The Green Zone Newsletter - December 2023

Lauren Smith |

Despite the market's turbulence this past year, we have full confidence that focusing on the long game can pave the way for a brighter financial future.

The long game means having a concrete vision of your ideal future—years or even decades from now—and taking specific, carefully considered action steps at every stage along the way to maximize your ability to get there.

The end of the year is a great time to assess how well you’re doing at creating a detailed vision of your ideal long-term future and acting in ways that consistently move you toward that result. That’s true whether you’re trying to get wealthier through investing, earn a higher salary or retire on your terms.

These guidelines can help you get on track:

Start At The End
Always work backward from your desired end result. This big-picture thinking starts with creating a vision of the ideal future you want (for yourself, your family and so on). Vision—a term some find to be a little "woo woo"—is a powerful tool that can be used to motivate, unify and inspire. As you develop a vision for your future, you start to gain an understanding of why you do what you do. Such clarity can be extremely motivational.

Plot Out Intermediate Goals & Plans
As part of your long-game path to your end goal, you will need to specify intermediate goals. These are stepping-stones on your way to the end goals. You’ll also need to delineate well-thought-out plans that will enable you to achieve the intermediate goals that push you toward your end goal.

Execute Your Plan
Perhaps the biggest challenge of playing the long game well is execution. But face it: You’ve got to act on your plan or you’ll make no progress.

Set specific goals and milestones to begin the work of making your vision a reality. Choose the broad strategies you will use to reach each goal. Identify the tactics for implementing each strategy. Once these tactics are clear, decide on actions to execute each tactic. Ensure that each action is specific and achievable, and set a target date for completion.

Perseverance is central to a good long game. As with most meaningful and large-scale endeavors, great results are unlikely to happen quickly. You need to be willing and able to stay the course for quite some time, as most successes are built on incremental achievements—that is, on attaining your intermediate goals.

Remain Flexible
Though you should plan to persevere through challenges, you also can’t be rigidly locked into a plan. Flexibility is vital as you navigate inevitable changes in your life and the world at large that impact your vision, your goals and your course of action. But to constructively adapt, you need clear goals and the processes to achieve those goals. Without them, you risk overreacting to challenges and veering too far off your desired course.

A Road & A Road Map
In the end, long-game planning builds a bridge that links where you are today to where you want to be down the road. To get the most out of your efforts, remember a few key tenets of success—start with the end in mind, develop intermediate goals that propel you forward and execute with focus. With these ideas and your self-created road map to guide you, you can put yourself on the road to an ideal future.

If you would like support developing or refining a road map for your financial future, please don't hesitate to reach out. To make things easier for you, you can click here to find a time that works for you.

Furthermore, if you happen to know someone who isn't a current client but could benefit from a second opinion or an experienced perspective on their financial matters, please feel free to share this email with them. I am more than happy to extend my assistance to those seeking informed guidance.

Until next month (and next year!),
Jeff & the Green Financial Group Team

Upcoming Dates: Key Dates To Remember

  • Until December 7: Open Enrollment for Medicare
  • December 25: GFG Office & Markets Closed in observance of Christmas holiday
  • January 1: GFG Office & Markets Closed in observance of New Year holiday

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The 2023 GFG Holiday Gift Guide (Ep. 76)

In this special episode of The Green Zone, hosts Jeff Green and Lauren Smith are joined by members of the Green Financial Group team as they share their favorite holiday gifts to both give and receive. If you have been on the fence about what to buy for a loved one this holiday season – or what to put on your own list! – this episode is for you. Tune in to see why these following items made the cut for the 2023 GFG Holiday Gift Guide.



Boot Campaign: Serving Those Who Serve (Ep. 75)

In this inspirational episode of The Green Zone Podcast, hosts Jeff Green and Lauren Smith sit down with Shelly Kirkland, CEO of Boot Campaign, an organization dedicated to supporting veterans and military families. Shelly, who comes from a family with a strong military background, shares her passion for serving those who have served and discusses the incredible work Boot Campaign does to make a difference in the lives of veterans and their families. In this episode, they cover:

  • Boot Campaign’s unique mission and the heartwarming story of its inception
  • The organization’s dedication to supporting veterans from all branches and eras
  • How Boot Campaign provides individualized care for veterans dealing with brain injury, post-traumatic stress, chronic pain, self-medication and insomnia
  • The significant impact of their specialized programs, including clinical treatments and therapy
  • The importance of reaching out for help and the challenges veterans face in seeking assistance
  • How to get involved and support Boot Campaign, from making donations to volunteering
  • Their heartwarming holiday program, where volunteers come together to provide special gifts and support to military families in need
  • And more!



Thriving Through the Holidays: A Guide to Managing Finances After Divorce or Loss

By Lauren Smith, MBA, CFP®

The shimmer of festive lights, the heartwarming sounds of carols, and the unmistakable scent of pine - the holiday season is truly magical. But amidst the sparkle, many women face a unique set of challenges, especially those recently navigating significant life transitions like divorce or the loss of a spouse. These changes, while emotionally taxing, can also reshape our financial landscape, turning what should be a season of joy into one of stress.



Strategic Financial Steps: Conscientious Investing Decisions for Today's Market

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Navigating the ever-evolving financial landscape requires strategy, insight and patience. I've dedicated my career to assisting clients in making informed and strategic investment decisions. Here are some of the key principles that I believe are crucial for today's market.




Unique Financial Challenges Faced by Women: A Deep Dive

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Navigating the financial landscape as a woman presents a distinct set of challenges. This statement isn’t just a conjecture; it is backed by research, societal norms and lived experiences. While many strides have been made towards gender equality across the board, significant disparities remain, particularly when it comes to women and finances. Let's unpack some of these challenges and talk about a few ways to face them head-on.



Double-Checking Your Investments: The Value of a Year-End Second Opinion

By Jeff Green

With the calendar year nearing its end, it is the ideal time for introspection in the financial world. As a Financial Advisor, I always stress the importance of using this time to reflect upon one's financial journey over the past year. Specifically, to consider how you can work to ensure your investment portfolio aligns with your long-term objectives. Alongside evaluating your financial journey and investment portfolio, this season is also the perfect moment to consider seeking a second opinion on your finances. The insights gained from a fresh perspective can help you make informed decisions and start the upcoming year with a clear and confident financial plan.



Seek Balance: Quotes To Live By