ColumnistsFinancial Literacy

A Time Like No Other

I am, like everyone else, walking through this time with amazement. It feels like a dream, but it continues to go on and on and on. As we walk through this time, I have marveled at the impact and response that people have to the uncertainty.

It seems that the first response to crisis is to run to the grocery store and stock up. I am from Massachusetts and conditioned to believe that there are very few times that require me to run to the grocery store. Despite blizzards that come, we are contained typically just a few days. In complete transparency, I rarely cook, so the grocery store was not usually on the list and I would believe that there is enough food in the house to get by the days necessary to stay inside.

This situation is different. We are not able to forecast how long the potentially deadly virus will be stalking. We each are living through this is time in a weird isolation yet sharing in a new way. Each day we are seeking instructions about how we to move forward. We are on the edge of our seats looking for leadership and wisdom.

What caught me off guard was the run on paper products. Toilet paper cannot be found locally. I am still amazed at this. It seems that we do not want to be caught off guard without toilet paper. I presume that is because of the impact it would have not having it. We are preparing for the unexpected. Do we stay in position to wait until the last minute? While this is an extreme experience, we see this happen whenever there is the forecast of a snowstorm. We see bread fly off the shelves. Do we hold a culture of living on the edge? Do we have just enough? Are we not prepared for the next possibility or uncertainty or is our constant state of crisis the way we choose to live?

As an estate planning attorney, my experience is that many people also wait to get their affairs in order at the last minute, and many don’t ever get them in order — and the family and loved ones are the ones that suffer. We are receiving many calls from people seeking to get it together quickly now.

I wonder if we knew in advance that there would be a virus that would have us quarantined for weeks or months whether we would have been stocking up on paper products and food for a period of time.  

Planning for certain events would seem rational. However, 50% of folks don’t plan for the next chapter of life or end of life, which is guaranteed. I don’t know anyone who shouldn’t have a plan to identify who can support them if they are unable to care for themselves or a strategy for end-of-life planning.  

This is a time that has really disturbed many to the core. In the grocery store, we see people who are covered with face masks and gloves. These precautions are thoughtful and strategic. However, that does not require us to not speak or gesture from when maintaining the social distance.

In this current time, many people are without due to the reaction of those who have gathered all available resources leaving others without any. This is causing many others to be victimize by scalpers and scammers.

Let’s be thoughtful about our family and our loved ones and create a community where we think beyond ourselves. In this time, let’s reflect and renew our systems of support. In this time, let’s build networks that are villages.  

At The Griffin Firm, we have created systems using technology that maintain safety while achieving goals of creating, protecting and transferring wealth. Let’s be safe and protect our family’s legacy. Strong families make strong communities.

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