As I travel, I often look out the plane window and marvel at the vastness of our country. As we celebrate Independence Day, I’ve gotten to wondering what it would be like to live in 1770s America. Life was so different for our founding fathers. Their challenges were very different from ours ― and harder than we can ever imagine. Yet in some ways, life was simpler and better then ― at least it feels that way based on how immensely we complain about our life situations.
Picture being in the fight for our independence. The bite of winter sending endless shivers through a worn uniform. Food and supplies dwindling down to meager rations, with limited communication on when additional supplies may arrive. Moving into unchartered lands for the next battle, only to come across a wide, raging river.
And think about the generals commanding it all. It took days to move up- or downstream to find a suitable river crossing. Scouts would ride far in advance looking for the other army, detecting movements and potential sites to set up for battle. It could be weeks before orders would come from leaders about changes in plans. Information was limited at best. Yet they continued.
The revolutionary army’s struggles are far from the challenges in our personal and business lives. Today, we have access to nearly unlimited information and technology. For our clients, it’s probably too much information ― which leads to paralysis by analysis.
In 1776, you couldn’t afford to stay put; you had to move forward with limited information.
In 2019, we can’t afford to stay put, either. But at least we know where we’re going. Retirement may be uncharted land for our clients, but we know what works and what doesn’t. We can mathematically prove that guaranteed income from Social Security, pensions or annuity-driven income makes a dramatic difference in the probability of success in a retirement income portfolio.
Yet many of us are not moving. We often keep our clients’ financial success stagnant when we could ― we should ― move them forward. Why wouldn’t we take advantage of the information at our fingertips?
Our founding fathers completed an incredible feat to secure our independence and improve the lives of the people in a new country. Now it’s time to think about how we can use existing technology, resources and products to improve the lives of our clients. The good news is that it is much easier than it was 243 years ago.
Winning Strategy: Don’t be paralyzed by indecision. With the abundance of information available to planners today, it’s easier than ever to leverage information to make good decisions for our clients.
About the Author
Mike McGlothlin is a team leader, retirement industry activist and disciple of Indiana Hoosier basketball. In addition to being EVP of retirement at Ash Brokerage, he is a sought-after writer and speaker. His web series, “Winning Strategies,” provides insight and motivation for financial advisors in many forms – blogs, books, videos, podcasts and more. His latest book, “Free Throw for Financial Professionals,” is available now – learn more at www.freethrowsforpros.com.
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