The Best Approach to Financial Matters During Transition

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By Michael Kay

Life transitions bring change, challenges and the possibility of transformation.

Transitions come about in many ways: the birth of a child, loss of a job, retirement, prolonged illness or death of a loved one, to name a few. Each transition presents an opportunity for growth, resilience and a broadening of personal capacity. But it all comes at an emotional and usually financial cost.

Steve’s department was being eliminated and was given a two-week notice. His wife Denise’s job brought in a decent amount, but their lifestyle depended on both incomes.

The severance package offered would get them through a month or so, but after that it would be tough.

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Amy’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  Her parents lived across the country, and her mother was devastated.  They had no support, and it was up to Amy to help them out.  Her consulting business was flexible, but not that much. Amy had to hand off some clients to friends and hoped that she could pick up the pieces when life returned to normal.

Peter and Carol’s first child was born on a Sunday.  The family was overwhelmed with joy at the arrival. What Peter and Carol weren’t expecting was the doctor’s report that surgery would be needed to correct a problem they had found soon after birth.  It would require a fairly long and expensive recovery period. There were more many issues to deal with than Peter and Carol could handle at this time.

Dealing with financial issues during periods of significant change can be nearly impossible. Following any highly emotional occurrence, getting your head around the nuts and bolts of financial decision-making can be a menacing obstacle. But let’s face it—it’s not as if there’s a lot of choice in the matter.

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