Some things never change. Nothing stays the same.

Last weekend I attended my high school reunion in Akron, Ohio. We take pride in having been the first class to graduate from Firestone High.

My family moved away many years ago, and I rarely go back to my hometown. So, during breaks from the reunion festivities, I spent some time driving around the area. I saw both of the houses I had lived in growing up – the tiny Cape Cod-style home, still nicely landscaped, nicely kept – and the bigger split-level, a bit overgrown, a bit run-down.

Akron was the rubber capital of the world when I was young; you could smell the factories many miles away. They’re gone now. The two large department stores downtown have also closed. One building was taken over by the University which has grown substantially, sprawling well beyond the four streets that contained most of the campus back then. Some stores have moved, some were renovated, some replaced. A few are still where they have always been.

Some things never change. Nothing stays the same.

As classmates reconnected, we asked each other what we’ve been doing all these years. There were stories about marriages and divorces, and children and grandchildren. There were the fresh-out-of-college jobs, mid-life career changes, businesses bought and sold. Some classmates have died; others help their elderly parents.

Those many years ago, we looked at the future with wide-eyed anticipation. Now we don’t know what the future will bring, or, for some of us, when we will retire, or who will be around for the next reunion.

Some things never change. Nothing stays the same.

As advisors, we tend to focus on our clients’ goals and plans, diversification and asset allocation. Save this much monthly. Rebalance quarterly. Don’t forget your annual review.

You know it’s more than that. Clients want the guidance of an advisor who also understands the reality of what happens in life – and that means planning for the things that never change and preparing for what doesn’t stay the same.

Some things never change:
– The need for retirement income they won’t outlive
– Growing health care costs and other costs of living
– The desire to buy based on greed at market tops
– The urge to sell based on fear at market bottoms

How do you talk with your clients and help them plan?

Nothing stays the same:
– Job layoffs
– Children moving back home
– Divorces and deaths
– Major market declines

How do you talk with your clients and help them prepare?

Use the comments section or send an email to share your thoughts.

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