Financial Planning and Delayed Gratification

Stanford’s Marshmallow Experiment

In the ‘60’s Stanford conducted a test with 4 and 5-year kids, wherein they gave each child a marshmallow with these instructions… “this marshmallow is for you, but if you can wait to eat it until I come back in 15 minutes I will give you a second marshmallow”.  A little over a third of the children were able to wait the full 15 min and received the second marshmallow.

The researchers then followed all of the children over the next 30 years and what do you think they found?

The children who waited had achieved better marks in school and thus got into better colleges, which led to getting better jobs. They also had better control of their weight and reported higher levels of happiness.

This makes sense right…  Do I do my homework or go play?  The ability to delay gratification paid dividends well into the future.

For us today the same principle holds true… Do I save for a car or get a loan?  Do I save for retirement or go out to dinner?

Now if you are like the child who couldn’t resist eating the marshmallow early there is some good news.  There are some proven methods to help you achieve your goals:

  1. Identify what is most important to you.
  2. Develop a specific plan to get there.
  3. And most importantly… Automate your savings!
  4. Finally, no withdrawals for lesser items before you have reached your goal.

So regardless of whether you are trying to buy a home, a car or save for retirement, we can help you develop a plan to get there.  Thanks for listening.

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