Yes, that’s right!
Some retirees are weathering the financial storms; see why
More retirees are living longer and females generally live longer than males, but both genders should ensure that their needs are adequately provided for in retirement. (Photo: Pixabay)

Amidst soaring prices, supply chain disruptions, declining stock markets, and increased interest rates aimed at curtailing inflation; some retirees are faring well.

Investing long-term has placed them in a position to withstand the hardships of the prevailing financial climate. They can meet their financial goals, deal with emergencies and take advantage of the opportunities that the challenges present.

Let’s look at two scenarios that two of my clients faced but were able to benefit from the fruits of long-term investments. They are both in their 70s. Client A invested $75,000 in 2007. She automated her investment. Over 13 years (2007 – 2020), she contributed between $1,000 and $2,500 every month and occasional ad hoc deposits. 1) The principal investment was over $400,000. But even with an unstable and declining stock market since the advent of the pandemic coupled with the war in the Ukraine, her diversified fund of stocks and bonds is showing twice the principal invested. This retiree stopped working in 2020 when the pandemic started and was not in a position to continue salary deduction payments, therefore no further deposits were made to her account.

This case study shows that with small amounts invested over time in the appropriate investment vehicle, investors can create their own “money-making machine”. Always remember that small amounts add up. In times of crisis, her account provided a buffer against inflation. What if she did not invest in stocks and insisted on conserving her principal over the 13 years? Today there would not be sufficient investment growth to cushion the inflationary shocks and stock market declines. At this juncture, the retiree was able to withdraw funds to invest in a conservative account for short-term goals while her diversified fund remains to provide passive income for the future. It’s very important to review one’s investment strategy in retirement and make the necessary adjustment to the investment portfolio base on the economic climate and investment needs. It’s worth advising investors that small sums add up over time. Investing in the stock market is about multiplication. Time is the key element in the investment formula.

Client B invested a lump sum of $500,000 in midst of the great recession in 2008 which saw stock markets plummeting globally. Times of economic crisis always brings opportunities, investors who are prepared to take some risk by investing in the stock market will achieve financial success. In 2012 Client B withdrew $1,000,000 from her equity portfolio. As a retiree and pensioner, Client B had no further funds to invest in stocks but was able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. Recently Client B needed some emergency funds and was able to withdraw two million dollars with over three times as much remaining in her investment portfolio. She need not worry about rising inflation because the “money-making machine” that was created has been working for her. Her investment provides an adequate buffer to absorb the current shocks from the stock market declines and allows her to still meet her financial goals. Client B is happy that she decided to invest some of her resources in stocks upon retirement 14 years ago. Investing in the stock market is about time spent in the market, and not “timing the market”. It’s not about having millions to invest it’s about having the time to invest. More retirees are living longer and females generally live longer than males. Both genders should ensure that their needs are adequately provided for in retirement. Pre-retirees and adult workers should plan for the retirement years. No one knows what crisis lies ahead, but one should prepare for crises. In an economy of high inflation stocks is your best weapon against inflation over the long term. Investing in stocks gives your money purchasing power.

Working adults

Here is some advice for working adults and pre-retirees. Diversify your investment. Ensure that stocks are included in your investment portfolio. Employ Dollar Cost Averaging as an investment strategy. This is an investment strategy of investing a fixed amount regularly to your mutual fund, pool fund, or Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) instead of relying on occasional lump sum deposits. The Dollar Cost Averaging strategy works regardless of whether the stock market is in decline or performing at its peak. This strategy of fixed regular deposits allows an investor to purchase fewer shares when stock prices are high and more shares when prices are low. Dollar Cost Averaging avoids the risk of investing large sums when the stock market is performing at its peak only to see the investments decline rapidly should there be a market correction. A market correction occurs when there is a decline of 10 per cent or more in the price of a financial asset. Seek the guidance and advice of an experience and professional financial advisor in planning your retirement and investment strategy.

No one knows what crisis lies ahead, but one should prepare for crises.
GRACE G MCLEAN

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