Well, that got out of hand quickly. That’s what I thought as I watched the Dow fall 1,175 (4.6%) on Monday, February 6th, 2018. Then, like many people with an interest in global economic affairs, I sat back and watched chaos erupt in markets around the world. As of the writing of this article, Japan’s Nikkei has plunged 4.7% and London’s FTSE 100 is down 3%.

Market Ups and Downs Are Normal… Except When They Aren’t

Of course, in the great scheme of things, this is nothing to panic about. As women over 60, we have seen ups and downs in the market. For all I know, by the time you read this article, the market may have rebounded to new highs.

The point that I want to make here is that the last few years have been strange. Specifically, we have bene in what traders call a “goldilocks” period of low inflation, fast growth, low interest rates and high corporate profits.

As a result, I suspect that many seniors, especially those with a few more years until retirement, have been lulled into a false sense of security with regards to the stock market.

After losing money in the Great Recession, many of us will have been tempted to keep a large percentage of our assets in the stock market, hoping to use our gains to fuel our retirements.

I’m certainly not here to say if this is a good strategy or not… that’s up to you and your financial advisor to decide. I’m simply saying that the volatility that we have seen in the stock market over the last few days is a reminder that stocks are not always going to go up.

This doesn’t mean that you should pull your money out of the stock market because you are scared that it has gone “too high.” In fact, sometimes the worst thing to do is to sell when others are scared.

But, you should be diversified, in every possible way.

Are You Sufficiently Diversified?

This is especially important for people our age to remember. After all, unlike millennials, who may not have to touch their 401Ks for 30-40 years, we are going to need our cash sooner rather than later.

So, regardless of what happens over the next few days, it’s probably a good idea to have a chat with your financial advisor to make sure that you are sufficiently diversified, considering your age and personal goals for the future.

Are You Saving Enough Valuable Skills for the Future?

The other thing that this drop in the market reminded me is just how reliant most of us are on our savings. If something catastrophic were to happen to the stock market, many of us would see a big impact on our retirement plans. Speaking of which, here’s a video that I recorded with financial expert, Pam Krueger. I hope you find it useful!

 

Beyond diversification, I am a big believer in the idea that every person over 60 should have a way of making a little extra money.

Some of us will take an entrepreneurial path. Others will prefer to work part-time for someone else. But, either way, it’s much easier to find a job (or start a company) when you don’t need it.

So, if you are concerned about the stock market and are looking for a few ways to secure your future, I highly recommend that you check out the following Sixty and Me resources. I hope that they help you to have the retirement that you deserve, no matter what happens to the stock market.

When it Comes to Making Money in Retirement? Is $500 Better Than $100,000?

Transitioning to Retirement? Do These 5 Things First!

What Are the Best Part-Time Jobs for Retirees?

How to Make Sure You Are Saving Enough for Retirement as a Woman

I hope that the stock market continues to go up over the next few years, but, regardless, it is up to each of us to prepare for any eventuality. So, let’s take matters into our own hands, make sure that we are diversified and invest in our skills. We’ll need them tomorrow!

Are you concerned about the recent dip in the stock market and what it might mean for your retirement savings? Why or why not? Do you agree that each of us should have a plan for how to make money in retirement, beyond relying on our savings? Let’s have a chat!

 

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