Major Life Events

We are taught how to do countless things through the course of our lives, but adapting to life’s many changes is not usually among them. Meanwhile, we will all experience at least one major life transition, and the likelihood that we will experience more than one at a time increases with age.

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On Trust and The Unknown

When we’re talking about trust in the advisor-client relationship here at the Financial Transitionist Institute, we focus on communication and on being okay with uncertainty. Uncertainty is a foundational element of major life events (not to mention life, in general). There is always a large swath of unknown in the transitions landscape. Perhaps the largest part is: What will life look like when I am able to talk about this major life event as if it’s “over” and I have adapted to whatever changes have occurred? Realistically, we don’t know. We can’t know. Something else entirely unexpected can happen. We can do some planning and some adaptive work, but we cannot know what is going to happen. And that’s okay. It has to be. This requires a different kind of thinking about authority on the part of an advisor.

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On Listening and Respect

If there’s one thing we know here at the Financial Transitionist Institute, it’s that when money changes life changes, and when life changes money changes.®. Life is a series of changes. Some result from personal decisions, while others are thrust upon us. But whatever the specifics, clients facing important financial and life transitions depend upon expert guidance to help them through these changes.

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When a Health Diagnosis is a Life Transition Event

I spent some time speaking with the remarkable Fred Roth last week. He and his wife, Kathy, are the co-authors of “Fred’s Guide to Stem Cell Transplants,” which is at once informative, sobering, and delightful. When Fred was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia shortly after his and Kathy’s 40th anniversary, they were suddenly having conversations they never dreamed of having and becoming experts in the many ways cancer affects your life. A cancer diagnosis is a life transition event.

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The Playbook for When Life Changes

It’s no longer a secret that it’s the personal side of money that drives decision-making. And it’s also no longer a secret that, as Heraclitus is rumored to have said about life back in about 500 BC, change is the only constant. All of your clients will experience life transition after life transition. And yet, here we are, in an industry that always has and always will have change deeply embedded in it, with no substantial education about the human dynamics of change and transition in the curricula of even our most highly regarded designations.

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Life Transitions: Retirement

Did You Know?

Ages 65-74 are best for a happy retirement. 70% of individuals who reach age 65 will need long-term care at some point.

Curated Books:

  • 4th Quarter Fumbles, by Dennis Stearns CFP ®, Stearns Financial Group Field Guide Series, 2018
  • How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations, by Marc Freedman, Public Affairs, 2018
  • The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in the Age of Longevity, by Linda Gratton and Andrew Scott, Bloomsbury Business, Reprint Edition, 2017
  • Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, by William Bridges, Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2004
  • Boomer Reinvention: How to Create Your Dream Career Over 50, by John Tarnoff, Reinvention Press, 2017

Long-Life Planning According to the Financial Transitionist

When I read “You’re Asking the Wrong Longevity Planning Questions,” by Christopher Giambrone and Dennis Coughlin in Financial Planning, I said to myself, “Yes! Finally! The industry is taking notice!” I immediately contacted Sandy Adams, CFP® of the Center for Financial Planning in Southfield, MI. Sandy is a Certified Financial Transitionist® (CeFT®) who specializes in what we at the Financial Transitionist Institute call Long-Life Planning. I knew she’d be thrilled to read about other advisors who are working in this important area.

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