You Can Take the Girl Out of the Beach, But...

You can take the girl out of Long Island, but you can't take the essence of Long Island (the beach!) out of the girl.

Carolina Beach Sunrise

If you’ve been following Fear.less Girl Financial for a while, you know I talk A LOT about midlife reinvention and creating your most inspired life. While it may seem challenging to dream and dream big right now, it's essential that you do.

There are three steps to making it happen.

1. Creating your Inspired Life Plan.
2. Designing your Financial Plan.
3. Protecting your legacy with an Estate Plan.

As a financial therapist and planner, I am on a mission. I do what I do so that you, and all midlife women, are empowered to have clarity, simplicity, and peace of mind to never depend on family, friends, or the government for financial security.

It’s easy to look at a financial planner on the surface, and wonder what their lifestyle challenges are like, so I’m going to sidetrack from what I usually do and invite you on my journey.

Come on into My Journey

You see, I’m going through my own transition, too, my own midlife reinvention. Rather than only talking about creating and protecting your most inspired life, I thought I’d share my journey with you. It’s important to me for you to know that I practice what I teach and preach.

The Back Story (and beach story!)

I'm a born and raised Long Islander who spent countless summers at the beach with family and friends. My career and other circumstances found me living my adult life in the Midwest (Cincinnati and Milwaukee) and now out west in Colorado since 2014.

I am the mom of three amazing people, mom-in-law to two gorgeous and talented women, and grandma to two adorable little girls.

Officially becoming an empty nester a couple of weeks ago after dropping our daughter (and the last to go) off to college, my husband and I looked at each other and said, "We're the only family way out here, and they’re all now over there." (meaning the east coast).

This past weekend, my husband went out for coffee (masks and all) to this adorable little coffee shop near our house called Wayfinder Coffee Co, where the theme of the shop is travel. And we agreed. It's time to make our way back to the east coast to be close to family and live our dream life near the ocean.

Imagining Girls Weekends at the Beach

While the view of the Rocky Mountains is simply stunning, and I am grateful to live here, my heart belongs to the beach, the ocean, and, most importantly, to be closer to family. 

While my granddaughters are still little, I don’t want to miss a single event as they grow up. I want them to have the kind of relationship with me that I had with my grandmothers. FaceTime is nice and all, but it’s not the same, and I don’t want to be known as the FaceTime grandma.

I had beautiful relationships with both of my grandmothers. They were very different women, and I have memories with each to last an eternity. I learned so much from them both.

I remember spending weekends and weeks at a time, in the summer, with my maternal grandparents. They had a three-room flat in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Their building was right next to an elevated train and directly across the street from a car wash, which is still there today.

When I went to visit, I slept on the pull out sofa bed in the living room. They didn’t have air conditioning, but it didn’t matter. All that mattered is that I was with my grandparents.

My paternal grandmother lived two blocks over from our house growing up, and I spent many holidays and weekends helping her cook and bake. She was very business-minded and had several income-producing real estate properties before real estate investing was “a thing.” All without a college education. I learned a lot about money and business from her.

I’m imagining many girls weekends at grandma’s on the beach.

So, When Are We Going?

I'm not a big fan of packing and moving. Seriously, who is? When we moved to Colorado, I honestly thought this would be it. Life takes you on some exciting paths you would never have imagined or expected when in your 20s.

We promised our daughter that we wouldn't move until she graduates from college in three years so that she has her house to come to on college breaks and summers. What does that mean for us? We're on a three-year plan to get back to the east coast. If it’s not exactly three years, I’m OK with that as long as it’s before Christmas 2023.

Three years is 36 months or 156 weeks. While it may seem far into the future, it's not a lot of time.


Knowing My Numbers

There are A LOT of logistics involved in a cross-country move. Of course, the goal is to make it as smooth as possible, but I know how that goes having made several significant moves in my life.

We did it from Cincinnati to Milwaukee and twice from Wisconsin to Colorado. Once in 2008 (and had to go back, a story for another day) and again in 2014. This time, it's going to be Colorado to North Carolina.

We don't know exactly where we're going to land yet. My son, Matt, and his family live west of Fayetteville. My oldest son and daughter-in-law live in Maryland, and my parents are up the coast a bit in New Jersey.

So, there's lots of research we need to do! I already have websites bookmarked, Pinterest boards and an Instagram account created! The good news is, this time, we don't have a house to sell. We’ve been renting since living in Colorado. And THAT is really good news! Moving is challenging enough, much less with a home to sell. I’ve done that, twice and let me tell you; it is ridiculously stressful emotionally and financially.

What’s the First Step?

As a financial therapist and planner, Step 1 is figuring out the ballpark numbers needed to make this happen. That's what I'll be working on first. Spreadsheets have been created, but the most important thing is defining what our lifestyle will look like in North Carolina.

1. What town/city do we want to land?
2. What type of house?
3. Do we rent for a year and then buy?
4. Will we need another car?

These are some of the very first questions we need to address in the planning process of making this dream a reality in the timeframe we want.

I invite you to come along on this journey with me as I hope it inspires you, too. I’ll be documenting it along the way on its own blog, My MidLife Beach Life (soon to be launched! I’ll let you know.)

Until next time,

Stay fear.less!

Patty Bonsera is a former Securities Trader who became a Financial Wellness Advisor to support midlife women asking, "What's next?" In an industry built for men, she founded Fear.less Girl Financial as a better way to help you feel confident and beautiful about your finances and to celebrate midlife with soulful abundance. She will coach you, teach you, and celebrate with you every step of the way.