As the fall foliage fades and the weather turns colder, the change is in the air again. Waking up mornings are dark and the heat begins to explode, as we switch to warmer clothes, spend time indoors, and become more inward-looking, all signs of a dawning winter.
And, once again it’s a time to reflect on Vivaldi‘s Four Seasons and its relationship to the evolution of our finances.
As you know, Vivaldi captures the seasons perfectly in his much-loved work “The Four Seasons”, four violin concertos in which each season has its own violin concerto.
Composed in Venice, Italy, at the height of the Baroque era in 1720, this body of work was striking for the time: modern, virtuoso and energetic, reflecting Vivaldi’s vision of using music to paint a scene, tell a story and, in this composition, evoke different seasonal atmospheres. Many consider this series of compositions to be one of the greatest works of classical music and a timeless work of art.
The texture of each separate movement is varied, each resembling its respective season. “Winter” is interspersed with silvery pizzicato notes coming from the high strings, evoking icy rain, while “Summer”, the subject of the previous blog, evokes a thunderstorm in its final movement, which is why the movement is often referred to as ” Storm ”
Dig deeper winter, the subject of this blog, the first movement reflects VivaldiThe brilliant portrayal of winter of: the biting cold, the gusting wind, the trembling bodies and the chattering of teeth on his beloved violin.
The sounds are all a reminder of what lies ahead.
And, while we may not yet struggle with seasonal snow removal, we are already beginning to adapt our lifestyles to the restrictions that winter places on us.
At the same time, after nearly two years of COVID challenges, and despite the latest concerns about the Omicron variant, we are also seeing heartwarming signs of relief to come. Vaccinations and reminders are on the rise, people are traveling again and reuniting with family and friends, and the holiday season is just around the corner.
We are probably all anxious to envision a year in which our lives, while possibly changed forever, could regain a greater sense of normalcy without the fears and anxieties that have plagued many of us since March 2020. As we have discussed in previous blogs, we may have, over the summer and fall months, re-evaluated our values and commitments to family members and the changes we might want to make to our families. financial and estate plans.
As part of my “M Word: The Money Talk” discussions, I often write about the major transitions we face in life that we are forced to go through: changes in financial circumstances, retirement, empowerment. care of an aging loved one, marriage and family merging. and planning our inheritances. Moving beyond COVID-19 is itself a distinct transition that can affect all of these life events.
Now that 2022 is fast approaching, it may be time to fully execute these new strategies that you have been thinking about over the past few months. New tax laws may be imposed on us with higher taxes and limits on donations. You may want to commit to this contemplated gift to your grandchildren, either with an education 529 plan or with a special trust to fund a new home or business before any changes are made. You can take a fresh look at your investments, creating an investment strategy, which is more in line with your values regarding climate change, diversity or religious beliefs, or you can consider an advisable fund as part of your estate plan. by donors linked to your new favorite charities. And, with the potential for changes in income and estate tax rules, you may want to reconnect with your accountant and lawyer to consider the possible impact on your financial situation.
Plus, of course, given my mantra about talking about money, during this exercise it’s important to start conversations with your advisors and ultimately your loved ones about your new financial decisions.
The breakdown in communication and trust is the main reason estate transfers fail at such an alarming rate. According to Vie Preisser in Prepare the heirs the failure rate is 70%1. I contend that for all life transitions, discussions about money that foster communication and trust are necessary to avoid family conflict and keep your family and finances on track and intact.
As you move into the final weeks of 2021, I urge you to take a moment and reflect on your personal landscape as Vivaldi did with the seasonal changes through his music. This is an opportunity to try new things, implement new strategies, engage in productive family communication, and work with your counselors and family members to achieve all that is important to you. you. Carpe Diem (grab the day) and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year everyone!