He did it to me again.
I take my dog Fez outside to do his “business,” if you know what I mean.
And… he finishes with his little gift… so I whip out the doo bag and clean up after him…
He wanders away…
… and then… as I’m tying a knot in the bag to lock in the freshness…
He makes another doo behind my back.
Well… I dunno if it was the smell in the air or the fact that spring is upon us or what… but I got to thinking…
This is sorta like what happens to people when they retire or start slowing down and working part time…
And… they start living off their savings.
They withdraw money from their retirement account and… everything is fine until the market crashes.
Now… market crashes don’t happen every day.
And in fact they are VERY rare.
Over the last 200 years, the broad U.S. stock markets have only experienced a handful of crashes that cost investors more than 30% in losses.
That speaks to the strength and resiliency of the U.S. economy.
There may be dips here and there though, and those are much more frequent.
Over the last 200 years, the financial markets experienced returns between 0% and 20% 44% of the time.
It gave investors positive returns something like 77% of the time. Meaning investors lost money 23% of the time.
The majority of the time is spent somewhere between -10% and +20%.
About, say, 60% of the time people are either losing up to 10% of their money or making up to 20% gains.
The compound growth rate (the REAL gain) of the market hovers around 5-6%. Add in dividends and it’s anywhere between 6% and 9%… that’s before fees, taxes, inflation, and a few other “hidden” costs.
What I’m trying to get at is… it’s possible (and even probable) for the STOCK MARKET to earn a positive return and have INVESTORS lose money.
Normally this is not a problem if you’re willing to wait out the losses or meager gains because a few years of 30%+ returns can make up for a lot of little teeny tiny losses.
But when you’re living off your savings… well… that changes things… a LOT.
How much a lot?
A lot a lot.
Here’s how a lot:
You could take a retirement savings that would normally last you 20 or 30 years and suck that thing dry in about 5 to 6 years if your market losses happen at the wrong time while you’re drawing an income.
… because that income ends up COMPOUNDING your losses…
A market correction is like… it’s like the first doo in your yard. You can kinda see it coming and once it happens… well… it happens. You deal with it.
But drawing income out of your savings ON TOP OF those losses is like a sneak attack doo.
You don’t notice it at first and it takes a while for you to realize the full impact of what happened.
And by the time you realize how much it hurt you… you’ve already tied off the first doo bag and have to whip out another one.
Mass Mutual put out a piece called Taming A Bear Market. It addresses this exact issue. You should check it out sometime when you have a moment.
It basically shows you how to wait out those market corrections without sacrificing your retirement income using boring old whole life insurance.
It takes patience (oh noes!) and planning.
It can be done at any age… and the earlier you start planning for it, the better.
Fortunately, Yours Gluteny (that’s me) can show you how it’s done.
If that sounds like music to your ears, then don’t waste a second doo bag when all you really need is one: