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Mid-Profession Crisis? Three Helpful Considerations

Many people my age have shared they experience a kind of mid-profession crisis in their late 30s and 40s. That’s because research indicates those years are key points in the professional journey, and decisions have a very real impact on future goals and retirement prospects. This is when I’ll often see members or friends make a major shift, such as pursuing that dream of starting a food truck business or changing industries entirely. That said, there are very real money and time implications to these decisions, and many considerations that go into ‘what’s next’ on this journey of life. Here are some of my thoughts around how to ride the wave of the mid-profession crisis.

Get that Savings Account going.

Although not the exciting answer, the best way to kickstart a new path or dream if it creates a deficit in income is to save for your goals while you have a full-time job. Using the food truck example, if you save for the truck and begin discussions now on the logistics to begin, including the marketing, supplies, online presence and other details, before you know it you’ll have the money ready to pursue that dream if you so choose.

The Side Hustle Shuffle.

One popular way to pursue a dream while maintaining your current career and income is the side hustle. That’s because many people realize the commitment it takes to be a successful entrepreneur requires a great deal of time and even monetary investment. Getting started on the side while keeping your “day job,” for lack of a better word, can be a great way to get going. However, this can also be very draining if your passion and time constraints aren’t aligned. My thoughts? Social media has introduced a whole new world for people to share their passions. Start sharing some of your ideas, and if the people you are connected with start to take notice, this may organically evolve into a means of income. 

Resist the temptation to touch retirement.

For whatever reason at this phase, many people get a big itch to pull from, or even entirely drain, their retirement accounts. And believe me, I understand the temptation. You’ve earned it, right? All those hard-earned dollars that you scraped away are just sitting there, and you are ready to live your dream now. I can’t emphasize enough, however, that the penalties will diminish the original intent of the investment. Even worse, those investments amortized over time end up being a lot more down the road. And also know your passions and ambitions may change at that phase of life. The food truck may no longer hold appeal, but what you can guarantee is the money for whatever you choose to do next will be there.

There’s a popular saying: “You can have anything, but you can’t have everything.” I believe there’s some truth to that, but with the power of savings and investments, you can work toward your everything in a meaningful way. If you’re feeling the mid-profession crisis, I know many people in your shoes. Keep the savings up and focus on time management, and you’ll be well on your way to living the dream!

Kat’s Money Corner is posted in the Kansas City Star every week. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, follow us on Twitter @CommunityAmerCU.

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