When it comes to retirement planning you can find suggestions, rules and guidelines of just about every shade, but it wasn’t until this article in the U.S. News and World Report that we’ve seen the biblical “7 Deadly Sins” applied to retirement planning. The tone of the article is light and tongue-in-cheek, but the advice it contains is serious and spot on.
Planning for retirement can often feel overwhelming to anybody without a background in economics or investing, but the use of the well-known and easily remembered religious/literary reference makes planning for your retirement a little more relatable. For example, the concept of diversifying your portfolio becomes easier to understand when related to the sin of greed:
“Greed is a killer when it comes to your investment portfolio. Greedy investors often chase past results, choose higher risk investments, or don’t do their research before investing. This can lead to falling for scams, buying at the top of the investment bubble, and other problems. Solution: Start with a balanced portfolio, research all investments thoroughly before buying, and remember that if an investment sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
And of course who could ever forget the ever-popular sin of lust: “Lust can be equated to extravagance and longing to the point it becomes all-consuming. Signs of giving in to lust include spending too much on luxury items and living beyond your means. It could also mean having champagne taste on a beer budget. Excessive spending can lead to unmanageable debt if left unchecked. Solution: You need a budget and you need to stick to it.”
The article tackles sloth, pride, envy, wrath and gluttony in the same helpful and informative manner, reminding us that although retirement planning today—with our Roth IRAs, 401(k)s and online investment portfolios—may at times be complex, convoluted and fast moving, the principles behind it are well known and ages old.