195 Urgent vs. Important

Jason and Emilia discuss prioritizing important things in life versus urgency, and how time is an important element of a good retirement plan.

To learn more about the definition of “deadline” visit: https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/your-deadline-wont-kill-you

Below is the full transcript:


Announcer: Welcome back, America, to Sound Retirement Radio, where we bring you content, ideas and strategies designed to help you achieve clarity, confidence and freedom as you prepare for and transition through retirement. Now, here is your host, Jason Parker.

Jason: Good morning, America. Welcome back to another round of Sound Retirement Radio. As I just said that, Emilia is … Reminding myself of that movie with Robin Williams.

Emilia: Oh yes.

Jason: Good morning, Vietnam.

Emilia: Vietnam, yeah. You should do it a little more like aah. You were almost there.

Jason: It just hit me as I said good morning. Nice to have you joining us this morning. We’re on episode 195. I’m excited to get into this topic and subject. This is one I’ve been wanting to share with people for some time. Before I do, I’d like to start the morning right two ways. The first is with a verse. This comes to us from Psalm 90:12. Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Then you have a joke for us this morning?

Emilia: Yes. I would say it’s more of a riddle this time, but something fun. Okay, so here’s the question. What is black and white and read all over?

Jason: Oh man. I’ve heard this one so many different ways. Some of them have been very inappropriate.

Emilia: This one’s not inappropriate.

Jason: Thank you.

Emilia: So not sure. A newspaper.

Jason: Yeah, okay. That’s a good … One of the ones I heard was a … This came from my son, who’s a teenager. It was something like a penguin rolling down the hill with a bloody nose or something.

Emilia: Oh, Gosh.

Jason: Ridiculous.

Emilia: I guess you could change it up, but this one was pretty-

Jason: Black and white and red all over.

Emilia: A penguin with a bloody-

Jason: I like the newspaper better than a penguin with a bloody nose rolling down a hill.

Emilia: I agree. That’s just the visual of this poor penguin. Alright, Jason, so yes, we are talking … You said you’ve been wanting to do this topic for a while. It wasn’t a joke and I can’t stop really laughing. Alright, we’re having too much fun now. Okay, so today’s topic, we’re on episode 195, Urgent Versus Important. Why are we doing a show about important versus urgent?

Jason: We’ve all been taught to prioritize the important things in our life and not allow the urgent things to take over and dictate our time. It’s so hard to do, Emilia. It’s so hard, and that’s why I wanted to talk about this urgent versus important. We know in life that we need to be doing the important things, but oftentimes, we allow urgency to capture the day. Today, we’re actually going to be talking about how to use urgency to your benefit and to help you have a better retirement, so it’s going to be good.

Emilia: That is good. I’d like to hear that. Why do you think urgency wins?

Jason: Urgency wins because there’s consequences often associated with not doing something in a certain period of time. A great example of this right now is everybody’s favorite government imposed timeline of filing our taxes. We have this April 15th, maybe April 17th deadline this year that if we don’t meet that, if we don’t get our taxes filed and paid, there are consequences for not doing that. What ends up happening is it becomes an urgent matter, especially if we procrastinate and go too long. Now, an important thing that some people have shared with me that they would like to do is they might like to write a letter or a book or a collection of their favorite quotes for their kids and their grandkids for the next generation. That might be something that’s important to them to be able to share wisdom with those that come later. Unfortunately what ends up happening is we prioritize the deadline. We prioritize the taxes over the important work of sharing a legacy.

Emilia: Jason, where did the term deadline come from?

Jason: This is going to be kind of fun. I thought that as we were getting ready for the show and I thought to myself, “That’s a weird term: deadline.” I did a little bit of research, and we’ll include this link in the show notes, but it actually came from the Civil War back in the 1800s. A deadline was a line within or around a prison and prisoner would be shot for crossing the deadline. Yeah, there were real consequences to a deadline. If you were in prison and you walked over this line, there’s …

Emilia: Can you imagine if we still went by that rule? You don’t pay your taxes in time, in the deadline.

Jason: The good news is the deadlines for most of us don’t carry those types of consequences, but it is interesting to think about where the words that we use today, where do these words come from? To think that that phrase, at least with the research that Merriam Webster had done in the article that we’ll share in the link, that the earliest that they could trace back that phrase, deadline, was to the Civil War and people that were being held in prisons and if you crossed over a certain line, that was a deadline.

Emilia: Yeah, wow. Interesting. Very interesting. Jason, this brings us to a new feature in the retirement budget calculator, right?

Jason: Yes. I shared a little bit of this to you this morning and you said, “Jason, I don’t know if I like this.” This is what we call the time tab. I’m really both excited to be able to introduce this new feature, but I’m nervous about it as well.

Emilia: It made me nervous. Well, not nervous in that sense that you’re like … But it just made it so real. Go ahead and explain how it affected me.

