October 9, 2014
by Michelle Perry Higgins
A basic concern you need to address before you make a mid-life career change is what you will be giving up versus what you might get. Issues you should consider include the vesting of pensions or other benefits, employer matching of retirement plan contributions, deferred compensation, employer-paid health insurance, vacation time and so on.
To the extent you have such benefits in your current employment, will they be made up either financially or personally at your new career? In the end, even if you decide nonfinancial considerations are more important, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are making the change with eyes wide open.
Another issue you need to think about is whether you have sufficient financial resources to take the plunge. For example, are you required to take a certification or similar exam for your new career? Will you have to study full time or near full time in order to pass? Is there an apprenticeship period when you may not be paid enough to take care of all the bills? If you have not prepared in advance, you may not have the financial stamina to complete the transition to your new career.