Jan 11, 2018

Prepare and Think Ahead Before Making Bold Moves

By Byron Ellis

Have you ever had one of those days? A day when you wanted to make a dramatic departure from your job, move to a deserted island and live out the rest of your life drinking out of coconuts and swimming in a blue lagoon? While your version of “paradise” might be different, we have all had those moments where we thought about escaping from it all.

But are you bold enough to ever make such a move? Most of us are not and frankly, if you are not prepared, that emotional decision may be detrimental to you and your family. However, could you put yourself in a better position so that you could not only see bold moves that you could make with your life, but get yourself into a position to be able to make those moves?

A friend and associate of mine made such a bold move. At a point in his career when things were humming and the future looked bright, he and his wife made the decision to move from the suburbs of Dallas to a condo in Colorado for a 1-year sabbatical. No work for a year. They spent time exploring, hiking, and home schooling. He says it was life changing and felt very happy he took the plunge. He is now back to work, but views his life and work in a much different way than he did before he took the break.

Another bold move that many would like to do is move from two incomes to one. You may want to do this so that your kids get more parental attention. You may also be considering this to free up someone to start a business or follow a passion. Whatever your motivation, do you have what it takes to jump and make it happen?

Another friend of mine is currently contemplating a bold move. Both husband and wife are working in high-paying positions and doing what seems to be everything right financially. They live in the U.S. but have family in the U.K. Their bold plan includes one of them quitting their job and moving to the U.K.; less income, potentially more expense, and at what cost? Or, does cost really matter?

As I have seen others and contemplated and made my own bold moves over the years, I have seen three keys to success:

  1. Bold moves are usually not about financial moves. This is why cost, or income loss, is usually okay. You typically need to analyze the financial implications of the move, but the driving factor for wanting to make the change is rarely finance based. Moving to Colorado and taking a year off was about family and quality of life. Dropping one career and losing that income is usually about family and, at least in the short term, is usually going to hurt you financially. See what I mean...not a financially driven decision.
  2. You will never think about 100% of the financial implications of such a move. My friends that are contemplating the U.K. move are both smart people. They are trying to think about every angle and trying to make sure that they don’t make a financial mistake. I admire them for taking their time to do this, but they have to realize that something still may come up that they never considered. I understand that they don’t want to commit financial suicide, but at some point they just need to make the move. Most bold moves require a little bit of faith...a little bit of the feeling like you are about to jump off a cliff.
  3. Having a financial plan in place can make a bold move easier. I don’t know the financial details of the examples that I have shared, but I can say that some of my clients have made some bold moves. What I find is that when they have a well thought out foundation in place the decision to make a big life change can be easier. Modeling out losing income, increasing expenses, living off some cash reserve can all be seen before jumping off that cliff. The point of a bold move is not to commit suicide so planning up front may increase your likelihood of surviving that jump.

I like bold moves. I like being in a position to make them. I never know what idea is going to pop into my head, but what I do know is that the more control and the more planning I do about my financial life, the more opportunities I see for bold moves. Do you have a plan? Has that plan freed you up to see bold moves in your life?

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