I have tried to state this in many different ways.

  • Be clear to yourself: are you really the average case? For example, “defer Social Security” is a generally-accepted average advice. That completely presumes that you live the average life expectancy. That assumes that you don’t have an urgent need in advance of this. That assumes that the reward you will get later will compensate you for the sacrifice you make today, by not receiving the money sooner. The list goes on and on.

  • If you are not average, make the adjustments required. Michigan wasn’t the average team yesterday. It was the inferior, it needed to accept that fact (it actually knew this, as evidenced by attempting to convert on 4th down in the 1st quarter), and make decisions accordingly. In the same way, deferring Social Security (just an example) isn’t a great idea if you have pancreatic cancer, is it? I realize this is an extreme example, that is intentional, the way to compare financial alternatives is to follow the cash flow outcomes under extreme scenarios, think of whether that is likely (or not) for your situation, and THEN compare the prices and details, in that order. The order of operations is vital, you don’t add and substract prior to multiplying or dividing, do you?

  • Sometimes, the rules are in your favor, even if you are not average. In that case, you can (and should) take full advantage. The ACA and Medicare open enrollment rules skew the rules in favor of those that are below average. Jabba the Hutt can access health insurance at the same price as Mr Perfect, because the ACA has created rules to favor Jabba the Hut. You now also understand why Mr Perfect isn’t in love with the ACA, the price has been adjusted higher, to account for the fact that the sellers (insurance companies) know that Jabba the Hutt is intentionally enrolling. You also now understand why the sellers (insurance companies) detested the ACA when it first arrived. Insurance companies were required to set their premiums in the complete dark, without any knowledge of how many Jabba the Hutts were going to enroll. If this was your commercial situation, what would you do? Simply not participate, right? That is exactly what happened.