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May 23, 2017

Second Acts: Learning To Change From Within

Please read important disclosures HERE.

“You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”

– C.S. Lewis

After a 35 year career as an estate planning lawyer and as a person who likes to be busy, I quickly learned that retirement does not serve the restless well. I discovered that while I enjoyed travel, coming back from an adventure to hanging around left me feeling unsatisfied. I worried that if I exercised too much, I would most likely get hurt and my skin could age more quickly because I would spend too much time outside. I appreciated having the extra time to pursue other interests but often found myself reflecting whether I would rather be helping others plan their legacies.


A Buddhist practice involves the sharing of what one has been given and connecting with other beings. I realized that if the many things I had learned over my long career stayed inside me, that information would die there and be a waste. I decided to find a new way to share my knowledge and began my journey to reinvention as the estate planning advisor at B|O|S.

For those of you on the brink of retirement and who may be looking for some new things to do or for others who may want to make a shift in your life, here are some tips that I used to reinvent myself.

1. Tip One: Reframe, Look at Things from a New Angle, and Create a Vision

Since I still loved the essence of my estate planning work but was no longer going to engage in the private practice of law, I had to envision a new environment that allowed me to share my knowledge and expertise and add value. Changing from within was imperative to my reinvention. No longer was I going to be the estate planning attorney, the decision maker, or the person in charge. I had to realign my vision and alter my perspective as to what could be my new role. I wrote down my new personal career mission statement and the responsibilities I would embrace in a new career. The written word proved invaluable in visualizing my next act.

2. Tip Two: Research, Network, and Listen

I had to find a way to determine if my concept of an estate planning advisor was realistic in the industry. I reached out to my contacts and colleagues who were involved in the wealth management industry and learned where my expertise could fit in best. I needed to find a firm that was not too big nor too small but just right for my skill sets. Contacts were often willing to help and make introductions. Learning more about a new industry, connecting with others, and listening to advice helped me formulate realistic goals and motivated me to move forward in my search.

3. Tip Three: Create an Action Plan

After I had created my vision, learned more about a new industry, and networked with business contacts, I created a strategic action plan. I made a specific list of attainable steps that I could take to find a position: update my resume, make lists of the firms I would contact, find the emails and phone numbers of my contacts, and make a spreadsheet of the leads I would follow. I now had a workable framework and a strategy for finding the right position.

4. Tip Four: Take Daily Steps

Each day, I took calculated steps towards finding a new endeavor. I was realistic in my time line and continued to appreciate what I had in my life and enjoy my free time. I kept referring back to my vision statement as to what I wanted to do in the next chapter of my life. What I continued to think was what was to be. As with other aspects of my life, consistency proved key in achieving my goal.

A few months later, I was fortunate to find a position at B|O|S where my vision has turned into a reality. With the best parts of an estate planner’s role as my daily routine and often acting as a legal therapist and providing a safe space for clients to strategize and discuss the intersection of family matters, estate tax planning, and investment planning, I have found a renewed passion for a different type of estate planning.

Making changes in one’s life or career is never easy. Reinvention isn’t only about finding a new style or a new job but rather is taking control over what you want to happen in your life. In my journey to reinvention, I learned that by creating a clear vision of a different life and being focused, realistic, and committed in finding a new path, I was able to achieve a new experience. Some of us may be at a stage in life where we have more yesterdays than tomorrows. Even so, I believe that one’s best days are never all behind you. Who can resist a new beginning? The power to change and grow lies within us all.

Filed under: Life and Living

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