Why We Plan

Planning is about scarcity not about abundance.  If we always had more than enough resource, no one would plan or need to.

The study of economics is fundamentally about allocation of scarce resources.  Engineering is about using materials optimally, because they are scarce.  The fact that either profession exists speaks to scarcity.  Scarcity is part of life.  People should notice that as a fundamental fact in their planning.

Engineering is about efficiency.  Get the most output for the least input.  When you think about it, that is exactly what you want from your retirement plan.

When we see ancient Roman bridges and aqueducts in Europe we are amazed at how massive they are.  They are fascinating and in their way, beautiful.  Designed along clearly understood principles, but using enormous quantities of material.  Nothing like a modern bridge which is both graceful and strong.  The difference is the availability of different resources.  You could not build the Golden Gate bridge or the Millau Viaduct with stones and concrete.  Roman bridges work and survive but they use too much resource and space.  Modern designers use modern materials.

So it is with financial planning.  You can get what you need in retirement by using blunt force tools or you could get there with more precise tools that use fewer resources.  Fewer resources allocated to one task means more resources for some other.  Perhaps efficient life insurance, disability coverage, investment tools, debt management and budgetting could free up enough money for a nice vacation every few years.

It is very difficult for a person who spends their days as a an economist, engineer or business owner to have access to, or even know about the modern materials that execute a retirement plan.  Efficient plans of this type take more into account than just resources.  They consider limits too.  Tax efficiency is near crucial.  Small changes over long times matter.  Matching investment opportunities to eventual needs works to open options that are not available if you look a year at a time.  Constructive record keeping notices inefficiencies in spending and helps people adjust sooner.

Old techniques work but not as well as you would like.  You should seek help at least in the beginning.


Beautiful Bridges in Europe

Do you think a Roman engineer would like to talk to the materials specialists who built the Millau Viaduct?

Design and materials together produce great results.

Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario.  In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.

Please be in touch if I can help you.  don@moneyfyi.com  866-285-7772

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One Response to Why We Plan

  1. Pingback: Quality Tools Add Value | moneyFYI

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