The Sweat and Stress Driven By Love

My brother's two boys needed a little happiness in their lives after the recent events.  I knew I had to do something to try to ease the grief they were feeling after their loss!   After much deliberation, my husband and I decided to treat them to a weekend at a Wisconsin Dells indoor waterpark.

Just putting the plans into motion was a formidable task.  There were serious concerns about Covid-19 risks.  And, of course, there was a lot of planning for travel and accommodations.

We managed to overcome all of the obstacles, and we were able to break the news to them.  Although the trip was still a few weeks away, they were bouncing off the walls with joy!  Seeing them so happy had me looking forward to taking them on their very first ‘vacation'!

All packed and ready to go, we squeezed our eight-year-old daughter between the seven-year-old and twelve-year-old boys in the backseat.  As we set out on our journey, the SUV was a chaos of noise and excitement!  And what an adventure it was…

Somewhere after the third stop of the trip and an hour before we reached our hotel, the excitement had dwindled into the low background noise of iPads with an occasional, “Are we there yet?”.  I mused that kids today would never have survived the long haul road-trips when we grew up.  Without Ipads, our only source of entertainment was annoying our parents and siblings!

Exhausted by the time we hit the hotel, we managed to get everyone settled down for a good night's rest for the big day ahead! I had my coffee and everything was going as planned as we rode into the Dells mid-morning the next day.

Our day's agenda was jam-packed, starting with an active attraction visit to let the kids burn off some energy.  They were still going full steam by lunchtime, but I could see my husband wasn't quite as chipper.   But overall, things were still going smoothly.  And then, we pulled up to the waterpark hotel.

The PACKED parking lot sent off alarm bells in my head.  I thought it was off-peak, meaning low occupancy!?!  And for the prices they charge, I couldn't have imagined it would be so busy!  Boy, was I wrong.  It was crowded to the max, with tons of crazy, sugar-hyped kids.  Between trying to manage three children and coronavirus fears, it wasn't long before I was tense and worn out!  I kept thinking to myself, “How do we stay 6 feet away from EVERYBODY?” And “Why, oh why, do kids insist on touching EVERYTHING?” A gallon of hand sanitizer and masks just didn't seem like enough!

Really, it was just an exhausting, stressful experience, with a lot of planning, work and money spent.  And… I'd do it all over again.  No, I'm not crazy. It's because it's not about me!  When you see the big smile on the kids' faces as they glide down water slides, you understand they've found a little joy in the vacation experience. It's something you sacrifice for, and you do it for them because you love them.

That's the same reason so many of my clients are going through the financial planning process.  I understand it's not always the most enjoyable process for them.  For some, it may be a mental hurdle even to start the process with a phone call.  There are meetings, decisions to be made, and there's some investment of time and money.  But they understand they aren't going through this for themselves.  There is a more significant reason why.

It may be a husband that wants to protect his wife if something should happen.  It may be a couple that want to create a financial plan for leaving their estate to their children.  Or perhaps it's someone that wants to leave a legacy for a charity.

Sure, there are many clients that see a secure retirement as their top priority.  But I've also found that even those people have concerns for their loved ones.  Part of retirement planning involves planning for a surviving spouse, and no one wants to be a burden to their children. 

Overall, I see people doing what it takes for the ones they love and the causes they believe in.  And in doing so, it brings them joy.  This is what love is.

On the drive home, seeing the kids content and falling asleep in the backseat brought me such a sense of peace and closure from all the recent events that life had thrown at us. It's this same sense of peace and satisfaction that I strive to provide for my clients when we complete their financial plan.

Bloomington Normal Retirement Planner Krista McBeathKrista McBeath is an Investment Advisor, Chartered Financial Consultant, a Licensed Insurance Advisor, a Fiduciary, and an experienced tax advisor who specializes in financial planning, investments, and insurance.

She utilizes advanced tools for in-depth calculations that analyze tax and retirement scenarios to help their clients avoid a future tax time-bomb.  Whether this means enjoying more of your hard-earned money in retirement or passing along assets to loved ones, with less tax burden, planning makes the difference.

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