September 2013 Blog: Can You Embrace Change?

“Out with the Old, and in with the New” I thought of this well-known quote when I drove my sons across the Eastern span of the Bay Bridge earlier this month during the first few hours of its opening. Making that historic drive was certainly memorable, especially after waiting so many years for the opening!

628x471It’s amazing to think that, after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the passage of over two decades was required to finally replace the old Eastern span. Most of this time was not for the actual construction effort, but for the years political wrangling that came before the first crews hit the Bay to begin work.

So, what does the experience with the new bridge project have to do with personal finances? I think the long process demonstrates the difficulty of change, the extent to which we human beings sometimes fiercely resist it, and how that resistance can sometimes jeopardize our chances of meeting our personal and financial goals.

In the realm of personal finance, the challenge in addressing change sometimes arises during “non-seismic” but important shifts like personal or career transitions, retirement, or other significant life happenings. I have seen how “out with the old and in with the new” is often not so simple and sometimes can be quite difficult, either psychologically, financially or both.

Figuring out how to “bridge” to a new set of circumstances can feel as daunting as what the proponents of the new Eastern span might have felt for years before last week’s historic opening. This can even be true even when the change is positive!

Embrace-Change-e1354040757547Yet, in spite of the challenges in managing through a transition, I have learned from my own experience that embracing the change and evaluating its ramifications may likely result in positive outcomes, not only in the financial realm but in the emotional as well.

Since I realize this is often easier said than done, I recommend that you think about getting help! Remember to take advantage of any resources, including this newsletter and my website, to approach your new circumstances. If you are thinking about switching jobs or perhaps contemplating a more significant career shift, for example, consider downloading my Career Transition Workbook.

This e-book discusses the financial and even some of the non-financial aspects of the career transition process. My blog includes many articles relevant to those contemplating career shifts and other transitions like retirement. In the near future, I also expect to add more content related to the subject of transition, both on my website and in future newsletters!

In the meantime, this month’s blog focuses on a variety of topics, not only for those experiencing a shift but also for people who just want to look at their “status quo”:

How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt
If you have incurred a significant amount of credit card debt, read our tips for how to approach reducing or eliminating those card and loan balances. Read more…

Importance of Timing for Future Retirees
Though a market downturn generally isn’t fun for most people, its timing can have a greater impact on those who plan on soon retiring or those who have recently done so. Read more…

Famous People Who Failed to Plan
While considering an estate plan might understandably not be on the top of your list during a life transition, getting a plan correctly done is something that will need your attention when you get your bearings. Read more…

Is College Debt the New Bubble?
The student loan “debt clock” reached the $1 trillion milestone last year, and student loan debt has continued to climb -– both for students and for parents borrowing on their behalf. What’s next? Read more…

As always, I hope this information is useful and informative! Please contact me at (925) 301-4086 or send an email to if you have any questions about other financial or transition-related topics!

–Bill Pollak

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