Typically, election years have had a predictable effect on the behavior of the stock market, but this year’s election has been far from typical. Experts speculate that a Trump win would likely mean a stock market crash, whereas a Clinton win could result in higher taxes. We’re already seeing political unrest all over the world. A vote cast in Europe sent our markets plunging downward, and now there is talk about the potential failure of the Deutsche banks with their wide-spread derivatives.
Amidst all of the chaos, we have your average investor trying to keep their money safe, trekking bravely across Wall Street much like a Hobbit crossing the smoking grounds of Mordor.
If the election drama and economic uncertainty has left you more confused than empowered, take a deep breath and relax. Here are three simple steps you can take today to protect what’s precious to you, regardless of what ends up happening in the world at large.
Step #1: gather your facts
During the time of retirement, it’s what you DO with the money you have that matters most. Be wary of any financial salesperson who tries to convince you that they can get you everything you need to make your dreams come true inside one magic investment.
Smoke and mirrors are what magicians (and some politicians) use to divert your attention from one area so you won’t notice just exactly what’s going on in another area. This is also how annuities are sometimes sold to retirees.
It doesn’t have to be this complicated. Given the pace of the world and access to information on the Internet, it has never been easier to protect your nest egg and guarantee your retirement dreams. It doesn’t require access to the hottest hedge fund manager, investment bankers, or a Wall Street Guru. It doesn’t even require hours and hours of exhaustive research or expensive subscriptions to newsletters. It is simply a matter of cutting through the circus smoke and getting to the facts.
Step #2: protect what you need.
If you have saved and worked hard, then the day you retire might very well be the richest day of your life. If you have not yet protected your portfolio and guaranteed your lifetime income to the level you want, it might not be due to lack of effort on your part. Given the shell games played on Wall Street and the amount of misinformation that’s available, it’s a wonder, even more, assets aren’t lost and more retirement dreams crushed. So yes, your failures are justified, but you don’t have to keep repeating them.
Most investors instinctively recognize the need for safety and protection as the time of retirement approaches. We are now officially confirming your suspicions: you don’t have to stay in the stock market in order to enjoy a good retirement.
Step#3: get in in writing
If your portfolio is still going down even though your broker is telling you that your income is guaranteed, get that guarantee in writing. Annuities that really DO provide principal protection will have that spelled right out in the contract. Those that can lose your money will also have that written in the contract. If having a protected income is important to you, then don’t take someone else’s word for it. Read the fine print.
We might not all get the president we want, but we can all take measures to ensure we get the retirement we deserve. With your income protected and properly structured, you can finally relax and enjoy retirement, knowing you are set and secure no matter what the circus brings to town.