Updated: Jul 12
Transcript summarized below:
Want to learn the 3 simple strategies to help you achieve your long-term financial goals? Stick around and let's get into it.
Hello and welcome to another video from One-Up Financial. I am your host Eric Presogna here to help you increase income, reduce taxes and invest smarter in retirement.
As we emerge from the pandemic, and life shifts back to some semblance of “normal," I hear a lot of people telling me they’re struggling with their goals and long-term planning. In fact some have just given up on setting long-term goals in light of what our country went through in 2020.
And if you think about it, that makes sense since we’ve seen how quickly our long-term plans and goals can be turned upside down by near-term changes. Just think about the number of employees working in February 2020 planning to retire in a few years who were either furloughed or laid off a month later due to COVID-19.
SUMMARY OF ISSUE
It's hard to achieve your long-term financial goals with so many short-term disruptions. So how do we bring the long run into focus without getting derailed by the short run?
One way is by thinking of the long term as a series of short-term challenges, rather than one uninterrupted straight line.
Here are three simple strategies that can help you achieve your long-term financial goals:
Create a “future-you” mindset. Who is future you? What do they want? How can you help them get there? Embracing your future self and envisioning, for example what an ideal day in the life of your retirement looks like will help increase your chances of achieving your financial goals and lead to making smarter choices today. Sound a little too woo woo like something ripped off from Back to the Future? It’s actually based on the concept of “future-orientation,” or embracing the idea that not only is the future unwritten, but that you can write it — you have control over it.1 And this idea can have real benefits. Studies have shown that future-orientation is a strong predictor for achievement, health, and happiness in life. In fact, many successful entrepreneurs like Tony Robbins attribute their success in part to this type of future modeling.2
Prioritize flexibility over certainty. As humans, we’re wired to look for certainty. It feels good to think we have everything figured out. Our natural instincts tell us to act quickly in the short-term to avoid the discomfort we feel with uncertainty. But in a complex world with complex problems, acting quickly isn’t always the best move. For example, the term "guaranteed income" is used frequently by financial advisors attempting to push annuity products. It just has a nice ring to it and makes investors feel safe and eager to move their money over, especially during times of market uncertainty like we had back in March of 2020. But in this example, acting too quickly and purchasing a "guaranteed income" investment could have locked you in to an illiquid complex product riddled with hidden fees, buffers, riders and bunch of other nonsense you don't need, all while the stock market recovered all of its losses and is now up close to 100% from the lows reached in 2020. The reality is, we often get better results in the long term by maintaining a calm and flexible mindset and considering multiple outcomes.3
Recognize how emotions affect our decision-making. We’ve all had times when we’ve acted in the heat of the moment. Something makes us unusually happy or upset in the short-term, and we make a snap decision that has long-term consequences.4 Like when Fidelity surveyed retirees over the age of 65 and found 75% of them sold ALL of their stock positions at the market bottom of 2020! This is a great example of loss aversion is a cognitive bias that causes us to focus so hard on avoiding losses that we often make poor financial decisions in the near-term and miss out on the long-term benefits that come with a strategy or comprehensive financial plan.5 Now I've met with people who say they're comfortable with risk and would buy more stocks if their portfolio dropped 40% in a week. It's one thing to SAY you understand risk, stocks always go up, I'm in it for the long haul, and another to LIVE it and see the nest egg you're relying on for living expenses to fall $600k in 5 days. In the heat of the moment, most people (like the ones in the Fidelity survey) exhibit loss aversion and let their emotions take over. So as I've mentioned before, it's important to have a plan in place to help guide you through tough times and better manage your emotions.
One of the reasons you pay a professional advisor to look after your financial life is so you can share your worries and have someone help you take action and make smart decisions — both in the short term and the long term.
If you have a question about what I’ve discussed or would like to speak personally about what’s going on in your financial life, please feel free to call or email me. I’ll respond to you personally.
Thanks as always for watching our videos. If you're interested in staying up to date with all of our market and financial commentary please subscribe to our blog at oneupfinancial.com/blog or follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook. Thanks again and we'll see ya in the next one.