From Gold Watch, To Smartphone
The infamous “gold watch”.
We’ve been working with investors and especially retirees for many years now, and we sometimes joke about how if you retired many years ago you may have received a pension and a “gold watch“. Have you heard of this?
Have any of you actually received a gold watch for retiring? As a confession, we’re not sure that after all these years we’ve ever seen or heard of a client having one of those watches. Maybe once, a while back? If you have, please let us know because we’re beginning to wonder if they actually existed.
All kidding aside, where are we going with this? Recently we saw an article about how the retirement landscape has drastically changed over the years. Here are some of the differences that were listed (and afterward we’ll give our opinion on what we think the biggest difference is):
- Much Longer Retirement: Check; we’re living longer.
- Higher Expectations: Yes; most people of today want more (travel and going places with family, going out to eat and for entertainment, etc.) than those who retired many decades ago.
- Personal Savings Instead of Pensions: Right; those pensions are going away and we’ve heard about the need to save and invest more.
- Many More Investment Options: Yes; where we can invest our hard-earned dollars used to be limited and now there are many thousands of options. This can lead to “analysis paralysis”.
As we think about these lists, we’re struck with what we believe is the single biggest difference. And for us, it’s this: we think it’s the rate at which we receive information, that wasn’t even remotely an issue decades ago.
News used to be our choice to tune into, usually at 5:00 when we turned on the TV to see the happenings of the world. Now? For most, their smartphone beeps and buzzes with warnings of the latest incoming hurricane – in Nicaragua – probably before those residents even know anything about it. Sure, we still have a choice and there are things we can do to manage the incoming distractions. But sometimes it doesn’t seem that way.
While some of this technology absolutely helps us to be more productive, we don’t believe this has helped the average investor. Too much of the narrative is controlled by those dispelling the latest headline for advertising revenue. And as we’ve said before, what sells in the media is often not what we need to be hearing to invest as well as we can for the long-term.
What do you think has changed the most for retirees over the last number of decades? Drop us a line and let us know. And of course, if there is anything we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.