Time to really think17 April 2020
Life for us all can usually be a bit frantic. This pressure, real or perceived, is certainly greater since technology really gave a taster of what it was capable of. And technology in all its formats has not even started changing our lives yet (see 5G capabilities)! Are we ever really now disconnected?
There is some irony in the fact that it seems to be technology that is the only real way of staying in safe contact with our individual worlds during the lockdown, with the 'old' ways of face-to-face and human contact temporarily suspended until this massive global challenge of Covid-19 is bought under control in whatever form that manifests itself.
As a consequence of this, there is a lot more time on many people's hands, and that usually means that they get to starting thinking. Perhaps a luxury that has not been available for some time, or just on high days and holidays. So, what to think about? Sure, there's the standard hierarchy of needs (food, family, finances and the like), but once you get past this and perhaps a bit of DIY that you've been putting off for ages, the serious stuff can start to kick in.
Where are you at? With the world somehow stopped, if you took a look around the world that is you, is this what you really wanted at this time in your life? Are you with the person, house, job, relationships, location that you wanted to be? If you are at peace with where you are, then congratulations. However, you know that many millions will not be and when this is all over, people will emerge changed, with desire for change, and in some circumstances complete change. Almost the pressing of a life's virtual 'eject button' to start afresh. You can imagine that sociologists and psychologists are going to be busy for decades to come with the study of the cause and effects of this global phenomenon.
With this noted, even those who want no change will see the opposite; full change. The people who filled our lives may have been lost or emerge with a desire to make life changes. Life changes in many forms are likely to be unusually bold for many, real 'curve balls' that none could have anticipated even at the start of the year. For some the changes will be more subtle, like retiring early, moving to a part time role, giving money to their family earlier, or just wanting to be with their family more. Some of the humanity that has been shown during this crisis has been exceptional. One human emotion that has been at the forefront of many people's minds is fear. Fear can sometimes last just a short time, but for many it has been weeks, now turning into months.
If ever there was a time, it is now. Time to really think.
No individual advice is provided during the course of this blog.
Keith Churchouse FPFS
Chartered Financial Planner
Chapters Financial Limited