Events are usually a far more flexible option for timing things in clients cases. With that said, you might consider adding a stage to the timeline to illustrate a period in which your client's needs, lifestyle, and/or concerns will undergo considerable change. Read more >> about events vs. stages.
To add a stage to the timeline (subdividing the existing stages into smaller ones), you must have a pair of events to bookend it. An event must be in the timeline to set the start of the stage and another to set its ending. Also note that stages cannot overlap - the result must be one contiguous timeline filled with one or more stages.
For example, in the following case our client Linda, who is 63, is recently retired. She therefore has a single monolithic stage called Life. We would like to subdivide her "Life" into two stages two distinct stages, reflecting different needs and concerns, called Active Retirement and Long Term Care.
1. Go to the Time screen.
You will need two events on the timeline, one to start the stage and one to end it.
2. If there are already events on the timeline you may use them. Otherwise, drag and drop one or two events onto the timeline to bookend the new stage.
For example, we dragged and dropped an event onto the timeline and named it "Long Term Care". This event will serve to begin the new long term care stage.
The final Mortality event at the end of the timeline will serve to end this new stage.
Tip: In a plan for a couple, the true end of the timeline is the Mortality link event (shown below), which links the two Mortality events at the end of the timeline and marks the end of the plan.
You now have in the timeline a pair of events to start and end a new Long Term Care stage. The stage could begin with the Long Term Care event and end with Linda’s Mortality.
3. Select a stage colour from the palette above the timeline.
Tip: The names next to these colours are merely suggestions. You can change the name in a moment, once the stage is being added to the timeline. So you are really selecting a colour that will contrast well with the new stage’s adjacent stage(s) on timeline below.
4. Drag the new stage anywhere above the timeline below and release your mouse.
The stage will have a green dot to the left and a red dot right. These will be used to select the start and end event of the stage, respectively, on the timeline below.
5. Left-click on the green dot and while continuing to press the left-click button, drag it directly over the icon of the stage’s start event, “Long Term Care”, in the timeline below. Once positioned over the icon, release the left-click button.
6. Next, left-click on the red dot and while continuing to press the left-click button, drag it directly over the icon of the stage’s end event, “Mortality”. Once positioned over the icon, release the left-click button.
The stage should hover over the selected section of the timeline, ready to be dropped into it.
7. Double-click the name of the stage, as you did when renaming events. Enter the name “Long Term Care”.
8. Press Enter on your keyboard to save the new stage name.
9. Click OK, beneath the stage, to drop it into the timeline below.
The stage will drop into the timeline and can be used later as an alternative to events when timing expenses, contributions and other things in the plan.
As a final step, rename the adjacent stage, which was initially named “Life”.
10. Click this stage in the timeline. The editable stage will appear above the timeline.
11. Double-click the name of the stage. Enter the name “Retirement”.
12. Press Enter on your keyboard to save the new stage name.
13. Click OK to save the edited stage to the timeline below.
The edited stage will drop into the timeline below, renamed.
Linda should now have a personalised timeline similar to the one shown below. Now let’s use these events and stages to schedule things in the plan.
Please note that you are not required to add stages nor do you ever have to use them for timing. Events are often the more flexible option. On any data entry screen you will find that the Time panel is arranged into two tabs, Events and Stages. Either events or stages can be used for timing items within a client case.