting back’ – while smart – is lathered in a feeling of failure and inadequacy. Because Lauren and I have a strong and healthy relationship regarding finances, we took the task on together – including our financial advisor – and shuffled things around. Payment holidays were put in place, and Woolies would be seeing us less. We knew this would put a dent into our savings, but it was a decision we were both happy to make. What we didn’t know, though, was how much of a dent it would actually make.
  3. April 2020, one month later, one of my business peer group forum members, Alex Cook, sent me a message. We’d been discussing my new life’s plan in our forum, and he wanted to help me out by giving me free access to an online finance tool that he’d built to help people understand their retirement and manage their cashflow better. Having some extra time on my hands I happily agreed to check it out. We logged in and plotted our savings, assets and monthly contributions in the respective slots, allocated a detailed budget for both right now and what we believe we’d need at retirement (medical aid goes up, home loan goes away, for example) and the results were delivered. They were horrific! And I loved it.

Why did I love this horrific picture? Because I could finally, FINALLY see the bigger picture. The journey from now to retirement – and beyond – was laid out in front of me. All the numbers that have been shared with me by financial advisors were all there too, except now everything was consolidated and clear. You need X by this date in order to have a safe and happy retirement. Simple!


Because now we had an opportunity to play with our own retirement plan, without needing our advisor present, and adjust accordingly. Can we really afford to retire at 65? What if we moved it to 68? What if we added an extra R100 into that monthly contribution? Building scenarios for ourselves meant that we could now CLEARLY see, in real-time, what kinds of decisions we need to make in order to retire with enough, working toward achieving our own magic number. And with the help of our advisor, be steered in the best direction. Win-win.

I loved the tool, Wealthbit, so much that I’ve joined the team on a contract basis to help get the word out to more people.

Analysing your financial reality is scary, I know. Seeing our not-so-good stats was not followed by popping a bottle of champagne. But ignorance with regards to your retirement is not bliss. Forewarned truly is forearmed. The statistics of people who can safely retire in South Africa, I’ve come to learn, are shocking. With all the collective saving we’ve been doing over the past 10 years, thinking we’re heading to a truly safe and happy retired life, Lauren and my Wealthbit currently shows that we’re still behind, but, I’d rather know that I’m behind, than think I’m ahead and be wrong, when it’s too late.

As Don Packett, the average guy with a previously-average grasp on his future financial happiness and well-being, I’d suggest asking your financial advisor to check Wealthbit out to enable you, the person who needs to know, to truly understand where you’re positioned for retirement so that you can, together, plan accordingly.


Originally posted on LinkedIn.


Copyright Don Packett 1980-2020