Becoming an empty nester with Joe Beckford
September 14, 2022

Becoming an empty nester with Joe Beckford

Pictured here is Joe Beckford (center) with his wife Mary Ellen (far right) and daughter Beverly (far left), son Bobby (middle left) and daughter Jade (middle right). Plus his two grandsons Andrew and Mason. 

Joe Beckford, CFP®, and Private Wealth Advisor at Goodwin Investment Advisory, shares his current transition into becoming an empty nester. Joe is a dad to three awesome kids and he and his wife, Mary Ellen, are beginning a new chapter of their lives together. He and Mary Ellen are really having to adjust and figure out their new lives in a big way, specifically how they are going to spend their time.

Their oldest daughter Beverly left years ago and she’s married and living on a farm with her two boys, Andrew and Mason. It was hard for them when Beverly moved out to be on her own, but they still had two kids at home. Four years ago their son Bobby graduated from high school and since then he’s been working full-time and living at home so he really never left. Now, their youngest daughter, Jade, who just graduated High School headed off to Clemson this Fall. Now, Bobby is ready for the next step in his career as well, and he just moved to Savannah to attend SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). All this has been years in the making, but with them both both leaving all of a sudden, Joe and Mary Ellen are facing a whole lot of change really fast and having to re-evaluate their lives.

Joe shared, “I have to say I’m not really excited about it and I’m not sure I’m entirely ready for it either and yet it’s coming anyway.” The truth is that change is inevitable and we are constantly having to adjust and make changes in life. Joe and Mary Ellen are looking at what is next for them in this season of life. They are thinking about how they are going to spend their time together. Joe proclaimed, “We’ve always been a couple that has prioritized our kids’ activities over our own pursuits. Now, we’re about to receive another gift and that is the gift of time. We’re about to have time to rediscover some of our own passions which includes getting to take weekend trips together that we wouldn’t have taken before. This transition is leading us back to the basics of why we fell in love with each other in the first place. Becoming empty nesters has also created an opportunity for us to reassess our finances including our budget and our priorities around retirement and our estate plan.”

If you’re facing a similar transition and you would like some help addressing some of these financial undertakings and considerations please reach out to Joe Beckford, or any of our other wealth management advisors.

When your last child moves out, you have to reevaluate what is next, especially since you have more free time to pursue some core pursuits or hobbies. Maybe you have had a few things you have put on a shelf and forgot about, and now is the time to dust them off and reconnect to some of your old passions. Or, you might have a new hobby you want to try. The sky’s the limit and it is super important to spend some time alone reflecting on this new season, or if you are married to have a conversation with your spouse about your fears, concerns, hopes, and dreams for this new milestone and transition. Just make sure you are being intentional with your extra time and set goals and align the way you spend your day with the goals you have created for yourself, or as a couple.

Here is a helpful time tool –

“How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives,” -Annie Dillard.

First, decide the categories that make up the way you spend your time throughout a 24-hour period. Some examples are below. Then decide how much time you spend on each category. If you are not aware of how much you spend on certain areas such as distractions, you can pay attention throughout one 24-hour period and create a log to get an idea.

  • Paid work
  • Passion work (side projects, hobbies, core pursuits)
  • Professional development (business development, networking, job applications)
  • Personal development (journaling, classes or workshops, inspiring reading)
  • Relationships (spending time with family, phone calls with friends, dates)
  • Play (enjoying nature, shopping, casual reading, going out)
  • Wellness (working out, taking necessary breaks, self-care, therapy)
  • Support work (volunteering, mentoring)
  • Distractions (social media, TV, taking extra time to get out of bed in the morning,)
  • Maintenance (running errands, getting ready, doing chores)
  • Cooking
  • Sleeping

Once you have an idea of the amount of time you spend in each category, you can create a pie chart filling in each section based on the number of hours spent. When you visually see how you spend your time it will then lead you to evaluate and make changes to align the way you spend your time with your short and long-term goals.

At GIA we are not only concerned with your investments, but more importantly supporting you as you determine and pursue your personal goals. Please contact us if you would like to discuss any of this.

The above is based on our personal experience, and your experience may be different. Please contact us with any questions.
By Published On: September 27th, 2022

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About the Author: Tara Bruce

Tara Bruce
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