4 Fear Factors Blocking You From Your Best Life in Retirement
Are you worried you are going to run out of money in your old age? Do you feel an underlying sense of dread and unease whenever the subject of retirement planning comes up? You’re not alone.
I get pretty passionate when discussing this issue, because I’ve seen the weary look of financial anxiety on the faces of far too many good, hard-working people like you. You shouldn’t have to live like this! Why is this whole “retirement thing” so darn scary?!
Retiring Baby Boomers are in the eye of the storm. Several different factors are converging together; all of them working to ensure you are as stressed as possible about your finances once you retire.
I’ve discussed the first three reasons in past articles, but just to refresh your memory:
- Your parents were alive for the Great Depression. You are a product of your upbringing. You were told to “work hard and save, but never spend a dollar. If you do spend any money the sky will fall and you will end up living in a van down by the river.”
- The golden age of defined benefit pension plans is at an end. No longer are people retiring to the security of a guaranteed pension. Now, it is up to you to plan for your old age.
- The financial media is hysterically negative. This irresponsible fear mongering affects everyone. It is hard to stay calm when a guy, in a suit, on a major TV network, is saying things like, “The worst crash of our generation is coming.”
Without the benefit of my professional expertise, I’d be scared too!
The fourth reason comes from this unique time in our economic history. Interest rates are at historic lows. In the early 2000’s you could have found a 5-year CD paying 5% without too much trouble.
But now, we are going on fifteen years where CD’s, money markets, and other “guaranteed” financial vehicles have been paying less than 1%. In many cases much less than one percent. Right now, nationally, the average interest rate on a savings account is .08%.
What does all this mean? Retirees, for the first time, are almost being forced to employ stocks and bonds in their retirement portfolio. What other choice do you have? Most people understand that getting .01% of their retirement savings is not the answer.
If you were living in 1981 right now you could walk into your friendly neighborhood bank and put your money into a 3-month CD and get around 16% interest. Whoa! Who would even consider putting their money in the stock market if you could get 16% guaranteed at the bank?
But, sadly, we are not living in 1981. But I have amazing news! You do not need to be scared of stocks and bonds. In fact, this unique interest rate environment might “force” you into utilizing the most powerful financial vehicles ever conceived by human kind.
In fact, if you had invested $100,000 in 1981 into a diversified portfolio of 50% stocks and 50% bonds:
It would have been worth $355,222 by 1990.
It would have been worth $1,286,677 in 2000.
It would have been worth $1,706,259 in 2010.
And your current account balance would be worth a whopping $3,136,343 (as of June 2017).
So I want you to be encouraged. The four “fear factors” working against you do not have to sabotage your retirement. With a little bit of education and planning you are going to thrive!
Values given are hypothetical based on the average return of the S & P 500 Index and unmanaged index. Investors cannot invest in the S & P 500 and averages do not reflect charges for any taxes, commissions, fees or other expenses, which would decrease the returns shown above. Investments providing a higher rate of return have a higher degree of risk. Actual results will vary.
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The return of principal for bond funds and for funds with significant underlying bond holdings is not guaranteed. Fund shares are subject to the same interest rate, inflation and credit risks associated with the underlying bond holdings.
The value of fixed-income securities may be affected by changing interest rates and changes in credit ratings of the securities.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. Indexes are unmanaged portfolios and individuals cannot invest directly in an index. Actual results will vary.
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