Taking a Leap of Faith

Paul FennerLife Transitions

529 plan

Even the best-laid plans in life can require a certain leap of faith.  You can pull all of your numbers together, put forth your best forecast based upon your current facts and assumptions, and arrive at a sound analysis.  Everything indicates that this is the right move but then nothing.  Nothing but fear.

Fear can be a crippling factor within any decision that we make whether it is financially related or some other life decision.  I see this fear often when speaking with prospective clients who are unsure of how to take that first step in putting together a financial plan for their lives.

Face the Fear and Do it Anyway

My wife and I have been experiencing this same fear relentlessly for the past few months.  The decision has centered around her career.  Should she stay at home full time, try to go down to a part-time or reduced schedule, or ask for an extremely flexible work schedule?

Within my own analysis, I was focused on the following critical factors;

  1. Any change away from a full-time career would have a financial impact which would cause us to make some mild to significant lifestyle changes.
  2. For the first 6 years of our children’s’ lives, my wife has missed out on seeing her kids grow and being a positive influence upon their lives due to her demanding career and commute.
  3. The health and well-being of my wife both physically and emotionally have deteriorated over the past year and more dramatically over the past 6 months.

Honestly, the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was factor number 3.  For my wife to not be able to physically pick up any of her kids or in doing so would inflict so much pain upon her was the tipping point for me.  Even though I had poured through all of our financial information and the results were going to require some changes, I knew that this was much more than a financial decision, it was a quality of life decision.

The Force

There are situations and decisions that we are forced to make regardless of what the financial outcome may be.  We have to take a leap of faith and believe that everything will work out.  Could we have put ourselves in a better position to lessen the financial blow?  Sure, there have likely been countless opportunities where I should have taken the same advice that I provide to my own clients but didn’t.  Life happens and we need to continue to strive to make better decisions while keeping our personal and financial goals within sight.

I have told close friends who knew about our circumstances that it never ceases to amaze me how situations like ours have a way of working out.  And when I listen to other people’s stories, I often hear the same statement.  It was about a year ago that my wife and I were faced with another major life decision.  We put together a well-crafted plan, had actionable steps to take, and most importantly took a leap of faith in believing that everything would work out.

I am blessed and fortunate to say that everything has worked out today, better than we could have ever planned it.