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Summer Travel, 2022

A quarter of a century – wow! That’s right, as I’m now working on my 26th year in this business, I’m reminded of how things change, and yet, stay the same. When I first started out in 1997, my Great Aunt Sunny was 75 (she’s about to turn 100!), and I was trained that, when I called people on their home phones, I was to identify myself, tell them what firm I’m with, and ask them this shock & awe question: are you concerned about the price of gas? 

Later this month, I’ll be asking Great Aunt Sunny that same question as she turns 100 and the entire extended family celebrates with her as she gains her third digit. Also, I’m hoping to have many opportunities to sit down and chat with her. Yes, one thing I’ll ask is what she thinks about the price of gas (even though she doesn’t drive anymore). Of course, I’ll also want to hear about her first car, her first dishwasher, television, cordless phone, or even cell or smart phone (does she have one??)! I am truly looking forward to those conversations, because oftentimes, stories of the past can tell us the answers to our present day problems. 

Speaking of problems today, when we mapped out what we were going to talk about in these newsletters for this month, we thought everyone would be on vacation as the world had reopened and things would be smooth sailing. But, with everything going on in the world (much less our own economy), it seems tone deaf to even try to tackle those planned topics right now, as so many of your loved ones have been affected significantly by the rise in fuel costs, inflation, and generally tighter budgets. 

In our household, when we first looked at the date we’d be traveling for Sunny’s birthday party, we thought we’d fly instead of wasting time driving. But, now that it would cost three months of mortgage payments, well, we’ll drive. We’re also hearing the trials and tribulations of people flying across the country – delayed, cancelled and combined flights – and suddenly nine hours in a car doesn’t sound that bad after all. Que up the license plate bingo!

To stick to the topic of summertime and celebrations, I challenge you fellas with big anniversaries coming up to take the time to actually plan something, whether by plane, train or automobile. Do something fun and memorable for you and yours. 

If you don’t have a milestone coming up in the next year, perhaps this month can serve as a wakeup call. We all gained a few pounds during Covid, and had a few more happy hours than we typically did since the bar was only a few feet away. Maybe now is simply a time to get up and get moving again. I’m certainly trying to lose my Covid 20, and I’m making the effort to hit the gym, take the bike out, and get the cardio up. Heck, even just sweeping up the remnants of our neighborhood fireworks show got my heart pumping just now. I’m also planning on taking a couple of weeks off to enjoy the rest of July celebrating the summer with our family, and taking some well well-deserved time away at the beach. 

How are you adjusting your travel plans based on what’s going on with flights and the price of gas? Do you have any travel horror stories? Please call me! I’d love to hear them. Seriously. Let’s chat soon. 

Article by David Smyth, Senior Partner at Family Financial Partners — a financial services firm in Lexington, Kentucky.

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