Will 2020 be good or bad for senior living organizations? It’s a good question. Here’s a good answer: Nobody really knows.

But that hardly means we’re not curious. And there’s more than one way to learn about what the fates might drag in. One is to ask people who spend a lot of time prepping for the future – such as chief financial officers – to weigh in. But even here, the message can be mixed.

Consider: Crain’s New York Business recently convened a panel of chief financial officers, to get their economic forecast. Turns out this group was cautiously optimistic. The prospect of a looming recession, strained trade relations with China and uncertainties about an upcoming election did little to tamp down their enthusiasm for the year ahead. As they saw it, the economy in 2020 likely will be much as it was 2019. Ka-ching!

That’s a very different take than the one delivered by participants in the Deloitte CFO Signals Survey. Almost all (97%) indicated an economic downturn will take place this year, if it hasn’t already begun.

So which is it?

The mixed messaging reminds me of weather forecasters who warn us about an ominous-looking storm heading our way – before quietly adding that it might just miss us.

To be fair, crystal ball-gazing remains an inexact science. Required information may be missing. New factors may emerge. And there can be a lot of other unknown unknowns. Just ask anyone who has had a heart broken by a fantasy sports league.

So perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that even among a group as homogenous as CFOs, opinions can vary.

But that doesn’t exactly tell senior living operators how to prepare, does it? So here’s my advice: Take these predictions about what will be with a grain of salt. They are, at best, educated guesses.

Instead, focus on improving your team and its capabilities. That way, you’ll be in a better position to succeed. Regardless of how the winds eventually blow.