Recently, as I’ve been going through my spring client meetings, I met with a couple who are relatively new clients. I was super excited to see them this week and try to help them move their financial plans forward. I showed up ready to go, with a queue of financial planning to-do items in tow.
The problem was – I don’t think they wanted any part of my energy level. Whether it’s work, kids, or life in general, there are going to be times when we just have too much on our plate. So, while I was pumped up about everything we needed to do, it quickly became apparent that they were not.
But that’s okay.
We don’t have to do it all at once. We don’t have to go full throttle every day, ad infinitum, in spite of the “rise and grind” trope peddled by business influencers on TikTok.
Because growth is messy.
If you were anywhere in the continental United States at the end of last year, you experienced the “winter bomb cyclone” of 2022. And I’m old enough to remember when El Niño was EXTREME weather!
Once temperatures dropped into the single digits here in Georgia, all the shrubs in our yard immediately jettisoned their remaining leaves. It really is amazing how they automatically knew that their leaves would be damaged and cut their losses.
My girlfriend was worried that the leaves may not grow back and we’d have to pony up for a yard full of shrubberies. Honestly, I’d never seen anything like it. I’d never experienced temperatures like those since I’ve lived in Georgia, going back well over twenty years at this point.
But I had faith that they would grow back.
And sure enough, as soon as a few warm days came around in early March, tiny green buds started appearing. And sadly, those new shoots soon turned black, withered and died thanks to our inevitable March cold snap, which saw temperatures dip below freezing again.
But yet, our stubborn ol’ shrubs sprouted again.
Think about the amount of energy it takes trees and plants to come back to life once winter ends. They have to generate a complete set of new leaves to survive. Every. Single. Spring. It kind of sounds exhausting actually.
So, what does this have to do with retirement planning? Well, as it turns out, that’s messy too.
There will be times when we’ll make tremendous strides toward our goals. And they’ll likely be followed by times of rest – or even regression – where progress doesn’t come as easily.
But this is how life works. We grow, we integrate what we’ve learned, and then we rest until the next cycle of growth begins. And there are many levels of these cycles that play out in our lives. Daily, weekly, monthly, annually, and so on.
Our investments certainly have their ebbs and flow over time. Last year, pretty much everyone saw their portfolios drop a few leaves.
So, if you’ve been doing all the right things in your retirement planning and you’re not seeing any progress, remember this is a messy process, just like every worthy pursuit in life.
And if you’re like the couple that I met with this week and you’ve got way too much going on, that’s okay too. Your energy and attention will ebb and flow too. It’s okay to let things ride for a season and pick it back up again when you’re ready.
If you’re a little overwhelmed and have to drop a few leaves, it’s okay. They’ll grow back when it’s time to grow again.
If you need someone to help you through the messiness of growing your investments for retirement, then click here to set up a quick, complimentary introduction call to see if Prana Wealth is a good fit. We do still have the capacity to take on new clients.
As a fee-only financial advisor in Atlanta, we can (and do) work virtually with clients all across the U.S. and we’re here to help you when you’re ready.