Life is about decisions, and frequently those who delay gratification in the form of saving for retirement in lieu of spending on current “wants” find themselves financially secure as they near retirement age.
Are we finally knocking on the door of a recession/correction?
Before the 4th of July holiday, all three major U.S. stock market indices closed at record highs, despite a slate of recent indicators that would suggest that the economy may be cooling down. As the present bear market has now officially been coronated as the longest in history, recent activity begs the question of “why such exuberance if the outlook is turning negative?” There are a few schools of thought to help offer an explanation:
You can find guides and advice on how to “Spring Clean” your house, but do you take the time to “Spring Clean” your finances? Here are 3 things to consider when looing over your finances:
“what you actually do as opposed what you say is the best representation of true convictions and preferences.” This is where the rubber meets the road for investors when times get tough, or we assume that tough times are ahead.
We need clothes and cars and homes to survive, but by convincing ourselves that “wants” are “needs” we overextend ourselves what truly necessary, stagnating our progress towards long-term financial goals.
When asked by the client how much the pension would be, the advisor responded: “about $540/month” thinking that the client would be disappointed with the answer. The response was the exact opposite – the client was elated because $540 was enough to live in their manufactured home on a piece of leased property deep in the woods and away from the hustle and bustle of life – the moral of the story: your goals in retirement inform what you need to save and how to be invested.
Having a financial plan that calculates the impact of market movements through a range of portfolio performance helps to provide a sense of commitment to your established, long-term goals.
The short answer is that market risk, as measured by volatility cannot be diversified away. What can be controlled is investor discipline – resisting the urge to sell in down markets and become overexuberant in up markets. The antidote to the fear in down markets is to maintain a perspective on the long-term goal you’re either working towards, or have achieved in retirement.
For many of us, retirement planning ranks near cleaning the garage on our list of priorities. We know we should do it, and every time we park the car or open the investment statement, we’re reminded of the need to address the situation, but we find it far too easy to simply shut the garage door or file the statement until the next time we’re reminded. If you’re like me, a gentle nudge (or a 2×4 across the head) can provide the jumpstart we need. Here are three considerations to get started down the path:
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