When every day is Groundhog Day, are you thriving or just surviving?

Over a year later, and some hope in sight, we are all in the same position playing the waiting game.

We’ve been hearing from lots of readers — active and retired, federal and civilian — about their life since the pandemic hit. For many, certain important aspects of living, working and socializing have changed. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes not. In some cases maybe forever.

Millions around around the world have died, including more than half a million in this country. Many, many more have been sickened in ways we may not understand or deal with for years. If ever. Hopefully for most of us, this is only a strange and scary time we are lucky enough to get past soon. Will rush hour ever be the same? Is your home your permanent office?

Lots of smart people are making guesses and predictions about what’s next — once they figure out when next is. Lots of dumb ones too. Bottom line, nobody knows where we are heading. Just as nobody predicted the brave new world back in March 2020. We are all in the same boat in a broad sense. But like a cruise ship, there are different levels of comfort, risk and experience. Which is why were happy to hear from this fed whose part-time business as a financial coach is thriving in spite of COVID-19. Or maybe because of COVID-19. Here goes:

Groundhog Day

By Abraham Grungold

Life during the COVID-19 pandemic has felt like the movie “Groundhog Day.” I can’t distinguish the days of the week; every day feels the same. I work from home five days per week. There is no commute. I do everything on the computer — meetings, training and assignments. I become frustrated if my internet goes down. Office meetings are a challenge when I cannot hear people clearly on Zoom, or when someone presents a PowerPoint presentation with a tiny font. I miss the interaction with my co-workers. I miss the occasional travel and the annual conference where I would meet my compadres from across the country.

Every morning, I check my TSP balance. I read all the OPM policy changing articles on Federal News Network. I search the refrigerator for leftovers. The high points of my day are going to check the mail at lunch and taking a stroll outside to clear my head. The main conversation is with my wife regarding what is for dinner. Each afternoon, during a coffee break, I think more and more about retirement. But during this pandemic, retirement is not an option. Where can I travel? What will I do with my time? I feel isolated from everyone and everything.

But payday is a reality check. I am extremely grateful that I have a job. And I am not living from paycheck to paycheck. I know I can afford to buy what I want, and I am not standing in a food line like so many others that I see on the news. Each pay period, I realize that I am doing better than most. And most importantly, I am not sick with the COVID-19 virus.

My part-time business as a financial coach has been extremely busy due to the fact my clients are mostly federal employees who are anxious and unsure of their future. It seems like a lot of federal employees are suffering in one way or another, and they are thinking more and more about the possibility of retirement. They are either contacting me about guidance regarding their TSP accounts or whether they can afford to retire, and when is the best time. Although the pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, it has given us an opportunity to contemplate our futures. But I am optimistic. I see things improving sooner rather than later. We just need to be a bit more patient.

Financial success can easily be achieved; it only takes a little effort.

Any questions or comments please contact me at Grungold LinkedIn or my Facebook page at FERS Federal Employees.

Nearly Useless Factoid

Opening in 1583, the oldest operating amusement park in the world, Bakken, is located in Klampenborg,  Denmark.

Source: Guinness Book of World Records

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