Written by Gretchen Weinnig Beedle
Life is full of adventure, risk, and even unexpected dangers. Sometimes they come into your life out of nowhere. Sometimes you choose to shake things up and make big changes. While you can’t always control the outcome, you can always prepare for the unexpected (or the exciting) by putting a solid safety net in place.
Years ago, I took a huge risk. I quit my job, gave up my home, and traveled around the world for a year with a guy. I was sure that after this year of adventure and fun, we would get married and start a new life together. New careers, maybe a new city. Who knew? All I knew was that I was certain of the outcome and couldn’t wait to get started.
Of course, that’s not what happened. We drove each other nuts and broke up almost as soon as we got back to the States. There I was with no job, no place to live, and getting over a tough break up.
But it really wasn’t so bad because I had laid the groundwork for any eventuality before I even started looking at ticket prices. I had (and still have) a terrific and supportive group of friends. I had always given my all in my career and had a rich network of contacts. I had a solid basis in my retirement accounts and personally owned life insurance. I’d been building my emergency savings account to the point that I could cover my health, life and travel insurance premiums while I was gone and still have some funds to cover me when I returned.
In short, stuck in “what’s next??” was way more pleasant because I had a safety net in place.
We may need to take risks in life in order to experience it to the fullest. But, we can be ready for when things don’t work out the way we hoped and planned by laying a solid foundation to fall back on. I knew that I could pick myself up regardless of the outcome. It wouldn’t be easy, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t do it—largely thanks to the buffer I had created that allowed me to pick up where I left off.
Building strong bonds with friends and colleagues and getting your financial house in order are never a bad idea. Even if you feel like you are overwhelmed with “adventure” of the wrong kind and can’t get your head above water, starting the foundation of your future back-up plan is often the best, first step in working through your current troubles. As you develop that foundation, you can be open to more opportunities.
In addition to creating the social and career support that can carry you through any outcome, consider meeting with a financial professional to help you build the foundation to make your dreams a reality. You don’t have anything to lose by starting the conversion. And, that is a risk worth taking.
Gretchen Weinnig Beedle, Registered Representative offering securities through NYLIFE Securities LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC), a Licensed Insurance Agency 131 E Lee Avenue, Vinton, VA 24179 (540) 521-4711. Licensed Agent, New York Life Insurance Company. The Conner Group is not owned or operated by NYLIFE Securities LLC or its affiliates. The Conner Group does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal, or accounting professional before making any decisions. NYLIFE Securities LLC is a New York Life Company.