A Different Kind of Declaration

Frank Summers |

Happy Fourth of July -- or Independence Day, if you prefer.

Have you given thought to how you’d like things in your life to be as we emerge from the pandemic? Changes you’d like to make? Routines you’d like to keep or never go back to? Things that you accepted as ‘normal’ pre-pandemic that just aren’t now? If so, you’re not alone. 

Our nation’s Founding Fathers came together 245 years ago to declare that things had reached a breaking point, change was needed, and they had a vision and a desire for how things would be going forward. They took the time to articulate those points in the Declaration of Independence. Before writing it, there was lengthy discussion – and heated arguments. The words that were used, the tone, the phrasing…all were given careful consideration. They knew that what they’d written would take work and sacrifice, and they also knew that the end result would be worth it. What does that have to do with us, today?

Normally, I would say that referencing something such as the Declaration of Independence is pretty lofty, outrageous even…but these are not normal times. This last 15 months has given many of us an opportunity to reflect that we otherwise might not have had. It’s caused many of us to truly reassess what’s important and to make some changes.

That reflection may have resulted in new or sharpened goals. What are those goals, and how do we make them happen? What role does our finances play? Or our career? Education? Community and volunteer activities? Some people retired early during the pandemic. Some quit their jobs entirely. Many people, especially women, lost their jobs early in the pandemic and were out of work for a long time, and will feel the impacts for a long time. Others have dreamt of financial freedom….never mind retirement, they have a new goal to reach financial independence as young as possible and not need to work at all anymore. 

This last year has also caused many people to think about the social and political environment we live in, and to want to make changes for a positive impact. For those who want their money to work toward environmental or social change, or to be sure that companies are ethical, there are options and more people are making demands around those topics. Those values are important when building a plan.

Major life changes have an impact on our finances. How much will some of the changes cost? What impact will they have down the road? We know that writing out goals and developing action steps are powerful tools toward achieving those goals. This is where financial planning comes in. 

Financial planning is about understanding where someone is in their life, understanding their perspectives, their values, and then helping them organize and focus (or refocus). It’s about mapping out a plan. It’s about having that heart-to-heart of what we want, the sacrifices we might need to take for them to happen, and how we could be proactive to stay on track, just in case something tries to derail the plan. 

If you’re someone who has given thought to the things you’d like to see different in your life, now is the time to make that personal declaration: This is who I am, this is what I want in my life and this is how I want to make it happen. Then it’s time to take action. For help with your financial plan, let’s schedule some time to talk.