Personal Finance

Sudden change

“We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way. “
Gloria Gaither

One never knows what tomorrow will bring

It is very important to remember that life can bring sudden change when developing financial plans and goals. Similar to a business plan our personal financial plans can alter direction overnight. I just had a phone call from a client that I have been working with for the past several months that reminded me how quickly life can change. We have been developing a financial snapshot of where he and his wife are and what they need to do in order to retire in the next 2 to 5 years. One of their biggest concerns was planning how to make sure they don’t outlive their money. Suddenly, the plan needs to be reworked as he was just “downsized” in the company reorganization.

The glass might be half full

As we were discussing these plans, he realized that maybe this sudden change was going to help achieve their retirement goals. He will receive some lump-sum severance money as well as his pension money. These monies have to be transferred out of the company within the next few months and he can choose where to invest. If we are able to transfer some of the funds directly into his RSP without the tax coming off first it will add quite a sum to his retirement fund. After reviewing all this my clients were able to see that they may come out ahead of where they would have been, especially if he finds employment within the next 6 months.

What first appeared to have a negative impact on their lives could turn out to be a very positive change for them. As well he may have another experience in life with a new company and meet new people he may never have met before. These can be those unexpected “rainbows” in life.

As companies grow, merge and change to keep up in a highly competitive market there are many people in the mid-career or nearing retirement that ends up being the people they let go. Sudden change can end up taking us on exciting new adventures that we may otherwise have never been able to experience. If this happens to you take deep breathe, relax, and believe that it could be a good thing in the end.

Getting help

Prior to signing any of the papers you are given, it may be advantageous to see a financial advisor to review the options you are given for your benefits. Most often you will have lots of issues to deal with like:

  • health and dental benefits,
  • converting life insurance,
  • a severance pay,
  • retirement allowance,
  • pension plan, Group RRSP or DPSP

Every person and every company will have different options available to them and different decisions that are best for their own situation. Remember that planning is individual and be careful about making important decisions around these issues.

So if life twists and turns on you remember your financial plans can be adjusted to take these changes into consideration for you. Look for “Rainbow” in the situation and enjoy the changes and new people you will meet and the new experiences in your life.



    Great post Cathy. Being financially nimble and flexible are important traits. Additionally, having good professional who can give proper guidance is essential. It is also important in these situations to raise estate planning issues as people tend to really neglect this area.

    • Catherine Leahy

      Thanks Steven for the comments it is so important for people to get guidance.

  2. tumacz

    It’s really a good article and amazing quote from gloria. Regards from Poland.

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