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Navigating a Mid-Life Course Correction

Transitions can take on many forms. Taking stock of who you are and what you envision can make all the difference.

Making a shift from one life path to another is both challenging and exciting. While the financial considerations of making a career change, selling a business or pursuing a "life-calling" should not be dismissed, the emotional and psychological implications of such a major life change can often go unnoticed or unaddressed. Understanding both the benefits as well as the drawbacks of a mid-life course correction will only serve to have a positive effect on the experience as a whole.

Take into consideration the following questions:

  • What are the motivating factors causing you to make this change?
  • What types of planning or investing are necessary to facilitate this change successfully?
  • Will this new opportunity enhance your current standard of living and, if not, how important is this to you?
  • What are the worst and best case scenarios for the outcome in case things don't go according to plan?
  • Do you have a backup plan or strategy?

Look Within

When making a major life decision, it is advisable to really take stock of the type of change that will make in your life. Will those changes benefit you and your loved ones positively, negatively or neither? Perhaps this change will take you away from your home, result in more time away from people you care about, require a move or a longer commute. Perhaps this change will be more creatively fulfilling, less demanding than your previous position or venture, perhaps it will be more so.

Whatever the case, it is important to look beyond the financial impacts of a course correction before taking the plunge. For a strong, successful transition, you'll need to identify what is currently making you unhappy, and what will make you happy in the future. Speak with co-workers and friends and get their take. These conversations may help clarify how big a move you should make. Having a holistic sense of well-being is more important over the long term and will result in greater overall success in your life.

Taking a step back and looking at your life and goals with a different lens can help you to identify where to make changes. Having outside support from friends and professionals can help you gain perspective and ease the challenge of manifesting this transition. As Einstein said, "You cannot solve a problem on the level it was created."

What is Your Vision?

So often, we dream large about where we think we'd love to be, but the vision is so far away from where we are today and we can't quite see the path to get there. As Sir Winston Churchill said, "It is a mistake to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be handled one link at a time."

You can't go from Point A to Point Z in a month. This process – of identifying who you really are and determining the directions that will align best with your values, visions and needs – takes time, energy, patience, trust and commitment. Having a 3-month, 6-month and 12-month plan, with specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goals, and someone in your court to hold you accountable. Get help, build a plan with milestones that you can measure, and get on the path to expanding yourself so that you are a true match with the great career you long for.

Having a trusted advisor can be invaluable during this exploratory time and, as Certified Financial Transitionists®, our focus is on the personal side of financial planning. With a skilled partner, you can gain peace of mind in knowing the decisions you make are built for your long term wealth and well-being.

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