I think it’s fair to say that 2016 will go down in history as a year of change.
All manner of things have happened this year but the two biggest changes must be the Brexit decision and the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States… sorry Leicester City fans! (Although I have to say that Leicester City winning the Premiership is the one change which I can confidently say was welcomed by the vast majority!)
There is a well-known saying “change is not always for the best.” It is typically associated with someone who is stuck in their ways and is resistant to change. On the flip side, Winston Churchill had a quote “to improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”. So, which one is correct?
As we all know we can use these sayings to justify anything we want but what’s important is how we respond to change, especially unexpected change. This of course isn’t exclusive to external shocks like the Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, but also things that happen to us personally as we move through phases of our life.
Retirement is just one example of a major personal change. Some are ready for it. Some plan it, but some also find themselves unexpectedly in retirement through ill health, redundancy or sale of a company. In our experience, this is often a time of trepidation; an anxious time. Important questions have to be asked, and decisions made:
- Will I have enough money to enjoy myself in the way that I want?
- How should I organise my money? What are the rules about what I can and cannot do?
- How can I create enough of a regular income?
- Will I have the confidence to spend knowing that I will never run out of money?
Then there are the other sorts of questions and decisions:
- What will I do with all my time?
- Will we get on each other’s nerves?
Perhaps Financial Planners like ourselves should be described as change management companies because that’s exactly what we do; help people adjust to and manage change.
Sure, we advise around all the technical issues, adapt to regulatory and legislative changes, optimise investment returns and create a regular income where required. Yet, some of our most valuable work is helping people adjust to such change. It’s about removing anxieties and allowing people to stride forward and enjoy the rest of their lives… with confidence.
Step forward Becky Craig from Blu Lake. Becky provides help and guidance to those who may be anxious about major changes in their lives, such as retirement. Becky works on the subtler aspects of well-being which we find compliments our services seamlessly.
The pace of change around us seems to be quickening all the time and it can be disconcerting. Of course, we can choose to ignore change but we can also end up resisting change just for the sake of it. I remember in the 1980’s when mobile phones came out, vowing that I would never have one whilst also saying they wouldn’t catch on… now even my Mum’s got one!
I would just like to leave you with one final saying from the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu – adapt it as you feel fit:
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”
The most important aspects of change are accepting it, adapting to it and then embracing it.