Waiting until . . . is the kiss of death for sea changing!
While there is no single right or wrong time, getting the timing right is vital to making your sea change easy and successful.
Failing to carefully consider your timing options can bring financial hardship, relationship stress, heartache and regret.
I sadly receive many calls from people whose sea change came unstuck simply because didn’t think through the timing implications.
Whether you’re planning to take voluntary redundancy, start a business, travel, escape to the country or heading towards retirement, getting the timing right will ensure the change is one you’re glad you made!
First we need to look at the not-so-good times to make a sea or tree change. Awareness of these will help you avoid the trap of getting the timing wrong.
Beware the Worst Times to Make a Sea Change
- When your sea change is an immediate ‘knee-jerk reaction’ to a painful event – eg separation, death of a loved one, unplanned redundancy or severe financial hardship.
The additional burden of changing how and where you live in the weeks following an unexpected event will increase rather than lower your stress.
- You’re unclear about what you really want and don’t have a plan.
While a spontaneous ‘up and go’ approach may seem exciting, your lack of clarity and preparation will probably catch up with you further down the track. (The Sea Change Kickstart program will help you get clear about what you really want and create an Action Plan to make it happen).
- Mid-winter or mid-summer can be uncomfortable times to move.
Weather extremes can make moving a practical and emotional nightmare. Other times to avoid are major public holidays (eg Christmas and Easter) when it may be harder to get help.
- When your finances and significant relationships are under extreme pressure.
While a sea change may seem like the answer, chances are it will only increase the burden. Major problems won’t simply ‘disappear’ when you make your move and must be resolved to make your lifestyle change easier and more fulfilling. (Worried whether you have enough money to make and sustain your sea change? Here’s a simple way to do the sums – How to Afford Your SeaChange.)
So, if these are the less than ideal times to make your sea change, let’s take a look at the ideal times to set you up for success.
Discover the Best Times to Make Your Move
- Once you have a reasonable ‘financial buffer’ to carry you through the first 6 – 12 months, you can relax knowing you have enough to live on.
This reduces a significant stressor, especially when it’s challenging to budget for the exact total cost of your sea change.
- Important priorities will often make the ‘when to move’ decision easy. For example, if you have school aged children, moving at the end of term or in the New Year makes sense so they can settle in easily.
Likewise, if you land a new job or buy or launch a business, the contracted start date will determine when you move.
- When you’re confident sufficient time has passed since an adverse event – that you’ve made peace with and accepted whatever has happened and you’re ready to ‘start a new chapter’.
Giving yourself time to heal and gain perspective will ensure your sea change is a fresh new start and positive move.
- Once you’re crystal clear about what you want to achieve with your sea change.
You’ve carefully weighed up all the alternatives and feel confident you’ve chosen the best option for you and those you love.
- Late Spring / Early Summer are great times to move. Spring is recognised as the best time to sell your house to achieve the best price.
The weather is often kinder and it’s easier to get out and about to meet people in your new location.
- Your family is excited by the prospect and each family member’s needs have been considered. While it may take patience to listen to your partner and children’s concerns, time spent listening and addressing them will pay off. Everyone will settle more quickly and easily when their needs have been addressed. (Take our Is Your Family Ready for a Sea Change Quiz to check you’re on the right track).
Retirement Caveat – the exception!
If you’re preparing for retirement, your lifestyle is going to be significantly different. Your daily routine will change as you can now choose how you spend your time. Waiting a year or more to move after you’ve retired, will feel somewhat like living in the twilight zone.
Allowing you’ve planned carefully, one of the best times to make your sea change is within the first 6 weeks of retiring. This is the best time to turn the page, create new routines and shift your focus to your new location, new friends and different interests.
There’ll never be a ‘perfect’ time to make your sea change. Waiting for the planets to align and getting all your ducks in a row means you’ll probably never make the move! But you can choose a better time and it’s easier than you may think.
3 Tips to Get Your Timing Right
1. Consider all the facts and your feelings. Write down your options and discuss the pros and cons. Timing your sea change has to make sense and feel ‘right’.
2. Consult with and talk to everyone who will be impacted by your sea change. This includes family, friends, your employer and those who are going to help you. When your sea change support team is all on the same page, the move becomes easier for everyone.
3. Decide and stick with your decision! Once you’ve made your decision, look to the future, tell people when you’re moving and focus on what you need to do to be ready.
Regardless of when you move, the success of your sea change will depend on getting the timing right. If you love the idea of making a sea change but aren’t really sure, take the Are You Ready for a Sea Change Quiz.