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History in the Making

Wow.

As I’ve said before, it’s one thing to read about history. It’s a completely different thing to live it. In two weeks, things have certainly taken a turn for the worse. As a financial planner, I’m still having conversations with folks, albeit via conference call, FaceTime or Zoom.

And what I hear concerns me. Everyone – regardless of their occupation or rank on the corporate ladder – is worried. To add insult to injury – for every one of us who would like to express our frustrations, we know there’s someone else out there that is much worse off – and so we stay quiet out of respect.

In the back of everyone’s mind who currently works for a business there is a conversation going on: “I was living on those bonuses. What if they are gone? What If my salary gets cut? I’m feeling the pressure from work to produce – but nobody is willing to commit to new services or products currently. In fact, many are calling to reduce the service we were providing, as they are just as shell-shocked as the world is changing for their business. If I could only get a face to face meeting, I could save that business, keep it on the books, figure an alternative plan. But they just canceled all corporate travel and face-to-face meetings. I feel so helpless. What if I get laid off? What happens to my health insurance if I get laid off? What if I get the coronavirus and have no health insurance? What happens to my family? What the heck is taking these buffoons in DC (all of them collectively) this long to determine a plan to bail me out after the federal government all but destroyed my ability to earn an income by telling me and everyone in this country to stay home and hunker down?”

I get it. I do.

Meanwhile, in the back of everyone’s mind who currently owns a business (exclude Amazon, Costco and Kroger) there is a conversation going on: “What the heck just happened? Without a warning, everything just ground to a halt. Business all but stopped. What do I do with my employees? Do I keep them on, lay them off? How long will this uncertainty last? I was told by the CDC I had to send them all home, but I know they can’t generate any significant revenue for me sitting at home, so what do I do? What will they do if I lay them off? They are good people.
“But my business… Will it come back? Where will my income come from? I’ve poured my heart and soul into this business. This is a different type of challenge I’m facing. It’s a complete shutdown of all non-essential commerce. I’ve never experienced this challenge before. The government did this to me. How can they be allowed to simply destroy overnight everything I’ve worked so hard to build? Their comments suggest they are protecting me, that I’m being a good citizen by following their instruction, but who is going to pay my business bills? Insurance doesn’t cover this type of situation. I have bills to pay, employee payroll to meet and my billables are through the roof – and not being paid. I’ve got to keep this business afloat. What the heck is taking these buffoons in DC (all of them collectively) this long to determine a plan to bail me out after the federal government all but destroyed my ability to earn an income by telling me and everyone in this country to stay home and hunker down?”

I get it. Trust me, I do.

Finally, in everyone’s mind who was employed last week and now is unemployed, there is a conversation going on: “File for unemployment based on the spelling of my last name? Are you serious? I need to apply for employment – but where? This feels like a nightmare – when will I wake up from this dream? I need to call my landlord/ mortgage lender and try to negotiate. How much do I have in the bank? Maybe I should cash in my retirement plan to have money to survive on. What bills can I postpone paying? What the heck do I do if I get Corona virus and have no health insurance? What if my car gets repossessed? What if my credit gets ruined? I just finally had it back to great after the last financial crisis. What the heck is taking these buffoons in DC (all of them collectively) this long to determine a plan to bail me out after the Federal government fired me from my job (while they still collect their paychecks- ironic isn’t it?) and destroyed my ability to earn an income by telling me and everyone in this country to stay home and hunker down?”

I get it. I do. I’m sorry this has happened.

Regardless of what our situation is, these are very uncertain times we find ourselves in. Will this social distancing go on for two more, four more or eight more weeks? Nobody knows. So much uncertainty. When will the majority of us go back to our day-to-day activities? Nobody knows. So much uncertainty.

Will you lose a loved one during this pandemic? Nobody knows. So much uncertainty. Sleepless nights where the clock simply acts as a reminder that it’s not morning yet. So much worrying about unsolvable problems and an invisible enemy.

As I’ve said before, it’s one thing to read about history. It’s a completely different thing to live it.
Remember: In only a few weeks things can certainly change for the good. They can.

Don’t give up. Keep the faith. Keep to a schedule, get eight or nine hours of sleep, take walks, work on developing better food habits, and clean those daggum dirty windows you are staring at when not binging on Netflix!

Make a few extra phone calls to let your friends and family know that they aren’t alone. Ask them if you can help them out with anything- after all – we all have extra time on our hands. Just a call will help significantly reduce the stress they are carrying.
In the meantime, the Family Financial Partners team continues to work remotely from our home offices, so if you’ve reached out to us, keep in mind that a return call might not come from our office number. We’re using our cell phones these days. Also, if you would like to set up a virtual meeting with us and you’re unfamiliar with FaceTime, Skype or Zoom, Katie will be happy to work with you and get things set up for you. We’re always here to help.

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