Junk Drawers

January 2023

I hope everyone had a great 2022, and it ended with a very peaceful and memorable holiday season. Mine was just that, and for us University of Tennessee alumni and fans, the Orange Bowl versus Clemson win just capped it off! Two teams in orange playing in the Orange Bowl. Good stuff!

Over the holidays, I had plenty of down time here at home and in my home office. Regarding the home office, the purchase of a newer, better paper shredder was in order and it was definitely put to use. Years ago, Brian Tracy, an amazing professional speaker who I have seen multiple times, gave me “The Four D Rule.” What are the “Four D’s” you ask? Simple.

  • Do it
  • Delegate it
  • Dump it
  • Defer it

Here’s how it’s worked for me over the years. The first thing I do in the morning after making my coffee and walking Jeep is look at my voicemails, texts, and emails on my phone. I get a ton of unwanted emails and blogposts as well. Under the “do it” tab, I write down the people that I need to contact immediately. When I had a fulltime assistant, there were client requests that I could delegate to her & know it would be taken care of. There were other items in my phone that I could either delete/dump them, or depending on importance, defer/flag them to review when I got to my office & could review them on my PC. It’s been one of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten that I can say that I’ve truly benefitted from.

However, it’s not 100% foolproof. I still let items get behind me occasionally in the “defer it” column. I went to work with the mission of being able to see the grain on my desk and credenza and it was an accomplishment. I also went through my mental rolodex and wrote down the names of people who I knew I needed to contact early in the new year. There was the start of my “do it” list.

All of that is primarily on the professional side. The personal side however is a totally different conversation and one that you & I can easily discuss. I found that I had several drawers in my home that were full of stuff. I had a pretty good idea what was in there, but they were totally unorganized. There were a couple in the kitchen, one or two in my bedroom closet, and the laundry room had stuff that just needed to go straight in the trash can. From my bedroom closet, I filled three huge garbage bags full of old sweaters, sweatshirts, pants, and a variety of unused and unworn clothing to a friend’s charity in Knoxville where I knew all would go to good use. Did it and dumped it!

When I am interviewing prospective clients, naturally it makes sense to get an inventory of where their money is. Old money is all of the retirement plan and investment statements, bank savings accounts, mortgage statements, etc. New money is what is coming into their lives via salaries, commissions, bonuses, etc. What I hear quite often is that “I know the statements came, but I’ve not opened them in a long time.”

We are all getting closer to that magical age when we think we can retire. So are you just going to celebrate a birthday and say “I’m retiring” without a plan that will validate this decision? Wouldn’t it be in your best interests to clean out those financial “junk drawers” so you can say those words with certainty rather than walking into your later decades with no plan or no clue? Per a white paper from Invesco, nearly 7 in 10 retirement plan participants fear running out of money in retirement. Only 22% are confident they can use those retirement dollars to cash flow the rest of their lives. (Invesco participant survey, October 2021)

The last time I looked, today’s year of 2023 minus my birthyear of 1958 equals 65! Yeah, I’m almost Medicare eligible! The market returns of 2022 do not help that realization either. Where I thought I was on track for a certain age, now I’m several years behind. I’m sure you can relate to that statement. In the last 10 years, I’ve watched both old and new monies like a hawk! I have to be a good steward of my own financial affairs in order to be able to help you.

In my book, “Castles & Moats” www.castlesandmoatsbook.com Chapter 13 is the first one in the Castles section and its entitled “Your Castle Blueprint. It’s the overview to that section of chapters. There are 15 separate subjects listed with the companion chapters following. My monthly thought to you is DO IT, DO IT, DO IT! Stop deferring and definitely don’t dump it!

As always, I’m here to serve and help in anyway I can. You know the drill. Hit reply & let’s talk about scheduling 45 minutes for a coffee. I’m grateful for your continued readership and the kind words when we see each other. Only two more months until Spring!

Many thanks,


**Examples are intended for illustrative purposes only and may be not indicative of your situation. Individual results may vary.

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Brian E. Carden, Insurance & Financial Advisor
Phone: 615.506.0300
Email: brian@briancarden.com

Securities and Advisory services offered through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC, a registered investment advisor. Past market performance is not indicative of future performance or success. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.