Has 2020 thrown a monkey wrench into your plans? It seems that this year has changed almost everything conceivable from how we work, relate to others, and think about important issues in our society. More than likely, it’s also made a mess of your carefully laid plans. Staying calm in turbulent times such as these has been difficult for many of us, especially if our plans have been blown out of the water. Many of us are facing a new reality we could never comprehend only a year ago while others are struggling to grasp a “new normal” that feels anything but normal.
How 2020 Has Changed People
Having to wear a mask in public and hold the majority of meetings via video are a couple of the most obvious changes in our society, but it’s the deeper changes that are affecting people the most. You may be experiencing one, a few, or all the following changes that can have a profound impact on how you view yourself and your future.
Changes in Employment
If you’ve had changes at work, such as the loss of a job, reduced hours, or a change in career, it can throw your life into the area of the unfamiliar and frightening. You may have to leave a company you were 100% certain you’d retire from or realize that the career you’ve dedicated your life to now has a very uncertain future. Not only will this affect your finances, but it could also very well affect your identity and sense of self. Many of us base who we are in large part on what we do, and when that changes suddenly (and without our consent), the results can be disastrous.
Changes in Retirement
If you were near retirement before the pandemic hit or if you were on track to retire early, your plans likely had to change. Many have found they will now have to work for years longer than they had planned while the really unfortunate ones have seen years of careful savings wiped away. Planning for retirement is so ingrained in our consciousness that rethinking it can be incredibly difficult.
Changes in Relationships
Not being able to see others in person and being confined with spouses or kids for days on end has taken a toll on many of us. While the lucky ones have found their personal relationships deepening, others have found small cracks have widened into unfixable craters and still others have lost loved ones without even getting to say goodbye. This can be especially hard during a time when we want to lean on our loved ones for support and understanding.
Changes in Goals
The pandemic and other recent events in our society have led many to rethink their goals for the future. Some want to get more involved in activism or their community while others gravitate toward spending more time with those they love instead of overachieving in their careers. If your goals have changed, it’s likely your values have also changed. It’s important to honor this and understand that the evolution was a necessary part of your growth no matter how uncomfortable it can seem.
How to Deal with These Changes
The best way to deal with changes has a lot to do with your unique circumstances and personality. However, there are a few tips that work for almost anyone and can help ease transitions.
Flexibility and emotional agility not only make you a better investor, but also a more secure and less stressed person in general. Even when we’re not in uncertain times like these, everyone’s life is changing on a continual basis. Recently, it’s the fast pace of change and how many are happening at the same time that’s throwing people off. When you stay open-minded and accept the fact that your life will likely never look the way you envisioned it, you can embrace what is instead of mourning what isn’t.
Work with a Fiduciary
Many of the changes in your plans this year will affect your financial present and future. When you work with a fiduciary who has your best interest as his or her top priority, you can address those changes and achieve peace of mind that someone has your back. A good fiduciary will act as more of a financial counselor to help you move through any necessary transition with your bank account and your sanity intact.
If 2020 has obliterated your plans, you can at least be confident in knowing you certainly aren’t alone. When you stay flexible and work with people who support you, you can better pivot and confidently move into the next phase of your life. Have more questions about working with a fiduciary? Reach out so we can chat more.