Tips to Alleviate the Pressures of Life-Changing Moments
By Paul Jarvis, CFP®
AreaVoices Financial Planning Blog
The mid-life crisis: it happens to almost everyone. That shiny new convertible at the dealership catches your eye; your college roommate arrives to the reunion with a much younger, more attractive spouse; or that vow you made to never consider plastic surgery now seems like a good idea. There are other kinds of mid-life crises, too – more common, and less spectacular than changing partners, profiles, or preferences. Unfortunately, these crises can be just as expensive, if not more so. What is it about middle-age that brings on a full-blown identity crisis, not to mention all of the stress and expenses?
So often we see individuals at an inflection point at some point in their life looking for direction. We find that by having an action plan decision making becomes easier leading to the best possible financial outcome.
Here are some simple but essential steps to help you get your finances ready for any mid-life scenario you might face.
- PLAN: It is human nature to deal with things as they come, one at a time. The financial planning process helps us become aware of the “opportunity costs” of each financial and life decision we make. For this reason, it’s particularly important that the mid-lifers – 40 or 50 year-olds – take a holistic approach in their planning process to build a comprehensive plan that will take into account all of the individual’s or family’s goals.
- PRIORITIZE: Identifying and prioritizing these goals is one of the first and most important steps of financial planning. These priorities help determine where trade-offs may be necessary when shortfalls are identified in the plan.
- PREPARE: It is important to address the potential financial costs of sudden or catastrophic events – a sudden death, property loss, or even a major market meltdown. Covering yourself with the proper insurance coverage and risk management techniques should be one of a mid-lifers’ first and non-negotiable priorities. Without taking these steps, all life goals may become wishful thinking.
- PUT A CFP® professional in the middle: Many times we may feel responsible for the financial obligations of family members older and younger than ourselves, as it can be too hard to say no to our loved ones. In these situations, the role of a facilitator – such as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional – can be invaluable, and can help a family mitigate the financial burden that might otherwise fall solely on the mid-lifer.
Learn more by visiting LetsMakeaPlan.org.
ABOUT Paul Jarvis
Paul Jarvis is a CFP Board Ambassador and leads United Capital’s office in Fargo. See more at http://financialplanning.areavoices.com.