29 April, 2020 Financial Planning

Planner's Corner: Life Interrupted

We’ve collectively been thrown a financial curveball. Below are a few concepts and ideas that may help you with your personal plans over the coming months and in the future with other life interruptions.

  • Stay healthy. Eat well, sleep well and get some exercise. For a break, read a good book, watch a movie, revisit some hobbies, and try something new. I just talked to a recently laid off, sixty-six-year-old gentleman who has started baking for the first time in his life and enthusiastically told me about the results.

  • Be careful with what you let in. Too much negative news can affect your outlook. Don’t be afraid to turn off the news or have a non-news day to refocus on what you can and cannot control. Start personal devotions and/or join a virtual Bible study to reaffirm and deepen your faith.

  • Focus on others. Uncertainty can drive people into themselves, making them feel isolated and helpless. The best strategy is to go in the opposite direction, expanding your connection with others and focusing on helping them transform their negatives into positives. This could be a simple as a quick text or phone call. From personal experience, I really appreciate the notes of encouragement I have received.

  • Be grateful, focus on opportunities. We have a decision to make during difficult times…complain or be grateful. Complaining attracts negative thoughts and people. Gratitude, on the other hand, creates the opportunity for the best thinking. Positive actions and results emerge. As Christians who recently celebrated Easter and the wonder of Jesus’ resurrection, we have plenty to be grateful for including the promise of eternal life.

  • Review cash flow, reduce expenses. Know what’s coming in and what’s going out of your bank account. If laid off or underemployed, review and apply for government programs at Alberta.ca and Canada.ca. Revisit pre-authorized withdrawals. Review features and benefits on monthly bills (e.g. reducing the channels on your cable subscription). If necessary, reduce monthly contributions to investments. If you need additional sources of cash flow, it may be time to use your “emergency fund”, borrow via a line of credit or talk to your bank or credit union about reducing your mortgage and loan payments.



*Planner’s Corner is based on a March 20, 2020 blog written by Investment Planning Counsel Inc. & Strategic Coach® Dan Sullivan’s, The “Scary Times” Success Manual.