Mid-life career change? How to prepare your finances

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Posted 18 months ago by Pope & Co. Mortgages

So you’re bored of your job. Not just Monday-morning-itis bored, but “I can’t do this a minute longer” bored. Before you chuck it in and bid your boss a final adieu, there are a few steps to consider to make a mid-life career change a little more palatable financially.

Here are some things to think about.

Do you have to change dramatically?
The biggest financial blow will come if you give up your current job completely before going to do something else.

In some cases, this might be unavoidable, but in others you may be able to stagger your exit. Can you cut your hours a bit in your main job to allow you to gain experience in a new field, and gradually change the balance so that over time you build up to working predominantly in your new role?

If you’d like to avoid falling into a financial gap, it’s important to get the timing right without rushing your move.

How realistic is the shift?
It’s great to have a dream but it’s also worth running it through a reality check. Talk to someone in the industry you’d like to be in about how hard it is to get a role, what sort of income you could expect to get and what would make you stand out in a field of hopeful candidates.

What transferable skills do you have?
You’ll have the biggest pay cut if you go into a new industry in which you have no experience and no demonstrable skills. If you can identify a role that allows you to use some of your current talents and experience, but perhaps in a different way, you may be able to start at a more senior level, rather than working up from the ground floor. A careers adviser may be able to help you work out what might suit.

You might also want to try out your intended industry in some way to work out whether it’s going to be as good a fit as you expect.

What support networks do you have?
Are you a single person living alone or do you have a partner who will remain in work? Having someone who supports you financially and emotionally while you make a significant change can be a huge factor in how successful the transition is.

Consider what networks you have and who you could call on for assistance. If your income is going to drop dramatically, are you able to live with family for a while to build a buffer?

What obligations do you have?
If you have a significant mortgage, talk to a mortgage adviser to discuss a mortgage structure that would allow for a period of less or lower-paid work. Alternatively, you might decide to increase your payments to get rid of your mortgage more quickly, and wait to enact your career change once you’re debt-free.

We can help
If you’re thinking about a life change, get in touch. We can help you work through your finances to determine what you can afford and how you can make change happen.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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