I hope you are staying safe and healthy.
Apprise’s“ Ask Me Anything” webinars will re-start on Thursday, October 8th at 5 pm. The next webinar will be called “Ask Me Anything --Something You May Not Know About Markets and Elections." Going forward, these sessions will be held on the second Thursday of the month at 5:00 p.m. and the fourth Thursday of the month at 12:30 p.m. I hope you can join me. Additional information will be sent next week.
While U.S. stocks lost ground in September, they ended the third quarter with strong gains. It marked the second consecutive quarter of dramatic advances for U.S. stocks. Stocks have staged a historic recovery from their March lows. The two quarters marked the market's best two-quarter performance – up 30.1% - since 2009.
The S&P 500 Index hit a series of new all-time highs in August that continued for the first two days of September. Stocks fell from there barely falling short of the 10% decline that investors equate with a correction. The S&P 500 finished September down 3.9% but up 4.1% year-to-date.
While the economy is far from where it was to start the year, it has steadily improved. The improved economy along with a powerful surge from large technology stocks helped drive the gains. The Federal Reserve’s accommodative interest-rate policy also supported stocks.
But investors should not expect smooth sailing for the rest of the year. Many investors worry about the upcoming presidential election. Coronavirus concerns remain. The virus could pick up in colder months as the cold weather forces more of us inside.
The Nasdaq composite, which is home for many of today’s tech darlings fell from an all-time high to correction territory in a mere three days. This marked the fastest such plunge ever. The sudden change in fortunes highlighted both how fragile markets can be and the uncertainty ahead.
Thinking anyone can forecast the market’s performance is pure folly. Continued volatility seems likely at least for the next few weeks. Don’t get too wrapped up in the market’s daily performance. Stay focused on the long term instead. It should serve you well and benefit your mental health.
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Here are the links to this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:
1. Here’s What You Need to Know About Claiming Social Security Retirement Benefits. Deciding when to start collecting Social Security is an important decision. Making the wrong choice could hurt. Getting the timing right can have a significant impact. Claiming early means lower benefits for life. This can prove costly if you or your spouse collect benefits for a long time. The combination of a well-timed Social Security claiming strategy with your strategies for withdrawing funds from your retirement accounts can add value. It could make your money last a lot longer.
2. The Positive Impact of Gratitude on Mental and Physical Health. According to various studies, expressing gratitude every day can provide physical benefits. It can also aid your mental health. Your decision-making may improve, too.
3. With Remote Work Flexibility, Some People Opt to Relocate Ahead of Their Retirement. Many of us think about relocating when we retire. Scoping out the area you want to move to ahead of time can help. Due to the pandemic, you may have the opportunity to work from almost anywhere. If relocation is part of your financial plan, you might want to scope out potential retirement destinations now.
4. The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Work Is Take a Walk. Some of the world’s greatest thinkers knew that taking a walk could get their brains going. If you have trouble making the time, consider the following suggestions:
· Take your phone calls outside
· Do walking meetings instead of sitting ones
· Park further from your destination
· Take a couple of laps around the parking lot (or block) before going inside
· If you work remotely and have space, walk around your house while taking a phone call
5. 7 Steps to Estimating Your In-Retirement Cash-Flow Needs. When working with clients on financial plans, many simply shrug their shoulders when asked, “How much do you think you will spend in retirement.” There are rules of thumb, such as the 4% rule. Your estimate can be based on your pre-retirement spending instead. A financial plan can also help you determine how much you can “afford” to spend. The steps shared in this article can help you make a reasonable estimate of your cash-flow needs in retirement. If you would like help figuring this out, please schedule a free, no-obligation call.
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