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How to Save on Your Midlife Crisis

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NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Ask people how much their mental health is worth and most will tell you that you can't put a price tag on sanity. Ask someone who's recently gone through a midlife crisis, though, and you might get a different answer entirely.

Regret is a hard pill to swallow at any age, but when an expensive decision is designed to make life better for the 40-something American who's lost his or her sense of youth and vigor, the bitter aftertaste can put a person's entire retirement in jeopardy.

Kimberly Foss, a wealth adviser for high net-worth individuals (people worth $1 million or more, generally) with 29 years of experience, has seen plenty of clients of a certain age come to her wanting to make big purchases and trying to convince themselves that they are entirely rational decisions.

It may seem like a simple procedure, but the cost of looking younger can easily last to old age.

"Most of these people's interest in such things is short-lived," Foss says, "so if a client of mine wants to make a purchase that is clearly over the top and will cause financial distress, I would show them the ramifications but I try to give them a piece of it."

While some people simply won't be satisfied by just a "piece" of a midlife crisis, Foss remembers clients like the guy who bought a Ferrari and drove it only about 2,500 miles in the 10 years it sat in his garage.

"They always say 'I'll never get rid of it', but it's always important to have an exit strategy," she says. With that in mind, here is how to get that midlife crisis satisfaction without completely breaking the bank:

Crisis: Realizing You Never Travel

No matter how many ways there are to escape one's humdrum reality, restless middle-aged Americans often choose to get out of their ruts by, literally, getting out of their ruts. Whether it's a luxury cruise or a long vacation on land, midlifers' impulsive arrangements sometimes land them in financial trouble.

"Women come to me looking for relaxing trips to comfortable places," Foss says, "but guys do it differently; they often want to get back to their youth with travel like hunting expeditions, so they come to me to help plan how to pay for it."

Anyone willing to do a little bit of the legwork can follow Foss's general tips to avoid package deals and find ways to plan a trip by seeking out deals in an a-la-carte way for every aspect of their adventure. Being flexible with some of the arrangements can also go a long way. Foss uses travel websites to find the best deals, focusing specifically on red-eye flights that avoid peak fares, books coach class seats instead of first class, and finds nice hotels that don't come with five stars and the five-star price tag.