Chasing a dream? Fix your finances first

Mark Howard of Basalt, Colorado, earned a hefty six-figure income during his 25-year career in financial services. His dream, though, was to teach high school — a job that paid about $40,000 a year.

When he floated the idea past his wife and business partner, Danielle Howard, her reaction was surprise and unease. He was 54, she was 44. They had two kids in college, a big house and a lifestyle based on their $250,000-plus income.

But her experience in the life planning branch of financial advice taught her to ask searching questions of clients and follow up on their answers.

In my latest for the Associated Press, why it’s important to fix your finances before chasing your dream.