Jason: Yeah, so the time tab is, and again, part of the reason I wanted to build this feature was I wanted to help people live with a greater sense of urgency. I think too often, we treat time as though we have all of the time in the world. People are known to waste time and kill time. Boy, when you realize how valuable of a resource it is, maybe we shouldn’t be doing those two things with it. I think investing time is probably a better use. There are four elements, Emilia, to a really good retirement plan. In the simplest form, we have to have an idea of four things in order to make retirement work. Those four things are: number one, and this is the reason we invented the retirement budget calculator in the first place, was how much do you spend? That’s an important piece you have to understand. Retirement is an exercise in spending. You often times hear me say, “Look, you can have all the net worth in the world, but if you don’t have cash flow, you don’t have retirement, because it’s not your net worth that determines your lifestyle. It is your income.”

Jason: We’ve got to understand your spending, because the second part to a good retirement plan is we have to understand your income. For most people today, that just really means their social security for most people. Some people will have a pension, but others are going to have to be drawing down money that they’ve saved for retirement, unless they’re just going to be living on social security. That brings us to the third element. Number one is understanding your spending. Number is understanding your income. Number three is understanding how much you’ve saved and then when you mix all of this together, the fourth ingredient that’s so important is how long does this money that you’ve saved have to last?

Jason: What happens for a lot of people when they go through this exercise, what they realize is, “Okay, here’s how much they spend and here’s how much your social security is,” and oftentimes, that social security isn’t enough to match up with how much their spending is. Then we have to draw down the resources, the money that they’ve saved, to cover that gap. The real question becomes well how long’s the money going to last? That’s why we had to build the time tab from a very practical standpoint. Everybody wants to believe that they’re going to live to age 100 and with medicine, science, technology getting better all the time, people taking good care of themselves, there’s certainly a good probability. In fact, we’re seeing the demographics show that the oldest segment of the population is the fastest growing segment of the population. We have a lot of people that are living longer, which is really exciting, as long as it’s a quality of life. From a very practical standpoint, we had to build the time tab.

Emilia: The time tab.

Jason: Do you want to talk a little bit more about this?

Emilia: Yeah.

Jason: Okay, so-

Emilia: Yeah, so-

Jason: Here’s what the time tab does is it allows you to put your gender in, male or female and then to put your birth month and birth year in and then there’s also hereditary adjustment and I’ll come back to that in just a minute. So you put in your gender and your birth month and birth year. Then what’s the calculator does is it says what your current age is and then it says based on the mortality tables of the social security administration, here’s how much time you have left in years. If you live to life expectancy, here’s the number of years you have remaining. We broke it down a little bit further. We said, “Here are the number of days you have lived and if you live to life expectancy, here are the number of days you may have left.”

Emilia: Left.

Jason: You and I were joking around about this a little bit because when I put my data in there, it says that I’ve lived 16,190 days and I have 12,712 days remaining and that I’ve lived 56% of my life and I only have 44% remaining. We’re just joking saying, “But I’m on the other side of the hill. I’m actually heading down this thing.” The good news is you’re not there yet.

Emilia: Yeah. I’m creeping up on it.

Jason: You’re not to the 50/50 mark yet, so you’re still [crosstalk 00:10:15]-

Emilia: I still have some wiggle room. When I saw this, when you were asking me, I didn’t know what you were asking me for the information and when you showed it to me, I was like, “Oh wow.”

Jason: Yeah, how did it make you feel when … Because this is the first time you just saw this.

Emilia: It’s just realizing that I’m almost halfway through where my life expectancy. It kind of made me think about how did I get to where I am now and what do I want to do with those last … What is it? When it breaks down the days, it just looks like a small number, I guess.

Jason: Yeah, I know.

Emilia: It doesn’t seem like a huge number to me. It’s like 13,000. That’s just like wow. The numbers just make it more real is what I was saying.

Jason: What was the emotional response? You see this number on the screen then what did it-

Emilia: I guess when you talked about urgency, you’re like, “Oh gosh, what do I need to do? How do I make this the best half of my life better?” I don’t know how to explain it. it was an emotional response. When you saw me, you were like is that good?

Jason: Gosh, and I’m so worried about this, because this is a very sensitive subject actually. Mortality for some people is just really, really hard. For some people, I’m going to recommend that they just don’t use this part of the calculator, because I think it’s going to be too hard for them to see, at least what this shows us. Of course, none of us know when we’re getting out of here. I could walk out of the door today and get hit by a bus. This is not a predictor. It’s not something that says, “This is exactly what’s going to happen.” It’s just using the mortality tables that we have available to us today. The problem with mortality tables is it’s looking backwards. It’s looking at how long people have lived in the past. It’s not making adjustments for hereditary adjustment, how long your family’s lived. It’s not making adjustments for medicine, science, technology. There’s a lot of hope that these numbers could be longer.

