2020 November Update
This time of year can often amplify our anxiety. How do we create the best holiday experience for ourselves and for our families? What’s the right way to express our love and gratitude in the form of gifts? How do I manage family dynamics with a smile on my face?
Of course, this year comes with even more reasons for anxiety. As we write this, cases of COVID-19 are rising rapidly everywhere across the country. Health care workers and hospitals in some areas are at (or over) capacity. Restrictions on socializing are back.
Daily, we are making difficult decisions. Do I go to work? Do I send my children to school? What kind of care do I have for my children and grandchildren? Can I even visit my grandchildren? Do I wear a mask? Which kind? How many layers does this one have?
All of this creates a lot of stress, anxiety, and fear. Our ability to make decisions that were once relatively easy (What should I wear today? Do I really want that latte? Where are my keys?) are now increasingly difficult. Add in the additional stress of trying to create a great holiday season for yourself and your family, and you may feel like you’re spiraling out of control.
While we can’t remove the ambiguity of the world for you – as much as we’d really like to – we can help you a little bit by advising you that the best thing you can do for your loved ones is to be well. We know it seems cheesy, but it’s true: your friends and family would trade any physical gift or fancy dinner for the knowledge that you’re healthy and as happy as you can be. Whether that means just giving yourself a break from all of your own expectations, agreeing with family members about having a low-key holiday season, or buying yourself – even better, adding to your wish list – a couple of therapy sessions, that’s the best gift you can give the people who love you. (If they don’t like it, tell them your financial planner said so. “Blame your financial planner” has been a tried-and-true strategy for many of our clients for years.)
As an additional support, we’d love to help you with gift ideas. Last year, we created this list of great holiday financial gifts. When we went to revisit it this year, we realized that these are evergreen gifts – you can rely on them year after year. We also highly recommend checking out this year’s book reviews for great reads you can share with your loved ones.
Speaking of great reads, our own Darryl Brown has stepped in and offered some of his favourites this month. He’s got a concise investment plan, some great reminders on markets in general, and two versions of a reliable recipe you don’t want to miss. Check them all out here. If you missed Darryl’s latest market Q&A, you can catch up by checking out the recording here, which not only includes timely market information, but also some useful investor education. All free! Worth your time.
Finally, our series of case studies continues. Built on last year’s theme of design thinking – which was so good Advisor’s Edge interviewed Julia about it – we’re sharing stories of some of the great people we get to work with, and the unique plans we built for them. This month, we’re excited to introduce you to Willow and Tara who had retired twenty years ago and felt pretty rattled by the series of market crashes, difficult advisors, and unindexed pensions that changed their situation. Find out here how we helped them rebuild their retirement plan – and extra points to you if you can guess which television show we referenced this month (if you hadn’t noticed, every case study uses the names of characters from shows we’ve enjoyed).
Just one more month left in 2020, friends. Take care of yourself, and each other.
Spring in the News:
Even a brief unpaid leave from work can have long-term implications, says Sandi Martin, financial planner and partner at Spring Financial Planning –Globe and Mail, Second COVID-19 wave has parents struggling to decide whether they can afford to not work
Julia moderates a panel at the Women in Wealth Management virtual conference on December 1
Julia is quoted on Advisor’s Edge on Design Thinking
Sandi is featured in The Star’s Article Where can you get professional financial advice when you have less than $200,000 to invest? Here are three great bets.
Spring Plans will close our doors at the end of the day on Friday, December 18th and return on Monday, January 4th. We’ve admonished our team members to stay away from their phones during this time and take good care of themselves and their families so we can all start 2021 fresh, ready, and eager!
“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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