Broker Check

 

Too Much Information

| March 13, 2017
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Did you know over 1 billion websites exist today? In 1996, a mere 20 years ago, this number was 100,000. Reading this, I had many “aha’s,” but one was prevalent: Do we have too much information at our fingertips? Have you ever tried to self-diagnose a cough, a rash, etc. and by the time you were done with your Google search you were certain you had some deadly disease? True story from a coworker just last week: Her husband was scheduled for a stress test and wanted to be absolutely sure no caffeine is found in orange juice. With Google, not only was he reassured that there isn’t caffeine in OJ, but informed him he could knock off his wife with a combination of orange juice and toothpaste!


There is no doubt that the instant availability of information has been life changing. However - if we aren’t careful - it could be our demise. Remember the saying knowledge is knowing tomatoes are a fruit, but wisdom is knowing they shouldn’t go in a fruit salad. True wisdom can only be gained through experience and this is something 1 billion websites, unfortunately, can’t give you.


More and more we see “DIY” (Do It Yourself) websites, blogs and YouTube videos. You can find anything from minor or major home repairs to legal documents, income tax information, home loans or financial advice to “how to perform open heart surgery.” Obviously, we all hope that no one would attempt the latter, but at what point do we know what we don’t know that might or will hurt us?


Sadly, it is usually after the damage is done and it’s too late. Imagine a home loan with an annual increasing interest rate and you can’t get refinanced. Imagine being disinherited from your retirement income unintentionally by your spouse. Better yet, imagine being disinherited entirely, but unintentionally by your spouse.


Imagine fighting over tens of thousands of dollars in taxes and penalties against the IRS without an accountant because you took a deduction no one told you that you couldn’t take. Imagine your family needing life insurance only to find out what they thought you had isn’t there. Imagine simply running out of money. These are real results from DIY projects – the “how to” was found on the internet, but the wisdom of why, why not, when, where and in what fashion was unattainable through good ole’ Google.


DIY projects aren’t always as neat and simple as they are portrayed. In fact, when it comes to your health and your wealth, we would recommend just steering clear. You need your family practitioner for both—someone who knows everything about you, has experience and can help you get the medicine you need for the flu and can call in the heart surgeon at the right time. What does it mean to you to “live Life on purpose?” Don’t let a DIY project force you to live by default.

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