facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
Best Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Blues Thumbnail

Best Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Blues

As much as we look forward to this time of year, the holidays aren't all merry and bright for everyone. Health concerns, transportation difficulties, and complicated schedules might be preventing some folks from spending time with loved ones this year. Others who are looking forward to the first "normal" holiday dinner in a couple years could be feeling the stress of all that planning and preparation. And for many families, this might be the first holiday meal with an empty chair at the table due to the loss of a loved one.

If you find yourself feeling blue during the next couple weeks, these three ideas could give you a little boost of holiday cheer.

1. Feel what you're feeling. 

The isolation we've all experienced since the pandemic might have made us a little too used to keeping our feelings to ourselves. But bottling up your emotions can take a toll. At the low end, ignoring your feelings can make your blues bluer and make those around you feel uncomfortable. Keep those feelings under wraps for too long and they could lead to depression and high levels of stress, which can affect things like your memory, digestion, and heart health.  

Sometimes just finding a quiet corner, acknowledging your feelings, and asking yourself why you're feeling this way can provide clarity and calm. But even when it's difficult to do so, opening up to trusted friends and family might relieve some of your emotional burdens and provide some helpful perspective.

2. Be realistic ... and flexible. 

Many folks are putting added pressure on the 2021 holidays to make up for all the family time we've missed out on during the pandemic. But trying too hard to make everything "perfect" could take the fun out of get-togethers for both you and anyone you're spending time with. Also, there's always the chance that a cancelled flight or an outbreak of COVID-19 at your grandchild's school could affect your celebration plans.

Try not to let a pie crust that turns out a little too brown or a family member who has to Zoom in from home put too big a damper on your holidays. And if a little one starts tearing into presents ahead of schedule or an unruly pet has a close call with the tree, remember that sometimes it's the imperfections that make a holiday truly perfect, and memorable.  

3. Stick to a holiday budget. 

Money can be a source of stress any time of the year. It’s especially easy to let the excitement of the holidays, your affection for loved ones, and your best intentions lead you to overspending. Even if you don't technically break the bank on gifts, couples who don't always see eye-to-eye on money issues might have very different opinions about how many presents should be under the tree.

Nonprofits and other charitable organizations also ramp up their outreach efforts during the holidays. If your mailbox or social media feed is bursting with holiday giving campaigns, it can be very tempting to write another check or log in to your PayPal account one more time without keeping track of how much you've donated. What's good for your heart and your community might not necessarily be good for your nest egg, especially if you're a retiree who's already transitioned to a fixed income.

Giving is certainly a big part of the Keen Wealth mission. But whether you're donating to your favorite charity or treating your grandkids, make sure that you're giving responsibility. Creating a holiday budget can prevent some unpleasant surprises once your bank statements arrive next month. You could also talk to your friends and family about setting gift limits so that no one feels like they have to "keep up" with anyone else.

There are also some important charitable giving strategies to consider this time of year. Retirees aged 72 and above have the option of making qualified charitable distributions from their retirement accounts1. In addition to supporting your favorite charities, you might feel inspired to create your own family foundation or charitable trust to make giving a part of your legacy.

I sincerely hope that your holiday celebrations, however big or small, fill you and your family with real happiness. And if a little guidance around budgeting or charitable giving issues could provide some extra merriment before the end of the year, please reach out to my team at Keen Wealth.

1Please consult with an advisor and/or tax professional to see if this would right for you.   

About Bill

Bill Keen is a CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELOR℠ and independent financial advisor with more than 25 years of industry experience. As the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm, he specializes in providing personalized retirement planning designed to help people thrive before and during their retirement years. With a passion for educating others, Bill regularly blogs about retirement planning, hosts the podcast Keen on Retirement, and has contributed to U.S. News and World Report, Reuters, Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, Yahoo Finance, and other publications. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Bill and his team work with clients throughout the greater Kansas City area and across the nation. To learn more, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.keenwealthadvisors.com.

KWMG, LLC’s dba Keen Wealth Advisors (“company”) is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor located in Overland Park, KS. The company and its representatives may only conduct business in those states where registered or where excluded/exempt or from licensure. For registration information please contact the SEC or the state securities regulators for the states where the company is notice filed. A copy of the company ADV is available upon request. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where the company and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by the company unless a client service agreement is in place. This information is not intended to be investment advice or construed as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular investment or investment strategy and is for illustrative purposes only. Clients and prospective clients must consider all relevant risk factors involved with each strategy, including costs or fees, and their own personal financial situations before trading.

The views outlined in the book, Keen on Retirement Engineering the Second Half of Your Life, are those of the author and should not be construed as individualized or personalized investment advice. Any economic and/or performance information cited is historical and not indicative of future results. Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.

The Amazon Best Seller ranking listed on marketing materials is specifically referring to Best Seller rankings for the Kindle Top 100 Paid Lists under the subcategories of: Budgeting and Financial Risk Management, based on data as of September 5, 2019. Amazon rankings although relevant on how a product is selling overall doesn’t necessarily indicate how well an item is selling among other similar items or similar item categories. Amazon may choose the most popular categories or subcategories within which an item has a high ranking to determine its best seller rankings. These rankings are updated hourly and as a result, should be expected to fluctuate as such. Keen Wealth Advisors and Amazon are not affiliated entities. 

The Steve Sanduski Advisor Network, Belay Advisor, LLC and other third-party contributors to our blogs and podcasts are not affiliated with Keen Wealth Advisors. 

For additional details on Keen Wealth Advisors, please visit https://www.keenwealthadvisors.com/important-disclosures.


Schedule a Complimentary 15 Minute Strategy Call

Schedule a Time