Most people I know have taken at least one of these famous “personality tests”:
- The DiSC Profile
- The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
- The Enneagram
- The Eysenck Personality Inventory
It could be that you’re a “high D” or an INTJ or an Enneagram 3. Whatever the case, these assorted assessments (and all the others like them) are a fascinating reminder of just how differently we’re wired.
And it’s not just a difference in basic temperament. Consider all the ways we’re unique: DNA, disposition, family backgrounds, and life experiences.
Our abilities, dreams, beliefs, and preferences are all over the map. Each of us is motivated by different things, driven by different concerns.
That’s why we can put 100 people in the same situation, and no two will act—or react or interact—in quite the same way.
You are one-of-a-kind. I am too. And that’s a good thing.
Given all this, it should come as no surprise that we’re also different in how we view and handle money.
Have you noticed that some people have a scarcity mindset? (“There’s only so much. I better guard what I have with my life!”) Meanwhile, others have an abundance mindset. (“No worries! There’s plenty more where that came from!”)
Some are savers. Most are spenders. A few are always giving. A mom at our church once observed about her children, “If I gave them each a $100 bill, the oldest would rush to deposit hers in the bank. Our middle kid would immediately buy something for himself. Our youngest would call her three best friends and take them to lunch.”
The differences persist when it comes to investing.
Connie swings for the financial fences, figuring “the greater the risk, the greater the (potential) reward.” She’d be frustrated out of her mind in a conservative bond fun earning a steady 4-5%. She wants to be much more aggressive. And if a market correction has her portfolio drop 25%? Connie shrugs it off, telling herself, “That’s the price of admission. It’ll come back stronger than before.”
Connie’s brother Carl is at the opposite end of the spectrum. He’s got his retirement nest egg parked in multiple, less volatile “investment baskets.” Yet even with all this precaution, he nervously checks his portfolio daily.
Which brings us to the issue of your financial personality and “how you plan to pay for retirement.”
Here’s the thing: For many people, a monthly Social Security payment or a government pension isn’t enough to pay the bills—plus do all the other things they want to do in retirement. If that’s you, when the paychecks quick coming, how will you fund your lifestyle?
Some retirees opt to slowly withdraw money from their IRA(s) or 401(k)s. This approach can work; however, when the markets are volatile, it can be nerve-wracking. What if some event causes your portfolio to drop in value by 20-25%?
Other retirees choose to take a portion of their assets and purchase an annuity that will guarantee them a fixed amount of monthly income for life. This approach gives them peace of mind in times when the market is unpredictable.
Still others do a combination of these things.
Again, this is where personality differences matter so much. The best retirement plan for you is one that aligns with your financial temperament, retirement goals, and personal preferences.
This begs the question: Do you have a clear understanding of your “financial personality”?
If not, I’ve got a free gift for you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a link to take the RISA® (Retirement Income Style Awareness®) Profile. There’s no charge. This ingenious self-test will help you see what kind of retirement income plan best suits you. It only takes a few minutes, and it can save you a LOT of frustration.
Argent Advisors, Inc. is an SEC-registered investment adviser. A copy of our current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request. Please See Important Disclosure Information here.