The power of perspective in turbulent times
News of market volatility can be scary, and many people react by moving their savings into less risky investments – or by pulling out of the market entirely. Don’t forget that when you move money out of an investment, you’re selling shares. By selling shares when prices are down, or “selling low,” you may miss out on the opportunity to recover in the future. If, however, you leave that money invested, you can benefit if the price of the fund ultimately goes up.
Ripped from today's headlines?
Sensational headlines have often motivated investors to sell off, but historically speaking, bear markets have typically been followed by bull markets. The above headlines1 date from 1974, 1979 and 1987, respectively, and the panic they reflect (and possibly contributed to) was followed by a market recovery every time. People typically react to down markets by selling low, but experienced investors often use bear markets as an opportunity to buy low, because when prices are down, they can buy many more shares of an investment than they can during a recovery, when prices rise again. Remember that headlines are a product of a short-term news cycle, and can be as irrational and shortsighted as short-term market fluctuations.
Take a deep breath
Changing your investments can be a great idea, as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons. For example, gradually shifting your investment mix from more aggressive to more conservative as you approach retirement; or rebalancing your portfolio on a regular schedule, are both reasonable approaches to long-term investing. Moving all of your money from equities to cash during a market panic is less so, and could lock in losses that you may never recover. When markets are volatile, it can be easy to discard your strategy and follow the herd. Before you decide to initiate any significant transaction in your retirement account, don’t act on impulse. Make sure to put your long-term savings strategy ahead of any short-term fears.
Understanding is key
It’s important to understand how your investments impact your retirement savings. And if you don’t want to go it alone, talk to a trusted financial professional for help with creating a holistic investment strategy.
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1 Mass Mutual
New Year, New Plan.
It's that time of year again - time to think about what's on your financial bucket list and work on putting a plan in place. Have you thought about your IRA contributions? Did you know that you have until April to make tax deductible contributions to your IRA? What other financial tips could impact your 2020 planning?
Whether your retirement is just around the corner or years away, ensuring your preparations are in order can be the centerpiece of an effective retirement strategy.
It’s important to first understand the principle of cash flow. Cash flow is the net amount of cash moving into and out of your accounts at any given time. The key word here is “time.” Cash flow can be best understood through the lens of a given time frame.
Keeping a close eye on your cash flow may provide you with a better understanding of your financial flexibility. The biggest balancing act retirees face is “money in” versus “money out.” Knowing this metric is central to building a strong retirement strategy.
There are 4 main types of cash flow to consider when creating a retirement strategy: the interest your accounts accrue, the dividends you may receive, the capital gains you may receive from the sale of an investment or property, and finally your original investment.
Step 1: Identify Your Retirement Vehicles
If you’ve been saving and contributing to your retirement funds over the years, way to go! You may find it a helpful first step to identify and evaluate the strength of your savings from those years. Gathering this information can take a bit of effort, but it’s an important undertaking. The list below is a good place to start.
There are 4 general sources of retirement income in retirement: Social Security, Personal Savings and Investments, Retirement Accounts, & Continued Employment.
Step 2: Estimate Your Costs
With your income sources in mind, it’s time to think about expenses. Knowing how much you expect to spend in retirement is crucial to establishing a strategy that works for you.
First, take a look at your current annual income. In general, retirees spend about 80% of their current income per year in retirement, so if your estimated pre-retirement income is a hypothetical $100,000 a year, you can plan on spending about $80,000 annually in retirement1.
Next, consider the factors that will come into play once you retire. Things like changes in your lifestyle. Will you travel more? Take up new hobbies that require extra funds? Remember to factor in your anticipated medical care costs.
Step 3: Time for Some Math
Now, you’re going to compare your estimated costs against your scheduled retirement disbursements. At this point, you may come to the realization that your cash flow is less than your anticipated retirement costs. While it can be unsettling, this is valuable information that you can use to modify your strategy, with the help of your adviser. As always, we are available to help or answer any questions you may have.
Together, we can work toward a cash flow strategy that can last well into retirement and beyond.
Contact Skylight today by calling 216.592.7315 or emailing CFCUteam@skylightfg.com.
Adapted from Platinum Advisor Strategies
Investments are not NCUA insured. Not credit union guaranteed. May lose value. Securities, investment advisory and financial planning services offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. OSJ: 2012 W. 25th Street, Suite 900, Cleveland OH 44113. 216-621-5680. CRN202109-253693.
Century Federal Credit Union is not a subsidiary or affiliate of MML Investors Services, or its affiliated companies.
1Fidelity.com, 2019 https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/spending-in-retirement