Season’s Greetings?

Are you ready?

Photo: Igor Ovsyannykov. Source: Fancycrave

In our family we never get ready very early for Christmas. Maybe it’s because I was a winter-sports athlete. Growing up, I had exams, intense training, and then competitions right into late December. My shopping happened after I returned home on the 23rd or so. Then there was an intense trip to the mall with wish-lists and backup-items and “evergreen” gifts – stuff that would always be welcome on a cold Christmas Day, like gloves and scarves and warm socks.

These evergreen gifts saved me. The selection of sizes and colors might not have been great, but I could be pretty sure the gifts would be a hit. You can always use warm clothes in Minnesota in December.

In financial planning, there are “evergreen” items, too: projections for retirement – approximate dates, activities, cash flow needs; plans for housing and transportation – do you want to stay in your home, can you use mass transportation; plans for health care and advance directives; and, most importantly, communicating with family about hopes, dreams, and realistic expectations.

Illustration: José Miguel. Source: Pixabay

It’s this last bit that’s the hardest. We’d rather talk about just about anything than about money. We’re afraid of feeling being judged, or feeling stupid, or we just don’t want to deal with the issues. And we run the risk of being victims of theft of fraud if we’re too open.

But conversation is power, especially when we face issues and make plans. True conversation starts by asking questions and listening – really listening – to the answers. Then it explores those answers to get to the root of the issue, whether it’s fears of dependence or disconnection or it’s hopes and dreams for the future. Real conversation is personal contact, a meeting of minds where we put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. It’s not a contact sport, it’s like petting a kitten: it takes a little time.

This season, let’s give the gift of having evergreen conversations with our loved ones. They don’t fit under a tree, but they always fit.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

Charter Trust Company

“The Best Trust Company in New England”

By |2018-12-13T06:28:58+00:00December 13th, 2018|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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