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When What If becomes If Only

Instead of focusing on the ‘what-ifs’ that could possibly impact our lives in this second chapter post-Covid, I have found that clients are talking about ‘if onlys’. And not in a way that implies regret – these are conversations about living a more wholehearted life.

I have personally found this quote by New York Times best-selling author and host of the Rise Together podcast, Dave Hollis, extremely helpful:

“In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”

Many clients do not want to revert to their old ways of being in the world. Values have shifted, visions have changed, and clients are talking and thinking about life differently. Life changes can be exciting, but it is essential to take time to properly and objectively plan the transition with a solid financial plan to enable it.

Tom and Linda are clients who embraced the concept of pausing, giving them time to reflect and plan their next chapter towards significance. Post-Covid, they were both ready for change. Tom no longer found his architecture business fulfilling, and Linda wanted to move on from her bookkeeping position. They both knew what they no longer wanted to do but were unsure about what to do next.

Often, in the search for significance, clients feel lost, unsure and overwhelmed with emotion. When you’re feeling overly emotional, you simply have to stop and pause, as the decisions or actions you take will almost certainly be flawed. Start by enlisting the advice of your Retiremeant™ Specialist, who will guide you objectively and help you plan the best way forward from a money and life perspective.

I shared the suitcase exercise with Tom and Linda. You may have done it before, but it is such a valuable exercise in times of change.

Imagine you are going on a trip and you can only pack the things that serve you into your suitcase. What you leave behind is as important as what you will take. This exercise helps you recalibrate and get a clearer picture of what is essential as you move forward. It’s about identifying more of what you want by editing what’s not working – and making space for new things. It’s also about reflecting and being grateful for what you do have.

The first thing Tom and Linda packed was their relationship. They are happily married and want to spend more time together. Tom decided to edit out being an architect and sell his business. Linda crystallised a new dream of becoming a life coach. To their surprise and after doing the maths, the Financial Plan showed that they had enough money to take a year-long sabbatical to figure out their next steps.

If you’re having If only thoughts, such as if only I could … change my work, live somewhere else, or do something that really inspires me – it may be time to meet with your Specialist and make your If only a reality.

I truly believe that life is too short not to live intentionally. Let’s make ours count.

In the month of December, you can read about clients embracing their retirement and turning their passion into purpose, ticking off Bucket Wheel® items along the way. We have also included a feature on the various hybrid and in-person events we hosted this year. Enjoy the read.

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