May 22, 2013

Your Smart Phone is Disrupting Your Long-Term Retirement Planning

It is somewhat ironic to follow up a post about the benefits of smart phones with a post about the harm your smart phone is causing you. Not in the medical sense, but the harm mobile devices are causing by distracting from long-term retirement planning. A recent survey by Northwestern Mutual reveals that 3 in 10 people are distracted by the fast-paced immediacy of these devices.

The study set out to “understand whether or not Americans feel they are ‘moving in the right direction’ in areas such as debt, saving, spending, health, and finances.” Unfortunately, these areas require extensive planning and strategic long-term thinking. Neither of which are promoted by your mobile device’s up-to-the-second stock quote, media alerts about economic data, or direct access to your 401(k) and IRA account balance. The study further determined that “6 in 10 (respondents) say they feel too busy to think about long-term goals.” Many claimed that their mobile device contributed to this dilemma.

While smart phones and tablets have been mostly beneficial to many aspects of our daily life, it is important to make time for organizing your goals and planning on how to achieve them. Successfully reaching retirement or other financial goals will not come from a single decision you make today. Success will come from a thought-out strategic plan that was decades in the making.