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Listen: Planning for a lifestyle change

May 13, 2022

The Covid pandemic forced many people to reflect on their lives. Not only did we stand still for a moment to take stock, but many people realised that there’s maybe a different way to live our lives, prompting some to make a major lifestyle change.

In the second part of a series of conversations around life transitions, Maya (@mayaonmoney) speaks to financial planner Louis van der Merwe of WealthUp on how to approach a significant lifestyle change.

A lifestyle change can be traumatic

Even when we choose to make changes, transitions can still be traumatic. It is important to be prepared and to understand the emotional process you will be undergoing.

Is this really what you want, or is it a short-term reaction to current circumstances? How do you manage your finances in this transition? Are your partner and your family on board?

All choices and decisions have pros and cons and therefore come with a range of emotions. The fact that there is seldom a ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ decision makes things even more complex.

While it is important to plan for a lifestyle change so you can avoid costly errors, once you have made your decision, don’t get caught up in the “what if / if only” mind game.

The four stages of transition

When it comes to facing a life change, the starting point is to understand the four stages of transition:

  • Anticipation – where one moves between feeling excited and invincible to being simply terrified
  • Ending – this comes with a sense of loss or grief
  • Passage – this is the messy “middle” where you have to put back the pieces in a different way to find your new identity
  • A new normal – this is the acceptance that your life is now different. It will not go back to being what it was before, but that is okay. This is another chapter – another version of yourself.

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Maya Fisher-French author of Money Questions Answered

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