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Incremental Updates

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
You might recognize that quote as the opening line from a Tale of Two Cities by Dickens.
But while Dickens was writing about the time surrounding the French Revolution, I’m referring to the year 1995.
See more below 👇
And thanks, as always, for reading.

A New (Financial) Operating System
Remember when we didn’t have mobile phones and 24/7 access to the world in our pockets? 📱
No, this isn’t me being nostalgic about how we had it better back then.
Though there’s definitely some truth in there…
What I’m instead referring to is how our “operating system” (or OS) was produced and delivered to us.
Some of you may remember that it looked something like this:
Yep, I can still remember the HUGE events these major Windows releases were back in the day…
And if we wanted to update our OS, we would do it with physical media - at the time it was typically a collection of disks 💿 that we’d plug into our HUGE computers and wait for what could take hours for things to update to the latest and greatest that Microsoft had to offer.
And for you Mac-only folks out there, their updates were delivered the same way at the time.
Compare this with today when our mobile phone OS is updated “over the air” and our computers are updated much the same way. 🖥️
In addition, rather than a BIG, once-every-few-years event to update your computer, now things happen more often and more incrementally.
Figured out where I’m going with this yet?
You guessed it… your financial OS (or financial plan) should have evolved in a similar fashion since the mid-90s.
Traditionally, financial planning was a once-every-few-years undertaking that was often both time-consuming and burdensome to you due to ALL the data you had to assemble and organize.
And if you did survive this not-so-friendly process, your financial plan was out of date as soon as the ink was dry on the 80-200 page document. 📘
This was a time when financial plans were usually little more than an elaborate proposal on why you needed more whole-life insurance, an annuity, or a portfolio overhaul.
Today, I’m happy to let you know there’s a better way.
Much like the apps on your mobile phone which regularly receive incremental updates and improvements in an ongoing fashion, so too should your financial planning.
Just like the authors of the latest mobile app, who need to adapt and respond to a changing landscape of software, users, mobile OS, and more, you and your financial plan should also be setup in such a way that you can rather easily make incremental updates and improvements in an ongoing fashion to adjust and adapt to the changing landscape of your life, the markets, world events, legislation, and all that is our lives these days.
At least that’s how I believe things should be done to give you the most comfort and confidence that you’re on the right track.
And by the way, you’re the one that has to define your very own “right track”.
That’s not something I or anyone else should do for you.
But remember, your plan is only based on what we know right now.
This very moment.
And tomorrow, everything can change.
Global pandemic anyone?
So you need a flexible, adaptable financial planning approach that can be nimble and easily accommodate new information as you get it.
If your financial plan is still “running on Windows 95” you’re probably long overdue for an update.
Don’t ya’ think?
Don't Blow Up Your Retirement Income 💣
What’s the best way to invest your money for retirement income?
The answer might be more simple than you think as Allan Roth shares in this article (and I agree with him completely):
Investing to Create Retirement Income Can Be Dangerous
Whether you’re already retired or getting close, if you have questions or concerns about your retirement income plan, hit reply and let me know if you’d like to discuss anything.
Not Recommended
Many people - maybe even you - are comfortable taking an “I’ll deal with it tomorrow” approach when it comes to their retirement and financial planning.
Sorta like this:
Not a solid way to plan for your retirement
Not a solid way to plan for your retirement
But just know you’re going somewhere, regardless of how deliberate you’re being about it.
Be sure to pause and look up every once in a while to make sure you’re headed in the direction you want to go!
Until next Wednesday,

Postscript: Elizabeth and I both celebrated birthdays last month. Also, how is it already March? Anyway, thought this was a timely indie track to share with you this week - it’s “Birthday” from Beach Fossils. 🎵
Why indie music? Please read the Postscript of Issue #2 for context.

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Russ Thornton

I'm Russ, a financial advisor based in Atlanta, GA. My focus is retirement planning for women (and their families) who are 55+. Every Wednesday, I write an email letter with my thoughts and perspectives on retirement and its many related topics. And I might include some other ideas or interesting topics as well 😉

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Russ Thornton | Atlanta, GA | Disclosures: