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Separation in Preparation

Separation in Preparation

| February 12, 2024

It’s the day after Super Bowl 58 and I am finally able to mutter the words…Dallas Cowboys without angst. We should have, could have, would have….

This week’s article title came by way of a colleague, who just happens to be a Green Bay Packers fan. It was in a humble effort of sportsmanship that I reached out to say “good game,” when he posed the idea for a future Life Planning 101 title…Separation in Preparation.

There are so many things we can learn from the world of sports and this theme is certainly one of them. Most Americans find a smooth rhythm in life—a good job, a home to call their own, a family, a hobby or two, a vacation here and there, and a way to live comfortably. We are a blessed nation – a fact that many people seem to take for granted. It’s easy to follow the rhythm when things are comfortable, but what happens when things get out whack?

What would happen if you lost your job? What if your car, air conditioner, and fridge all blew up in the same week? What if your health were to fail suddenly and severely… and you were no longer able to care for your family and now they have to care for you? What if you died?

On a larger scale:  what if the rest of the world didn’t coincide with your rhythm? What if inflation continued to climb to a point at which vacations and hobbies were no longer an option? What if the financial markets tanked just before your retirement date? What if Social Security was different from what you expected?

If you knew that any one or more of these events was absolutely going to take place, would you stop and prepare for it?

This isn’t a rhetorical question. I can say with certainty that at least one of these scenarios of these will occur— life happens to everyone. Rhythms are broken all of the time. The question is, of course, “Will you be prepared?”

In sports it’s easy to see the teams that are prepared on game day. They not only prepare for things to go perfect...they prepare for things to go awry as well. The Cowboys should have, could have, and would have been in Las Vegas last night if….

But they weren’t prepared. They found a rhythm, played well…really well… in that rhythm, but were not prepared when things went sideways.

Life will go sideways. This is guaranteed. The question is what will you or your family be saying when it does? Will it be…

Whew…I am glad we stopped and took the time to put (blank) in place!

Or...

If I had only (blank), I wouldn’t need to (blank).

Will it be…

(Blank) loved us so much. (Blank) took such care to make sure we would be okay.

Or...

It has been a year and I still am mad at (blank) for leaving us with this mess.

You can fill in the blanks.

Preparation is the one thing that separates an unpromising outlook from a successful future for you and your family. And that preparation starts with one thing – you!