What is the preposition for this:

In life, you have to secure the basics first, before you advance in/to another stage.

Can you use them interchangeably?

While googling, some entries have advance in, and others are advance to...(advance the evidence to authorites, xxx person advance to the world cup)

up vote 8 down vote accepted

They cannot generally (in normal context) be used interchangeably.

Used with in, you are advancing something from one position to another position within a specific unit:

I am studying Algebra. I used to be the lowest-ranked student in my class, but I have advanced in status and now am the highest-ranked student.
(The speaker stays within the unit of Algebra)

Used with to, you are advancing from one specific unit to another:

I was studying Algebra, but have passed the final test and now will advance to a higher level class, Calculus.
(The speaker changes to a new Maths unit)

In your example, "you" are in a basic stage of life (a unit) and are advancing to another stage (another unit), not advancing within the basic stage.

We usually only use "into" with things which we could also use "in" with. We usually talk about being "at a stage" rather than "in a stage" (I think this is because the metaphor conceives a "stage" as a point on a line, rather than a container), so we don't usually talk about moving "into a stage".

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