Your Insurance Matters: Ingredients of Retirement Success

Your Insurance Matters
Ingredients of Retirement Success
by Shirley R. Lamdan, CLU, Hagerstown, MD

From the author and motivational speaker, Brian Tracy, I've learned many ingredients of success. But one of these is the key to long-term retirement success.
Over the years, successful people have been studied and interviewed to discover what it is they do and exactly how they think that allows them to accomplish so much more than typical individuals.
In 1970, the Harvard sociologist and adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan, Dr. Edward Banfield, wrote a book called The Unheavenly City. In it he described a long-term study he conducted on success and priority setting.
Dr. Banfield wanted to discover exactly how and why certain people become financially independent during their working lives. He began his investigation convinced that the answer to this question would be uncovered in family background, education, intelligence, influential contacts, or other similar types of factors.
He found, however, that the major reason for success in life was a certain type of attitude of mind. Dr. Banfield termed this attitude the "long time perspective". Here is one of the most critical single ingredients of long-term retirement success! This factor can be built into our personalities and our attitudes.
Dr. Banfield said that people who were the most successful in their lives and most likely to get ahead economically took the future into consideration with EVERY decision they made in the present. Dr. Banfield discovered that the longer the period of time a person took into consideration while planning as well as acting, the more likely that person was to achieve significantly during his or her career.
An example of this type of individual and planning is the physician you consult for your medical issues. The doctor is among the most respected people in our country because of the huge time and money investment he/she has made to become eligible to practice medicine. After college, medical school, internship, residency and practical training, the physician is well into his/her late 20's or early 30's before being capable of earning a good living. From that point forward, these physicians are among some of the most respected and successful professionals in society. They conducted their lives with long time perspectives.
If a person has a time perspective of perhaps two or three pay periods ahead, not too much of a time horizon, in other words, that person may not be doing too much planning and thinking of the future. If, however, a person takes additional course work to upgrade skills and increase the value the person has in his/her career, that person is acting with a long time perspective. This additional learning and skills upgrade can have a long-term effect on the individual's career.
Similarly, if planning for a retirement is not started until a few months before the retirement date, not much can be done. The earlier the planning process is begun, the more that can be accomplished to ensure retirement security.
The key to retirement success is having a long time perspective. We can tell how important something is today by measuring its future impact on our lives. Economists emphasize the importance of disciplining ourselves to do what is important. For example, it's important to save for retirement and to avoid the tendency we all have of spending everything earned (plus a bit more). This is called the ability to delay gratification and requires real self-discipline. Retirement success requires just this kind of discipline.

Since 1982, Shirley R. Lamdan, CLU of Hagerstown, MD has been serving individuals, corporations, and nonprofits with independent retirement and insurance services. She can be contacted at 301-791-9427 and slamdan@lamdanselect.com.