— Steve’s Marketplace —
Editor’s note: Contributing columnist, Steve Nicklas, expresses his views and insight on various topics in Marketplace.
Thanksgiving will be different this year, a lot different – in a lot of ways, in a lot of places. As different as a Florida summer and an Alaskan winter.
The arrival of Covid-19 has turned the tables on us like an unruly guest at Thanksgiving dinner. People are routinely being advised to forego traditional holiday gatherings, of big meals and family members huddled before a warm fire. Instead, it’s about social distancing and protective masks.
But still, we have much to be thankful for, even this year. After all, gratitude is the best attitude.
So let’s give thanks for these precious things:
— Where we live. Nassau County is a truly special place. We are fortunate to call this home. From historic buildings to trendy hotels and restaurants, from upscale resorts to rural homesteads, from miles of beaches on the east side to endless woods on the west side. We are a contrast of culture, riches, natural amenities.
— Our resilient economy. Like most of the state, our county thrives on tourism. And tourism feeds our existing businesses and attracts new ones like a moth to a lightbulb. While prosperity and growth are good, the downsides are crowds and congestion. Hopefully, we can strike that delicate balance to preserve our appealing lifestyle.
— Our beaches and marshlands. Few places can boast 13 miles of uncrowded beaches, but we have it here. And the tidal marshes stretch endlessly. For recreation, for beauty, for nature watching, it does not get much better.
— Our friendly lifestyle. People are attracted here for the relaxed, hospitable, friendly lifestyle. They could move farther down to South Florida or across to the west coast, but few places are as welcoming and warm as here. Visitors observe “how friendly everyone is here.” We like it that way – and want more friendly people to join us. We’ll pass on rude, brash, impatient.
— Entrepreneurs who invest here. The new microbreweries, the fine restaurants, the fun amenities – all products of entrepreneurs who choose to invest here. And we appreciate their support. We are a rather wealthy area, which has its perks. Our wealth helps pay for our schools and medical facilities and infrastructure like sidewalks and bike paths and boat ramps. All for a better quality of life.
–Our state. Florida runs a $3 billion surplus each year. Other states would give part of their territories for this level of financial success. It’s especially helpful in a downturn such as the one our entire country just endured. While other states are clamoring for handouts and tax increases, Florida has the luxury to tap reserves or shift funds to make up for shortfalls in the current budget. A fiscally conservative approach has allowed Florida to become one of the strongest states financially in the U.S. And we are happy for it.
So there you have it – plenty of room for gratitude. As we look forward to a better 2021. A year that hopefully will be a lot different from this one.
Steve Nicklas, CRPC®, is a financial advisor with a major brokerage firm who lives and works on Amelia Island. He is also an award-winning columnist. He has published a book of his favorite columns, “All About Money,” which is available at local bookstores and on Amazon. His columns also appear in newspapers in North Florida and South Georgia, as well as on his website at www.SteveNicklasMarketplace.com. He can be reached at 904-753-0236 or at [email protected]