I love that end of June time of year. The driveways are painted with “Class of 2021” as neighborhoods celebrate the graduations and accomplishments of their seniors. Prior to college, for many, the trajectory and script is pretty well laid out. The roller coaster that is life is at the bottom of the first hill as it clicks along moving higher from K to 1 to 2 to 3 to 4…to 12 and beyond! Those first 18 or so years have a plan and as long as you stay on the ride, you have a pretty good idea where you are going to end up the next year. Oh the place you’ll go? Well, you already know.
Let’s fast forward four years, and that linear climb with the nice view has you dangling and waiting for the first drop. There are equal parts excitement and nerves as you dive into a less certain future. Is it more school? Is it time for the first job and off to a new city? Or maybe back to the comfort of home while you regroup and take the future one step at a time? Oh the places you’ll go? Well maybe for the first time you just don’t know.
We fast forward ten more years and the ride has not yet stopped, but you find yourself a little more uncomfortable with the dips and how that curve on turn three makes you hit your head every single time. Oh the place you’ll go? You still don’t know, but you’d be ok if it went a little slower.
As I watch my children growing up so quickly, I understand what everyone keeps saying about “how it goes so fast.” This year our son graduated from kindergarten and so will click along to first grade next school year. Our oldest is moving up to third grade, and the youngest gets one more year on the pre-k kiddie coaster, and they too are clicking right along on the track. Our school district has not yet reached out and asked me what lessons I would bestow should they need me in the classroom, but I’m ready when they do.
After 17 years of being a financial planner, I would estimate that I’ve helped build a few hundred different financial plans. Each one of them created thoughtfully and unique to the individual or family. Despite all the planning and work, the one thing that all of these plans have in common is that their success is at the mercy of timing. “Well we would like to buy a house in five years…” The home of their dreams comes on the market 8 months later. “We want to be debt free in two years and have all our loans paid off…” An adorable baby is born a year later whose $250 a week child care kind of changes the cash flow 😊 “I want to retire at 62 and collect social security…” The company gets sold at age 60, you know the rest.
When I get called into the classroom, I will keep it simple and brief. Actually, I should probably tighten it up on my client calls too and keep it simple and brief, but let’s stay focused on the youth here.
“Oh the places you’ll go, dream big, breathe deep, and timing is the part we never truly know.”
Happy Friday! Please be healthy and stay safe!