Reflections on Life at 62 and the lessons learnt for others who are around 50

I have just turned 62. Today I want to reflect on my life over the past 12 years and hopefully there may be some lessons for those around the 50-year-old milestone. There have been many changes in my life in the past 12 years.  I will highlight some of them so that you can understand the amount of change that may happen to you over the next 10-15 years. At 50 I was a mom of two adult children, divorced and working in a dream job, making a difference. Both my children had just married, a...

Marco Polo- Marco Polo

What comes to mind when you read this headline? Memories of a history lesson understanding the exploration of Marco Polo the explorer or a game you played as a child? I am in fact not talking about either of these two scenarios but rather about a relatively new application that you can download on your smart phone. It is a video messaging application that connects you with both individual and group conversations. You send a video message. The person on the other side is notified that you have...

The sudden arrival of caregiving in our lives

The middle generation between young and old is called the sandwich generation. This generation is often caring for both children and their elderly parents at the same time. The younger baby boomers may still be in this space and overlapping and coming soon to many in the X generation. It comes suddenly for many and the stress added to your already full schedule can be overwhelming. My mom was independent for most of her 22 years beyond the age of 60 with some help needed when she had eye oper...

Preparing and simplifying your life as you retire

I have just completed the process of doing my mother's estate. I am the executor of her estate. She died almost three years ago. Nothing prepares one for this process and I am going to make sure that I simplify my life and make it easier for my family when I die. Below are some of the lessons I have learnt over the past three years. My mother is the oldest in her generation. I knew that once she died much of the history that she carried would be lost. After weeks of sorting through mounds ...

Longevity Risks and Opportunities by Kay Darbourn

If you have the opportunity to plan for your future in advance – then do so! We are constantly learning more about how long we might live and for those of us in our fifties we might have a further 30 to 40 years to enjoy… It is important to consider how best we can plan for this future and the different perspectives involved to help us with our options. Let’s focus for the moment on the “company” perspective versus your own requirements – you both will have different objectives and if you co...

Mentoring as a transformation tool

There are many ways in which we as South Africans can assist with transformation. Mentoring is one that is key as an inter-generational solution. So what exactly is mentoring? Here is a definition from Wikipedia: “Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but he must have a certain area of expertise. It is a learning and...

Are your policies all in one place and does your family know what needs to happen when you die?

My mother died two years ago and I am the executor of her estate. This is something I have never done before and I have learnt a lot of lessons. One I have learnt is that it is not fun to be involved in this kind of work and two that I want to ensure that my records are well documented and do not become a huge burden for my children when I die. The story I am about to tell you, should also ensure that at the end of the day it is your responsibility and that BIG BROTHER insurance company is no...

Lessons for succession planning from Bill Hybels

On Friday I was privileged to attend a leadership session with Bill Hybels in Pretoria. Bill Hybels is the lead Pastor for Willow Creek church in Chicago. He also runs the Global leadership summit annually in more than 90 countries around the world. It was a question and answer session on leadership challenges. One of the questions asked was on succession planning. This is of great interest to me due to the work we do at the Refirement Network. It is becoming a challenging issue for any compa...

Legacy, family and birthday celebrations

I have just finished attending the Retirement Lifestyle Expo in Cape Town. Over lunch yesterday one of the ladies joined me at and shared about how much she had enjoyed my talk about finding passion, purpose and a pay cheque 50+.. She shared about how she loves to listen to stories from older people and would love to record them so that their families have them when they are no longer here to tell the stories.I know this is something I always encouraged my mom to do for us as she was the oldest ...

Crossroads & Transitions | Lynda Smith

I met Lynda about a decade ago.  A striking woman with an unassuming confidence about her.  A skilled businesswoman, an entrepreneur, a sincere friend – a woman who has enormous capacity to build great relationships. Lynda’s commitment to educating the nation and her focus on giving every child a stable foundation for the years ahead is remarkable. I love her insights into the different phases of life and the transitions people go through as they move from one chapter of their life to the next. ...