Jason: The other thing is and the crazy thing that people need to know about life expectancy is that the longer you live, the longer you’re going to live. What I mean by that is I am in my mid-40s now and so it tells me that I’m going to make it to about 78, 79 years old, based on life expectancy. But if I change this to say … Let’s say I was born in 1954, so the older I am. Now it says that I’m going to make it, jeez, to I think it’s 81 or 83. The older you are, the longer you’re going to live. The interesting thing about mortality is … Or life expectancy, I should say, is that by living a longer life, you are probably going to live a longer life.

Jason: The crazy thing about this calculator is while it gives us a baseline to work … Let’s say I use these numbers and I say, “I’m only going to make it to age 79,” and then I spend like a madman to try to spend all of my money up to 79 and then I realize that when I get to 79, my life expectancy is actually no longer 79, right? Now my life expectancy is more like probably 86. The longer you live, the longer you’re going to live. That’s one of the things you got to be careful with. It’s one of the reasons I’m really a little bit nervous about this tool.

Emilia: I’m also realizing after you’re explaining everything how important it is though too, just to be aware of it and have that in mind so that you do live a better life and that you plan for it. Because if you’re expecting to live longer and we should be, like you said, now these days, it is an important tool.

Jason: Yeah, and the reason I wanted to break it down into days is because of that verse that says, “Teach us to number our days.” The interesting thing about the verse and God is that he’s after our hearts, right? The verse doesn’t say, “Teach us to number our days so that we would gain a mind of wisdom.” The verse says, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” It’s just our lord is after our hearts all the time, not trying to influence our mind as much as he’s trying to influence our hearts and capture our hearts. I think that’s a good reminder for us.

Emilia: Yes, I agree. You’ve broken down the four important steps. I just wanted to take quick moment, Jason. We have an announcement for our listeners today too.

Jason: Yes. That’s important.

Emilia: Yeah, so we had been recently doing a promotion on Amazon and we want to let our listeners know that we are ending our promotions for the book.

Jason: The promotion’s over, officially.

Emilia: No more free book.

Jason: By the time they’re listening to this-

Emilia: Yes, by the time you listen to this. But we want to thank all of our listeners and everyone that submitted the reviews for Jason. Jason did a … He worked a lot, signing all those books. It was a lot of … It was really great to see all the people’s responses to the release of the revised and updated book. You still have the opportunity to purchase it on Amazon, but the price has now gone up.

Jason: Yup, so there was two promotions that we had made available. One was the free book after they purchased the Kindle version and the other promotion was that the Kindle version was only $0.99. Now, it’s been increased up to $9.99, so again thank you if you bought the book during that introductory period and for all the kind reviews, really appreciate that a lot, of the book. Yeah, both of those pieces have gone away.

Emilia: Yeah, so getting back to our topic then, Jason. When we were talking about deadlines, I guess you could say that the mortality table is a deadline.

Jason: Yeah, so back in the days of the Civil War, if you crossed over this line, there were consequences, right? That is the hope with the Retirement Budget Calculator is that people realize their most valuable asset is their time. One of the things I was hoping to do is there’s a couple of really great that I’ve come across regarding time, Emilia, that I wanted to share with our listeners. This first one is by Oliver Wendell Holmes. He says, “Many people die with their music still in them. Too often, it is because they’re always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.” Again, he’s just speaking to the fact that too many people are living in the land of someday. “Someday, I’m going to do this. Someday I’m going to travel. Someday, I’m going to tell my kids how much I love them.” We can’t wait. We don’t know what that time’s going to end. The second one, and this one is by Eleanor Roosevelt. I like this one. She says, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost. To reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” I thought that was pretty cool.

Emilia: I like that one.

Jason: Now, the interesting about Eleanor Roosevelt, she lived to be 78 years and 27 days old or exactly 28,515 days. The next one is from James Dean. This is the last quote that I wanted to share. James Dean says, “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.

Emilia: He died very young.

Jason: Well, that was the interesting thing. He was 24 years, 7 months and 12 days or 8,990 days. Now, I like that quote, but again, as long as you’re living responsibly. One of the concerns that I had with this new feature, the Retirement Budget Calculator is that people might not use it responsibly. It’s a very powerful tool, time. One of the big fears I have is that people will try to use this as a justification for making bad choices or bad decisions in life. A bad decision might be spending irresponsibly because you say, “Oh, I don’t have very much time. I want to spend everything that I have.” Then you could end up running out of money in retirement. That could be a very negative consequence of this particular calculator.

