You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. ~ M. Angelou

As this past week has rolled along, in the new post-election cycle that has taken over, I’m struck by how much has been made about the margins of victory or defeat. There has been more than one opening sentence about how, “If you are in the half of the population that is thrilled…if you’re in the half of the population that is waking up heartbroken….” Here’s what really strikes me; nearly 50% of this country Did. Not. Vote. At. All. So while yes, I want to take a look at how to address the current stress that many are waking up to, especially around retirement lifestyle and financial planning, I also want to ask those who didn’t vote what was going on with that?

Let’s start with the fairly easy items. Regardless of how you feel about the results of this election the reality is that change is on the horizon, as it is each time we have a transition to new leadership. With that changes come many questions. How will this impact my plans? What can I expect moving forward? Have I prepared enough for whatever is ahead?

We can’t plan for all but this is where having a good plan can be helpful. If you’ve done your prep work financially, we can hope there are some contingencies built into your plans. As I posted on Facebook Wednesday morning, making a decision in haste and based on incomplete information is never wise. Slow down. Take a breath and then begin to make financial decisions – if you need to. Don’t just make them because you think everyone else is doing the same thing!

As you begin to think about how you’d like to spend your Next Chapter, or are already spending it, now would be a good time evaluate the state of your mental and physical health. Since we never know what’s up around the next corner now would be a fine time to take stock, make some changes as needed and begin to put those practices into place. Are you doing all you can to stay healthy? Are you outside in the fresh air on a regular basis? Are you meditating or connecting with a community of like minded people regularly? Are you, literally, following doctor’s recommendations? Are you using sweat as the magic elixir it is? Translation – are you exercising? Doing puzzles, hanging out with friends, laughing? These are all excellent.

And then there’s the bigger question: are you doing all you can to either take part and have your voice heard for those causes you believe in or are you sitting back and hoping for the best? If you didn’t vote then clearly you are part of the latter group. We talked last week about voting. Voting is a privilege that clearly many didn’t exercise. Here’s why I ask you this; if you have plans to slow down and visit national parks are they going to be there for you? If you’re planning on being able to play golf at the local county course, is it going to be in good enough shape for that? If you’re planning on golfing regularly at someplace like Pebble Beach you likely aren’t reading this posting or wondering about retirement and you likely voted. Is it possible you might need medical assistance or such a level of care in the future? Will that be available to you at a price you can afford?

As we move forward, with an eye toward your retirement lifestyle planning, I would urge you to keep doing the great things you are doing for yourself. I would also ask for you to open yourself up to the notion of pushing yourself further so that those parts of your plan that mean so much to you can be available in the future.

Wishing you all the best for the week ahead ~ Lisa