The Fed, the Market, and Your Retirement Investments

What moves markets? In my view, the Federal Reserve has more impact on the stock market than any other factor. I believe both the Great Depression and the Great Recession of 2008 were in part the result of actions by the Fed, as were the recoveries afterward.

And now, it sounds very likely that the Fed will lower interest rates at the end of this month, or if not then, very soon afterward.

Ready for Retirement?

Retirement can be a surprisingly stressful time. According to t, several of the top ten life stressors tend to occur in our older years, including: the death of a spouse, the death of close family members, personal illness or injury, and even retirement itself (without considering the other factors).

You would think that after working all those years and putting money aside that you’d be stress-free and ready to play, to do all the fun stuff you’ve been putting off.

Social Security Spousal Benefits FAQs

Social Security is incredibly complicated and gets even more complex when there are two of you. How and when each of you take benefits can affect your income as a couple by hundreds of dollars a month, yet according to Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey, only 23 percent of workers actually try to maximize their benefits by planning when to claim Social Security.

If you’re one of the 77 percent who haven’t planned ahead,

The 4 Percent Rule and the Protection Game

You may have heard of the 4 percent rule: If you have a diversified portfolio, you should be able to withdraw 4 percent each year during retirement, and still have enough money to last you the rest of your life.

That rule/percentage is generally accepted by the investment community, or at least it was. After Y2K, people began to say it should now be the 2 percent rule, which in essence means you have to have twice as much money.

The Best January Since 1987, But…

The market had an awesome month last month. The S&P and the Dow were partying like it was 1999—or rather, 1987, which was the last time the market hit such highs in January. And 1987 was quite a year. After that spectacular January, the market had a few ups and downs, but the S&P essentially stayed flat until the end of May. Then the Dow plunged in October, and on October 19th, 1987, the Dow fell a record 22 percent in one day.