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Oct 21, 2021

There are many phases of change we go through in life. Retirement is one of them. Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program by John C. Norcross details the 6 stages of change. On today's show, we will be discussing the first 3 stages: pre-contemplation, contemplation, and preparation. These are the mental and emotional hurdles we must go through when we make a change. Learning about the way we transition is an important tool in navigating retirement.

The pre-contemplation phase could also be called the denial stage. At this point, you probably don't even recognize there is an issue that needs to be addressed. We see this with couples a lot, one spouse wants to lock down on their retirement planning while the other doesn't see the financial problems that need to be focused on. Usually, spouses are on different phases of change and they must work as a team to make things happen. 

After getting past pre-contemplation, we move on to contemplation. Here you understand there is a problem that needs to be looked into. Maybe you are spending too much on takeout or perhaps you are still supporting your adult children. In many cases, this can cause issues in your own retirement. You may not be ready to make adjustments, but you are thinking about the problem and that is leading you down the path of change. You are contemplating how these financial issues are affecting your future and your goals. 

The last mental phase is the preparation phase. Now you fully understand that something needs to change. Do you want to retire early? At this stage, you are making a plan to accomplish this goal. You start saving more and structuring your plan to support early retirement. This can be an emotional part of the change, making small easy attainable goals can help keep you on track. 

So how do you know where you are? Have you acknowledged a problem that needs to be addressed? Do you realize what needs to take place? It's important to ask yourself these questions and do some self-reflection. You'll want to be emotionally prepared to make the financial decisions you need to. If we want to see changes in our life, we must make changes within ourselves. 


Listen to the full episode for more details or skip around to certain topics. 

1:16 – A new tree

2:40 – First 3 stages of change

6:22 – Precontemplation

8:30 – Contemplation

10:06 – Preparation

11:46 – What can we ask ourselves?

16:12 – Can you do this?

17:50 – Will you do this?

21:33 – Where these stories go


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