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As financial planners, we are in a very unique position to get to know our clients on a deep, personal level. Of course, we dive into clients’ financials, but we spend a lot of time together on more important topics – discussing hopes, dreams, and wishes – and figuring out how to use money to make those things happen.
For many who we interact with in the Libertyville, IL area, the pandemic has not only caused a shift in outlook, but it was an impetus for actually making a change. We thought it would be interesting to share some high-level insights into conversations that we’ve been having more often, in hopes of giving you some inspiration for how you might want to think about your golden years.
Emphasis on Health, Happiness, and Family
A number of our clients decided that 2020-21 was the time to finally make some major life changes, especially those that would benefit their health, happiness, and quality time. Several families moved – mostly, this involved moving from one home in the area to another, and/or undergoing a home remodel. A few folks relocated out of state or purchased a vacation home. A number of our clients also retired, driven by a desire to spend more time with kids, grandkids, and friends. After a lonely 2020, many were eager to get out, travel, and socialize as we’ve moved into 2021-22 – and not regret spending hard-earned dollars to have fun. As a few have noted, after all, you can’t “take it with you.”
We’ve seen folks take their health more seriously during this pandemic time. Many of our clients took time during the pandemic to focus on health goals such as weight loss, exercise, and mobility.
The “great resignation” has been a popular topic in the media during COVID, and we saw that ring true with our clientele, as well. Everyone we work with is a high achiever, but with that can come burnout, which unfortunately some clients suffered. A number of people in our community decided to move forward with career changes, emphasizing flexibility around scheduling and work location. As well, a number of our clients have redefined what work means to them, beyond the logistics. Some clients have changed job responsibilities, taking on different roles at an existing job. Others have acted on desires to start a new business, project, or career journey. Even some who have retired opted to redefine work in retirement, doing things like starting part-time positions, volunteer work, or structured activities that are meaningful and fun first and foremost.
As planners, it’s been exciting to witness how career moves have impacted our clients largely for the positive. Many times, we stress test the impacts of a career or income reduction, but clients are hesitant to act. COVID absolutely served as a catalyst to make some of these career modifications a reality.
An Abandonment of Decision Paralysis
COVID times have emboldened people to make life decisions that may have otherwise taken years to come to. Perhaps this is because many have more time back in their days to think things through, and/or there’s been more face time at home with a spouse to discuss. Regardless, we see that many families we serve have, generally, decided to prioritize family happiness above the perpetual “grind” – and we think that’s a healthy perspective.
Uncertainty About Next Steps
Many clients and friends of our firm know that they want to make a life transition, but perhaps don’t exactly know what that might look like. Please know that there is no rush. A choice to embark on a major life change, like retirement or relocation, should be based on family needs first and foremost, and not solely driven by factors like peer pressure or economic conditions. We’ve seen a few families “jump the gun” in making some of these transitions– and while often correctable, it’s been a hassle.
We encourage anyone considering a major transition to think it through very carefully. Have many conversations with your spouse, family, friends, and advisory team. Know that not making a change is a decision, too – and one worth exploring.
If you can’t picture your life without work, or have no idea how you might want to spend your elder years, it’s worth embarking on some self-discovery as soon as you can. We have an activity called “Week in Retirement” that may provide some ideas about how you might want to spend your time if you controlled your calendar. Avoiding boredom in retirement is possible with a solid plan.
What Can You Do?
If you’re thinking about making a change but not sure where to start, book a call with our team. Our group of Libertyville, IL based financial planners have experience in talking through these life transitions and helping strategize a plan so you can design a life of purpose and meaning. We also have a variety of resources available on both our website and YouTube channel.