Transitions

Change is integral to life. So, couldn’t we agree that at some point in our lives, maybe more than once, each of us will be confronted with a major life change?

It could be as universal as suddenly being awakened to the reality that retirement is not that far off, and we realize that we are neither mentally, intellectually nor financially prepared for it.  It’s challenging to carry on our professional lives with the mental distraction of needing to plan for our next phase.

Planning a life transition for post-sale of the business you have been running for 30 years can be equally daunting when contemplating both the financial feasibility as well as a vision of a fulfilling retirement.

Divorce can be another major life disruptor.  Its realization, anticipation and ultimate confrontation triggers not only emotional turmoil but mountains of financial uncertainty and stress. The emotional and financial consequences of the life change that lies ahead will require a clear head and calm judgments.

When a spouse passes away, sometimes suddenly or, as often, after a long lingering illness, the surviving spouse is left adrift.  He or she must navigate a new, foreign and often frightening landscape of a new life.  The emotional impact of the grieving process can obscure cognition and limit one’s ability at a critical time to make the important financial decisions and actions that necessarily ensue.

To summarize in a single sentence:

When life changes, money changes; and when money changes, life changes.

No one should be left to navigate this new “lifescape” alone, to make those critical, time sensitive decisions in a cognitively impaired state.

The sudden change in income and assets in this new environment requires more than just the technical skills and experience of a traditional financial planner.  It necessitates the insight of a trained Financial Transitionist to construct the bridge between the personal and technical aspects of creating a new normal.

Silver Oak’s Financial Transition Planning process integrates with our technical financial planning expertise to reduce confusion and create space of mind.  The personal and the technical are equally important in dealing with the energy that is money.

We believe that Financial Transition Planning is critical in enabling a person to regain the clarity and control they will need in order to navigate the complexities ahead and safely build their next phase of life.

People in transition will need a thinking partner and skilled guide who is equally familiar with them and their road ahead.

This is the first of a series of bi-monthly installments discussing the Financial Transition Planning process.

Coming up:

Next installment:  The Six Phases of Financial Transition Planning
Third installment: The Role of a Thinking Partner.

Eric D Bruck

Eric D. Bruck, CFP®, has provided comprehensive wealth guidance since 1981. Eric’s clients lead successful but often complex financial lives, and appreciate that the true value of well-managed wealth lies in the quality of life it supports.