Dr. Hannetjie Van-Zyl-Edeling

082 460 4575



MINDFUL RETIREMENT - Exploring the Psychology


MINDFUL RETIREMENT - Out to pasture or a vibrant encore?


RETIREMENT READINESS - Is your parachute in order?


MOTIVATION - The lion or the lighthouse, which do you prefer?


WHAT MAKES YOU TICK? - Understanding our basic human needs


RETIREMENT STRESS - Not a walk on the beach


RETIREMENT STRESS - Daily hassles , beware of the little foxes


COPING WITH STRESS - Uplifts and how to create them


Exploring the Psychology of the Journey into Retirement

- for Financial advisors and their clients

By Dr Hannetjie van Zyl-Edeling and Associates from The Bridge


Proper planning and preparedness prevent panic and purposelessness!


Welcome to our rapidly changing world!

This article is mainly about the psychology of the journey into retirement and beyond, but also about practical issues encountered en route. We, as your navigators, hope to assist you in making this journey interesting, fulfilling and worthwhile. We will point out pitfalls encountered by ourselves and those who went before us and suggest alternatives for sticky situations. Our goal is to assist you in making your post-formal-working-life a different, but equally meaningful, reality.


The article is for all of us, but specifically also for financial- and other advisors who need to guide clients into and after retirement in ways that were not traditionally expected of you. No, we do not need you to be psychologists, but we do want to encourage a deep and personal awareness and understanding of what clients will go through, and ultimately, all of us in our journey through life.


Advice is so much more effective when one has a fist-hand understanding
of the challenge.


The question to ask yourself as a financial advisor is – Who is your client? – the person or their money? It might have been ok in the past to concentrate on merely managing someone’s finances, but we now know that the relationship and the human component of an interaction are what really make it worthwhile on so many levels. The personal connection, understanding and support in your interaction will bring the client back to you – time, and time again.


The “what to do once a client has actually retired” is a relatively new field for some, but far less tricky when you know what the challenges are and when you can face them head-on. When the advisor understands the client’s changing needs, the advice can be tailored accurately and effectively. Is that not a goal worth striving for? And who would not want an advisor who really cares about you and not just about how much money they can make off you.


We will be chatting about re-wirement and regularly re-inventing our lives. In the process we will be drawing from many sources, but largely from our own writings and personal experience.


We invite you to come on this journey with us. Let us help you, advisor or client, to cross the bridge into your new life without falling into the water… and when you’re safely in the new world, how to flourish there…


To summarise. In these articles we want to create awareness and understanding of

• the psychological- and other challenges that arise before and during retirement;

• how to avoid the pitfalls on the path;

• how to make later life meaningful; and

• other useful snippets of information relevant to positive living.


Our format: Dr Hannetjie will generally introduce the subject and Paul and Marianne will discuss their personal experience in this regard in their article hosted on the Bridge Website.


The contributors are:

Dr Hannetjie van Zyl-Edeling (Dr Hannetjie) - psychologist; with Marianne Heron – journalist and Life Coach; Paul Britton – un-retiree and presenter; and Dr Anne Blacklaws - consultant from The Bridge. From time to time we plan to have other guest contributors too.




I am a counselling psychologist and mediator with a great interest in positive psychology and mindful living. I love courageous conversations about crucial life matters, really dislike regret and believe that suffering is optional.


I started my career as a dietitian and am also a qualified NLP Master Practitioner and Astrologer, amongst other things. My book, Over the {Hill} Moon, A Guide to Positive Ageing forms the backbone of my contributions here and in my workshops and talks. My motto is:


My connection with Paul and The Bridge came through a mutual friend who realised that we were working in the same field, and that our approaches to post-formal-working-life might be compatible, even symbiotic. This was indeed the case. Paul and Anne are Based in Cape Town and I am in Johannesburg. We have so far done a number of workshops and talks all over the country together, specifically for financial advisors to help them and their clients deal with the rapidly evolving terrain of post-retirement living.


About The Bridge (Paul Britton, Marianne heron and Dr Anne Blacklaws). The Bridge to fulfilling retirement was born of our conviction for the need for courses and information to aid the transition from career into a vibrant new phase of life. Our work is based on our own and our contemporaries’ bad experiences of retirement.

We offer pre-and post-retirement workshops and seminars to help retirees consider the way ahead and facilitate them in finding their own road map to the future.

We often collaborate with Dr Hannetjie, especially for the talks and training of financial advisors.



Who am I? Someone who believes passionately that that later life can be the best time of all given thought and preparation. Retirement is a big transition: one which needs not only a financial plan but one co-ordinated with a life plan.


What else can I say about myself? Creativity and curiosity define me. Beginning as a graduate of fashion design in the UK, my career moved into journalism in Ireland, where together with other women journalists we spearheaded the campaign for women’s rights. Marriage, motherhood, authoring books on Irish gardens and feature writing followed as I continued my career with the Irish Independent to become Features Editor.


When we retired my husband and I moved to Cape Town where I really struggled to adjust to retirement. I read psychology for a couple of years at UCT then trained as a life Coach at SACAP (South African College of Applied Psychology). Based on my training and my experience of retirement and those of contemporaries I co-founded the Bridge to Fulfilling Retirement with business partner Paul Britton which offers pre-retirement courses: something we both find very fulfilling! We also co-authored Rewire don’t Retire, our handbook addressing the non-financial aspects of retirement and how to plan for a fulfilling retirement.



Originally trained in Forestry and Landscape Architecture, his main career has been with SANParks as a strategic planner. He has also worked in the academic field.  As a result of discovering that he was not alone in suffering from retirement depression, he has been researching the non-financial aspects of retirement for the past 10 years. Paul continues to work as a strategic planning consultant. |



Anne has extensive practical management experience in the Banking, Oil and Gas, FMCG/Retail, Management Consulting, Engineering and South Africa, Qatar and Oman Government sectors.  She is currently “semi” retired and still does management assessments for succession planning, for companies in Africa and the Middle East.  Anne’s doctorate looks at what people need in order to successfully live in their own homes as they grow older.



All our contributors are

passionate about positive living

and lifelong growth as humans.

We hope you are too!


Chat more soon.

Dr Hannetjie on this article. Marianne and the team will be collaborating via their companion article on The Bridge Website.



Any suggestions or opinions voiced in these pages are those of the authors, and in no way to be constructed as final treatment advice. They are intended as a starting point to develop your own preparation and treatment plan. Please consult your medical and/or psychological experts or caregivers to fine-tune the advice and suggestions for your own unique needs.