Jason: Another negative consequence might be you jeopardize the relationships that are important to you. You have this just very worldly view of time and you’re not taking an eternal perspective on time and so you just live for the moment. I think that can be really destructive if you’re not thinking about the consequences of your behavior and your actions. If you don’t start this exercise with an eternal perspective and you’re just making it all about me, me, me, me, me, me, then I think this could be really destructive. While James Dean’s quote is powerful, I’m reminded that he died in a car accident because he wasn’t living responsibly, so we don’t want people to act irresponsibly when armed with this data.

Emilia: It also reminds me when you’re saying being responsible, I think it all come back to the planning you’re talking about too. You can make these decisions within your plan and just say, “These are the things we want to do and how do we make them happen.” Just do it more responsibly by following a plan that’s going to keep you there and help your money last and enjoyable with your family and everything combined.

Jason: Yeah, deadline, so that people have the opportunity to live their best life, a life full of purpose and with fewer regrets. The last thing we want people to have to say as they’re lying there on their deathbed is I’m sorry. Boy, that’s not what we’re shooting for. We want people to live with just a sense of … I don’t know. I think it would be more inspiring if maybe you were saying, “Thank you,” at the very end or, “I love you,” or something. Boy, to end it all with, “I’m sorry,” I think maybe we’ve lost our great opportunity here. Life is so wonderful. That’s the hard part about it. For people to have a faith in something bigger and eternal, we know that there’s love that goes beyond this, that we have the opportunity to live forever in heaven. That’s a radical thought for some people. The Bible’s this radical book that teaches stuff that’s totally opposite of what the world would have us understand. That’s one of the great things about it.

Emilia: Is this live now on the Retirement Budget Calculator?

Jason: Yeah, so this is a brand new feature. People may not know about the work we’ve been doing, but we’ve been developing the Retirement Budget Calculator. You find that at retirementbudgetcalculator.com. There is a cost to use the tool, so this is not a free tool. Retirement Budget Calculator is a one-time fee of $54. We do currently have a coupon code available. If they put in the coupon code “podcast”, they will have access to the Retirement Budget Calculator for only $27, so they get 50% off the cost by using that coupon code. It’s a brand new feature. We just rolled this out and we’re still working out some of the bugs in it, but yeah, it’s there, it’s live, it’s active and people can use it. I caution people to use it appropriately.

Emilia: I think after everything you’ve shared today, I’m feeling more … I guess I’ve decided that when I see those days, my days are literally numbered. It makes me think about how many of those days do I want to be here with my family? I want to say give them a number too, be like, “I want to spend as much time with them as I can.” Just being happy and having those experiences in life. It just makes me think a lot about my family too.

Jason: Does it really?

Emilia: Because I think about my grandmother now. She’s already in her 80s and what her number must look like to her and how is she feeling about that. It makes me want to talk to her about … Like you’ve mentioned, just reaching out to her and what are her experiences in life and where is she … Is she happy and how is this going to happen for her? It’s just a lot of reflection, emotionally, for people to see those kinds of things, see those numbers and think about where they are and where they want to be when the time comes, when the deadline hits.

Jason: When the deadline … None of us really know, but we like to think that we could figure it out, and so we use these mortality tables, these backward looking … Let me talk you real quick about the hereditary adjustment too. Social security and these mortality tables, they’re looking at large groups of numbers. They’re not necessarily looking at my family history. I have a grandfather that’s 90 years old.

Emilia: Wow.

Jason: I get a chance to meet with people and talk to them all around the country and I hear stories of people whose family members died in their 40s, their 50s, their 60s, early 60s. The mortality tables don’t take into consideration lifestyle, right? Some of us, we had parents that didn’t make the greatest choices with smoking or alcohol or those types of things, and so they ended up dying young and we say … This is something I hear at least a lot from a lot of people we survey. They say, “Oh, my parents lived a pretty hard life and I’m living a lot different than they are.” What the hereditary adjustment does, because you’re going to know this better than the mortality tables. It allows you to put in a number to override, basically, the data.

Jason: If mortality table said you’re going to make it to 79, but you’re like, “I know that I’m going to live longer than that,” you can plug in hereditary adjustments that you want to plan on living to age 92 and then it will give you that opportunity to override the mortality table. That’s the reason that we built the hereditary adjustment. Emilia, I just realized we’re out of time. Thank you for being here.

Emilia: Thank you.

Announcer: Information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate and complete for general information only and should not be construed as specific tax, legal or financial advice for any individual and does not constitute a solicitation for any securities or insurance products. Please consult with your financial professional before taking action on anything discussed in this program. Parker Financial, its representatives or its affiliates have no liability for investment decisions or other actions taken or made by you based on the information provided in this program. All insurance related discussions are subject to the claims paying ability of the company. Investing involved risk. Jason Parker is the president of Parker Financial, an independent, fee based wealth management firm located at 9057 Washington Ave North West, Silverdale, Washington. For additional information, call 1-800-514-5046 or visit us online at soundretirementplanning.com.