One Sandwiched Boomer reading yesterday’s post said she’s scared because she’s lost so much of her retirement money. And she doesn’t know how to begin. Finding out all the information you can about your situation is a good place to start. Then take small steps as you make decisions about what you need to do and how to proceed.

Stay proactive by identifying your financial stressors and making a plan. Write down specific means by which you and your family can reduce expenses or manage your money more efficiently. Although putting it on paper can be worrisome in the short term, committing to a concrete plan will gradually reduce your stress.

Get professional support. Credit counseling and financial planning can teach you how to take control of your money situation. If you continue to feel frustrated, scared or overwhelmed, talk with a professional. A therapist or coach can help you understand the feelings behind your financial worries and show you adaptive techniques to manage your emotions.

Times like this, while difficult, can offer opportunities for needed change. Try taking a walk – it’s an inexpensive way to get exercise and more fit. Having dinner at home will not only save money, but bring your family closer together. Through low-cost resources in your community, take a course or learn a new skill that can lead to a better job. The key is to use this time to think outside the box – and to consider new ways of managing your life.

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