Financial “Tough Talks” Uncover A New Personal Hazard: Energy Depletion
A healthy turnout of more than 70 attendees served to highlight the urgency of last month’s community event topic: Tough Talks. These folks gathered at the offices of Morgan Stanley in Midtown Manhattan to witness DRIVEN’s panel discussion about the conversations we need to have in the near-term in order to plan strategically for the long-term. 401K’s, last wills, long-term health insurance for ourselves and our parents….these are all important topics that only benefit us in the future, and much like exercise, they never seem to be the most desirable things to engage in right NOW. But after our panel spoke, a roomful of insightful professionals are seeing things much differently.
The bottom line is this: Delaying these tough talks equals lost financial opportunity, which compounds as each day slips by. Albeit alarming, this was fairly simple to understand once the variables were presented by our panel of financial experts. But here’s the real secret behind tough talk procrastination, which has a harmful impact upon your present: it zaps your energy by adding to your anxiety baseline.
Get A Free Refill
The fact is, there’s a direct connection between pushing off undesirable tasks and energy depletion, and the harmful emotional effects can be felt each and every time the task comes to mind (which can be multiple times per day!). You can probably imagine an example right now that applies to you. Now imagine if that task were finally behind you; with it comes the feeling of pride that you’ve carved out a more secure future for yourself, plus the bonus of eliminating that stubborn sting of anxiety that normally accompanies the thought of the unattended task. This translates to refilling your personal energy fuel tank without even flashing your credit card!
So How Do YOU Get Started?
Through the use of electronic polling at the event, it was revealed that a large percentage of the group had not yet taken steps toward engaging in the talks. For instance, less than 25% had previously discussed financial planning with an aging parent or a grown son or daughter, while nearly 30% of the people present had no tough talks at all. These numbers translate for you in one special way: If you haven’t engaged in the talks, you’re not alone! However, you can be like one of the 4 attendees who pledged to charge into action before they even left the event space. Here are 2 hot energy-saving tips to help make that happen:
- Panelist Yolanda Kanes, partner at Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP suggests that a good way to start the conversation with aging parents without compromising your relationship or seeming inappropriately suggestive is to tell them a bit about the steps you’ve taken to protect your own financial future and that of your children’s. Then ask them what steps they’ve taken. This will ease the conversation into motion and melt away the suspicion of ulterior motives on your part.
- Michael Koehler of DRIVEN suggests you do what he did. He not only has aging parents, but also has a single surviving grandparent whose financial records have grown complicated. In the event of his parents’ sudden demise, he would also be responsible for managing his grandmother’s estate, insurance policies and Social Security. To simplify the process in the event that he should become her caretaker, he used a smartphone to video record his mother as she took him through the paperwork, including where in the home it’s stored. He then uploaded the video file to his computer, and keeps a back-up copy on a thumbdrive which is stored in a filing cabinet folder labeled “Grammie”.
Making Energy Abundant
If you’re the panini generation in your family, meaning you’re sandwiched between your folks and your children, there is likely a perpetual subconscious trickle of energy being spent. After all, you have the biggest responsibility of all three generations. Sorting out time, resources and the appropriate contents of your own tough talks can be a challenge bigger than your career. That’s why DRIVEN isn’t just ending the conversation with last month’s event. We have developed a series of 4 workshops exploring personal energy management, commencing this spring! Consider getting involved, and you’ll be able to create and launch a manageable habit-building plan for enhancing energy. Imagine taking the “tough” out of tough talks by reframing, and creating positive energy in your life. To learn more, link to the Energy Management Series page HERE.