The first half of 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride. The COVID-19 pandemic completely altered our way of life and threw the economy into a tailspin. Most states have started the reopening process, but there is still significant uncertainty about the long-term impact of coronavirus and how long the pandemic will continue.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently said the economy faces a “long road” to recovery, and predicted the process may take through 2022.1 While the recovery may be a long-term journey, there have been some signs of hope in recent months:
Stock Market Returns
The stock market had been enjoying the longest bull market in history before the coronavirus pandemic hit.2 The bull market came to an abrupt end starting in late February. On February 20, the S&P hit a high of 3373. From that point through March 23, the S&P fell to 2237, a decline of 33.7%.3
However, since that time, the market has increased to 3115 through June 18. That’s an increase of 39.25%. The S&P is nearly back to its pre-COVID levels.3
Of course, it’s impossible to predict the future direction of the markets. Just because the market has been on an upswing doesn’t mean it will continue. A spike in cases or a second round of shutdowns could send the markets back into a decline.
The pandemic has driven unemployment to record-high levels. Through mid-June, the country had 13 consecutive weeks with more than 1 million new jobless claims. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the record for a single week was 695,000 in May 1982.4
The good news is that jobless claims have been declining. At the beginning of the pandemic, weekly jobless claims exceeded 6 million. In fact, up until late-May, they exceeded 2 million. So while jobless claims remain at record highs, they are on the decline. The amount of continuing claims has also dropped from 25 million in early May to just over 20 million in early June.4
Consumer spending was impacted significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s not surprising, given most states were effectively shut down for two months. In April, consumer spending dropped by 16.4%, a record monthly decline.5
In May, consumer spending set another record—this time for biggest monthly increase. The figure rose by 17.7%, driven by large increases in clothing (188%), furniture (+90%), sporting goods (+88%), and electronics (+55).5
Consumer spending by itself doesn’t mean the economy is on the path to recovery. There are still plenty of uncertainties in the economy. However, it is a good sign that consumer spending is nearly back to its pre-pandemic levels.
This is uncharted territory for all of us. The situation and data changes so fast that it’s impossible to project where the economy may be headed. A comprehensive strategy that aligns with your goals and risk-tolerance can keep you on track to meet your long-term objectives.
Let’s connect today and talk about your concerns, questions and challenges. At Boston Independence Group, we can help you develop and implement a strategy. Contact us today and let’s start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency. 20195 - 2020/6/22
What’s your biggest retirement fear? If it’s running out of income in retirement, you’re not alone. According to a recent study from Transamerica, the number one fear for Baby Boomers is outliving their assets and running out of income.1 Boomers aren’t alone. Generation X is also projected to be far behind on their retirement savings, with an average balance of only $64,000.2
These numbers may explain why 52% of workers expect to work beyond age 65. Among Boomers, that figure jumps to 68% who expect to or are already working past age 65.3
Continuing your career into your late 60s or even early 70s is one way to accumulate more savings and protect your retirement income. However, it’s not the only option. Depending on your goals and needs, you may just need slightly more income to reach your objectives.
Below are four creative ways to stabilize your income in retirement:
Participate in the sharing economy.
The sharing economy is based on individuals sharing their own goods and services with others. Uber is an example. Airbnb is another. There are a growing list of websites and apps that allow you to earn money simply by sharing your own goods, such as your car or extra space in your house.
Granted, you may not want to drive an Uber around town. However, that’s not the only option. If you’re an empty nester with extra space, you could rent bedrooms to guests. There are some services that let you rent out storage space. There are even services for renting out tools or other useful goods.
The best thing about the sharing economy is that you can participate as much or as little as you like. You set your terms, prices and schedule, so it doesn’t come with the commitment of actual employment. Be creative and research opportunities to generate extra income in a way that fits your lifestyle.
Be a coach or consultant.
After a career that spanned decades, your most valuable asset may be your experience and knowledge. Why not use that knowledge to generate income after you retire?
You could use your industry contacts to become a consultant. Or you could coach or mentor younger individuals in your industry who want your advice. There are plenty of websites that offer a platform to do this.
Another option is to talk to your former employer about consulting opportunities. They may want to retain your experience and knowledge and may be willing to do so in a flexible way. Don’t assume that retirement means completely walking away from your career, contacts and experience.
Tap into your life insurance.
Do you have life insurance that has a significant amount of cash value? Did you know you can tap into that cash value for supplemental retirement income?
You can take withdrawals from your life insurance policy. If you’re withdrawing your own premiums, the distributions are tax-free. If you withdraw earnings, the distributions are taxable.
You also may be able to take tax-free loans from the policy, assuming you have enough cash value after the loan to support the death benefit. You repay the loan over time. If you pass away with a remaining balance, that amount is deducted from the death benefit. A financial professional can help you determine if your life insurance makes a good source of supplemental income.
Guarantee your income.
Your concern may not be the amount of your income but rather the certainty of it. You may have to rely on withdrawals from your savings to provide retirement income. Market volatility could make those withdrawals unpredictable. There’s also the risk that you could run out of income if you have a long retirement.
One way to minimize those risks is to guarantee your income using a tool like an annuity. You can take up to a certain withdrawal amount every year. Assuming you stay within the policy’s withdrawal limits, your income is guaranteed for life, regardless of how long you live or how the market performs.
We can help you develop your retirement income strategy. It starts with an analysis of where you are today and where you want to go. Contact us today at Boston Independence Group. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency. 20197 - 2020/6/22
Dispatches from basecamp.
We’ll keep you updated on what you need to know about retirement income planning. Check back with us for frank, sincere advice on how to reach a confident, anxiety-free retirement.