Life is full of changes, some predictable and some are surprises. Being prepared for change can reduce your stress. As I get older, getting ready for the latter years of my life, preparing for change takes on a new meaning. I am not so nimble and based on the average life span I have less time to recover. This may just be my last hurrah! In addition to my immortality I have loved ones to consider. Specifically, I have my Dad in mind, but this applies to Steve, my husband, and myself. Here are 8 steps I recommend that will help you get prepared for change –
- Consider your desired outcome. Each person is different. Based on our experiences, values and resources each situation is unique. How do you imagine life going forward? In retirement, after you sell the business? After your spouse passes away? When your health starts to fail?
- Find another person who can walk the path with you and discuss your desired outcome. Review what obstacles you may face.
- Gather your information. What people are important to you? List your family members, health care providers, community groups, charitable organizations, etc. Document your health situation and your financial situation.
- Organize all your important documents such as will, life insurance, retirement account statement, bank statements, power of attorney, titles, etc.
- Build your team. We all have different skills. Who can help with the finances? Who can help with healthcare decisions or lifestyle decisions? Who can advise you on legal matters?
- Brainstorm with your team. Take a wholistic approach to gain your desired outcome. Discuss your desired income, options that appeal to you and how will decisions be made.
- Take action. Based on your situation and your team suggestions do something! If it is too overwhelming break it down into bit sized pieces. Reorganize your finances, give legal power to those who need it, join organizations that will help you deal with the change, etc.
- Review and refine your plan once a year or if a change does occur. Meet with your team, brainstorm and find new options.
These steps can help you navigate getting older, getting married again, selling a business, losing a job, handling a health crisis, and whatever unexpected situation arises.
At FOCUS CPA we want to become part of your business team. Whether you want to get started on a business adventure, take step to get your business financially sound, grow, prepare to exit, sell your business, or whatever else you want to achieve – keep us in mind. We offer strategy meetings along with tax planning meetings that will help you reach what your heart desires. Call us for appointment.
By Mary Guldan-Lindstrom, CPA