Sometimes Slowing Down Takes Work

istock_000004964249xsmall.jpgFor those who have come to understand that the rat race is not all it has been cracked up to be, and have finally made the decision to slow down and get some enjoyment out of life, there also comes with it the realization that certain planning needs to take place in order to be able to realize your goals of greater happiness and fulfillment.

Planning is especially important if you have a family to consider. You cannot just chuck your high-stress career for a life of leisure – or at least you should not. Prior to giving your boss his walking papers, you must take steps to ensure the ongoing comfort and survival of your family. Otherwise, your efforts to slow down and enjoy life will all be for naught.

As you envision your more rewarding and fulfilling life, be sure to account for those little luxuries your corporate job provides, which you must now provide for yourself.

By all means, do not allow these things from preventing you from making positive changes that will lead you to greater enjoyment of your life, but do plan ahead so you are not caught off guard.

1. Have an Emergency Fund

This one is especially important if you will be venturing into the realm of self employment. If you can, try to have six months’ worth of living expenses saved, and try not to draw upon that money unless you absolutely have to. This money is your security blanket, and if necessary, it will provide you and your family with food, shelter, and clothing if your initial income is not up to snuff.

Prior to leaving your job, try to pare down your living costs where possible. You may choose to have only basic cable rather than the high definition, ultra expanded package with fourteen premium channels. You may be able to cut back to eating out only once a week rather than four times a week. You may be able to buy generic rather than pay extra for brand named products. You do not need to deprive yourself, but you should look at how you can be smarter regarding how you spend your money. Keep in mind also that this may only be a temporary measure, until you are certain your new job or self employment endeavor can adequately support your lifestyle.

2. Get Out of Debt

f you are planning to walk away from your job, begin planning ahead of time to eliminate as much of your debt as you possibly can. This will ease things up for you in your next venture and ease some of the stress that can accompany major life changes.

Credit card debt has risen dramatically in recent years, with some families owing as much to creditors as they used to owe for mortgages. Interest rates on most credit cards are astronomical, so do everything you can to get these paid off. Also, get rid of any automobile loans or other consumer loans you may have. This lowers your monthly overhead and takes some of the pressure off of you as you move on to your next big life adventure.

3. Plan for Your Retirement

Unless you are retiring now, ensure you still have a plan in place that will guarantee you are well provided for in your golden years. If you have a 401(k) or similar plan at work, talk to your financial planner and find out how best to roll it into a privately managed retirement fund. There are many good options for self employed retirement plans, so make sure you do your homework and make the most of the options available to you. Also, do not cease to contribute into a retirement plan just because you have left the traditional working world behind. Pay into a retirement fund just as though you were still an employee.

Entering into the realm of self employment can be greatly rewarding, especially when your time becomes your own and you have the freedom to succeed on your own terms. There can be a great deal of stress and apprehension, though, that accompanies a change from corporate employment to self employment, but through proper planning and foresight, you can eliminate many of these stresses, freeing you up to enjoy the experience to its fullest.

Thanks to Your Finish Rich Plan for including this article in the Rich Life Carnival.

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