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April 1 & 2, 2017

An Opportunity at Every Stage: The Support You Need During Life's Big Moments

Your starter apartment… that bucket-list trip… marriage… a baby… launching a business. Life is full of firsts, and with all the excitement and anxiety of a major milestone comes a major financial commitment.

Why is that? "All changes or transitions have a financial element that requires you to be better connected to your money," says Ayla Newhouse, Service Manager at Capital One Café and a Capital One Money Coach. "Part of it is that you're open to change, because there's already change happening in your life."

An event like buying your first home or starting a business "draws people in to take a look and peel back the layers," says Capital One Money Coach Megan Lathrop. However, it's often difficult to initiate a conversation about money, whether that's with a spouse, a business partner or even yourself—especially if you haven't had much of a relationship with your finances in the past.

One way to work toward financial confidence—that means developing a positive relationship with your money—is through active learning and coaching. On the path toward attaining goals and reaching life's milestones, Money Coaching, a one-on-one program to inspire financial confidence, is grounded in the present—where you are now—and provides a custom path forward. "It's in these times that having some guidance, tools and resources—even just a conversation—can be so important to keep us in line with our goals," Lathrop adds.

A plan for every phase

No matter where you are right now in your life, Money Coaching helps guide you toward where you want to be—whether that's beefing up retirement savings or adding a new kitten to the litter. Below, Capital One Money Coach, Megan Lathrop offers insight on what to consider during some of life's exciting moments.

Saving for a child's education: "Connect the underlying purpose: What is it that you ultimately want to provide? Do you want your child to have the same, or better, opportunities than you've had? Keep in mind the ‘why' and know the value of it."

Planning a dream trip: "What is your dream trip? Create it in your mind and heart first. Money is the final piece of actually picturing it and committing to it. If we commit to it, then the resources will follow once you set that intention."

Getting married: "First, acknowledge that this is a major transition. Having your own relationship with money can be complicated in itself, and to bring two people together can either be a collision or it can be a pathway to closeness. Recognize that this is a big endeavor that deserves to be discussed, and you'll cultivate a range of new skill sets around communication and understanding of where the other person is coming from. This creates collaboration rather than conflict."

Birth of a child: "Accept that it's completely normal to feel afraid and unprepared, financially or otherwise. You can't believe that the doctors and nurses are going to let you take this baby home—that feeling is common! From there, decide what steps are realistic, even if it's small actions like starting a baby fund before the baby comes. It's a dance of having structure but leaving space for unknown possibilities."

Buying a home: "So often I see people in the mindset of things they should do or need to do, and we can lose the joy and excitement that we're choosing to do it. People might believe that by a certain age that they need to buy a home, and there's truth that there is value in it. But if we're doing it just to keep up with the Joneses, we're cheating ourselves of the experience of building a life. Perhaps we want a home to host people or entertain family. Focus on the experience a home creates, not just the symbol or status of it."

Starting a business: "Get clarity on why you want to start a business. Hopefully it's an existing passion, so what is it that has you so drawn to bringing it into the world? What are your skills in supporting it coming to fruition? A new business is like having a child—you're bringing an entity into the world. All startups go through an incubation stage; they need to be nurtured and held. Keep in mind that the stages of business include the emotional and psychological pieces, as well as business insights and finances."

Saving for retirement: "I find saving for retirement to be a beautiful science and an art. I'm a huge proponent of saving early, as much as you can and having that plan in place. But there is also an art of not sacrificing our today for tomorrow—it's a principle from yoga. As Americans, we have a tendency to save for the future at the expense of today—we hold back on things that will bring us joy because we think we need to be putting money aside. It's about living now and being present, while also being wise about saving for the future. It's a balance that looks different for everyone."

For more information on the Capital One Money Coaching program in Boston, Austin and San Francisco, visit capitalone.com/local/moneycoaching.

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