We expect Thanksgiving to be a little stressful, especially if we’re hosting. We plan on being exhausted, especially if travel and kids are involved. And we often mentally prepare for some tension, especially if the dinner conversation turns to politics.
But most of the time these feelings are overwhelmed by the joy we experience sharing a big meal with our loved ones.
This year, many of us are dealing with a feeling we don’t usually associate with Thanksgiving: disappointment. As the pandemic continues to flare up around the country, dinner tables are going to be a bit less crowded this year. Knowing that our cancelled travel plans and limited in-person guest lists are keeping people safe won’t make Thanksgiving any easier, especially for older folks who might have to spend their holidays alone.
Hopefully you’ve reserved part of Thanksgiving for a big family video call. Maybe you’re all planning to share a cup of coffee or a slice of pie together. Maybe you’ve found a virtual replacement for your traditional post-dinner game night. Or maybe you’re all going to watch your favorite football team together.
Before your family signs off from that call, I hope you’ll consider one suggestion: go around the room, or from screen-to-screen, and have everyone list three things they are thankful for.
Now, I know, this isn’t a super original idea. It might even sound a little corny! But there is a strong and growing body of scientific research that links gratitude to happiness. Rather than letting the things we’re missing out on this Thanksgiving bring us down, expressing gratitude for the many blessings we’re still enjoying could lift everyone’s spirits.
One thing we can all be grateful for: as I write this, there’s news that a third Covid-19 vaccine is doing extremely well in testing. It’s not unrealistic to hope that next year’s Thanksgiving might be a lot more normal than this year’s. And it’s never too early to start planning for all the goals you want to achieve and bucket list items you want to cross off between now and then.
Personally, I’d like to say how thankful I am for all the wonderful friends and clients of Keen Wealth. I’m also so grateful to work with a dedicated team that went the extra mile to help our clients face one unprecedented challenge after another in 2020 and stay on track for a successful retirement.
All of us at Keen Wealth wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. Be grateful, be safe, and be in touch next week if you need some help with your year-end financial planning.
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.
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