Is Covid Leading to Life Changes? The Great Change:
One of the most unique things about my job is seeing people at all different stages of life. I’ve seen more people change jobs, retire, get married, get divorced, have a kid, have a grandkid, etc than most people you know. After 20-plus years in the business of helping people navigate their finances, and lives, I’ve pretty much seen it all.
I tell you this simply to point out, that my job comes with a perspective that most people don’t get to see. I simply see people go through every stage of life thousands of times. Now, when I was a young pup, my focus was on how to navigate individuals financially through these different life stages with all the financial tools in my toolbelt. I was pretty good at it as I found it extremely interesting and rewarding to watch people succeed financially.
Today, I have a different outlook when I approach individuals and give guidance. It is not to say I don’t put a heavy focus on helping them achieve their goals financially, as that is still the bedrock of what I/we do. However, in a weird way, the science of financial planning has become, let’s call it, second nature. I liken it to a doctor doing his 10,000th knee replacement or a dentist doing his 10,000th root canal. I don’t want to use the word easy, rather the science part of financial planning has become truly second nature.
Here is where the evolution, and today’s blog, come into play. These days I get more enjoyment out of the art of financial planning. I always joke that financial planning is one part science and one part art. The art side of it is knowing how to guide people, have them listen to you, dig deep to find their true passions and fears, and truly help them achieve happiness. This goes beyond investments, modeling, taxes, and insurance. Those things are the tools and the science.
Financial planning to me has become much more about living your best life and using these tools to promote those joys in your life. It is about listening, not talking. If you’ve read any of my blogs you know I always end with “stay wealthy, healthy, and happy”. To me the trio of a well-rounded and ideal life.
Why do I mention all this? I guess it is the world’s longest lead-in ever. I mention all this as my latest observation is a big one. Perhaps it is my own insecurities that still want to prove my worth or make my father proud from heaven, who knows? But when reading my anecdotal observation, I want you to understand it comes with some form of experience.
The Great Change
Here is what I have observed over the last 3-6 months that I am calling “The Great Change”. I have seen more people shake up their lives, with major changes than in any period I have ever witnessed. I’ve run more financial plans for what it looks like if people quit their jobs, take new jobs, get divorced, or move somewhere random than any period in my 20-plus year career. Oh, and it is not even close. Last week alone I ran 3 updates of plans. 2 people wanting to switch jobs, and 1 wanting to separate.
The unique thing about them all is when asked their answers were all eerily similar. They all said something to the like, I can stay in my current situation, but you know what Andrew that won’t make me happy. Heck, even one of my best friends, who is a successful entrepreneur told me he is worn out and wants to get out of it all to follow his passion for cars. What?! These thoughts and changes were a foreign object 2 years ago. Not today though, not with the Great Change among us.
The two things virtually every one of the people I’ve come across this year says is this. One, they could stay in their current situation if they must. Two, they really just want to be happy.
Slow clap to you all as change is hard and complacency is easy. As a matter of fact, I actually think waking up one day and realizing you are unhappy in your current life, and then having the gumption to do something about it is super impressive.
First, it takes the ability to recognize something isn’t right. That level of self-awareness is impressive in its own right. Next, it requires a hard look at what it would take to make you truly happy. It may come at the expense of someone else’s happiness, in the case of divorce, or at severe financial risk when switching jobs. The hardest step comes last, of course after a consult with your favorite Diversified, LLC planner. That step is the step of action as inertia is a hell of a drug.
Now I’d love to pat myself on the back and say these people are making these major life changes because of me. But, not even I am that self-centered. That said, I continually ask myself why such an uptick in change, so much so I’ve coined the phrase “the Great Change”. My best guess is Covid. I think we all have had 2 years basically to reflect and be couped up in our home. These times put under a microscope that not only life is short, but also our happiness is something we all strive for. If you weren’t truly happy the past two years, which felt like 10 years, you recognized it was time for a change.
Am I right? Who the heck knows? Am I accurate? All I can say is my data suggests so, due to the nature of what I am being engaged in on a regular basis these days.
I truly do think Covid has given most of us a new look at life. It gave us a chance to analyze our current situation and appreciate it more, or realize that we wanted a change as you are only walking this earth for a short while (thanks Cat Stevens). I know I have a new outlook after Covid, heck I even enjoy going to a baseball game now simply to appreciate the quality time, fresh air, and the good ole American pastime.
Yes, I love what I do and I love the people I do it for. Helping people achieve their life goals so they can achieve true happiness is literally our mission statement and my drug of choice. Sometimes it comes easy, yet sometimes it comes with lots of trepidation. At the end of the day, me and my colleagues, relish in the ability to connect at a deeper level to help truly guide all the people we are blessed to touch. If looking to make a major life change, please do yourself a favor and reach out so you have a partner to help guide you before, during, and after a change, because trust me you’ll need it.
Alright, folks as always stay wealthy, healthy, and HAPPY!
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