One challenge to living a good life is learning how to balance the realities of today with what lies ahead — to live in the present while you wisely plan for the future. Since change is always around the corner, you owe it to your future self to consider what you’d like the next chapter of your life to be. Here are four ways to think ahead constructively.


Take time to visualize and articulate the next phase of your life. Whether your plan includes starting your own business, moving to a new job or new career, dedicating more time to volunteer work or entering into a secure retirement — it’s all good. The more detailed you can be, the better. Empower and motivate yourself by naming your goals and claiming them for yourself. You only have one life, so reach for the experiences that will be most meaningful to you and bring you a sense of fulfillment that money can’t buy.


When change comes along, it’s easier to take a leap of faith with a financial safety net in place. Regular contributions to savings — bank accounts, certificates of deposit, IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans, mutual funds, and stocks and bonds — can help you weather potential financial hiccups or storms that may arise on your way to retirement. Make saving a regular activity and build financial muscle that you can flex in the event of a windfall.


Insurance is a product we all should have, yet hope we never have to use. Your insurance needs will change over time, making it especially important to review your coverage levels periodically. Homeowner’s, auto and even health insurance are required by law but don’t stop there. Disability and life insurance policies, as well as annuities with a reliable income stream, may give you and your loved ones peace of mind. A will and health directives also help make life easier under difficult circumstances.


Change can be scary, but it also makes life exciting. Give yourself a better chance of succeeding in the next phase of life by establishing financial guardrails. With a well-defined path for saving and investing, you can meet your personal mission. Work with a qualified financial advisor to create a savings and retirement plan designed to help you reach your goals. Revisit it regularly as you turn the pages in the next important chapter of your life.

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Michael W. K. Yee, CFP®, CFS®, CRPC®, is a Financial Advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner™ with Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 30 years.
Ameriprise Financial Inc. and its affiliates do not offer tax or legal advice. Consumers should consult with their tax advisor or attorney regarding their specific situation.
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