What is a mid-life MOT?

Woman in a blue shirt smiling to camera studio shot


A mid-life MOT is a review for people in their 40s and 50s to see how they’re doing against financial, wellbeing and career goals.

The phrase was first coined in 2017 as part of pension reforms, but it has expanded out to cover any kind of midlife stock take.

Is it a good idea to do a mid-life MOT?

It’s always important to look ahead to the future, to have an idea of your goals and whether you’re on track to achieve them.

The idea of mid-life MOTs has gained even more support since the pandemic, as people aged over 50 have left the workforce in droves. But there’s little understanding about whether those people have the right plans in place to be able to retire early, or whether their decision will have a financial impact later down the line.

What’s involved in a mid-life MOT?

A mid-life MOT helps you assess different areas of your life and make positive changes if needed. It’s a chance to reflect on your physical health, mental well-being, relationships, work, finances, and overall happiness. It’s like pressing the pause button and giving yourself some time to think about where you’ve been and where you want to go.

Some employers offer mid-life MOTs, in which case you might meet with a trained professional, such as a coach, counsellor, or mentor. They will ask you questions and guide you through the process of evaluating different aspects of your life. They might help you set goals, identify areas of improvement, or suggest strategies to overcome challenges.

What happens if there are changes I need to make?

It’s quite possible there will be some areas where you need to act. With physical health, for example, you might need to adopt some healthier lifestyle choices, introduce exercise, improve your diet or manage stress better. Your advisor could help you create an action plan to improve your overall well-being.

In terms of relationships, they might help you reflect on your friendships, family connections, and romantic partnerships, and explore ways to strengthen and nurture these.

Is financial planning part of a mid-life MOT?

A mid-life MOT will usually involve a look at your savings, investments, and retirement plans. It’s an opportunity to think about your financial goals and take steps to secure your future.

Work-wise, you might reflect on your career, job satisfaction, and potential new opportunities. The mid-life MOT can help you explore whether you need a change, such as a new job or further training.

The great thing about a mid-life MOT is that it’s tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. It’s a chance to take control of your life and make intentional choices. It’s never too late to make positive changes and start living the life you truly want.

Why do employers offer mid-life MOTs?

It can seem counter-intuitive – as there’s a chance the employee might decide they need a complete change. But often the employer can find ways to retain and motivate them – perhaps with a more flexible working pattern or some additional training.

If your employer doesn’t offer a mid-life MOT, it’s something you can organise yourself. Meet with a financial adviser, find a mentor, or just start by chatting to a good friend.

Remember, a mid-life MOT is not a one-time thing. It’s a process that you can revisit periodically, maybe every few years, to check on your progress and make adjustments. It’s like a road map that helps you navigate the twists and turns of life and stay on course. See it as an opportunity to reflect, plan, and take action towards a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling future.

Read more about why employers are introducing mid-life MOTs, or see the Business in the Community Mid-Life MOT toolkit with your employer.

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