The Great Change! (Is COVID Leading to Life Changes?) – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

One of the most unique things about my job is seeing people at all different stages of life.  I’ve seen more people change jobs, retire, get married, get divorced, have kids, have grandkids, etc. than most people you know. After more than two decades in the business of helping people navigate their finances and lives, I’ve pretty much seen it all.

I tell you this simply to point out that my job comes with a perspective that most people don’t get to see. I simply see people go through every stage of life thousands of times, making important decisions and big moves along the way.

The past several months I have seen more people shake up their lives with major changes than in any other period I have ever witnessed. I’m calling it “The Great Change.”

The Great Change

Here is what I have observed: I have run more financial plans for what it looks like if people quit their jobs, take new jobs, get divorced, or move somewhere random than any other period in my 20-plus year career. Last week alone I ran three updates of plans — two people wanting to switch jobs and one wanting to separate. 

The interesting thing about them all is when asked why, their answers were all eerily similar. They all said something like, “I can stay in my current situation, but you know what? That won’t make me happy.” One of my best friends, a successful entrepreneur, told me he is worn out and wants to get out of the rat race to follow his passion for cars. To many, these thoughts and changes were foreign two years ago — not today though, not with the “Great Change” among us.

The two things that virtually every one of the people I’ve come across this year says are:

  1. They could stay in their current situation if they must.
  2. They really just want to be happy. 

Slow clap to you all, as change is hard and complacency is easy. As a matter of fact, I actually think waking up one day and realizing you are unhappy in your current life, then having the gumption to do something about it is super impressive. First, it takes the ability to recognize something isn’t right.  That level of self-awareness is impressive in its own right.  Next, it requires a hard look at what it would take to make you truly happy. 

The Why? 

When confronted weekly with clients looking to make drastic changes to their lives, I continually ask myself, “Why such an uptick in change?” My best …….


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