Important versus Urgent

The Wall Street Journal recently asked a group of retirees what they worry about in their retirement.  Here are the results: retirement

Health and Wealth are the top concerns.  Ben Carlson wrote about this in his recent blog.  Health and wealth go together, but he makes a great distinction about time.

The difference here is that while science will continue to progress and make advances in health care, it’s really difficult to make advances in retirement saving when you’ve already missed the boat.

I wrote recently about how saving for retirement is one of those things that you don't get a second chance at.  You can't turn back time and benefit from compounding.  It's hard though right....the list of things to do is just so long?  Here's a challenge.  Think about all the things you need to accomplish and classify them as urgent or important.

What tends to happen is, of course, in our daily life we focus on the urgent things.  Things like estate planning, writing a Will, getting your insurance in place, financial planning - clearly these things are greatly important, but they are not urgent.  There is no deadline.

Ben Carlson writes:

Things that are important (retirement planning, saving, insurance needs, etc.) are easy to ignore. Instead, there’s a long list of urgent items you can do right this instant that makes you feel like you accomplished something, even if they don’t allow you to get ahead.

I am as guilty as anyone.  Al and I have been reviewing our estate planning in recent months as our lives have evolved, but still haven't managed to sign the documents and finalise the details.  However, what has spurred me into action in the following week is the realisation that getting these things in order is an act of love.  It's our love for our children that drives me to make sure we are adequately protected and that they would never have any financial worries should something happen to us.  Likewise, investing your money wisely and having a plan to ensure you never run out of money is about love.  It's about protecting your legacy for your children, your most loved charities, your church, or whoever/whatever it is that you care deeply about.

Don't leave it until too late.