Often this is a time of new beginning, celebrating spring and feeling rejuvenated. This year, though, I recognize that things are different. Throughout the world, there is uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring. In the span of just a few days, I have no gym, NCAA basketball, or coffee shop that is open for business. The absence of my daily routine has proven that we are truly creatures of habit, and for a short while, I longed for the days. Fortunately, my toilet paper and hand sanitizer supply is not at risk for the moment…
Our daily lives have certainly been adjusted. Kids are home from school (one of mine included) and many of us are working from home, if at all. “Social Distancing” has brought a whole new meaning to Facebook and a trip to the grocery store is testament to the madness of crowds. Conversations now circle around what’s still open, closed, or cancelled, and the checkout lines.
The markets spiked downward very sharply over the past couple of weeks which has added some fuel to our fears. And even the strongest of stomachs are finding it difficult to ignore the “sky-is-falling” press who implores the last of us on earth to please turn off the lights! The economic impact of this social distancing in our world will no doubt slow our economic growth for a while, and the markets will need some time to digest this new reality. Small businesses operating on a tight budget will struggle, and unfortunately some will not make it through. The Federal Reserve has stepped in and reduced already low interest rates to near zero to help ease the strain making money very cheap (to borrow) and available. There also appears to be an unfamiliar cooperation in Washington with proposals being created to further assist struggling families and businesses.
But as I left my office for lunch today, I saw a very interesting story unfolding. On this beautiful early spring day, I saw walkers and joggers, young and old. I saw countless families walking down the sidewalk, mom and dad, and kids out front on scooters and bikes. I hear of lesson plans being made for kids at home and creative youth projects being launched to make the most of a very different end to the school year. They are moving on with life and making the best of an unfortunate situation.
Our office has gone to no-office appointments as well, replacing in-office visits with email, ZOOM meetings, and the old standby telephone. Interestingly, it all seems to be working just fine which makes me wonder how our lives might change permanently once the storm has passed. Will we prefer many of these new changes? We are fully operational and stand ready to assist in managing our clients’ wealth plans with no operational difficulty. Most transactions can be accomplished electronically, so be sure and call Jerri, Christy, or me if you should have any questions or concerns.
Finally, I wish to offer hope. We have a wealth of understanding in overcoming obstacles and staying positive, and our planning efforts will continue to help us through this challenge as well. I am grateful for our many relationships, strengths, and resources.
My very best,