2022 July Update
We often find that our readership goes down in the summer and to be honest, we’re delighted by that. If you’ve been working with us for a while, you know that the Spring Plans team is all about helping you live your best life.
Your best life, we hope, involves you taking a lot of vacation in the summer – and any other times that suit you best – and leaving your emails to languish in the inbox.
Thinking about what your best life actually looks like is, to be realistic, kind of hard. Before the onset of the pandemic, we found that a lot of people we spoke with were feeling really in tune with their best lives. They were working and living in this way, they had an idea of what the future might hold, and they could picture themselves within it.
Since March 2020, upheaval has been the name of the game. The pandemic taught us that we didn’t actually have a clear idea of what the future might hold and that our ideas of “what’s next” can turn on a dime. In just a few short years we’ve dealt with a whirlwind of change that covers every sphere of our lives, including health, economics, society, politics, education, and so much more.
The requirement for each of us to make careful decisions on a daily basis about some things we never gave a second thought about before (work from home or office? school or no school? delivery or shop? change jobs? retire? move?) has forced many of us into self reflection. The added stress and anxiety – what some have called “global trauma” – have made it difficult for many people to come to clear conclusions about what we really want and how we are going to approach our plans for the future.
If you’re struggling with self reflection, or feel like you’re thinking in circles but getting nowhere, we highly recommend that the first thing you do is make time to rest. Take that vacation. Set an out-of-office message on your email and your voicemail. Drop your phone into the nearest body of water (or do something less expensive… like turn it off). Sleep. Eat well. Spend time outdoors, either with people you love or in a restful void – whatever you need.
Constant, unending stress makes it nearly impossible for you to make good decisions. Rest is part of work, and we want you to take it. Fall is coming soon, and you’re going to need your wits about you.
If you’re looking for some books to read, we highly recommend, as always, Designing Your Life, even if you’ve read it before. We’ve provided some lists of other summer reading in the past that you can revisit and definitely pick from again – search through the readings in our blog, or jump to our lists for 2018 here and for 2019 here. If you’re more interested in video, you can also revisit Julia’s “Retiring with Purpose” webinar right here (the secret to that one is that you don’t have to be retiring to have purpose).
Have a wonderful summer!
Julia and Sandi will be taking holidays July 25th through August 8th, and we have promised the team that we won’t be checking emails. Darryl is taking the entire month of August to spend with his family and Kathryn will be enjoying a flexible schedule throughout the summer.
“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 down time. 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.
Spring in the News:
Why Home Ownership Is Not the Key to a Comfortable Retirement: Both Julia and our good friend Shannon Lee Simmons chatted with Ben from the Globe and Mail recently about the pitfalls of relying on home equity for retirement planning. Read more here.
Strategies for Spending, Costs & Income in Retirement: Julia spoke at the Globe and Mail retirement road show, and you can watch the recording right here. Just scroll to the bottom for the video. Julia’s panel starts at the 59:39 mark.
Planning News Digest:
Family Enterprise Canada’s research and analysis breaks down the benefits of family purpose, communication, managing conflict, and the opportunity for a role in your family called the Family Learning Champion.
How Long Should Your Vacation Be?
We’re not great at R&R in North America – but at Spring we’re trying to learn with you. Vacation researchers give us some insight on how to get the most from your time off in this article from Headspace (via our friends a The Decision Lab)
Financial Planners/Financial Advisor Title Protection
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) is regulating the “Financial Planner” and “Financial Advisor” titles. While we’re happy that Julia’s cat will no longer be able to hang a “Financial Planner” shingle, at least in Ontario, the breadth of designations that allow individuals to qualify for these titles – many of which are not financial planning designations – is unfortunate. You can learn more about the issues we see with these approvals in this article from the Globe and Mail, which features comments from the president of the Financial Planning Association of Canada (which we helped found).
Feature from the Archives:
Your retirement strategy should be so uniquely catered to you and your values, in order for it to be fully supportive of you living your life, well spent. Read more.
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- 2023 March Update - March 10, 2023
- 2023 February Update - February 16, 2023
- 2023 January Update - January 11, 2023