Happy 2018! We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Season. We were away at the beginning part of the month of December, then Taryn graduated from college, we had Christmas celebrations and we moved her. We are all on to a number of “new beginnings” this year. As of next weekend, Don and I will officially be empty nesters. Taryn landed her dream job (something we are very proud of), moved into her very first “non college” housing apartment four hours from home…it’s a bit far, but it could have anywhere in the country. As parents, it is always a balancing act of helping your kids to grow up and wanting them to have their own lives, and trying to keep them safe and close. I am a bit weepy over the realization that she won’t be home over summer breaks any more. But, we are so excited to see how she uses her many gifts, her kind heart, enthusiastic attitude, and personality to make her own place in the world. We will be cheering her on all of the way.
As a wealth advisor, I am proud that we were able to give her the gift of a college education without burdening her with student loans. My parents could not afford to pay for college for me and two of my siblings, but they worked hard and helped us as much as they could. We all ended up with student loans that we paid off over time. None of us regret paying our own way to get an education, but everyone’s life path is different and a degree or advanced degree is not for everyone nor a predictor of success in life.
We are suddenly going to see our monthly expenditures drop as she takes on her own living expenses. For anyone who has or is sending a child to college, you fully understand what “ getting your kids off of your payroll” means to your family finances. It is huge! A new year is a good time to get back on track with your financial goals. For us, it means rethinking a number of things, including downsizing our home!
I am sure I am like many of you who make New Years resolutions. A good friend suggested a few years ago that instead of a long list of resolutions, that I pick a word for the year to serve as a mantra for what I want to accomplish that year. I really struggled this year, but have finally come up with my word…”DISCERNMENT”. I keep a list of my 2009 resolutions handy. That was a big year of transitions for me that at the beginning of the year I could not have predicted. I turned 50, my beloved maternal grandmother passed away, my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and my position with the bank I was working for was eliminated as it had by acquired by my former employer. There were so many choices to make that year. How to help my dad while working and caring for our family? Should I go to work for one of the many organizations that were pursuing me, or wait and see what would happen with the merger? My prayer was for God to close the doors that I was not to go through, essentially, discernment. When my position was eliminated, I was given a very generous severance package. I suddenly had the time to help my dad and care for my family, while still getting paid. Had I taken a new job, I would not have had that opportunity. For anyone who has helped a loved one to pass, the gift of that time is truly priceless.
We are in another time of transition as “empty nesters”. I am praying for discernment on our life focus and best way to downsize. By the way, intention and mindful are words that I chose the past two years. They are still good ones to keep in mind as I move through this new year.
We understand that this will be a journey and are looking forward to sharing it with you.
Cheers to the New Year!