In the late 1960s, I attended a course that dealt with “change.”

The instructor said that Americans have always had change, but the challenge for the future was the accelerated rate of change.

Our 2017 was a year of change. It was quite a year.

We have a new president of the United States. We have a stock market that has blown the roof off the indices.

We have had catastrophic fires that changed life for thousands in Northern California and more recently in Southern California. These are macro changes that affect our world.

Many of us had significant changes in our personal lives.

It may have been health issues. For some, there have been economic issues like a new job or loss of a job. Change may have required relocation including a move to a new city, home or climate. These are micro changes.

Change is all around, and it does not appear to be slowing.

Now 2018 is upon us and chaos is all around. A new year may bring changes for you. So how do you cope with this potential disruption?

Start with the economy. What could happen to affect changes in your financial life? The list is endless. Here are a few things that may radically change your life.

A loss or disruption of employment could do it.

A dramatic drop in the stock market affecting your retirement or personal balance sheet could do it. A merger or acquisition will require you to move to a new state.

Your employer announces that your 401(k) will be discontinued. Your doctor informs you that your lab tests were positive and your health will require some immediate changes.

In my life, we have dealt with open-heart surgery for a pre-schooler. We have transferred 3,000 miles away from home.

We have suffered through recessions, stock market collapses, surprise mergers, the death of loved ones and so much more.

The list could be endless.

How do you deal with these types of changes? Most of us roll up our sleeves and get to work. Whatever the difference, we adapt. We plan. We adjust. We move on with life.

Those changes that involve our finances may require serious adjustments.

Remember, that “six month’s cash reserve,” which we advise. It may now be put to use. If you do not have one, get one.

Remember, the “get out of debt” advice?

Being debt free is always good advice. Significant debt may limit your options when a change or disruptive life events occur.

No one knows with certainty what 2018 will hold.

We do know that there will likely be some surprises; some unknown events. We will deal with them, but here’s to a prosperous, tranquil and happy new year.

Tom and John Mills are registered investment advisers and certified financial planners. Reach them at 254-0155, Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG), a registered investment adviser.