Whether you planned for them or not, life’s little changes have a big impact on your financial future.

Some of the most common milestones are:

Going to College

Going to college these days has some positives and negatives. Statistics show that people with higher education make more money and have lower unemployment rates. However, the cost of college can be prohibitively expensive. In some cases it rules people out from attending at all, but the bigger concern is the amount of debt accumulated to pay for school and the interest rates associated with that debt. It creates quite a financial burden post college to repay and delays the timeframe for these individuals to start saving for retirement, buying a home, etc.


Getting married means thinking in terms of “us” instead of just “you”.  While it’s not uncommon for married couples to maintain separate bank accounts for certain expenses, the majority of major financial decisions need to be done jointly. This means bringing goals, savings rates and investment styles together. There is also a question of what is brought into the marriage (such as debt or savings), inequality of income, and habits or hobbies of each person.

Having a Baby

The obvious answer when starting a family is the cost of caring for a dependent. One big question is: does one parent not work or do you hire for care?  Either way, loss of income or cost for care will impact the financials in one way or the other.


This is another major milestone in one’s life. There a lot of talk when thinking of retirement about how you are going to spend your time, whether it be traveling, or increasing time with hobbies. However, the largest impact is a psychological one. The mental impact of shifting from saving to spending can be a tough one. When you’re working and saving, downturns in the market, while not pleasant, are tolerable given you have time for the money to recover. However, when you retire, this is it. What you have saved has to last. If you run out, there is no more saving and it can be difficult to go back to work. This concern can weigh heavily on retiring or deciding when to retire.

Loss of a family member

Certainly the unexpected loss prematurely is difficult to deal with mentally. However, the loss of a family member or planning for the loss can be challenging on a person. It is often difficult to have the conversation with an aging parent about their finances and how they will be handled after they are gone. This leaves children to scramble once that person is gone, making it difficult to track down bank/investment accounts, life insurance policies and the location of wills, trusts, etc.

Loss of a job

people can see the writing on the wall, but often times the loss of a job is unexpected. Without proper planning by having emergency funds liquid, this can devastate a family. In the recent financial crisis, people were out of work longer than expected or going back to work at a lower income rate. Even those who prepared for the short term problem are still left in a bind longer term. This can mean taking on more debt to maintain or drawing from retirement funds and not saving. All these can lead to financial difficulties in the future.

When any of these life changes come your way, we’re here to help! Contact Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group for the guidance you need.



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