Retirement Series – Meet Enemy No 2

two ice cream cups

Instant Gratification

Instant gratification, or the urge to meet one’s needs or wants right away, can be detrimental to one’s finances because it can result in impulsive purchases and overspending. When people give in to desires to purchase items they don’t need or can’t afford, it can result in debt and other money issues.

Studies have indicated that people who are more prone to rapid satisfaction have higher amounts of debt and are more likely to go into financial trouble. For instance, a research in the Journal of Consumer Affairs discovered that people with higher impulsivity scores were more likely to be in debt from their credit cards. Another study, which appeared in the Journal of Financial Therapy, discovered that people with higher instant gratification scores were more likely to have lower net worth.

Delaying gratification also predicts better financial outcomes, according to study. For instance, a research in the Journal of Economic Psychology discovered that people with stronger delayed gratification skills had higher levels of savings and were less likely to run into financial difficulties.

Numerous factors can have an impact on retirement planning due to instant satisfaction.

One approach is that it may reduce people’s propensity to put money down for their retirement. People may be less likely to save money for the future when they are focused on meeting their immediate needs and wants. As a result, they may struggle to meet their financial objectives later in life due to a lack of retirement resources.

Instant pleasure can also have an adverse effect on retirement planning by leading people to make hasty decisions that could harm their long-term financial security. For instance, a person who prioritises immediate pleasure could be more inclined to make impulse purchases or incur high-interest debt, which might deplete their retirement savings and make it harder to reach their financial objectives.

Furthermore, a lack of investment in retirement plans may result from people prioritising short-term rewards above long-term advantages due to their desire for instant pleasure. This can have a negative impact on the overall growth of retirement funds since it can result in a lack of diversification and a failure to compound investment returns over time.

Individuals who are able to delay gratification and focus on long-term goals are more likely to save, invest and make more calculated decisions, which can help them achieve their retirement goals more effectively.

Although instant gratification is a common behaviour and is not always undesirable, it is vital to realise that if it is not tempered, it can cause financial difficulties and derail your retirement plans.