The uncomfortable truth about your biases which will haunt you in retirement!

Are you uncertain about your retirement plans?

Like most, COVID-19 has infected many retirement plans. No matter the amount of money you have, it’s affected, everyone.

Whether it be the way you invest. The timing of your retirement. Or a complete rethink about the retirement you had planned. Even the assumptions you based your plan on.

Recent events have changed retirement planning forever. If you haven’t reviewed your retirement plans in light of this, then you’d better. The last thing you want is living out your retirement years in regret. Regret you didn’t plan well enough.

Your mind plays tricks!

As human’s, we all have biases. These biases influence the decisions we make. From the way you invest, the strategies you put in place to the views you have about the world.

While we appreciate our minds love to play tricks on us. And, we know it’s near impossible to shed our bias. They can be tamed.

When planning and making decisions about your retirement. It’s important to be aware of these biases and learn to conquer and overcome them.

What is cognitive bias?

Well all exhibit a preference for certain things, sometimes oblivious to it. Where we prefer one thing over the other.

It’s a systematic error in thinking. It shows up when people are processing and interpreting information around them. It affects the decisions and judgements that they make.

One of the biggest obstacles people face heading towards retirement is cognitive bias. When making critical decisions about your retirement. It’s important to aware of these errors in your thinking.

7 biases to conquer in your retirement plan!


???? Confirmation bias

A dangerous bias that shows up far too often. Where you look for information to support your thinking.

Think negative thoughts about investment markets. You’ll search for information that supports and validates your views. Call it a mental shortcut to answer and support your current thinking.

With surging investment markets, the mind plays games with you. Not wanting to lose money. You look for information supporting a possible market correction. You’re drawn to information about a correction to support your thinking.

???? Loss aversion

A tendency for people to avoid losses rather than focus on trying to make profits. The pain you feel when you lose outweighs the excitement you feel when you gain.

For many investor’s they’d rather not lose $5,000 than gain $5,000. Generally shows up in investors who have experienced bad losses in the past.

Fear sets in. Markets are high. With retirement approaching. You sell and lock in the value of your investment portfolio. Two years later, the market has not corrected. You’re now hundred’s of thousands of dollars worse off.

???? Oversimplification tendency

You find simple answers for complex matters.

Retirement planning is a complex problem. It takes lot of time and energy to work through complex solutions to complicated matters.

While we love the simplicity of rules of thumb. You need to understand the complexity in your retirement plan.

You’ve got a $2.5m nest egg. You think it’s easy and not that complicated. After all, you only need to roll it to an income stream.

Wrong. There are estate tax implications. How do you generate your income for retirement? What type of investment strategy fits with your retirement lifestyle and preferences? What super fund will meet your retirement needs? Are you an active or passive investor? Do you invest in direct shares, managed funds or pool your money with other investors? What assumptions are you using?

You see, the minute you build your retirement plan. It’s wrong. You don’t know where it is wrong. It’s how you course-correct at those critical points. Which will determine whether your retirement is a success or a failure?

???? Memory bias

Our minds, tend to rely on recent decisions to guide our plan. Your memory blurs you from understanding past lessons.

With investment markets roaring ahead. You get more confident. After all, it’s been going up for a long time. You take on more risk forgetting about the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.

???? Recency bias

Linked to memory bias. Ever thought why people buy high and sell low even they should know better.

In good times we become more optimistic about life.

Investment markets are roaring ahead. Life couldn’t be better. FOFO (fear of missing out) kicks in. You buy high. Markets correct and you sell low. It’s the reason most self-directed investors rarely achieve market returns.

???? Information bias

Our preference to seek out information even if it doesn’t help the action we are needing to take. Call it procrastinating to delay making a decision.

Could be why you are reading this or on our list. You’ve sought out this information but it may not directly impact on the decision you are trying to make. Stop procrastinating and make a decision.

???? Parkinson’s law of triviality

You direct your time towards trivial details. Rather than the important ones that make a difference.

This shows up when making investment decisions. An investor will focus on the shares they should hold (trivial). Rather than focus on the allocation of their assets (important). How returns are generated. Based on empirical evidence.

What’s the cost of bias errors?

Significant according to research into the benefits of seeking professional advice.

It’s a whole area of study called “Behavioural Finance“.

After 20 years of advising clients, these are by far the most important conversations we have. These are the ones that add more value than anything else. Protecting clients from their blind side.

They tend to revolve around a history of bad experiences.  Preferences for Australian shares.  Fear about what investment markets will do.  Cashing their chips in for fear of losing it all.

Or procrastinating because they can’t make a decision.

Either way, these biases can cost you thousands. If not hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. If you let them infect your decision making.

That’s years of living expenses covered.  Increased legacy for your kids.  More holiday experiences.  A more comfortable retirement.

Research conducted by Vanguard Investments discusses the financial benefit of having an adviser by your side. Can add 1.5% to your return on a yearly basis by helping you manage your behaviour.  If you have a nest of $2m, that’s $30,000 added to your return every year by making smart decisions.

We wrote more about the value a great adviser can bring to your financial decision making here>>

If you are uncertain about your retirement plans. Or for that matter want to know if you are on track. It’s time to schedule a strategy call here. Let’s discuss the financial guidance you need right now.  The right conversations to set you on the right track.  Not to just get you back on track but to stay on track.

Schedule a strategy call here>>


Click here to book your complimentary “Safeguard Your Retirement Strategy Call” now.


Here’s to living your best life!

Glenn Doherty – CFP – Money Mentor | Retirement Specialist for High-Networth Couples and Individuals($500-$5m) | Founder of Jigsaw Private Wealth

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Advice Disclaimer: Any reference in this publication to the provision of advice refers to advice of a generic nature, and should not be taken as product or investment recommendations. Before any action is taken based on the information provided, independent financial advice from a licensed financial adviser should be sought. Financial Freedom Project Pty Ltd ATF GA & DC Doherty Family Trust Trading as Jigsaw Private Wealth is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Exelsuper Advice Pty Ltd. The information contained in this publication is of a factual nature only and is not intended to constitute financial product advice. Information is current as at date of publication. This is an online information blog. It does not imply an offering of securities.

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