As a woman, late August likely brings feelings of transitions, whether from childhood memories, or watching your own children or grandchildren take that giant leap to the next school year. I recall how big that leap felt when I was in elementary school, and now I have recently returned from taking my first son to college in Colorado, while my younger son is about to enter his senior year in high school. This year has been a huge and bittersweet transition for me.
The financial transitions we face are more subtle. First, there is the early part of our adult life when we begin our careers and often struggle while learning lots of valuable lessons. Next, we start to build a financial foundation, and we may raise a family during this time. Before we know it, the children are no longer children and we are preparing for the next phase of our lives, which may or may not involve work. Life is so busy and full that tending to your money during these phases can get put on the back burner.
The financial phases of our lives sneak up on us, just like watching the youth in our lives grow into adulthood. Paying attention to your money, focusing on financial goals and doing some planning along the way are the stepping stones that guide us through those phases in a somewhat predictable and steady way. These steps prepare us for a good lifestyle in the later phase of our lives.
As the young people in your life head back to school and you catch your breath from all of the summer activities, take some time to reflect on the current stage of your financial transition. Ask yourself if you are paying attention to your money, focusing on your financial goals, and doing some planning that is appropriate for your current stage. Be a woman who is confidently prepared for the next financial stage.