Life Transitions

Setting the stage for every stage in life.

Financial planning is a lifelong process that will require many adjustments along the way. Necessary modifications due to things beyond just changes in age. Career choices, relationships and even personal goals and dreams will all play a role in how you chart your course and create the life you wish to lead.

Setting your course.

You’re an adult now. Now what?

Being fresh out on your own brings a world of possibilities. And a world of questions. It’s a time of exploration, yearning, excitement and ambition.

Financial planning tasks include learning how to get and keep a job, to network and contribute at work and at play, to pay bills on time and to stay in touch with family and friends, to try new things. Portfolio management is in bud. The focus initially is on building cash reserves and laying the foundation for your desired career.

But it’s also about cultivating personal habits: Will you be a regular saver? Involved with service organizations? Have a religious affiliation? Be a lifetime learner? Participate in sports? Stay connected with friends? Be globally comfortable? Pursue the arts or love the outdoor life? The choices you make early combine to set your course. It’s a fun and lonely and wonderful time of life.

Expect the unexpected.

How dollars and sense play a role during the good and bad.

Encountering the unexpected is a fact of life. And whether an event be painful or pleasant, the key to surviving change is having the ability and wherewithal to react.  Sometimes that means having the right insurance in place, or being savvy about a career change or a home purchase, or a change in your health. Sometimes it just means understanding where you are in terms of daily cash flow. People often seek financial advice when they are in transition. That makes sense to us. Navigating change safely and comfortably is what it is all about.

Work and life. Balancing it all to be your best.

Making the most out of the life you’re making.

Reconciling differences with one’s partner about career priorities, child-raising, in-law relations, and money issues are common threads in everyday life. Finding one’s self unexpectedly single because of death, divorce, or just because of how life rolled out can also play a role.

Financial planning tasks for this life stage include setting up a robust program for saving and long-term investing, tailoring income and estate tax planning to personal preferences and circumstances, buying the right insurance and managing your career. You might also be learning how to maintain and improve your home, hire and work with various advisors, and raise financially literate children.

In the midst of all this life balancing, your finances increasingly reflect your values, and the degree to which you are envisioning and preparing for long-term financial security. Life is crazy busy, and your finances are taking shape.

Retirement.

Building and transitioning.

Retirement planning is about the unfolding of the final career plateau and a gradually increasing emphasis on the value of financial security and personal connections. Then, as the reality of life without an active career, or children at home, or parents to care for, becomes visible on the horizon, a sense of transition and a search for meaning and structure begins anew, sometimes with a new partner.

Financial planning tasks include the finishing touches on retirement savings and setting up for daily cash flow in retirement. Keeping insurance and income and estate tax planning refreshed is key as you also perhaps take care of parents, get kids fully launched, handle an inheritance, or explore a personal hobby or develop a charitable initiative.

The planning focus shifts increasingly to meaning, to what you have done in your life and what is still left to do. Life is busy but also increasingly about sifting and sorting for personal meaning.

Old age knocks at the door.

And suddenly, life changes.

It’s a time of coming to terms with losses, of facing down loneliness and figuring out regrets, and also of cultivating gratitude and forgiveness of oneself and of others.

You’ll need an ever stronger safety net for navigating not only daily finances, but also the medical system and the tasks of daily living. Estate planning, including communication of end-of-life preferences, becomes more important. Residence decisions get harder. You’ve become an elder, even though you remember as if it were just yesterday talking as a child with your own grandparents.

Planning tasks include:  Getting daily financial life on automatic. Sharing financial information with your children/named agents. Learning how to accept help on the day to day. Giving up driving. Perhaps choosing a retirement facility and moving out of your home.  All of that is easier when there is a trusted team in place.