Retirement In Sight: Guarding Against the Four Common Money Biases

Our attitudes about investing, saving, spending, and financial matters are shaped by a variety of influences, both early and later in life. These attitudes can foster some very good habits, ones that may promote smart financial choices, early investment, and the accumulation of assets. The downside is that they may also encourage unconscious biases about money, and like many varieties of bias, it is wise to acknowledge and be aware of them.  

There are four common money biases. One is loss aversion, which is when the fear or worry of losing assets seems out of proportion to the opportunity for gains or asset accumulation. Two is overconfidence – assuming that financial markets nearly always perform well, or that one’s personal financial acumen is infallible. Three is present bias, which is often seen in consumer behavior – the preference for a material item or a quick financial gain now, instead of delayed gratification for the possibility of better outcomes years ahead. Lastly, there is base rate neglect – an overreaction to bad (or good) news that makes a saver or investor lose sight of the worth, or risk, of a particular investment. Recognizing our potential for these biases may prevent a rash financial decision or two, especially as the retirement transition nears or occurs. [1]

Where Are the Healthiest Places to Live?

Set the pandemic aside for a moment. If keeping healthy ranks as your top priority, where should you retire or live? You have many choices, of course. One annual study is so bold as to rank hundreds of them: the Healthiest Communities Rankings issued by U.S. News.

These rankings consider ten factors, given roughly equal weight: population health, equity, education levels, local economy, affordability of housing, food and nutrition, environment, public safety, community vitality, and infrastructure. Could the healthiest county in the country be Los Alamos County, New Mexico? The 2021 survey ranks it #1 out of 500 U.S. counties (a new edition of the rankings appears each summer). Juneau City and Borough, Alaska ranked #500 last year. Data collection and analysis for the survey comes courtesy of the University of Missouri Extension Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems, dedicated to understanding natural resource systems, public health risks, and community health assessment – performed data collection and analysis. Colorado placed five counties in the top ten last year (Broomfield, Douglas, Pitkin, Routt, San Miguel). Two Virginia counties – Falls Church and Loudoun – made the top ten. Howard County, Maryland, and Morgan County, Utah were the two others ranked among the ten best. [2]

On the Bright Side

In a January Harris Poll survey, 62% of members of Generation X (age 41-55) indicated that financial goals such as investing, saving and budgeting would be their top household goals for 2022. That was the highest percentage among four age groups (Boomers/Seniors, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z). [3]


1 – CNBC, January 14, 2022

2 – US News, January 16, 2022

3 – Yahoo! Finance, January 10, 2022

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. a Broker/Dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Lighthouse Financial, LLC and Cambridge are not affiliated.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.

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