Financial Planner 43551

Learn Math? But I Have a Calculator!

In Estate Planning, Income Planning, Investment Management, Retirement Thinking, The Insider by Adam Cufr

We’ve all heard the argument against memorizing facts and information for a test in the modern age. “I’ll be okay as long as I know where to find the information.” is how the explanation goes. And thanks to Google, we now have access to seemingly all of the information available on any subject, so there may be something to that way of thinking. What happens though, when you hand a calculator to someone who doesn’t know how to do basic math? Will they get to the right answer? No. It turns out that one must know how to perform mathematical calculations in order to use a calculator just to avoid having to do ALL of the math! In other words, the tool is only as useful as the questions it’s asked by its user.

Planning a successful retirement is no different. All of the information is out there, waiting for you to find it. Everything you need to know about investments, income planning, tax planning, risk management, estate planning and more are available on the internet, just waiting for you to come find it. The same is true of cosmetic dentistry, home-building, accounting, kidney dialysis, and making ice-cream. If that’s true, then why aren’t we all doing everything ourselves? Well, clearly we don’t have unlimited time available to us, but there’s something else.

In order to gather, synthesize, and utilize the available information on any subject, we must first know the right questions to ask. Just as a calculator user must know to ask the device what the square root of 256 is before it will generate the correct answer, 16, the user first needs to understand the mechanics of the math involved. Just as an aspiring retiree wants to maintain their current lifestyle without risk of running out of money, they need to know the mechanics of building a retirement income plan in the first place. Only then can appropriate investments, strategies, and products be gathered, synthesized, and utilized to generate the ‘correct answer’.

It’s this need for a basic understanding of the mechanics involved that leads us to build education into our process and to teach classes for retirees on a host of retirement subjects. When a retiree has a strong sense of how the thing is built, she’s better equipped to know if the calculator generates the right answer when asked.

If you know others who may be interested in more retirement-focused education, will you please consider sharing these Weekly Newsletters with them, urging them to contact us to attend one of our classes at BGSU at Levis Commons, sharing my book with them, or scheduling a conversation with us? If they know to ask what the best answers are for their successful retirement, I believe they’ll get better results from the process. We’re in the successful retirement business, so please lean on us to help those whom you care about, yourself included! And if you love to make ice cream yourself, and sharing it with others, we’ll consider all donations of your excess inventory.

All the best,

Adam Cufr Signature

Adam Cufr, RICP®


Adam Cufr, RICP® (Retirement Income Certified Professional®) is a financial advisor and founding principal of Fourth Dimension Financial Group, LLC providing personal finance and retirement planning services. Adam is a Columnist for Retirement Advisor Magazine. He is also a sought-after media commentator and thought leader. Adam was named one of The 20 Most Creative People In Insurance in 2015 and is a columnist for Retirement Advisor Magazine and the author of Off the Record – Secrets to Building a Successful Retirement and a Lasting Legacy.

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