Autumn in Iowa.
That time of year we are presented with the rich colors of crimson and gold; a mix of hues that offer an intense contrast to the crisp, blue skies of fall. We open our windows, we watch college football, and we fuss over a pot of chili as it simmers on the stove along with the smell of a pan of apple crisp in the oven. Sounds like a commercial, doesn’t it?
The reality is this is the time of year that we grieve the days of summer gone by and work hard to accept the change that is staring us down. Winter in Iowa.
While this transformation is unavoidable, it takes some of us time to embrace and accept this change - and to welcome in the new season.
Our journey in this life is similar. Change. Transition. Acceptance.
These transitions in life (or change of seasons) can and will, in many situations, involve making decisions regarding money, and that can trigger emotions.
While you cannot control the seasons that come into your life (much as you may want to!), you can control how you respond to each one. Having a financial plan can help guide you through the expected changes in life as well as those that take us by surprise. So here is a story about those surprises.
This last year has been an emotional one; not only professionally, but personally.
Professionally, at Compass we have grieved the passing of some of our most loyal, beloved clients and friends. We have helped the loved ones left behind work through the tough financial stuff, forced to make decisions and face the reality of life as they now know it.
Personally, I said goodbye this last June to one of my lifelong friends – much too soon – at the hands of early onset Alzheimer’s. She was diagnosed at age 48.
We met in junior high youth group in Cedar Falls, and our paths continued to cross over and over, both moving to Des Moines and living together in our early twenties, being a part of each other’s weddings, having children the same year, being part of a small group through our church that endured 30 years of life together to finally celebrating her life and remembering her this last July.
She and her husband had a financial plan. They did their work, and as much as they did not see their life playing out the way it did, they handled each day with confidence and peace knowing they had a plan.
One of my many comments to clients these days is (and many of you have heard me say this) you can plan for someday, but what if someday does not come? Let’s do the work to make someday today!
I will leave you with this one question, and for those of you who know me it comes from a place of love, compassion and experience. What is your plan, and if you don’t have one why not?