Are You Financially and Emotionally Prepared for Life’s Big Transitions?
Financial planning is more than just a series of savings and investments you lock away and forget about. Your money doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Your financial needs are going to fluctuate in response to the transitions that we all go through as we work, raise our families, and look ahead to retirement.
Managing these transitions is one of the keys to maximising your finances and to achieving a greater Return on Life™ (ROL).
It’s Better to Prepare Than Repair
When it comes to your financial future, it’s easier to prepare for what’s ahead than it is to repair mistakes. With that in mind, we have a tool called The Financial Lifeline. It’s designed to help you prepare your financial planning for life’s transitions by asking you to anticipate what’s coming up and the age at which you expect the transition to happen.
You can then plot the applicable transitions on your Financial Lifeline, and use a color-coded system to rate the transition based on whether it is a High, Medium, or Low priority. If you’re married, you and your spouse can plot both shared transitions and transitions that are unique to each of you on the same Financial Lifeline for a complete picture of all the milestones that will affect your household, and your finances. Each transition also includes links to additional resources that you can consult for more information.
Let’s take a look at the six Financial Lifeline categories, and a few of the important transitions we can help you map out and prepare for:
- Expecting a child
- Special family event
- Assistance to a family member
- Child going on to college or university
- Child getting married
- Empty nest
- Concern about an aging parent
- Concern about the health of child
- Concern about the health of spouse
- Family member with disability or illness
- Recent death of a family member
- Contemplating career change
- Job re-structuring
- Expand business
- Start a new business
- Acquire / purchase a business
- New job training / education
- Semi retirement
- Full retirement
- Changing residence
- Start receiving State Pension
- Start receiving retirement distributions
- Refinancing mortgage
- Reconsidering investment philosophy
- Significant investment gain
- Significant investment loss
- Considering investment opportunity
- Receiving inheritance
- Gift to family member
- Gift to children / grandchildren
- Develop / review estate plan
- Create a foundation
- Create or fund a scholarship
- Fund a cause or event
Transitions Change Over Time
Once we’ve plotted your anticipated life transitions on your Financial Lifeline, we can start discussing the transitions that are most important to you from an immediate planning standpoint. Maybe you need to understand the financial implications of taking care of an aging parent or you may want to know the best time to start receiving pension payments.
Over time, as new transitions arise and old ones get completed, we can add, remove, and reprioritise transitions as necessary.
The easiest way to go off plan is to make a rash, emotional decision in the middle of a difficult moment. The Financial Lifeline, and our Life Planning process, will help you avoid reacting – or overreacting – to the ebbs and flows of your life by putting you into a more proactive mindset about your financial future.
As you prepare to go through the Financial Lifeline exercise, take a look at the categories and transitions listed above. If you’re married, talk to your spouse about them. Write out a list of transitions that you know you’ll want to plot on your Financial Lifeline. Take the first step by getting in touch or completing the Return on Life exercise you can access below.