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In Hindsight – wise money lessons I wish I could tell my younger self

Not just one retirement chapter

with Tersia and Theo (and Game View Lodge)


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Tersia (on my left) also read my book Midlife Money Makeover! That was such a wonderful surprise! Here we are during my stay at Game View Lodge.

Kim Potgieter

Kim Potgieter

January 22, 2024
Every now and then, life has a way of surprising us with unexpected moments that lead to meeting truly inspirational people. Imagine my surprise when, during a night’s stay at Game View Lodge in Vryburg, I met Tersia and her husband, Theo, and learned about their retirement philosophy. Here was a couple with a thriving business who viewed retirement as a series of chapters. I love meeting people with big dreams and the passion to make it happen! Tersia and Theo wholeheartedly embraced Chapter 2: Act 1 as their chance to live their unfulfilled dreams on their own terms … and there’s more to come.

Have you ever dreamed of turning a lifelong passion into a thriving business in retirement? Tersia and Theo did just that. They pursued their shared dream of owning their very own guesthouse and transformed the first act of their second chapter into an entrepreneurial adventure with Game View Lodge. But their dreams extend beyond the present; they plan to eventually sell the lodge and open the door to yet another chapter in their retirement journey.

Theo and Tersia at the front door of their Lodge.
Theo and Tersia at the front door of their Lodge.

Introducing Tersia and Theo

Tersia and Theo lived in Vryburg for many years where Theo headed the Health Department at the local municipality, and Tersia worked as a bank manager. “We always dreamed of owning our own guest house one day,” says Tersia. When they retired, it wasn’t about slowing down but about chasing a dream they were too passionate to let go of. After three years of planning and building, their dream finally came true.

Theo and Tersia’s money and life lessons

Question
Starting Game View Lodge in your retirement must have taken a lot of courage. What prompted you to recalibrate your lives and pursue your dreams?

Answer
Having lived in Vryburg for such a long time, we knew there was a viable opportunity for opening up a guesthouse. It was more than just a gut feeling – it was a calculated risk that paid off after three years of planning and hard work. We saw our retirement as the perfect opportunity to pursue our dream – young, full of energy and ready to take on the challenge.

Question
How did you finance your new venture?

Answer
Using Theo’s pension fund on his retirement at 63, they started building Game View Lodge, while carefully planning to ensure they had sufficient funds for unexpected expenses and working capital. Tersia worked another two years, adding to their retirement savings that they invested into an interest-bearing account on her retirement. “It was an enormous risk, but we were brave and believed that we had the capability and the knowledge to make our money work for us,” says Tersia.

Question
How do you allocate roles and responsibilities? Do you work well together as a team?

Answer
Apart from dreaming of running a guest house one day, Theo has always enjoyed designing, planning and building homes as a side-line business. Tersia’s passion lies in interior decorating and flower arranging – making them the perfect team to use their strengths to turn Game View Lodge into a reflection of their shared passions and talents.

Let’s talk about money:

Question
Who takes charge of the money and financial decisions?

Answer
We work as a team and are both involved in the financial management and daily decisions. Tersia runs the office and ensures tight control over creditors and debtors.

Question
What advice do you have for others wanting to start a business in retirement?

Answer

  • Do thorough research to ensure your business will be viable (especially in your town or city).
  • Prepare a detailed cash flow projection.
  • Keep sufficient working capital (a business may only start turning a profit after 6-12 months).
  • Focus on marketing and excellent service
  • Work hard and hire the right people with expert knowledge.

Question
What money habits are you most proud of?

Answer
Our diligent saving habits and continuous reinvestment in the business have paid off. We also consistently invest in a money market savings account for emergency expenses. Our business has achieved a 95% occupancy rate after 8 years of successful growth.

Question
What does the future hold?

Answer
The best part of owning a successful business is its resell potential as a going concern. If we do decide to sell, we would have doubled our original investment for more dreams and living our best lives in Act 2 of Chapter 2.

What I truly love about Tersia and Theo’s story is how they balance all the important aspects of their lives so effortlessly. As much as they love working in their business, they’ve employed excellent staff to run the lodge, freeing them up to explore other passions and interests. Just last year, they travelled to Switzerland and Namibia – living their best life in Chapter 2, Act 1.

Reflect for a minute on the dreams you may be nurturing for your next chapter … this may be the perfect opportunity to reinvent and realise those long-lost passions.

Always remember, when it comes to your money and your life, be inspired, be brave, and be on purpose.

Kim

Click here to read Kim’s advice for starting a new business in retirement
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