Why Does Change Have To Be So Hard?
By Jay L. Gershman
Ever notice when the alarm clock goes off during the week that you find yourself living your “ground hog” day? Let out the dog, put on a pot of coffee, read the sports, drink coffee, check the obits, then breakfast …. Try changing the routine a little and next thing you know you’re at work with no tie and you haven’t taken your prescriptions.
During exploratory sessions with new clients, most people will discuss a list of wonderful opportunities that lie ahead once they retire. Common answers are sailing the ocean, spending the summer in Cape Cod with new grandchildren and downsizing to a new dream home. Ask these same people why these dreams aren’t possible now and before you can blink you will hear a list of obstacles a mile long. Some professionals will say that obstacles are nothing more than a natural response to change. What can go wrong? Why’s it risky? The brain will take over and direct the person to think, “I can’t leave my job until ………….”
In reality, change is difficult. Even people trying to lose weight or quit smoking find that breaking a habit requires significant change. No ice cream after dinner or cigarette during each work break. It’s sometimes necessary to find new friends who will encourage the new found motivation and provide support during times of wavering. Coaches will tell you that any new habit requires 21 days of change to take root. Want to exercise? Schedule yourself workouts for the next three weeks.
In order to make major life changes like retirement or moving, first a consensus is needed. For couples or unmarried persons often a professional is needed to build consensus and conviction. The professional can lead the discussion from dreams to obstacles and then to implementation of steps needed to accomplish the required tasks necessary to make the dream a reality. For instance, many retired couples will say they want to downsize but thoughts of de-cluttering and moving become overwhelming. Broken down into manageable steps with reasonable time frames, most overwhelming obstacles can be tackled. Especially when help is brought in when needed.
Unfortunately, many people will lack the confidence to change and will put off the long desired dream into the future. In most cases the clock of good health will run out and the window of opportunity will close. All that’s left are regrets.
This outcome doesn’t have to happen to you. Start with a full financial check up, then a sense of the financial “big picture”, then explore your dreams and finally implement your plan to make your dreams come true.
The bottom line: After a lifetime of working hard, scrimping, saving and providing for others, when was the last time you sat quietly, reflected on your life and thought about what has to happen between today and the day you die to be content? If you haven’t, don’t wait until you find yourself having a medical test to tell yourself that if you are ok, you’re going to start living.
Schedule a no obligation planning meeting by calling our office.
Jay Gershman is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary and Registered Life Planner. This information is the opinion of the author and not intended as specific recommendation. Please consult a professional before making changes. Securities offered through Securities Service Network, Inc. Member: FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through SSN Advisory, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor.