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Do you procrastinate with your Christmas shopping? 

Forbes wrote an interesting article a few years ago explaining why men wait until the last minute to start their Christmas shopping. While women start Christmas shopping as early as December 26th the year before. 

They found that men procrastinate because deep down they’re perfectionists. And this reminds me about how most people approach their financial plan. 

Many people put off their retirement plan because they’re waiting for a massive bear market or for some other silver lining to start. But the most successful people understand that starting now gives you the best chance to grow your wealth. 

In this episode, you’ll discover why procrastinating ruins your returns — whether you’re building a financial plan or shopping for Christmas. 

Listen to the episode now so you can enjoy your retirement instead of worrying about your finances.   

Show Highlights Include:

  • Why waiting until the last minute to do your Christmas shopping can wreck your retirement portfolio (3:58) 
  • Alexander Graham Bell’s secret for maximizing your retirement portfolio (7:55) 
  • How life puts up roadblocks that stop you from doing your most important tasks (and the mindset tweak needed to get your most important things done) (8:19) 
  • The “Just Build It” strategy for planning your retirement that obliterates your overwhelm (9:47) 
  • How figuring out your “why” today helps you take lavish retirement vacations as often as you like (12:26) 

To schedule your free retirement tracking meeting, specifically for first responders, head to http://pensionattention.com/, call us at 805-409-8150, or text track to 805-409-8150.

Read Full Transcript

Welcome to Pension Attention, the best show for first responders who want to take control of their finances.

After advising Los Angeles city firefighters for over 12 years, financial advisor, Brad Barrett now shares how you can grow your wealth, build your legacy and enjoy a life of freedom. And now here's your host, Brad Barrett. [00:19.9]

Brad: Welcome to Pension Attention, the show for you, first responders who want more out of their deferred compensation and pension plan. My goal with this podcast is to reach you where you are. At whatever stage in your career, you are in, in order to provide my nearly 15 years of experience working with both active and retired service members on their investment and retirement planning. My team of fiduciary advisors here at One Capital Management are dedicated to ensuring you take control of your finances and build the life you deserve. And before we get started on this week's episode to find out more about me or my team here at One Capital Management, you can go to our website PensionAttention.com or give us a call. You can call us at (805) 410-5454 or you can text us. You can text the word TRACK, T R A C K to that same number (805) 410-5454 and we'll reach out to you. We provide a complimentary retirement track review meeting, it's just for you. In that meeting and after that meeting, we will provide you with what we call our black book. It's a custom and proprietary financial plan built just for you so that you know where your deferred compensation plan and your DROP and your pension, where that is heading for you and to make sure it works for you. Get it today. Text the word TRACK, T R A C K to that same number (805) 410-5454. [01:52.5]

So, there are about eight days or so left until Christmas, plenty of time by guy standards. But yes, the clock is indeed ticking. You know, in December a couple years ago, Forbes carried an interesting article, titled the psychology of why men wait until Christmas Eve to shop. Now as a man myself, I thought that was very intriguing so, I kept the article and I still find it hilarious and I share it with friends and colleagues, and it was written by a doctor named Nicole Roberts. And here's what she wrote. And I quote, “Well I don't wanna perpetuate out of date, gender stereotypes, there is research to suggest gender differences really exist in how people approach shopping, both physically and mentally.” In fact, she writes “according to the journal of consumer marketing, female, compared to males are found to start Christmas shopping much earlier, purchase more gifts and embark on a greater number of shopping trips.” So, in fact, according to one study that Dr. Robert cited men are two and a half times more likely to wait until the last couple of days to do holiday shopping. I know I fall into that category. It's not something I'm too proud of and might add in a study. I personally commissioned my own I'll call it household study of Christmas shopping. I can confirm that Dr. Roberts is on to something here. [03:18.1]

Now, although I haven't yet begun Christmas shopping, my wife started her shopping on December 26th of last year, I'm pretty sure. but before we get too entrenched in all the gender stereotyping supported by this research, let's keep in mind that according to Dr. Roberts, many, if not most procrastinator shoppers, aren't thoughtless or lazy, I find that great to know. In actuality, there are rational and maybe even admirable reasons why these shoppers wait for the last minute. For example, did you know that some research concludes that some men procrastinate because they're considering all their alternatives. Every guy right now is just clapping and cheering. In essence, they wanna make sure they buy the perfect gift for their loved ones. So, procrastinators are perfectionists in disguise. [04:07.4]

Now, these guys, aren't going to make an early poor decision. They're not gonna buy the first thing that they see. They wanna give their purchases some thought they wanna buy the right thing for the right person. Does that sound plausible? Probably not to too many wives listening, but it's just one school of thought. And let me remind you, Dr. Nicole Roberts, the author of this article herself is a woman Dr. Roberts also pontificates that men express their love differently than women in a way men and women speak two different languages. To this point she's sites, the good men project whose research shows, and I quote, “it may be true that more men have physical touch and words of affirmation as their love language and more women use quality time and gifts.” Pretty interesting when you think about that. So, when expressing love men prefer to give physical touch instead of gifts. Hmm. Well, based upon that research, the only thing I can think is that many women are probably happy Christmas comes only once each year. [05:09.3]

So according to the national retail Federation in the United States, about 24% of people plant to do their Christmas shopping on December 22nd and 23rd, just a day or two before Christmas, that I actually found shocking. Even I wouldn't wait that long and only 61% of shoppers feel it's safe to visit a physical store, but many won't they'll shop online instead, especially given this past two years. You know, I have to admit when it comes to Christmas shopping, I am a stereotypical male procrastinator. I start about out a week in advance at the most. And I also have to admit, it's not such a great strategy. It's actually blown up in my face a couple times. You think I would learn? And I think I probably don't get the best deals or great gifts if I wait this long. So, knowing this, why do I continue to do this? Well, I think what happens is that probably just like you, I become entrenched in my day, busy at work and taking care of routine family duties, clients, the big and small stuff all around, spread out over a 24-hour day, leaving little time for shopping and in my business, December is a pretty hectic month. I'm sure that many of you have year-end business obligations, monopolizing your time and energy. And as a result, important personal items, whether important to some and less important to others, they often end up on the bottom of our to-do list. We might look at Christmas shopping as more urgent than important, but ultimately, as we all know, deep in our hearts, Christmas shopping, be it modest or extravagant is actually very important. It's an expression of our gratitude for someone we love and what's more important than that. [06:52.4]

You know, when my kids were very young, they're still pretty young, but when they were younger Christmas, they would make a cute card for me. Crayon drawings on red and green construction paper, Christmas trees, snowman, and Santas. My daughter, Kate loves drawing rainbows, so she would draw a Christmas rainbow and red and green. And let me tell you, there was no procrast ending on their part. They couldn't wait to make those cards, proudly place under the tree, by our resident elf on the shelf, as many of you have who have kids. And all these years later, I still have most of these cards. I've kept them over the years. [07:24.6]

Do you know how much you should be contributing to your deferred compensation plan? Are you getting the most out of your current investment options? Looking at entering or about to exit the DROP program? Go to www.pensionattention.com to find out how we can help. [07:40.5]

Now if my wife Veronica's listening. Yes, babe, I did actually keep the cards. I know you like to move them off and not have a whole lot of clutter, but I just don't have the heart to throw it away or to move it off in the back shelves. And at times I think, I think we all can procrastinate. And at sometimes we procrastinate over important issues. You know, Alexander Graham Bell once said the only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action. I've always loved that quote. In fact, I had it written on a notepad that I looked at pretty much weekly when I first heard that quote, I don't think there's true words that have been spoken. We all know there are certain important things we should be doing, but life seems to get in the way. So, we put it off continuously, kicking the can down the road, procrastinating until we find ourselves here on Christmas Eve, standing at the perfume counter at some department store, listening to the manager on the PA system say, Macy's will be closing in 15 minutes, buying something that not sure you're even gonna give to your wife or your mother-in-law or your mother. And it's always in that moment that you'll lament on not having done things sooner, not having been more proactive earlier in the game when you had more time to make, I would say maybe better decisions. Remember the only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action. Well said, Mr. Bell. [09:07.5]

So just one week after Christmas, as we all know, we will be celebrating the new year and between now and then its good time to reflect on all the important things we'd like to accomplish, but having yet found the time to do. And for some of you, one of those important items probably is preparing for retirement or getting your finances in order. So, for many people getting your finances in order is a lot like Christmas shopping. We tend to put it off. We tend to procrastinate. Wouldn't you agree? But just like Christmas shopping, if you start early, you'll have more options, make better decisions and achieve better results. But unlike Christmas shopping invest in planning, financial planning, isn't something you'll need to start a new each and every year. You'll need to build your financial plan once as a baseline and then monitor it every year. As things change. For example, the COVID 19 pandemic essentially ended the longest bull market and longest economic expansion in history. And no one saw it coming, it truly was a black Swan event. [10:16.6]

The previous bull market started basically in 2009 after the great recession and lasted for nearly a decade before coming down just a few sure weeks during January and February of 2020. And in fact, between February 19th, 2020 and March 23rd, 2020, just over a month, the S& P 500 fell 33.93%. And since that point, however, the markets have surge, we've seen it. From that same March 23rd, 2020 through the rest of 2020, the S&P 500 was up nearly 50%, 50. And it's nearly back to its pre COVID levels. And we've all seen what's happened in 2021. So, in other words, today's gains are simply replacing yesterday's losses in a way and some, and there is still uncertainty ahead. Don't fool yourself. The COVID pandemic, whether we wanna believe it or not, it's still around. We still have to wear masks in some states, it's still happening around the world for different reasons, whether we like it or not. So, uncertainty about how the results of a presidential election at one point or how the pandemic will be curtailed is all uncertain. And so, when you think about planning and the topic of financial planning now more than ever has a very good time to evaluate your strategy and you’re planning. [11:39.5]

You know as we end 2021, I wanna really say, thank you for each of you listening each week for the feedback, it's all been greatly appreciated. And I find it fitting that as we end this year, we're ending on a topic that we started with. The very first podcast that I wrote was titled, ‘Why you should have a financial plan? ‘And if you haven't already listened to it, go take a look. And I found it fascinating as I was writing it as I was studying through it and going through my nearly 20 years of being a financial advisor and while talking about the topic of why you should have a financial plan, not necessarily who you should do it with or how it should look or what's in it, but why? Finding out your why is so important for life as is for your financial planning and your financial life. [12:34.1]

Last week, all the partners and all the advisors from One Capital Management met for a day summit, we called it the Advisors’ summit. And in this meeting, it was fascinating. All of us have individual practices, have individual tenure and experience within our industry. That's one thing I love about our firm. When you call us, when you, text us, when you go to our website and reach out to us for advice, you're gonna get an entire bench of knowledge of experience. And in this meeting, we all spoke about and wrote about our, why. Why we are advisors? Why we love what we do. And many of us asked that same question of our clients. It helps us better help you. So, when I titled the first episode, why you should have a financial plan, again, it wasn't focused on who you do it with, what it should look like, but why it's so important. And planning, as we all know, is the framework. It's the frame of the car. You can put the engine in it and other things, which is your investment portfolio, which we talk about heavily. But if you don't have the structure, the tires, the framework built, you can have the fastest engine in the world, but it's not gonna go anywhere. It's just gonna sit there and sound really cool. You know what I mean? But we want to make sure that the planning we put in place for every one of our clients is done proactively and not retroactively. [14:00.9]

So, if there's something going on in your life or something that, you know what, this is a time that I wanna look at my plan, or actually sit with someone to say, how do I even begin to build a financial plan? Give us a call. You can call us (805) 410-5454. You can go on our website at PensionAttention.com and there you can set some time with myself or any one of our advisors, or you can text us. You can text the word TRACK, T R A C K to that same number (805) 410-5454 and we'll reach out to you to make sure we through your objectives, your goals and objectives. And yes, it's gonna be numerical. It's gonna get the numbers, what your income is, your debts, your assets, your cash flow. All these are important, but it's also gonna go into a, what I'll call the qualitative side of things, your goals, your interests, your values, your relationships. Those matter to an advisor, a good advisor, those should matter to help construct the right financial plan for you. [15:05.8]

And if you are working with an advisor and aren't getting that seek that second opinion. And if you haven't done that yet, give us a call again, (805) 410-5454. And more than anything, I wanna wish everyone, a Happy Holidays, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We are excited for it, 2022 is to hold for all of us at the hope you are to, and until next week stay safe. [15:28.2]

The information in this podcast is educational and general in nature and does not take into consideration the listeners personal circumstances. Therefore, it is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized, financial, legal, or tax advice.

To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a final decision. [51:51.8]

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