Michael Lynch   |  Thu Sep 29 11:00:00 EDT 2016

Senior man on hammock

If you’re like me, you’re probably sick of hearing people say “YOLO” – a slang acronym for the phrase “you only live once.” It’s applied to everything these days, from making the life-changing decision to leave a job to allowing yourself to indulge in a decadent dessert that you know is bad for you. It’s an overused term and has almost become something of an excuse or justification for throwing caution to the wind and making impulsive choices. It might be especially tempting for some to apply YOLO to their finances. Should I buy that second house? YOLO! Should I make that risky investment? YOLO! Should I save my bonus or treat myself? YOLO!

But think about it this way: it is true that you only live once, but it is also true that you only retire once—YORO. With just one shot at a long, healthy and satisfying retirement, we have to do whatever it takes to make sure we don’t waste it. If you’ve got clients who are prone to apply the YOLO method to their finances, encourage them instead to embrace the YORO mindset.

Here’s why:

Ghosts of Retirements Past
Our retirement looks quite different from the retirement of earlier generations, and it’s impossible to tell what the next generations’ retirement will be like. It used to be that a person would retire at the age of 65 from a company they worked at for 30+ years. They would go to their retirement party, receive their retirement watch, cash in their pension check and start collecting Social Security. Not so anymore. Hardly anyone has a pension now, Social Security has undergone changes, switching companies is a typical practice and young start-ups are more commonplace than ever. With the ever-changing and tenuous landscape of retirement, clients can only rely on themselves when it comes to saving for retirement. Putting the extra cash aside, rather than taking that spur-of-the-moment vacation, may make more sense.

No Time Like the Present
Life happens when we least expect it. In other words, to make sure your clients are protecting their future, help them expect the unexpected and be prepared for anything. At any moment, something life-changing could happen. Maybe a client loses a job. A big storm hits and causes severe damage to their home. They get into a car accident or suffer an injury. The point is, living the YOLO way could complicate these types of already complicated life happenings, and they might even call for dipping into savings to cover costs incurred. Help your clients live the YORO way instead, by making sure they are financially prepared today to account for anything that might happen tomorrow.

The Future Is Now
Technology is changing the way we do everything, and it becomes more advanced every day. As it relates to lifestyle, technology can help us as we enter the uncharted waters of retirement. In particular, smart homes and self-driving cars might be particularly useful advancements for those seeking to live an independent, safe life in retirement. However, technology upgrades don’t come cheap. Clients who envision a retirement in which they live on their own, maintain their own home (or homes), socialize regularly and monitor their own health might want to put a little more money aside for the developing technology that will help them do so.

For clients who tend to make decisions based on the YOLO frame of mind, remind them of these three scenarios. Hopefully that will help them realize that YOLO isn’t the way to go—now, it’s all about YORO.


Michael Lynch

Michael Lynch  

Vice President, Strategic Markets

Michael Lynch is Vice President of Strategic Markets for Hartford Funds. In his current role, Mike is responsible for engaging and educating both financial advisors and their clients about current and emerging opportunities in the financial-services marketplace. These opportunities range from tactical strategies in areas such as retirement-income planning, investment planning, and charitable planning, to anticipating and preparing for long-term demographic and lifestyle changes.

Mike joined the organization in 1993 as an annuity client service specialist. In 1997, he joined the Advanced Product Marketing department, where he developed an extensive knowledge of estate and retirement planning. In 2004, Mike became a regional sales director. In 2006, he became Vice President and national director of The Hartford’s Retirement and Wealth Consulting Group, which provided thought leadership and financial education focused on retirement and small-business planning. In 2012, he joined The Hartford Mutual Funds.

Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Connecticut State University. Mike is a registered representative of Hartford Funds Distributors. He is FINRA Series 6, 63, and 26 registered and holds a life, health and variable insurance license. He currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife, Kim, and their children, Josh, and Em.

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