Has YOLO given way to FOMO?

December 5, 2018


All right.  I’ll admit it.  I’m treading in the Millennial slang right now but it’s appropriate for the direction I’m headed so stay with me for just a few minute.  If you don’t know what I’m referencing above, let me help.  You Only Live Once… YOLO.  Not something you’ll hear coming from the “Greatest Generation” or even many of the Baby Boom generation.  Saving, not spending frivolously or with the attitude you’re only going to get to do this once so let ‘er rip is not quite the mantra you’re hearing from those so close to or actually in retirement.  Hey, don’t get me wrong here.  I get it and I’m sure there are plenty out there that do operate that way who are from the generations I mentioned, but really?  Aren’t most boomers today concerned about retirement?  Aren’t they the ones worrying how they’re going to survive in retirement?  Between medical and health care increases and Social Security decreases (in actual dollars vs real world spend), I’m not familiar with too many folk in the aforementioned demography saying let’s party like it’s 1999.


Unfortunately, the subsequent generations don’t seem to have as much issue with it.  Could be they’re comfortable somebody is going to take care of things for them.  After all, it’s kinda been that way for them for quite a while hasn’t it?  Gummy Bears for everyone!  So why not go for the gusto regardless?  Somebody will bail them out.  After all, You Only Live Once, right?


Well, on the heels of YOLO comes FOMO.  Fear Of Missing Out.  Now here’s an acronym that can be shared regardless of your age and perspective.  If everyone else is doing and you don’t, FOMO.  You’re going to miss out!  God forbid.  So FOMO drives YOLO?  Or is it the other way around.  Ask a Millennial.

However, FOMO takes on a whole new meaning in retirement.  Think about it… you’re likely not thinking YOLO.  Hell, you only do live once so you better make sure you’ve got enough to pull it off. If not, you’re YOLO could really suck.  Ironically, FOMO is applied to a Boomer, it takes on a different meaning.  At least I might imply it does.


The market moves up and down as we all know.  The bull run is likely on it’s last legs.  There have been big, really big swings of late that could lead one to reconsider their portfolio placements for retirement but is now the time to move?  It’s a rhetorical question.  The real question is do you have FOMO?  Are you going to do what you think you should do or what you think others are doing?  Your Fear Of Missing Out could cost you a bundle.  Might even significantly impact your retirement income.  The one thing the Baby Boomer generation has been labeled with is more.  More stuff, more money, more (better) health, etc etc etc.  It’s one of the things that keeps the Boomers moving.  The drive for more.  And therein lies the similarity to the children of the Boomer, the Millenials, in the FOMO.  Boomers don’t want to miss out on the continuing upward movement or historical highs of the market.  They don’t want to miss out on the “next best thing” their like-minded friends and neighbors are doing.  The don’t want to miss out on the new weight loss fad or age defying potion.  (Yoga anyone?)


The question to take into consideration when you think of who it is you’re talking to, when your marketing message is considered a point of differentiation, when you’re trying to convey the values in preservation and discipline, is whether or not you’re cultivating a message of YOLO.  Or is it one of FOMO?  In either case, your answer is critical to the financial well-being of the recipient.


I know I only live once and I want to enjoy it…have enough to do what I want to do and take care of myself and family if the need arises.  That’s my YOLO.  And for what it’s worth, I’ve already lived thru keeping up with the Jones’s.  I’m confident in my investment strategy and sure hope it holds up as I anticipate it will as I age.  I’m also comfortable in my own skin and try to keep a regular exercise regimen for better health so FOMO is not motivating me.  I’m past the age of worrying about what I’m missing.  I’ve probably already missed it, whatever it was.

So for me, it’s simply NOMO.  NO-MO.  As in quite simply, NO MORE.

And for that, phew, I’m thankful.


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