Financial Planning from Home is Here to Stay

May 31, 2021 | 5 minute read

Financial planning from home

The rain wakes me up—it’s pounding on the metal roof. Alarm starts to ring, 4:25 am.

Oh man, here we go again. Mental check in my head...did I remember to warn the kids? Yup, I did. Throw back the covers and let frantic instructions rip: “POWER’S OUT. I need help! I have 5 minutes to get on Zoom. Hurry up, get the windows closed, then find your phones. I need more light!.” Mental note: mule in more rechargeable light bulbs.

Why won’t the computer connect? OMG, I’m almost late. Damn it, I need to upload more data. I throw my phone to my teenage daughter, “Add data, you know the drill. HURRY UP!”

“Chill mom”, she says.

“I cannot chill until I’ve had three cups of coffee. After this, put on a pot of water, please.”

 “Mom, the water is out too.”

 “Everyone, QUIET!”..3..2..1..“Hello!” {massive relaxed smile on my face}.

“How are you?” someone asks.

“I’m wonderful, thank you, just another day at the office!"

My home office these days happens to be in Nicaragua, where I work remotely for Planswell.  I’m Canadian, but I’m leaning hard into the virtual work opportunities that technology affords us. My advice for acclimating to the new virtual normal is relevant whether you work out of your spare bedroom or on the other side of the world: it’s important to embrace opportunity, be flexible, and go with the flow. 

Companies big and small are rethinking rent on commercial office space. Dispersed teams are working just fine according to CEOs at Nationwide Insurance, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Capital One, State Farm Insurance, Lincoln Financial, and, of course, Planswell—all of whom announced remote work is here to stay permanently for their teams.

A March 2021 study released by Harvard Business School finds just 18% of workers want to go back to the office full time. My, how far we’ve come since first learning to homeschool the kids while in back-to-back Zoom meetings.  We made it, we figured it out, and we ain’t going back.

Below, a few of my Planswell colleagues share how they survive—and even thrive—working remotely.  

Embrace Healthy Habits

MichaelMichael Chu, Software Developer

I used to skip breakfast every day. Waking up at 7am on a cold, dark morning on an empty stomach to catch my train is not something I will miss, ever. Now that I have more time to myself as a remote team member, I have the freedom to think what I should have for lunch.

One change that can never get dull for me, by working remotely, is all the time that has opened up to meal prep. Having more time to cook and take control of my eating habits is truly a blessing. At one point, eating Chinese fast food all the time landed me in a hospital bed. But thanks to remote work, I am no longer limited to unhealthy fast food options or overly-priced health options surrounded by corporate offices.

Having the time to plan and be able to control my lifestyle has allowed me to develop healthier dietary habits on a budget, such as drinking blueberry smoothies everyday and switching out red meats for omega3-rich salmon and meat alternatives (such as tofu). 

Get Moving

DanielleDanielle Johnson, Sales Manager

For most people, working fully remote means working from home, and a whole lot of sitting. If you’re like me, you find yourself missing a lot of things you took for granted, like walking up the stairs to get to the office, walking around the office to find the quietest spot to make a call...basically everyday opportunities to move your body.

A lot of us are looking for ways to get moving from home. I’ve found a lot of great, free content ranging from beginner to advanced on YouTube. This has helped me stay motivated and moving during lockdown.

If you like a tougher workout like when you used to hit the gym under your trainer’s careful watch, try Sydney Cummings. Want a quick workout with low-impact and knee-friendly modifications? Try Mr. and Mrs. Muscle. Want to bust a move and burn some quick calories between meetings? Try a quick dance workout with Mylee Dance. Maybe you want to learn something new like belly dance, salsa, how to foam roll, or even the best stretches after sitting at a computer all day. It’s all there for the taking, just a click away.

Form Connections

NicoletteNicolette Bertsch, Client Success Rep

Remember drinks after work or soccer with friends? In hindsight, connecting socially was so easy before 2020. In lockdown, we learned to apply some ingenuity to keep relationships alive. Below is a list of ways I caught up with friends, family, and coworkers:

  • Trivia night. My friends and I take turns hosting trivia night, keeping a running score to see who will win the season.
  • Movie night. I recommend using Teleparty. To use, you all must have the same streaming service. As an alternative, someone can screen share via Zoom.
  • Birthday calls. Everyone experienced a quarantine birthday and you may have noticed an upside —in a virtual world, you can have as many birthday parties as you want. Have a party with all of your high school friends, your old coworkers, and your extended family. More zoom birthday parties = more cake!  
  • Just say hi. The best time to message someone you miss is right now. Don’t fret over the time that has passed—even if it's been months since you last talked. Great friends will always be happy to hear from each other. 

Some friendships fell by the wayside during the pandemic and that's ok. With so much effort required to connect nowadays, we've had the opportunity to get crystal clear on which friendships are worth the effort. Quality over quantity is the name of the game now.


Anthony GomezBy Anthony Gomez, Digital Ads Manager

Quarantine was rough to say the least—physically, mentally, and emotionally. I really missed the gym. It always helped me feel better, stay focused, stay conscious of what I put into my body, and it gave me an excuse to unplug.

Although I haven't struggled to stay active during these times, I’ve noticed that I do not receive the same satisfaction from hiking or biking or any other physical activity that I got from weight lifting. This led me to dig deeper and really dissect what it was that set the act of lifting weights apart. 

I realized it has nothing to do with lifting weights. It’s the meditative breath work that I execute while I’m performing the exercise, also known as paced breathing. For example, when bench pressing, I’ll take a deep breath before the motion, hold my breath while performing the motion, then let all of the air out.  And the same goes for every other exercise in the gym. 

With this discovery, I started implementing meditation into my morning routine. The results: satisfaction, similar to the satisfaction I felt exiting the gym after a great work out. It's also helped reduce stress and anxiety, granted me more focus, and has helped improve my memory throughout the day.


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Vanessa Robinson

Planswell Account Executive


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