2021 February Update
At Spring, we’ve always treated the time between the calendar new year (January 1st) and the Lunar New Year (Feb 12 this year) as a period of adjustment. It’s a little window that gives us the opportunity to shake off the previous year, consider what we’ve learned, and contemplate what we’ll do for the year ahead. Conveniently, our annual retreat – which was virtual this year – falls in this time period. So what did we contemplate?
As you well know, we are coming up on a full year since the global pandemic started. Who could have imagined, this time last year, that the COVID-19 virus would have ripped through the world so thoroughly – and we would still be dealing with the repercussions at the end of February 2021?
Scroll back in your emails, social media posts, and other communications to remind yourself about what you and everyone around you thought was possible. It’s a good reminder that no one, anywhere can predict with accuracy what’s really going to happen next. It doesn’t matter how smart anyone might be, or how much research has been completed. Predictions are worth their weight in feathers, and they always have been.
Your reality today might look very, very different from what you thought it would be. That’s the case for most of us. Whether you’ve experienced devastating health, family, or financial distress, or you’ve managed to escape most of the worst but are still feeling stifled, lonely, and overburdened with your household (or something in between), this past year has deeply impacted all of us.
Your goals might feel more ambiguous and distant than they ever did. At this point, we don’t know when each one of us will benefit from vaccinations. We don’t know what kind of restrictions we will face in the next few weeks, let alone the next year. It’s difficult to feel secure about, well, anything.
These past 12 months have taught us all more than we ever wanted to know about our values, particularly around safety and security. As you may know if you were reading along with us last month, we are focusing heavily on values this year. Our goal is to help you define what your values are, align them with your goals for the future, and ensure the strategies we employ to achieve them circle all the way back again to what’s most important to you.
The value of safety and security is important to all of us. If we don’t have a foundation of safety and security (however we define it), we really are going to have a hard time reaching for anything else. This month, we’re walking you through the many ways that this universal value shows up in our lives, in our goals for the future, and how we can help satisfy that value with the incredibly useful financial planning tools we have on hand.
We hope you enjoy reading it, and thinking about it, as much as we have. Next month, we’ll look at how you can use the financial tools at your disposal to live out those values (we’ve started working on this already). In the meantime, we remind you that the Year of the Ox is characterized by hard work and movement. Recovering from 2020, the Year of the Rat, is going to take time, effort, and a great deal of patience. We wish you and your loved ones robust health this year, great prosperity, and the happiness that comes with living your life, well spent.
Your Spring Plans Team
Spring in the News:
Julia will be speaking (online!) at the upcoming CPA Ontario’s Women in Business Summit on Tuesday, March 9th, sharing important personal finance tips for women.
In How much has the pandemic hurt your retirement plans? Sandi Martin examines how two retired couples spend their money and how it’s changed (or not) due to COVID-19 (Toronto Star subscribers only).
In case you missed it, our planning team was mentioned in this episode of the Rational Reminder Podcast, way back in October of 2019!
We are celebrating our four-year Springaversary in March! Spring Plans was originally the amalgamation of Sandi and Julia’s solo practices back in 2017, with Kathryn joining us shortly after, and Darryl joining a year after that. We celebrate every year on Spring Equinox – happy birthday to us!
Kathryn is taking some much deserved holiday time over the week of March 22nd through the 26th, and Julia is going to try to sneak out a few days in the last week of the month, but the rest of the Spring team will be in the (home) office for the entire month.
“Free” Fridays remain booked permanently in our calendars. 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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