Did you know people are naturally inclined to walk in circles? And it's not because one leg is longer than another. Research shows the same person will randomly choose a different direction to walk in a circle. Sometimes that person will walk clockwise; sometimes that same person will walk counter-clockwise. You can give someone the correct directions, but, if you blindfold that person, nature overrides those directions. 

Does this sound familiar? Retirement experts regularly advise savers to observe fairly simple and standard rules. Yet, http://www.benefitspro.com/2016/02/29/divide-between-401k-participants-and-sponsors-stud just as regularly ignore these common sense guidelines. Why do people freeze when it comes time to pull the trigger and follow the instructions professionals generally agree should be followed? 

Behavioral finance researchers have studied the impediments to decision-making. Ironically, for all the good things our culture says about the freedom to choose, choice represents one of the biggest obstacles to decision making. The problem with most rules of thumb occurs not in their simplicity, but in their ultimate requirement to take some positive action to implement them. Without implementation, these rules are all thumbs. 

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal FiduciaryNews.com and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).