Book about retirement-planning launched

2016-03-23 06:00
Photo: tania sandberg Authors Barry Smith (left) and Andrew Blaine (right) with Book Boutique co-owner, Kerry Snel.

Photo: tania sandberg Authors Barry Smith (left) and Andrew Blaine (right) with Book Boutique co-owner, Kerry Snel.

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AUTHORS Barry Smith and Andrew­ Blaine recently launched their retirement planning book - The Next Step.

“The book looks at the non-financial aspects of planning, what to do with yourself when you retire and having fun in your retirement years,” Smith said.

Smith is a mentor and business consultant and worked in the banking industry for 45 years.
“I did not do much planning for my retirement in respect of the non-financial aspects of retirement. Recently I read a book called How To Save Your Own Life by Michael Gates. It made me realise that retirement is the best years of my life, but it should be planned,” he said.

The next step focuses on adjusting your lifestyle for emotional well-being and health. It includes how to remain active for health and mentions several service clubs that one can join, and other retirement associations.

“There is also a chapter on making a Last Will and Testament and keeping it up to date and details of the Living Will and organ donations. This book also provides information to assist in making a decision on when to downsize. Details of various discounts and benefits to senior citizens are also covered.

Blaine was born in London, grew up in Rhodesia and immigrated with his family to South Africa to study for a degree in agriculture in Pietermaritzburg.
The original idea was to return to Rhodesia once qualified, but the plan changed in his final year and he went south to a farm outside George. He then bought a deceased estate in the Midlands and became a dairy farmer.
His wife and he started a business venture - the Pickle Pot - in 1983 that lasted until 2005, when Blaine was forced into retirement due to health. He then became a business coach for entrepreneurs.

“I met Barry in 1983, and we got on well,” he said. “I had some retirement funding, but no idea what I would like to do. I actually found it quite challenging, when you need to take total responsibility for your life in every respect - you do not take orders from anyone,” he said.
“If you have no identified purpose and goals, you are inclined to feel used up and rapidly become too grumpy to do anything. When boredom sets in, introspection is often followed by depression. That is when men prematurely die. That is why there are so many widows.

“My strength is planning. More often than not, a plan made does not reconcile in every respect with reality, but the power of a plan provides a firm base for innovation to bridge the gap. Without a plan, you are on the highway to nowhere.
“I use the example of a road trip, which almost everybody regularly formulates, as a similar situation to life planning. Thus you should plan your life like you would for a trip , but for a 30-year period rather than a couple of days,” he said.

Blaine said the biggest misconception to retirement is related to the actual word “retirement”.
“It is interpreted in the same sense as is retrenchment. Both can be a serious shock because the underlying message can be interpreted as ‘we don’t want you anymore, go away’.”

The Next Step is available at the Book Boutique, Amanzimtoti at R190.

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