These days, it seems like almost every one of my 30-something-year-old clients is considering quitting her Silicon Valley job and pursuing her own unique version of #vanlife. I know plenty of older folks who fantasize about hopping on the van wagon, as well. I myself am 40-something, and the whole idea of radically simplifying my family’s lifestyle sure sounds appealing—especially when I’m stuck in traffic driving my kids from school to music lessons or soccer practice.
Whenever anyone sits in my office and talks about stepping out of the rat race and into their dream life, I tell them the same thing I’m about to tell you: Ample planning, patience, and preparation are what truly make dreams come true. Whether you’re looking to downsize or upsize your lifestyle, here are four practical financial steps that can help you set the wheels of your personal progress in motion.