Resilient: Capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture; Tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.From Merriam-Webster
Yesterday my coach told me that her mantra for this month is “resilience”. She explained – in her training, there are days where it seems like all goes well, and others where for a multitude of reasons it may not. However, if she has a plan in place, she can adjust to absorb these “shocks” and continue with her overall training plan.
Of course, this led me to think about how important resilience is in future goal planning, particularly financial planning. A good plan should be resilient – able to adapt to changes while keeping the goal in mind.
Many things can disrupt a good financial plan. Fortunately, we can anticipate and plan for many of them. We purchase insurance to protect against loss, we keep money in savings in case of an emergency. We do our best to plan for retirement by saving and investing through company sponsored retirement plans, or on our own with IRAs or non-retirement investment accounts.
We work with attorneys to ensure that our future wishes and plans for our legacy are carried out, and we can use trusts and other legal means to protect assets and care for our families and those important to us.
Planning acts as a sort of “buffer” for our overall strategy; if we control what we can control, when things happen that are beyond our control, we have a better chance of getting back on the path to future success with our plan. This is where resilience matters.
Is our plan flexible enough to withstand disruptions? How do we “re-set” and continue working towards our future goals? What is our “Plan B”?
The best way to gauge this is to have periodic meetings with your financial advisor; explore the “what if’s” and make sure that you have addressed as much as possible at this point in time. Plan to review and update your goals and track your progress, and add safeguards where you can (insurance, savings) over time; plans are not generally made and implemented in a day – they can take years, evolving as people and circumstances change.
To me, that is the meaning of resilience. If we can build our plans so that they can withstand misfortune and change, without being permanently disrupted, then we have achieved resilience.