Have you ever tuned out an important message because you’ve heard it so many times before? It happens all the time because our brain determines that since we’re already familiar with this information, there’s no need to pay attention to it.

I was thinking about this recently as I sat on a flight awaiting takeoff. As a frequent flyer I could probably recite the entire safety presentation in my sleep. Looking around it was apparent that many of my fellow passengers were not giving this important information their full attention. While you might be inclined to tune out the flight attendant’s safety message, it’s probably not a bad idea to know where your seat is in relation to the nearest emergency exit.

Perhaps we tune out the safety instructions because we don’t want to think about something bad happening, or maybe we just take for granted that we’ll arrive at our destination safely. After all, air travel is one of the safest means of transportation so what’s the point of placing so much emphasis on the safety information anyway? It’s so that you know what to do in case something unexpected happens, and that you know there’s a plan in place that instills order in a time of chaos.

Think about how many important messages you might be ignoring because you’ve heard them many times before. Some of them deal with emergency situations, but most of them are preventative in nature. From health to finances, there’s probably a long list of important information you’ve heard many times before but might not be paying attention to.

Well I hope you’re paying attention to this because it’s really important. You only have one retirement so make sure it’s properly planned for. Have you stopped listening to all of the information because you think you’ve heard it all before? That would be a big mistake because the factors that influence our economy, and ultimately your personal finances, are in a constant state of change. What may have been standard procedure last year might be ancient history today.

It’s important that you stay engaged and be an active participant in your retirement planning process. Make sure you take the time to think about what life looks like for you in retirement, what goals you have and what you want to accomplish. Retirement planning should be about a lot more than just dollars and cents; it should be about getting the most out of your life.

So remember, when it comes to retirement planning, it’s time to pay attention and stop tuning out important information.