If you have been saving and investing for retirement, it has been a difficult year. All three stock market indices, including the DOW, S&P 500, and most notably, the NASDAQ, have seen severe losses. And if that weren’t enough, the inflation rate is still rising. The housing market bubble has burst, and the nation may be on the verge of the next economic downturn.
But instead of wallowing in all the terrible news, there are four crucial retirement planning lessons to be learned from the drama. These lessons can assist you in safeguarding and expanding your nest egg in the New Year.
#1: This inflation was not “transient.”
When inflation first appeared in 2021, the government attempted to calm everyone’s anxieties by claiming it was “temporary.” This was not even close to being true. Numerous economists and specialists on inflation expected the opposite, and they feared that high inflation rates would persist for some time.
Today, the nation continues to face record-high inflation rates. The current inflation rate for November was 7.1%, roughly four times the “average” inflation rate.
Yes, inflation increases the cost of everything, and sadly, it does not end there. After accounting for inflation, those who invest in classic fixed-income choices such as CDs, savings accounts, and even bonds lose money.
It is, therefore, essential that your investment plan incorporates a buffer against inflation.
#2: Know your risk tolerance
Since March 2009, the United States has seen the longest bull market in history. Many have forgotten that the stock market may sometimes decline.
The year 2022 served as a reminder of how devastating market declines and bear markets can be.
According to Fidelity, the typical individual lost about 25 percent of their 401K value this year. This has affected almost everyone even more, which is distressing for retirees who rely on their assets for income.
While you do not influence what the stock market will do next, you can determine how much risk you are ready to face. Significant fluctuations in stock prices might throw your portfolio out of balance.
Therefore, you must update and rebalance your investment portfolio every 6 to 12 months or whenever big life or financial events occur.
#3 More than Saving and investing are required for retirement.
Planning for retirement was much simpler in the past than it is today.
Previous generations had employer pensions, (well-funded) Social Security payments, and stable fixed-income returns, and they only needed to plan for 10 to 20 years of retirement (because of shorter lifespans).
The economic repercussions of the pandemic have upended retirement planning. Everything has become much more expensive due to inflation. Traditional fixed-income alternatives will always incur losses, and uncontrolled government expenditure might result in future tax increases. Social security and Medicare are grossly underfunded (and cuts could be coming soon). People are living longer than ever before; thus, it is necessary to ensure that retirement funds will survive between 25 and 40 years. The nation seems to be on the verge of the next economic downturn.
Therefore, saving and investing for retirement is no longer sufficient.
If you wish to retire today, you’ll need a thorough strategy to overcome these new obstacles. Otherwise, you risk exhausting your life savings far too quickly.
#4 Legislative risk poses a threat to your retirement.
The majority of individuals are unfamiliar with the term “legislative risk.”
It essentially means that the government can alter the game’s rules at any time. Furthermore, you have no voice in the matter.
The government is free to spend money on whatever it chooses. And then it may increase your taxes to force you to pay for it. It may alter the regulations governing your IRA and 401(k). It can reduce your social security payments, even though you’ve contributed up to 12.4% of every income earned from childhood.
Due to this, more and more people are taking preemptive measures to protect their nest eggs.
The following year may be challenging, but knowing the above can prepare you to face these challenges better. Taking steps to secure future funds and cutting back on unnecessary expenses can help create a buffer against an economic downturn.