2020 December Update
Well… that was … a year. With only a few weeks left of 2020 by the time you receive this message, many of us are feeling relieved to recycle this calendar.
For the team at Spring Plans, we’ve been particularly relieved that so many of you reached out to us to ask for help and reassurance during this year of ambiguity. However, while thinking about and managing for the unknown is definitely where we tend to shine, it did initially feel very different this year.
Our team members hadn’t lived through a pandemic before. We didn’t know – any more than anyone else – what this would all mean or where it was going. What we realized over this year is that we’ve never known. Not really; not for certain.
From month to month, year to year, and decade to decade, any guesses about what will happen on a macro scale – whether in the markets, the economy, business sustainability, tax legislation, government regulation, and … well everything else – are simply that: guesses. It’s never been a thing that we could control, individually.
What we can and have always been able to control remains the same: our own behaviour.
We realized that despite all the insanity that 2020 has brought us, the action and process of financial planning have remained the same. We’re still working with the information that we have today to help you make great decisions about your own future; decisions that will help you get to the places you want to go, regardless of the world’s turmoil. We’re still managing for the unknown, and making shifts throughout the year with new information as it arrives. The fact that financial planning is more about the planning than it is about the plan remains unchanged.
The world has never been a static, secure, place. We’ve never known what was coming down the pike and it’s unlikely we will in the future. Great decision making doesn’t come from being fortune-tellers. It comes from getting really clear about what we truly want out of our lives, and then focusing on the parts we can control, no matter how heavy the storm around us.
This year has been incredibly difficult for every single person we know, no matter their social, economic, or any other kind of status. The world is struggling on so many levels, and it clarified for us in the work we do every day one important truth:
In your own life, there’s only one constant: YOU.
That’s the bit you have so much power over, so much control of- and sometimes it can be a bit daunting. Some people feel like this means they have to crack their own whip on themselves, experiencing sacrifice and pain, because getting to a place that is worthwhile must mean pain, right?
We don’t think so. We know that pain happens in fits and starts along the way, but we don’t think that you need to add any additional burdens to your load. We have found that the people we work with who create great success in their own lives start with defining what a good life, a happy life – a life well spent – really looks like.
It’s different for each of us, which is why the financial planning answer to everything is “it depends”. Your amazing life is unique to you, the person you are, and you don’t have to wait until after you’ve burned yourself out and exacted “discipline” upon yourself to get there.
Your life well spent can start right now.
Yes, in the middle of a pandemic. The world has always been a weird and nightmarish place. It’s also a wonderful place. In Canada, we’re blessed in so many ways, and one of those ways is that we have the opportunity to design our own paths. You can tell us what that looks like. We’ll help you figure out how to make it happen.
We are closing this year of amazing client stories with Ben and Leslie, who are actively comparing the way the markets are behaving now against the past, and are more than a little fearful about the future. Find out how we helped them think through – and get past – the math, so they can concentrate on making decisions they won’t regret.
Sandi also has her final Top Reads of the year, specifically for those feeling more than a bit exhausted. We hope you enjoy this curated list of reads that we think are worth your time.
We’re looking forward to reconnecting with you in 2021. The only thing we know for sure is that we’ll definitely have more reading for you, all around a concept that is so close to our hearts that we spend possibly a bit too much time talking about it amongst ourselves. We can’t wait to share it with you!
Take care of yourself, and when you’re ready, we hope you’ll take care of someone else.
Your Spring Plans Team
Spring in the News:
Julia moderated a panel on Unlocking Digital Innovation at the virtual Women in Wealth Management conference on December 1, featuring Canadian female financial experts. It was a fun conversation about technology while using technology to bring together hundreds of attendees from around the country. More online conferences and speaking engagements are planned for 2021!
The entire Spring team is grateful to every one of our loyal clients, colleagues, and friends. Just like last year, we decided to use the money we budgeted for cards and gifts to make a donation to Covenant House in your name. What better way to celebrate making it through 2020 by helping kids on the streets of Vancouver do the same?
We will be back at work, with all hands on deck, on Monday, January 4th. We’ll be a little foggy from two solid weeks of holidays, so we’re concentrating on just reacquainting ourselves with each other and our emails on that day. We are planning our annual retreat, where we review how our year went and solidify our plans for the year ahead, for the last few days of January as usual. We usually get together in person, which is so fun for us, since we have always worked remotely in different provinces. That’s just not as feasible, but even a pandemic won’t stop planners from planning, so we’ll still be dedicating the time to spend together and plan for continual improvement!
“Free” Fridays remain booked permanently in our calendars (And after years of being a rebel Sandi has finally moved hers to Friday too!). These days are free to us at Spring in the sense that they are our opportunity to work on becoming better planners, whether through collaboration and discussion, education, research, or even a little downtime. It’s been a regular practice since the summer of 2017, and we will continue to set aside the time to become better versions of ourselves every week. Even 1% better is solidly worth it because we know that will be reflected in the work we do for you.
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